A Smuggler's Wake

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A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-13 05:24

Click for details.
OOC Notes: I've included the information from the bounty thread here, with a correction for spelling, and edited to allow for a converstion from american customary units into metric. I'm making a reference to it below, but the average height of an adult Rodian is 1.5m - 1.7m, and the number is just shy of 1.8m.So he's taller than the average Rodian, and comes in at 258 kg? So yeah, I'll leave the height in place, but I'm going to assume he meant pounds rather than kilograms, as that number is somewhat more reasonable. This guy is still a very big Rodian, just of more believable dimensions. Anyways, the thread is dedicated to Jericho.)

Bounty# 1007
Bounty Title: A Smuggler's Wake
Credits: 3000 Credits
Description:
It has been confirmed by ISIS operatives that one Dojo Lrishnemm, is heavily involved upon the smuggling of spice into and out of the regions of space close to Phaeda. Apprehension of the suspect is approved. His cargo ship an unknown class of YT Freighter was last seen at the Muspenheim spaceport of Ylarrel Three a sparsely populated agricultural world close to Bilbringi.
Physical Description is as follows:
Species: Rodian:
Height: 5'-11" = ~1.8 m
Weight: 258 lb = ~117 kg
Eyes: Brown
Main Objective: Bring: Dojo Lrishnem back to NIF custody, Alive or Dead
Bonus Objective: Bring back evidence of who Dojo was working with.
ISIS was perhaps a fickle organization, with an organization that in many cases, the right hand didn't know what the left was doing. Perhaps it was by design. The more things were widely known, the greater the chance of security breaches jeopardizing the programs, hence some other details were intentionally left unsaid.

Juni's Handlers had selected her for this mission, her first since her harrowing escape from Mon Calamari. It had been weeks, and she felt perhaps somewhat nervous. She knew the mission was simple. All she had to do was to locate the Rodian, snap a few images of him, and then try to get a DNA sample for a positive identification of him. With that, they could cross check the image with the port's registry information, and find his ship. She didn't know if she was alone on the mission, and perhaps she was, but it would be simple enough after that. Still, it was unsettling having a tip that the guy was here, on some back water world. She didn't know if the information could be trusted, and naturally, feared it could be a trap.

She was dressed in a somewhat fashionable native dress, which seemed decades behind the times. She had a hair piece that was fit with a camera, that was wired to her SmartChrono, and a few odds and ends, including a hidden holdout blaster pistol, and a last chance. ISIS had done more than just coach her on speaking with the local accent, and providing tips on how to appear to be a local, they also had plenty of information for her. From the various cameras about, she was directed to the one of the less reputable bars where some of the Rodians who matched the vague description of the Rodian were.

Even armed, she felt rather naked going into the seedy dark and rather large port cantina that hosted the spacers who happened to stop by. She glanced around, trying to size up the various Rodians, without trying to make it obvious that's what she was doing. She didn't know how long she had, but she doubted time would be an issue. Hopefully she could manage without giving herself away.
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-13 22:53

She felt out of place as she glanced around the room. Her cover was that she was coming to meet someone, and really, there was supposed to be an ISIS agent who would be joining her, and she hoped to be done with this place by then. She palmed a ring that had been modified to allow it to discretely gather a small flesh sample, enough for some DNA testing. After all, there were more than one rodian present in the area, and they wanted to do something to get a more positive identification. She figured that wouldn't be too terribly difficult, as the target was nearly 10 centimeters taller than the average rodian, and rather fat. The easy part would be to get close enough to the individual in question in order to be able to tell for sure.

The smell of Cigarra smoke was thick, and perhaps stung her eyes somewhat. The Bar was decorated with a few neon lights, but nothing overly fancy. Still, she glanced across the bar, and eyes her target. Sure, there was the risk that the Rodian in question could have lost weight since the individual was last identified. The real problem was that the types of places visited by individuals such as this guy were the same type that tended to be lax with their security. In some ways, that's what ISIS was counting on. She didn't know the specifics, but she knew enough to guess what some of what was really going on. She figured ISIS wanted him for something, as they could have cheaply constructed some justification for impounding the guy's freighter and throw him in jail. As curious as it might be, Juni had learned a while back that it wasn't the best for an ISIS agent to start viewing things in terms of conspiracies. Unfortunately, such things could often be true, and it was usually far better to just not ask any questions.

She slowly maneuvered her way to a table behind the Rodian that she estimated best fit the description. Perhaps better spoken, the only one who plausibly met the description. Fortunately, the table was empty, but she still had to get there without looking too conspicuous. After carefully navigating the bar floor to the chosen table, she did her best to not focus on the Rodian too much and act 'natural'. The obese Rodians tended to have others whom they had hired to fight for him. She was concerned, and knew that she could get into trouble with them if she got too close, but she had to be close to make that identification. If things would go south, she knew there were some ISIS agents planted ahead of time just in case, but it would be better to avoid such a situation, as it would entail blowing their cover.

Perhaps it was the smell that got to her first. She was used to it somewhat, the rodian smell. Rodians had a rather odious sent that was rather overpowering. Some compared it to dung, or a dead animal. Thankfully, between training and conditioning and exposure, she was able to avoid anything beyond the practiced reaction. She hoped she hadn't given away too much, and quickly grabbed a menu after taking a seat about a meter behind her target. She could hear the Rodian eat, and repressed the feeling of distaste that she felt at him. The Rodian would get what was coming to him soon enough, but she had other things to worry about. It wasn't the ISIS agent who was serendipitously coming to meet her that sat down opposite to her, but a rather burly man who appeared somewhat drunk. "Can I help you?"
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-10-14 03:16

Must be the spook, Diri thought to herself as she saw the newest happen-chance enter the bar. Horrible taste in clothes though the hair isn't too bad. Picking up a bottle of beer, Diri finished off the little content left and set it down with the five other empty bottles.

Waving the server droid over for another round, she nonchalantly watched the spook find a table and sit down. The server droid walked by and set down a pair of bottles which Diri quickly picked up and casually got to her feet, gliding her way across the bar, smiling to herself a little as she sensed more than a couple eyes glance her way. Her choice in colours with her sparse clothing could very well blind the Rodians who made up the majority of the inhabitants in this establishment didn't go blind nor did they view her in near the same way most other humanoid species did and she suspected they were dismissing her as someone who was all look, no substance.

Which is more than anyone can say for them. As she approached the table the spook entered, another man, one of the few other humans in the place- all of whom she suspected to be spooks as well as few humans ever bothered to hang around this particular dive. Maybe this man was a contact? Diri smiled to herself as the spook's surprise and impatience quickly said otherwise.

Reaching the table, Diri helped herself to a seat and set the beer bottles down before the two others. "You didn't tell me you were expecting company," Diri began to the woman who was doing a supurb job at masking her bafflement at being accosted by nearly every single person in the bar at this point.

The man also seemed baffled though it was quickly overshadowed by a sense of intrigue. "It's not what you think sug," Diri winked at him, waving over the droid once again. "Now if you'll excuse us, we've got a deal to hash out."

Knowing he was being brushed off, the man frowned a little, knowing a brush off when he heard one. "And you are-"

"Pointing a blaster between your legs at this very moment," Diri cut him off in a hushed voice as she smiled disarmingly at him. "Now why don't you beat it and leave us alone, or do I need to add a free bolt with the beer I'm giving you?"

Diri maintained her smile, exuding a cool confidence that she would shoot and the man knew just as well as she did that no one else would do much more than look over to make sure she wasn't about to target any of them if she did fire. People mostly kept to themselves here which was in stark contrast to the rest of Ylarrel Three...

Ylarrel Three was a pretty world, filled with vast brown seas of wheat and other crops and it was amusing to see sailing ships actually sailing the wheat fields, something almost comical in Diri's eyes who preferred lounging on expensive yachts in clear blue seas, in a nice little bikini with the sun in a cloudless sky. By and large, the world was mostly unimpressive and plain and the seedy village of Muspenheim was the closest thing to an underworld the entire planet had and as Diri commented on the ride in, You know it's bad when the fence is also the plastic surgeon, loan shark and pimp.

Because the world was so small and just about everyone carried the same profession, it meant everyone knew nearly everyone else, though they mostly left Muspenheim well enough alone. Diri, in her short time here, could safely say she had never seen a nosier community, asking such invasive questions to strangers before dispensing with the pleasantries. Zeltron's were too different, but they had the courtesy to introduce themselves first before asking "what brings you here" or "are you married?"

The man finally got up and, with a few muttered words, departed. Diri casually re-holstered her blaster pistol and looked over at the spook. What was my line supposed to be? That was the problem with working with Fed spooks, their insistence with their strict adherence to their fancy codewords and passcodes. Remembering it suddenly, she said as casually as though she had known the woman all her life,"So, I hear the harvest should be good this year."
"Bounty hunter, merc, smuggler, whatever your desire, I'm for hire!" - Underground HoloNetPages Ad
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." - Elwood

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-14 05:01

Juni heard the words coming from her lips. It was an odd thing to say, at least if one didn't realize it was a code phrase. The red woman, whom if memory served was a Zeltron, didn't seem to bother to try to fit it into a conversation or anything. Still, it was enough to identify her as her contact.

"It appears to be a lovely harvest." she said, knowing full well that the last seasonal harvest of wheat was coming up soon. Some of the local forecasters were predicting it to be the best in years, others, not so much. (She especially liked the one saying it was a sign the coming apocalypse.) Moving on to the proper code phrase. "The harvest is in about a week, so we're busy as usual." Her cover was working for a company handling mechanical work for one of the big agrobusinesses. The smaller family farms resented the companies, but wouldn't credit them with bringing so many amenities to the world, like this port city.

That wasn't to say that she wasn't paying attention to what was going on around her. That man the Zeltron had intimidated had apparently been not the only hired thug for the drug smuggler. The commotion was enough to disrupt the Rodian from gorging himself on the cheap foods that the bar offered. There were a few muffled comments like "Why do you think I keep you around?" were barely loud enough to be perceptible.

She knew something was up, and shifted in her chair, and pushed the chair back somewhat, doing her best to act as though oblivious to the actions going on around her. "I trust you weren't waiting long?" she said, continuing with the seemingly meaningless chitchat. She positioned her hand back some, hoping she had read the tea leaves correctly.

Finally, the culmination of the Rodian's admonitions to the shamed man. The others at the table with the massive Rodian rose from the table, and some from nearby tables. She counted a few more than the expected number of crew for a YT transport. She knew some did carry a larger crew than 2-3 that was typical, but it usually wasn't something that tended to happen. Still, some freighters did rent out extra crew space for cheap travel accommodations along their intended courses? Still, she wasn't too fond of surprises like this creeping up.

As she had calculated, the Rodian turned to look, and his hand bumped into her, enough for her ring to gather a few skin cells without much notice. "Excuse me." she said, acting as best she could to be indignant, turning to see the men drawing weapons, and she quickly changed her tone. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry." she said, mumbling some, appearing rather shocked at the development, and sheepishly tried to pull herself out of the conflict, or at least to diffuse it some, and discretely moved the rather small sample towards an analyzer that was tuned to the smuggler's own genetic code for a match.

"Loca Kung. No one messes with a member of the Winter's Veil." one of the mercenaries said, starting with a few insulting words for the Zeltron in Huttese, well, hopefully for the Zeltron. Fortunately, he was apparently oblivious to the rather minor kerfuffle between Juni and the Rodian, as he displayed a blaster.

"The only one allowed to mess with us, is us." another added in, drawing out a disruptor pistol, and placed his hand on Juni's shoulder. he was starting to have regrets, but still tried to compose herself. She tried to push herself out of the way, but the man gripped her shoulder.

"Think fast, sweetie." a woman said, brandishing what appeared to be one of those antique echani weapons from back towards the sith wars that were mainly found in museums.

"We don't want your sweet friend getting messed up, now do we?" The second said, tightening his grip on her shoulder. She felt a bit of pain from the tightness of the grip, and winced, and through the corner of her eye, she noticed a small mark on the SmartChrono, which looked like a somewhat rugged watch. She wasn't sure what to do or say, but she figured she try to act natural. They didn't need to fight here, and only needed to get out of here alive. Part of her doubted that the Zeltron would let that pass up, as much as she hoped otherwise.

"You're hurting me." she said, complaining about the grip. By this all the other bar patrons had noticed what was going on, and some had drawn weapons. Perhaps the native clothing and other things to appear like one of the locals had finally paid off. At least she hoped that's why they were doing it.

"Schutta." the man yelled at her. Juni then did what came naturally to her. She cried.
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-10-15 02:19

Diri sensed things were going to slide downhill from the way she treated the one man who was bothering the spook and when she bumped into the target- his girth allowing her to easily pick out Dojo from all his ilk- the events that followed meant the Zeltron would have to go to plan B.

Oh who am I kidding, I don't plan when it comes to things like this! Getting to her feet, she looked at merc who called her more than a few unflattering words which she, unfortunately, knew the meaning too all too well, serving as further reminder to butcher Lorga one of these days.

"Spend a little too much time as a Hutt's little bit*h there too? My condolences." It got her a snarl in response and Diri just grinned, amused that he didn't have a quick enough wit to counter her little verbal jab. Weapons were fast getting drawn and then the Spook did something Diri could never have anticipated, the woman started to cry.

As disheartening as it was to see, Diri knew this probably wasn't what the spook had expected to happen, having expected to make a simple pass of the target, whether to verify it was the target or for some other reason that she wasn't being made privy to. Looking at the man holding the spook, she said in a level voice, "I wouldn't mess her up if I were you."

"Oh?" the merc sneered, tightening his grip around the spook's shoulder as he glanced down at her briefly before locking his malice filled eyes back on the Zeltron. "And why not?"

Diri's lips flickered upwards. "Well, aside from the other locals who happen to be here pointing their blasters at you," she began, letting her eyes flit over to the folks who were dressed in their very plain clothes not unlike what the spook was wearing. She could sense his unease start to grow as he let his eyes dart about. "She also just so happens to be my employer for a shipping contract and I haven't been paid yet..." Diri paused for just a moment, adding coldly, "And I don't take kindly to people messing with my employers before they pay me sug."

He snorted once but didn't release her and Diri knew she would have to do something else. Before the whole scene could further dissolve into a Tattooineian standoff, Diri slowly reached up to the small comm headset in her ear and activated it. "Now sug."

In the far back of the bar, near the storage rooms, was a small electrical room with a circuit breaker and in that room was an R3 astromech droid that chirped a short sound over the comm in response before it tripped the main power breaker switch, suddenly plunging the entire place into darkness. Diri could sense the confusion in that brief instant when darkness flooded the main room. Drawing her blaster quickly, she aimed into the air and fired a single shot at the man who insulted her in Huttese, the brief muzzle-flash and blaster bolt illuminating the bar for a moment. Her shot narrowly missed as he had instinctively ducked and Diri wasn't too keen on shooting the locals who weren't necessarily involved.

As the emergency lighting came up, more blasters started to fire, the dim lights revealing a flurry of movement. A disruptor pistol was fired and someone cried out for a moment before the yell turned into a really bad gurgling sound. Diri moved for cover quickly, narrowly avoiding several blaster bolts that flew through the space she had occupied moments ago.

Dojo, having the intelligence to see there was little to gain for being involved in a shootout with the locals, called out in his native tongue, "Let her go beat it!"

More shots flew, but even with the sparse lighting, it was hard to tell friend from foe as the bolts flew. The Rodian and his hired goons started making for an exit but, this far deep into the bar, it was blocked by other armed patrons now caught up in the chaos of the moment. The disruptor pistol discharged again, this time aimed at a side wall which exploded in a shower of brick and a large cloud of dust that rapidly expanded.

He's going to escape, Diri realized as she poked up just in time to see the last merc leap through a hole in the wall. She was about to get up when a stray bolt struck the table she was taking cover behind, forcing her to duck back down again. Fighting the reflex to return fire, Diri got back up and tried again, seeing someone else bound through the opening in hot pursuit. Oh hells no way you're taking my bounty!

Filled with a renewed sence of vigor and determination, Diri gave chase, getting up as she contacted Squeaks. "Sug, get the ship started up, we may be chasing Dojo through the air soon!"

As she fought through the dust, Diri paused for just a moment to look for the spook. Failing to spot her, or hear the sounds of sobbing over the gunfire, the Zeltron let her senses extend and realized Dojo's goons were taking the woman as a hostage now. Bounding through the hole, she started running after the armed men who were already rounding around another building, fast heading in the direction of the spaceport.
"Bounty hunter, merc, smuggler, whatever your desire, I'm for hire!" - Underground HoloNetPages Ad
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." - Elwood

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-15 07:16

Juni wasn't a complete idiot. She knew the part she was playing, but she also knew where that would end in the end. She doubted that the Rodian would bring her along, given what happened. Sure, there was the off chance, but the safer bet is that she would be dumped near the hanger, and would be used as a human shield up until that point. Of course, there was the chance he could use her as a hostage to dissuade the few and far between system defense forces from firing on his ship in the escape, but she figured that being used for smuggling, that it probably had above average stats. So, she surmised that the appropriate response would be to act, rather than to continue going along with things.

"I told you to leave her." the Rodian raged to the human male mercenary who held Juni in his clutches, half dragging her behind him. She still did her perhaps good enough job at playing her part, as she waited for a moment to act. There were more than a few mercenaries beyond the 4 that were involved with the shootout, bringing the number closer to ten, not counting the rodian. She did her best not to struggle too much, as just following along meekly could give too much away. Rather, she was trying to appear to be somewhat clumsy, and as though she was trying to follow meekly, something which wasn't exactly easy to pull off.

"Like it makes much of a difference if we take her."

"I'm the one who is paying *your* paycheck. Do as I say."

"And what would you do about it? End our contract? The only thing you'll get if we leave you is a prison cell." the female mercenary interjected. "We're making the rules now, okay?" Naturally, she didn't try to shut down her senses either. She did her best to take in anything she could, as she was trying to follow everything that would be said. Fortunately, she had the camera, and was doing her best to catch some of this on file. If she could get back the faces of a few of them, they could check to see if there were any matches in the ISIS databases, which could make up for it ifthis would go sour. That wasn't to say what she heard wasn't useful, and probably much more immediately useful.

Hmpff. The Rodian answered with a grunt that voiced his displeasure with the circumstances, but what else could he do? The rodian had ordered them to leave her behind when they ran, but the mercenaries kept her along over, though they hadn't used her as a human shield. What were they planning on doing with her?

She knew there were ISIS in the area, and she was concerned about getting caught in a cross fire between them and the mercenaries should they decide to act. She wondered if they would, given that she hadn't had the opportunity to report back to them on the Rodian. No, they would act, as with any armed mercenaries moving through the streets would surely attract attention, especially with everything else going on about the lot of them, it was too obvious. This left the question of how they would act, and where.

Unfortunately, she wasn't paying as much attention as she probably should have. Looking back to the side, her gaze caught that of the female, who was apparently their leader. She wasn't sure what she read from it, but she did her best to act scared. The woman turned her gaze from her, with a barely audible laugh. Juni cursed silent in her head.
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-10-16 03:02

Diri had to hand it to the fat Rodian, he was still surprisingly agile despite his girth though Diri was still faster as she rounded a corner and spotted the mercs still dragging the spook behind them. Tsk, so much for just shooting them. As tempting as it was, Diri knew she was on thin ice with respects to how much the Feds would tolerate her antics and shooting a spook would probably get her thrown back on the wanted list- again- and that was something the Zeltron could do without. Then there was the fact that shooting from the hip often meant she'd do little more than alert those she was after that she was actually catching up and now she was bereft of any other distractions and aid. Okay, maybe this wasn't such a good idea. Ah well.

The spaceport wasn't much further and the group ran past startled people, bowling over those too slow to avoid them without breaking stride. Diri followed in their wake, looking for some sort of opportunity. This wasn't quite her element as she didn't really have the power to survive against disruptor pistols and being outnumbered four to one. Two if the Spook is putting on an act, which would be damn impressive. It wasn't often other people were able to hide their true emotions and feelings from her empathic abilities, but that wasn't to say it was impossible and if the spook was masking her thoughts, it may be because this was all part of some over-elaborate ploy.

Which was one of the biggest problems with the Feds and their schemes. They all seemed to be so complex, a tangled web of intrigue thicker than the chocked boulevards on Zeltros during the Grand Festival. Why not something simple, like Diri's original plan, wait for the guy to leave the bar, tail him back to his ship casually and then stun him and his goons with a few well placed shots? Sure, Diri was oversimplifying things, but simple worked as it meant there would be fewer complex things to go awry.

Checking over another hapless bystander, the female merc glanced back and easily spotted the brightly dressed, pink skinned Zeltron chasing them. "Damnit, she wasn't kidding was she?" Diri just managed to hear over the hustle and bustle, distant sirens appearing somewhere in the distance. Despite Diri's presence, it wasn't enough to force the mercs to relinquish their hold on the spook as one of the others fired blindly back at her, the bolt going well wide but their lack of concern for the possible risk of hitting the other bystanders not escaping Diri's notice. She wanted to return fire, but they had positioned the spook in the right spot to make her reconsider and aiming high meant she stood an even smaller chance of hitting anything, though a headshot was tempting.

"OUT OF THE WAY!" another merc shouted, slamming an elderly man aside who had been too slow to react. He went flying into the brick wall of the house he had just exited from while the others rushed past. Another shot was fired in Diri's direction and she altered her course, grabbing onto the rail of a nearby cart and vaulting herself over it in a feat of athleticism that the obese Rodian would be lucky to mimic. Perhaps by fortuitous chance, Dojo was starting to peter out, not accustomed to running any distance as the group started to visibly slow, much to the annoyance of the mercs with him.

"C'mon!" one of them yelled, grabbing Dojo by the arm to try and force him along. Another shot was fired at Diri who had positioned herself between a rain barrel and the mercs, the shot punching a hole into the metal barrel and causing water to leak out.

"What the hell is wrong with you three?" Dojo demanded between gasping breaths as he drew his weapon, glancing at Diri who was now seeking shelter behind another wagon. "It's just one blasted bounty hunter and she's not even wearing any armour!" It was true, Diri seldom wore it unless she was expecting trouble, which was ironic because she always expected it so maybe she needed to find another excuse to use.

How about the fact that it slows me down a lot, and doesn't look halfway as flattering... Actually, no, scratch that, it just slows me down. Pink digital camo pattern was a very pointless colour scheme but Diri was hardly concerned with camouflage and trying to stay hidden. For her, it was either stay out of sight or be the sight to see.

Shots rang out in a focused burst against her but Diri was protected by the large metal wagon. The mercs were starting to fan out in an attempt to flank her. Firing her blaster, she managed to give pause to their flanking efforts but she could only fire so quickly and the disruptor pistol was literally tearing chunks out of her cover. If their flanking effort didn't pay off, the constant stream of fire surely would...
"Bounty hunter, merc, smuggler, whatever your desire, I'm for hire!" - Underground HoloNetPages Ad
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." - Elwood

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-18 00:19

Juni saw too much of the collateral damage. Perhaps it wasn't for the best to continue letting them wreck an Imperial city (as though she would have acted differently in a republic city. Ha, good one. Blam. Heresy!). The Rodian would have to be the key for such an opening.

As the stars started aligning for such an act, a few of the mercenaries left the main group to move to flank the ISIS contact. She estimated that if she could down two of the remaining mercenaries, the ISIS Contact and her could nab the Rodian, and perhaps the Mercenary Leader, and get out before the rest of the mercenary group could react to it.

There was really only the one mercenary who was focusing on her, with another 'helping' the Rodian along, and the rest pretty much trying to deal with the ISIS contact. Juni wasn't the best at hand to hand combat (she did pass the basic course. Barely.), and her favored approach to close quarters combat was out of the question, but she had surprise, initiative, and an opportunity to plan out her actions.

Juni counted the seconds, and waited for the right moment. She didn't want any of the mercenaries too focused on her actions. Second by second, yelling by the mercenaries didn't seem to add much more than noise to the situation. Heartbeat by heartbeat, as she considered dropping her plan, knowing full well what could go wrong. Some slight missteps and she'd be dead.

She closed her eyes, as she spun through in her head a well rehearsed combat scenario. She remembered going through it dozens of times with some ISIS combat instructors. The goal was simple, she had to catch them by surprise, incapacitate them and acquire their weapon in as short of a time frame as possible.

First step, get out of the line of fire of the blaster. Check, as the guy was more concerned with the Zeltron than her.
Second step. Control the Blaster. That was easy enough to do. She remembered her lesson, somewhat well. It could be problematic, and if she wouldn't be careful, she could end up in the line of fire again.
Third Step. Pull away. She had to prevent him from performing the natural reflex of pulling away.

Moving quickly, she pushed hard to knock the guy off balance, moving around him some for a knee to the groin and a strong elbow blow to the throat from her right hand, while going for the blaster with her left hand. She didn't care to find out if she was strong enough for a killing blow with the latter, but was rather merely trying to hit hard enough to cause pain, and perhaps gagging. After all, by disabling the target, she'd be that much easier time at things later on. She wasn't really able to garner much momentum, but she managed a few similar blows before the man hit the ground, and had wrestled the blaster from him, and started firing at the other mercenaries, who were too busy fighting the Zeltron to notice. At only a few meters, even she could managed a few hits.

As the man on the ground beneath her continued struggling some, to get up, she kicked him hard, for good measure, before rushing one of the nearer mercenaries. Juni was fairly agile, and was able to get up to point blank range before any of the other mercenaries were able to react. Using one of her last chances, she fired its shot at point blank range, close enough that she could feel the heat from the hit. It was risky, as a Last Chance really wasn't enough to neutralize the target, but it could cause pain, and the mercenary was much bigger and stronger than she was. But, unlike the mercenary, she had ISIS hand to hand training, for whatever that was worth.
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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-10-21 02:47

The spook couldn't have picked a better chance to make her attack, breaking up the flanking maneuver perfectly and allowing Diri the chance to take aim at the other merc who was distracted by the surprise attack. Firing her blaster, the Zeltron cursed as the merc failed to die, dodging the shot last moment and bolting back to the Dojo who was surprised at the sudden turn of events and was busy cursing in his native tongue- did Rodian's even have tongues?- the long and short of it, an over-elaborate I-told-you-so before they started to run again. They didn't get far as Diri managed to bring her blaster about and fire off a quick shot at the Rodian, catching the fat alien in the leg causing him to stumble and cry out in pain. Diri couldn't help but wince at the sight of such a massive alien hit the dirt ground.

The other merc, realizing how grim the situation was becoming, frowned, having paused briefly to make a quick assessment of things as Diri slowly, cautiously, emerged from her cover, blaster raised, the spook also keeping her stolen weapon raised as well. Dojo sudden grasped the merc's ankle and spouted a combination of pleas and demands, Diri listening in with some amusement and watching as the merc struggled to break free from the Rodian's grip which was surprisingly strong. "Let go!" the merc spat back before looking at the approaching Zeltron who was smiling with much amusement.

"I'm not here for you sug, and I'm not paid enough to go digging around the HoloNet to see your net worth," she began calmly, "So why don't you skedaddle?" Crouching down, Diri poked the barrel of her blaster into the bolt wound in the back of the Rodian's leg. Dojo squealed in pain, his hand releasing the merc from his grip who promptly ran off without another thought, the spook's blaster probably a strong deterrent against trying to fulfill the contract from here. "Okay Dojo," she began with a mockingly sweet voice, "I think it's time you stopped running and pulling your little tricks and come with me." Applying a bit more pressure to the wound, she added, "Or would you rather I shoot off your legs and carry you?"

"Frack you, you smooth skinned whore!" Dojo hissed in reply despite the tremendous pain he was clearly in.

Diri smirked a little at the comment as she stood back up. The sound of emergency responders was getting closer as the few residents who dared take a peek at the scene unfolding emerging, the profound sense of curiosity and fear that the shooting might start again at any moment giving Diri cause to want to get Dojo out of here as quickly as possible. "Okay, get up already."

"You shot me in the leg!!!"

"Yeah, and you took my business partner hostage but you don't hear me whining about it." Firing a shot into the ground near the Rodian's head, she lowered her voice and said coolly, "I won't ask you again. Up."

Dojo was stalling, she could tell, as he slowly moved his unharmed arms up to try and lift himself back to his feet. Diri's patience was growing thin as she could hear the sirens get closer. Looking at the spook, Diri gave her an apologetic look as she pointed her blaster to the back of Dojo's head. "Please tell me you have something that might give our friend here a little more spring to his step..." Glancing over her shoulder in the direction of the approaching sirens, she added, "Otherwise I'll shoot him in the back of the head and take some proof of his demise and gladly take the half payment."
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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-21 03:28

“That won’t be necessary.” An almost metallic man’s voice said. Stepping out of the shadows of the alley, it appeared the man was heavily armored, with a dark cloak covering most of the armor. The head was covered in a helmet. Perhaps it wasn’t apparent to Diri, but Juni recognized the armor and the helmet as ISIS issued commando armor, and commandos hardly ever operated alone. Taking a closer look, Juni wasn’t really sure if the Commando was a man. Certain anatomical features, though shrouded behind the cloak, seemed almost feminine. Fortunately, she had enough sense not to ask. Glancing around, she noticed a few other commandos who weren’t overtly trying to reveal themselves. Yes, here was the ISIS commando team that came with them, just in case.

“The secondary team is being to clean the operational area. This Rodian has been satisfactorily identified as one Dojo Lrishnemm. Two speeders will be arriving shortly. The first speeder will be arriving to pickup one Dojo Lrishnemm, and the principal team involved, being Agent J and one Diri Tiberia for debriefing.” The commando added, before going back to his other duties, whatever they might be, sounding almost droid like at times with some of the vocabulary being used, and giving little information that wasn’t needed for them. Who knows, sometimes one can never be totally sure with what ISIS was surely willing to do. Installing a commando with the necessary parts to make them a cyborg, while distasteful, was within the realm of possibilities.

Another commando soon came into view, carrying the unconscious body of the mercenary captain that Diri had scared off, and stacked her , fully bound and unarmed, near the dead mercenaries, with others soon coming with the other surviving members of the mercenaries. Perhaps a shred of discontent went through Juni, seeing how they acted. She wondered how much sooner they could have acted, but she knew she’d never find out the details, and knew full well that such speculation was pointless.

“Uh, Ms Tiberia. Thank you.” Juni said, as the commando walked over to the Rodian. Juni wasn’t sure what to call the zeltron, but such thoughts seemed less important than what the commando was doing to the Rodian. She watched as the first Commando withdrew a spray hypo, and upon reaching the Rodian, injected it with the contents. In a few moments time, the Rodian was out cold, though she could still see breathing. She whispered a curse barely audibly, seeing how quickly the Rodian fell asleep.

The first speeder that came into view was a standard civilian model that was perhaps a few years behind. She saw a few ISIS agents in field uniforms exit the speeder, and a stern looking ISIS handler in view within the speeder. They placed Rodian in the back, and secured him, while Juni took a seat within the somewhat plush passenger compartment of the speeder. She glanced over at Diri, watching her enter.

Juni was tempted to say something, but the handler’s icy glare dissuaded her from such a fancy. Perhaps Diri might break the ice, or they’d wait until the ISIS handler would have what he’d have to say?
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-10-21 04:51

"Huh," Diri began, placing her hands on her hips as she hadn't really expected this outcome, more used to having to talk her way past whatever authority figures would show up though as was often the case, she usually ran, or fight her way past them on particularly lawless words or non-Fed or Reb run planets. It was easier traveling around the galaxy without a bounty posted by some government of repute. The dressed armoured spook was something, a real piece of work as Diri found it impossible to read any sort of emotion from the person aside from a force aloofness. Leave it to the Feds to take every precaution in dealing with her, perhaps not willing to take any chances with her trying to charm a fatter pay check out of them for the fat Rodian she helped bag them.

When the other spook spoke to thank her, Diri smiled back. "Think nothing of it sug." It was a slight exaggeration, but if a Fed died, especially a Fed spook, on Diri's watch, than she had little doubts they'd make her vanish one night to express their displeasure and though the galaxy was quite large, the ISIS had proven their skills more than once to Diri.

When prompted to enter the speeder, Diri did so with a casual air, having long ago lost count of the number of stranger vehicles she had entered willingly. It was a cozy set-up, and she was quick to notice a uniformed woman sitting on a seat across the rear of the vehicle facing her. The woman was human with long blonde hair, blue eyes, and was quite beautiful by the standards of most humans though the cool gaze the woman gave both women hinted at a higher rank. Noting the other spook's sense of submissiveness, Diri decided to do what she did best. "Hiyas. I believe you have something for me?"

The blonde woman nodded once and turned to look at her other passenger, speaking in a Kuati accent which Diri always found annoying because it reeked of aristocratic arrogance. "I believe you have something for me?" Diri watched the exchange as Juni slowly removed the ring around her finger and put it into the waiting gloved hand of the handler who inserted it into a small computer that was sitting on the seat next to her which had escaped Diri's notice when she first entered the speeder. The computer ran some sort of scan on the ring, the screen turned away so Diri had no idea what was going on. It beeped a positive and the handler nodded once before turning to regard Diri with the same expression of calm, unholy confidence like someone very much in control and knew it. "Miss Tiberia, how would you like to double your pay?"

Whether that was geared to be a rhetorical question or not, Diri still responded to it. "You have to ask?"

That got a bemused upwards twitch on the handler's lips. "Point taken." The speeder was in motion, speeding by the streets at a decent clip, coming to a stop just outside the spaceport. "As you may known, Dojo Lrishnemm is a spice smuggler."

Diri laughed once. "Sug, I've read the bounty package. Do us all a favor and cut to the chase."

"Very well. We want you to find his vessel and take establish contact with whoever his supplier is."

"So you can help take down the whole smuggling ring?"

Putting a finger to her cheek, the handler answered calmly, "Something like that." Reaching for an small envelope, she extended it to Diri. "If you're not interested, that's understandable as well."

Taking the package, Diri grinned and waved it in the air for effect as she said, "If you're trying to scare me away from an extra three grand, you might want to try being more creative next time. I'll get you the information you're after before you know it." Exiting the speeder, Diri could hear the handler say something to the other spook and a moment later the spook was outside and the speeder was pulling away. "I take it this is a continuation of your assignment?" she asked, not sure if this was a two person job but not at all minding the company.
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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-10-21 05:25

Juni listened to what was said between the other two women. She frowned some as she listened, as she thought through what was being said. Parts of it didn’t make sense, but then again, perhaps it did make sense.

She made a point to ask the handler about it, in private. After all, why in the world would she assign the Zeltron to find the vessel, given that ISIS was probably already in possession of it? It didn’t seem to make sense, but perhaps there were wheels within wheels turning here.

After the Zeltron left, and after closing the door behind her, she had a few words with the handler. “Maam, what’s really going on here? I know the ship was already identified, and certainly impounded and thoroughly searched by this point. Heck, there are perhaps even whispers of the operation here already spreading across the galaxy. Do you honestly expect her to waltz in there with the rodian’s ship and ask to talk?”

The woman laughed at this. “I like you. Always asking questions where you should know better. You are such a naughty girl. The Zeltron was lucky, she happened upon the Rodian first, and doesn’t know which freighter is his. I’m sure even you know what that means.”

It didn’t sit well with her, and she was sure she knew what it meant. “I see.”

“Here, take this.” She said, handing Juni an envelope. Opening it, she found a data card, a few sheets of flimsiplast, and a pair of credit chips. Almost instinctively, she fidgeted with the SmartChrono, and began uploading the data for her later viewing pleasure. The flimsiplast had some things that were considered too important to leave data copies, and some contact information regarding how they would contact them after the interrogation of the Rodian and perhaps the mercenaries was completed, with any relevant data. After finishing reading them, she returned them to the handler, and pocketed the credit chips. Really, having two chips was for having access to two different accounts. From the flimsiplast, she knew how much was on each, but knew full well that anything she’d spend, she’d have to provide a receipt for. Such was life.

She nodded to the handler, and also stepped out of the speeder. "I take it this is a continuation of your assignment?" Diri asked.

“Something like that.”
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-10-22 03:32

With a short laugh, Diri dismissed the non-answer, knowing trying to pin down a spook with a truthful answer was about as easy as wrestling a rancor to the ground. Entering the spaceport, she wasted no time going straight for the registry office that kept track of all the vessels that landed at the spaceport, the spook following her as she approached the long counter being attended by various staff. She looked at the people working the counter and identified the most obvious target, a human male with a light complexion, well trimmed short brown hair and a fairly professional appearance despite the locale.

It was here she was able to ply her trade as she approached the gentleman, offering him a slight smile as one hand discreetly activated a comm in her pocket. "May I help you?" he began as he looked away from his terminal at her, his eyes swiftly drifting as she leaned against the counter.

"I hope so," Diri began calmly, "I'm looking for a ship that arrived recently." It was geared to be something of a joke, albeit a very lame one, but the light humour, combined with the powerful pheromones unique to all Zeltrons, enabled him to laugh briefly as he turned to the computer, hands ready to start searching for the vessel in question. "I'm not sure of the name but I know it's pilot, a Rodian." Giggling once, she added softly, "A fairly large one at that, Dojo."

The man nodded, quickly realizing whom Diri was referring. "The Yellow Pearl," he began reflexively as his hands typed away at the keyboard, his eyes looking back at Diri who's smile widened. "It's the YT-2000 out through gate C and-" he was cut off by something blinking on his monitor. "Oh..." he began, bafflement and confusion appearing on his face as though something weren't quite right.

"Something wrong?" Diri began, leaning further over the counter in an effort to see what the monitor was displaying.

"Uh," he began, tapping a few keys quickly before speaking just as quickly, "It would seem that your friend left already."

Diri pulled herself back a little from the counter. "Oh," she began, surprised and confused, "Did he say where he was going?" After a long pause, the man shook his head apologetically, stating he didn't have access to that information. Under most circumstances, Diri would gladly have pressed for more information, using whatever charm was necessary to get him to open up about what he knew, but she also had plenty of experience to know at which point no amount of persuasion would get someone to open up without attracting unnecessary attention.

Straightening up fully, she sighed, nodded once and thanked him for his time, turning and walking away, waving at him as she departed away from the counter. The spook, who had remained a measured distance back during the exchange, looked at her with some concern. Waving for the smaller woman to follow, she explained in a soft voice, "Something's not right here sug." Venturing deeper into the small spaceport, she went on, "We both know Dojo didn't leave here in his own ship. C'mon." They ventured through the spaceport towards gate C that lead outside to a massive duracrete landing zone. Just past the large glass doors, two uniformed security officers stepped into line to intercept the two women.

"Sorry Ma'am, you have ID?" one of them asked.

Diri, though incredulous at being asked for ID for the first time since reaching this world, remained cheerful and pleasant as she fished out a small ID chip- fake of course- and handed it to one of the guards. "There a problem here?" she inquired, sounding concerned as though whatever was wrong might somehow affect her negatively.

"Your ship isn't parked here," the guard she handed the ID chip to said, ignoring her question, "This is Gate C, you want Gate B."

"Oh," Diri began, looking around and feigning confusion. "Are you sure?" she began, focusing past the two guards at a ship slowly setting itself down in an empty spot in the distance. "Because that sure looks like my ship right there." It was impossible to miss, the only pink ship on this world, if not the entire sector, touching down, the astromech pilot having listened into Diri's conversation earlier as well as subsequent comm traffic. The guards looked behind them to see the vessel in question, incredulous. Taking back her ID chip, Diri walked past them with a smile on her face. "Thanks for looking out for me though."

That would leave them scrambling and wouldn't give Diri much time to try and find Dojo's vessel. Thankfully, the spaceport was fairly small and finding a YT-2000 wasn't too difficult, especially as it had belonged to an obese Rodian and finding it the third spot from the door didn't surprise her at all. What did surprise her, however, were the people around it. The ramp of the vessel was down and two individuals sporting usual spacer outfits seemed to be inspecting the underside of the vessel and Diri was left speculating how many were inside as she wasn't close enough to sense whatever feelings were inside, unless everyone there was curious as that was one of the few times she could lose track of numbers, as soon as everyone displayed the exact same emotion. "Something's not right here," she said to the spook as her hand rested on her holstered blaster, "Seems someone else beat us to the punch and I never did like coming second."
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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-11-02 06:14

"What were you expecting?" Juni replied, sounding rather amused. Part of her wondered why they were still here, but she didn't ask for too many details earlier when she had the chance. Given that this was ISIS, such things were probably better left unsaid. But this was ISIS, she didn't want to break it to the Zeltron that the handler probably had plenty of ISIS people crawling all over it before they had the meeting.

"You're late." a man said, slurring some of his words, and not bothering to turn to face them. His face was hidden behind shadows from a wide brimmed hat, not something that was hard to do given how dark the most of the hanger was. It was briefly lit by a flash of light, and a moment later they could see that he was lighting a cigar.

After puffing on his cigar for a few moments, he blew out a ring of blue smoke, before adding a few more words in. "It seems the supplier is very well connected, and knew of what transpired there. Not something that's particularly hard to do with you two exchanging fire with his man in the bloody streets. Obviously, he wants the cargo from the freighter back. Bad enough that he is willing to pay a lot of credits for it. He's offered to meet with him through an intermediary in private at a seemingly inocuous site, an abandoned mining base a few parsecs over."

"Sounds like a trap. Anything else you can tell us?" Juni said, perhaps betraying a bit of emotion in sounding like she'd rather not go there, but knowing she'd have to.

The man had an evil grin, and replied. "I'm sure you know the rest of what he claimed, and yes, we're sure it's a trap. We don't know which drug lord it is, but it's the only immediate lead we have. So, what ya say? Care to make a few credits on a simple errand?"

Juni looked at the Zeltron, and back at the man. There's a 50% chance that ISIS already had some stealth drones deployed, and a 50% that the drones were on their way. Something about it sounded like a suicide mission, aren't they all?
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-11-03 05:07

More spooks? Must be some sort of conference going on somewhere, why else would there be so many of them? The Zeltron was more accustomed to seeing only a handful of law enforcement officers at any one time, with the odd exception, usually major crime scenes or big raids, but this many operatives for an obese smuggler's ship? Why does Dojo get this much attention? For the briefest of moments, she wondered about it before blanching at the thought. It wasn't worth it.

When the man with the wide brimmed hat revealed his disdain for her methods at apprehending Dojo in a manner that alerted his supplier, Diri shrugged indifferently. "Then maybe next time you'll mention you have no intention of letting me do things my way to find the evidence you're after." The rest of the exchange went about as well as she could have anticipated, the plan being for Diri to take the ship with her spook companion, fly it to the arranged meeting place, exchange the cargo, question the intermediary and find the kingpin or his lieutenant running this particular smuggling arm. As usual, it probably sounded easier than it would turn out to be, even if the other spook was calling it a "simple errand" but for Diri, if a job was that simple, than it wasn't worth picking up at all.

"How many credits are we talking about here sug?" she asked with a little smirk. There was a moment of hesitation as the agent took another puff from his thick cigarra, blowing the smoke away before finally responding. The figure wasn't exactly lucrative, but Diri was already under contract with the ISIS so combined the payout would be potentially worthwhile. Looking at the vessel just past the agent, she nodded at last and accepted the deal. The agent moved aside and with a sweep of his arm, gestured for her to board the YT-2000. As she approached the vessel, she frowned in disgust, reading he name of the ship that was painted in very crude freehand just behind the cockpit canopy. "Ugliest ship I have ever seen..." The Yellow Pearl looked just like nearly every stock YT-2000 she had ever seen, and that by default made them the ugliest ship in the galaxy, right behind all the ugly starfighters she had ever vaped. What made this ship worse than every other YT-2000 was its previous owner.

Climbing aboard the ship, Diri was instantly hit with a sudden desire to turn right back around and disembark, telling the agent where to shove his credits. The ship was dirtier than the lowest brothel on Nar Shaddaa, dirt and grime coating the walls, floor and even the ceiling. The scent of used and burnt spice loomed thick in the air, a nauseating feeling coming over her even as she breathed through her mouth. "Seven veils, this place needs to be sent into the furnace of one of those World Devastator things..." Glancing back at the spook accompanying her, she asked, "You do have those still right?"

Though the New Republic claimed all the World Devastators were destroyed at Dac, Diri refused to believe the Empire would be so stupid as to not have kept one or two behind, a thought confirmed during the much vaunted and flaunted departure of ICE. The Feds were bound to have another one kicking around somewhere, ready to chew up someone's planet when other resources ran scarce. So long as the Feds left Zeltros well enough alone for their superweapons, Diri couldn't care less which government the monarchy threw their lot in with. Old Republic, Galactic Empire, New Republic, all of them had left her home well enough alone, content to let them do continue with their way of life without disturbing it.

Approaching the cockpit, she wasn't at all surprised to see an enlarged pilot's chair that could easily fit two people in it. Shivering at the sight of all the grime and molted skin in the vessel, Diri found another one of those incredibly rare times when she wished she had put on more clothes and wasn't showing so much skin. "I think I'm going to be ill," she said, gagging for a moment as she fought the urge to throw up. There wasn't enough fire in all the stars to sanitize this vessel and before she could back away, return to her ship and put on a hazmat suit- or the closest approximation to one she owned- the agent with the wide brimmed hat emerged inside the ship with something else to add.

Behind her she heard a familiar voice speaking in Rodese and Diri shivered in revulsion. Dojo was actually going to be involved in this stunt. Explains why the spook is still tagging along then... Standing aside, Diri kept a hand on her blaster, leery of the idea of letting the Rodian fly his own ship though she could sense Dojo wasn't too keen about this arrangement either. If there was one bright side to all this, it meant she could remain standing and wouldn't have to sully herself manipulating the dirty controls at the console. "Try something cute," Diri dared as Dojo slowly walked past, "Please."

"I'm not your enemy Zeltron," Dojo responded in his native tongue, glancing at her with his black eyes for a moment. "You shouldn't even be working with the Feds either. What do you think Lorga would say if he-"

"Shut up and fly," Diri hissed, cutting the Rodian off swiftly, gesturing to his oversized chair. The Rodian hesitated for a moment but probably saw Diri's hand on her blaster so he took his seat and powered the ship up. The man with the wide brimmed hat exited, wishing the group the customary "Force be with you". Pulling out her own comm, Diri didn't exactly like the idea of being taken to some place at the mercy of the fat Rodian. "Give me the coordinates to our destination," she ordered, adding with a casual glance at the other spook still with them, "I want to make sure I've got some backup of my own in case this supplier is the overly cautious type and fields an entire army."

The vessel departed for space, followed discretely behind by a YT-2400 which remained behind as the Yellow Pearl made the jump to the abandoned mine. It was a trip that was perhaps the most uncomfortable Diri had ever had to stand through, careful to not touch anything, fearing she might contract some sort of vile disease. Despite being only a few parsecs away, the trip seemed to take eons and when the YT-2000 dropped out of hyperspace at last in a large asteroid field that was situated along the trailing end of the Bilbringi sector, Diri could see a massive asteroid, about a quarter the size of Bilbringi itself which had been completely mined out, the massive rock really a hollow crust littered with old mining facilities, any one of them the meeting site. The supplier was smart, having probably picked this particular meeting spot in hopes of giving the ISIS more ground than they could cover, though if the number of spooks Diri had seen back at the space port and during Dojo's initial arrest was indication of anything, she somehow doubted the thousands of sites would give the ISIS any problems in covering each and every single one.

"Now we wait..." Dojo began calmly, as though this wasn't his first time being coerced into helping people he'd sooner kill.

"Wait?" Diri shot him a leery sideways glance but stopped short of persisting for details as to why. She didn't sense any sinister intent or ulterior motives though something was worrying him. Whether it was the blaster at her side or the possibility that his supplier's intermediary would be less than pleased to see him now that he had been caught, she couldn't tell. In either case, it meant Dojo had little to lose unless there was a possibility he could salvage his reputation and regain the trust of his bosses. And that could be through us...

"Yes, wait. I will receive a signal which will give me a location to the right mine."

Sounded plausible, Diri had done enough smuggling jobs to know how the game was played. The real concern on the back of her mind was whether or not the Feds were on top of their game or not. It didn't take long for a signal to be sent and Dojo throttled the ship up again and approached the asteroid. Looking around, Diri looked around for anything out of place. So far, she only saw rocks, space and stars. Glancing at the control console, Diri watched the scope, hoping to spot movement on it. If the Feds had drones or something watching them, the scope wasn't detecting anything but it was probably a stock sensor too which would be lucky to find a gas giant when the ship was in its atmosphere.

The ship descended towards the world, giving Diri a good view of the strip mining and deep boreholes that covered wide swathes of the world. Concern started to fill the cabin and Diri could tell something wasn't sitting right with Dojo now. "What's going on?" she began, dropping her voice down as though someone were listening in.

Dojo cursed under his breath, having forgotten for a brief moment about Zeltrons' ability to sense emotions and feelings. "You know, I've been caught by the Feds and now am about to help them bring down my supplier who's far more intelligent than those agents who's putting us through this..." In short, it was the usual concern about being shot on the spot for being stupid enough to get caught in the first place.

Diri wasn't quite sure how that was something worth getting increasingly worried about, but if it was remiss enough to make Dojo concerned, it was remiss enough to make her concerned and leery for an ambush. Sadly, the lack of population density meant she couldn't sense anything beyond the general mood within the Yellow Pearl so she couldn't pick up any other individuals if there indeed were any in proximity to the area. If the asteroid was inhabited like it once was back in its hayday, she'd probably feel the blood, sweat and toil from all the workers. The ship slowed down suddenly and started to descend down one of the deep boreholes, plunging everyone in a near complete darkness, illuminated by the glowing controls. Drawing in a deep breath, Diri exhaled slowly and said under her breath, "This was probably a bad idea..."
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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2012-11-13 03:14

Juni didn't really pay attention to Dojo, until he started going on about a few things. Dojo was acting out, and what bothered her was how he seemed to be acting somewhat different than before. The speech patterns were changed, normal rodians weren't really capable of speaking basic perfectly, and while there were variation between species, it wasn't necessarily so between individuals. For his speech to have gotten so much worse, and even the Rodese wasn't the best.

Her curiosity was piqued, and she began glancing him over, trying to notice anything out of the ordinary. A small wound soon caught her attention. From what she recalled, he hadn't received any injuries there during the firefight. Slowly, sneaking up behind him, she touched the wound, to get a feel for the amount of damage and whatnot.

The Rodian cursed and swung at her reflexively, which Juni easily dodged. She had her answer, it appeared to be a surgical injury, given how clean it was, with skin having been punctured near the middle and some swelling about that. A few things flashed through her mind, though the most obvious was poison. ISIS knew what they were doing, and probably intended to ensure that he'd behave, and would come back to them in the end.

"She did that to you, didn't she?" Juni asked, while still having the Rodian's gaze. She noticed Diri glancing over, and her eyes seemed to give off the impression that she knew far more than she was saying. "What else did she do to you?" she said, with sympathy in her voice. The Rodian grabbed her in a bear hug, and started sobbing loudly. Juni was startled by the act, but figured she'd leave things in Diri's capable hands. Looking ahead, she could see a giant Quasar Fire-class bulk cruiser seemingly materialize a few AU away. Was it a somewhat stock Quasar Fire, as used for bulk shipping, or was it militarized? Perhaps it was really a Flurry, she didn't really know enough to tell by visuals, much less from this distance. The whole situation still screamed of a trap, especially as she knew that this close to the mined out rather large and such, it might take them a while to make it to somewhere they could make a hyperjump safely.

The droid ISIS provided, a simple astromech, started chirping in Binary. Juni wasn't the most fluent in Binary, but she caught the gist of the message, or at least she hoped she did. She had a few soft, gentle sounding words to the Rodian, and she managed to get him sitting in one of the chairs in the cockpit. She glanced over the instruments, and felt rather worried.

The Rodian still hadn't regained his composure, and the comms stared blinking. A lot was going through her mind, but she wasn't really in a position to act. The droid played the message received over comms. A droid voice, perhaps one a protocol droid would have, toned a few words over the comms. "Illuminaries, this unit is speaking on behalf of this unit's master *bho2hst*, and would like to negotiate for his gloriousness's cargo. One Dojo Lrishnemm was contracted to deliver a cargo of sensitive materials, and if at all possible, this unit would like to negotiate to ensure it's safe exchange. Given the high probability that you would refuse to meet on this unit's ship, this unit would like to extend the offer to meet on Mining Station 3xA'." She knew enough that Mining Station 3xA, one of several scattered about and long since abandoned. She doubted if the life support modules would still be intact, more likely long since removed with any other parts that might be valuable enough to salvage, and if not it was probably scavenged since then. She had a bad feeling about it, a feeling of unease in her stomach, but she knew she had to go ahead with it.
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2012-11-14 03:04

There was an old human expression that went "there's a first time for everything"- a saying that, for some reason or another, never seemed to gain much traction with Zeltron culture- and seeing the Rodian break down and actually cry... Diri found herself wishing she kept a holocamera with her. The credits I could have made blackmailing him! Gonna buy one of those new mini-holocams when we're done here!

As they made their final approach, Dojo announced an affirmative to the proposed meeting place. For Diri, it meant she would have to suit up which wasn't so bad, it seemed the Fed spooks had taken the liberty to outfit the vessel with a few breathing masks and spacesuits and because of the hasty timing of the mission, the spooks had seen it fit to supply her with a loaner. The thought always amused Diri, not least because her pheromones had a tendency to stick around in spacesuits and the fortunate soul who would wear it after her- assuming the Feds didn't believe in washing them on even an irregular basis- would be feeling very relaxed. Of course, on the other side of the credit, it also meant she might be stuck wearing a very rancid outfit.

Shuddering, Diri ignored it as the Yellow Pearl touched down on an old landing pad that looked as though it hadn't been maintained for quite some time. Dojo still seemed nervous, the sadness he felt slowly fading, a creeping nervousness surfacing as the whole situation stank and, for once, Diri was inclined to agree. She was used to receiving instructions by a droid but it was what it said that bothered her more than anything. Most people never offered to meet on someone's personal vessel to begin with for deals like these in fear that either side might dislodge a few kill teams worth of fully armed and armoured troops in order to take everything up for offer or even attack the vessel when within range. There were numerous safeguards against such underhanded tactics, but most often the best was simply to not let either side's ships get close to each other in the first place.

What made things worse was the use of the droid at all. As Zeltrons were highly attuned to emotions, they could also read the slight inflections and tonal indicators in people's voices, a useful skill to tell if someone was lying. Problem was, droids didn't have emotions that she could detect- sure, they could express fear- and as was often the case, their monotone voices meant she couldn't tell if there was something lying in the background just behind the speaker. Whoever they were dealing with, they knew what they were doing and whether or not the offer to meet on the ship was normal for this glorious individual or a slip of the vocoder so to speak, Diri wasn't able to tell. "Have you dealt with this particular person before?" Diri asked Dojo as he put the vessel into idle standby.

"No... But buyers and suppliers change frequently around here." Dojo shot a quick glance at the Fed spook, adding, "Keeps them running around in circles."

Diri had to admire their style even if it was far from foolproof. "Well, guess we might as well give them the shipment they're after." Walking towards the back of the vessel, she met the spook and the astromech, confident that Dojo wasn't going to do anything stupid, whatever remark the spook had made minutes ago seemed to trigger some sort of deep rooted fear and concern about something that Diri would remain clueless about. From the footlocker on the floor, the spook offered Diri a fully sealed environmental suit which, like just about every standard issue piece of Fed wargear that wasn't armour, came in the usual obsidian black. "You Feds ever consider adding some splashes of colour to your drab palette?"

The outfit seemed clean enough, and as Diri began to slip it on over her flamboyant clothing she realized something vitally important. "It's just occurred to me, I don't think we've been properly introduced. I'm Diri and you probably know more about me than I know of myself." She winked at the spook.
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"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." - Elwood

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2013-04-09 07:07

(OOC: I figured I'd close this out to at least force it to a finish. Sorry about the 5 month delay.)

"Not very likely, the director just provided me with...some interesting reading material." a rather reserved Juni replied. ISIS had a reputation for having extensive files on most people, though she knew from first hand experience that it was also rather compartmentalized, as it had to be. Beyond that, Juni made sure to be careful with her words. Mentioning the director was intentional. She knew it was Crystala, but using a different rank had it's advantages. Juni pressed a few buttons on the datapad, and showed Diri the screen, from which Diri seemed speechless for a few moments. Going through Diri's head were so many thoughts, at what appeared to have been a bodice ripping romance serial, but had Juni been reading it before? Diri didn't recall seeing a datapad and much less Juni reading it, but given how small it was, she wasn't sure.

Juni admittedly hadn't received that from Crystala. It was useful to have things like that on hand, to provide plausible deniability when not everyone present might be cleared to know what was really going on, like here where she was with a freelancer and a criminal. She also wasn't sure what Crystala's reading tastes were, but she had heard rumors of her reading serials on top of heaps of dead traitors. Naturally, she considered such rumors to be false, but a few people in ISIS were rather fond of poking fun at things like that. She really hadn't talked to many people outside of ISIS, so she wasn't sure how far those rumors would go, but adding such jokes to it might do well with spreading rumors. Not to mention she didn't explicitly say it came from Crystala, which added her some deniability just in case.

Not one to leave well enough alone, she moved ahead. "The environment suits are actually flight suits used by tie pilots. Mass produced to be cheap, and with color not really being a consideration. If it were cheaper to make them pink, don't you think that the empire would have standardized that color?" she said with a wink with a slight smile, before adding "and I am called Juni." Her phrasing was specific. In all honesty, she didn't know her birth name, or even if she was born per se. After all, for all she knew, she might be a clone, which left that about as honest as she could be. Heck, Juni probably wasn't that much of a name either, and probably was better traced to the first letter than any meaning.

All that information was purposefully compressed, for a seemingly unknown purpose. She glanced back to Diri, who still seemed to almost be lost in thought. She nodded as Diri started to say something, and walked back into the hold to find a place to change. It's not that she didn't trust Diri. Okay, she didn't trust Diri that much, but she wanted some time to check something. After finding a safe spot, she very quickly changed. the basic flight suit was meant to be something that could be seen, and also was seen as low risk (to whom?). Moving quickly, she quickly disrobed, and cast the various garments aside. She couldn't help but notice the subtle perfume that she had been wearing in it, and stopped and pondered for a bit before putting on the flight suit. The flight suit was looser than what she was used to wear, and was much more comfortable than the civilian clothing she was wearing which rather stringently followed the various social rules which dictated appropriateness. Probably none of the suits provided were deliberately sized to any of them. Still, she was able to discretely hide away a few weapons just in case, beyond the ones she was planning on openly showing.

Almost as soon as she left, she started to head back to the helm, but turned to the utility closet. She found a can of lysol, and sprayed some around at various points, to try to deal with the smell some. Diri would probably approve. Walking back after a few quick sprays and returning the can, she found the others where she had left them. As she stood there, a few faint traces of the lysoc could drifted in, and she could detect a faint scent of wildflowers, or was that melon? They'd be landing soon, and she was prepared.
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by Diri Tiberia » 2013-04-16 02:41

"Her sense of humour needs a little work, but hey, that's the first Fed I've run into with one." Diri mused aloud after Juni disappeared. Dojo had enough sense to know a rethorical statement when he heard one. It didn't take long for the group to get dressed, the vessel secured and the airlock ready for them to step out into the void. Keeping Dojo at gunpoint, Diri said, "Guess I'll have to put this away in a moment but remember one thing sug, I'm a faster shot than you are a runner."

The obese Rodian didn't respond but his eyes glanced wearily at the weapon which was holstered as the airlock started to cycle through the paces as it depressurized. The hatch opened up at last to a desolate scene that reminded Diri of an old fable spoken about a lonely Zeltron who lived in the middle of nowhere. This truly felt like such a place, the dead silence broken only by her breath. It sent a shiver down her spine, a feeling of dread filled her as she turned her eyes up to the empty void of space. Thankfully she was able to ignore the feeling thanks to Dojo and Juni and their respective and aloof feelings serving as a reminder that she wasn't alone and didn't have to think about that old fairy tale any more.

She couldn't get a sense of anyone else around, though the range of her empathy was fairly limited. Ahead she could see a protocol droid waiting for them and she assumed it was bho2hst, the most bizarre and least personable name she had ever heard for a droid, aside from the droid named Droid. "Guess that's our contact." Diri said unnecessarily as they approached. There weren't any guards by the droid, heck, she didn't even see the ship it would have come from, though the darkness seemed to be near impenetrable just beyond it, a large rocky outcropping casting a long and deep shadow that was impossible to pierce.

"Salutations on behalf of his excelence," bho2hst began through the comm channel, raising a hand up in greeting, its photoreceptors dimming briefly as it took in each person in turn. It hesitated for a moment, as though wondering something to itself, which, in Diri's experience, usually also meant it was transmitting something to someone somewhere. "You are Dojo Lrishnemm." It came out more as an assertion of fact than a question as the droid looked at the Rodian. Dojo nodded soberly. "You have the cargo?" Another nod. "Excellent, his gloriousness will be most pleased. How would you like to make the exchange in a fashion that would be mutually agreed upon and pose the least minimal risk."

There was a long hesitation from Dojo and Diri was considering jabbing him in the gut when the Rodian responded at last. "Show me the payment for the cargo and I will have it brought here. Then we can make the switch."

The droid hesitated again, this time for a much longer while. If there was much doubt it was communicating to someone beyond their immediate surroundings, Diri no longer harbored any at this point. "Your terms are acceptable. You payment will be brought out momentarily where you will see the credits and then be required to fetch the cargo." Like clockwork, another droid emerged suddenly from the pitch black shadows, in its arms was a standard sized metal briefcase. Diri frowned a little as the list of possible buyers was narrowed considerably. Hutts seldom relied on more than one droid, especially when making a deal, they were too slow to respond and sluggish in a fight at the best of times. Sure, there was the distinct possibility that there were aliens armed with guns lurking in the shadows but therein was the other problem, Hutts loved grand displays of force and would always keep a visibly armed detail within eyeshot even if there were other hidden elements lurking.

The second droid stopped about three meters away from the group and lifted the case up, opening it to reveal a large collection of credits. Diri was partially surprised to not see them floating away right now but kept that to herself as she saw Dojo nod slowly. "I'll get the cargo..." He turned and looked at his escorts. "Care to help me open the hatch and offload it?" he asked, leaving room for either or both of them to go. Diri glanced at the droids who stood there and said, "Actually, I think I'll stay here. I'd like to count the credits if I may."

bho2hst glanced at Diri before nodding again in the same stiff manner. "By all means." Diri nodded and left Dojo to fetch the cargo, along with Juni. If the Fed spooks had a plan, now would be the time for them to make good on it. Besides, no matter how Diri sliced it, she had been robbed of her biggest advantage.

Sure fire way to leverage more favourable terms on me is to put me in space, in a Fed issue space suit.
"Bounty hunter, merc, smuggler, whatever your desire, I'm for hire!" - Underground HoloNetPages Ad
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." - Elwood

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Re: A Smuggler's Wake

Post by juni » 2013-04-16 03:55

"Don't touch anything." Juni whispered silently to Dojo, as they entered the old corellian freighter. Juni walked ahead, knowing full well what came next. She pressed a few buttons, unlocking the cargo hold, and lowering a loading ramp.

Looking around at the rather standard looking sealed industrial crates, she knew she sure as hell wasn't going to be carrying those down, and instead activated the ASP droid they had been given for the purpose.

"Droid, move the cargo to hanger floor." Juni said, in a rather disinterested tone.

"Affirmative." the droid replied enthusiastically, or well, what she would have assumed to have been enthusiastically if she hadn't known that was the only way it could have said it. The droid immediately walked over to the crates, and picked one up.

"Dojo, show it where to put the crates." Juni said, intentionally not giving any details, for why should she. She turned back towards the droid, as she could hear the rodians heavy footsteps clank as he stomped down the loading ramp out of the cargo hold. Juni glanced around, and glanced at the security terminal. She glanced down at her watch. ISIS would be sending a message any moment now, and she took the opportunity to glance through the message. Really, the message appeared not all that important, but there were a few previously arranged messages hidden with it. The stealth drones hadn't found anything which was particularly threatening in system, and a few points that were much less immediately pertinent.

Juni waited before leaving, for the droid to return for a second crate. She followed it out. She could still see Diri counting credits. She was sure that Diri was thinking of how mnay pink environmental suits, among other things, that she could probably buy with those credits, Illicit narcotics weren't exactly cheap, especially some of the higher end ones that were present here. Heck, one of the crates was even filled with blue ryll! That alone could perhaps go for millions in the right circles, and was probably hard to come by.

Juni saw not much happening, and glanced around the hanger as Diri continued her counting. She knew Diri had already pretty much agreed on a price, but did she realize what was in the hold? After the crate with the blue ryll came out, Juni figured she'd take the opportunity to break the silence. "bho2hst, would you want to inspect all the crates, or just this one?" she said, and hid the button on the side to unseal the crate, revealing the intoxicating look of the blue ryll inside. Juni glanced at the droid as it began to speak....
"What did you expect from an inverse square law?...in bed!" -- a questionable fortune cookie with addendum.

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