Forging a Star.

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Simon Basai
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Forging a Star.

Post by Simon Basai » 2012-06-14 09:20

In the galaxy, there were gamblers of all kinds, some played Sabacc or HoloSlots, others bet on pod races, but those things bored the pirate standing on the bridge of the stolen Action IV freighter The Buck Stops Here. Gamblers across the galaxy would put their entire livelihoods on the table, hoping that the ball in a holoroulette wheel would land on their number. Simon? He put his physical well being on the table with every action he did. Piracy, while lucrative at times, never did have decent medical benefits. Every action a pirate did in his or her waking hour, Simon included, was just another step while trying to keep your balance on the edge of a vibroknife. Any pirate who didn't live that way, simply wasn't a pirate.

Simon stared out a viewport, taking in the Galactic Core, No, not Couroscant, or the asteroid field at Byss, beyond that. They said no sentient being had ever seen the galaxy's center, yet there Simon was, gazing at the massive black hole in the galaxy's center. Just because no government sanctioned mapping crew made an expedition, didn't mean people didn't go there. Smugglers, Pirates, and the Galaxy's undesirables, had been finding "Safe Zones" in the galaxy's hazards since hyperdrive engines were first conceived. Hell, anyone with enough balls, or loose screws with the law at their backs could do just about anything. These days it didn't matter who was chasing you, Imperial or New Republic, Inmates had a funny way of turning into a carbonite block. An experience, but in this line of work, a necessary one. Not because it was pleasurable, but because it served as a constant reminder to what would happen if you got caught.

Simon had spent 28 years of his life encased in carbonite, although his body didn't age, his thoughts persisted, eventually going insane with nothing but his thoughts and the dark to keep him occupied. Simon scratched the skin around a quarter inch sized piece of metal embedded in his neck another unpleasant reminder of what happens when you get nicked. For all of it's talk, the New Republic didn't seem too far from the Empire. Unfrozen and 3 suicide attempts later, they slapped a now defunct re-educator on him. A painfully excruciating process, made even more painful by the Arkanian, a fugitive back ally cybernetics dealer on Nar-Shadda, who deactivated it. It a risky, yet brutally simple procedure that, if done by the wrong person, left half of it's patients, if not more, with some measure of brain damage.

However, with a painful past, and in a life ruled by violence, paranoia, and constant worry, Simon always felt oddly at peace when looking at the plethora of colors around the black hole, the most interesting thing was the blue vapor trails it seemingly spat out. How rotten did you have to be that a black hole didn't want you? Simon could sympathize, The Empire, the Republic, hell Even the Hutts, were just one huge black hole, sucking in and destroying everything and anyone around them. Simon? He was spat out too. After a man's been forced into a life of crime, then constantly brutalized by every side, how could they expect him to just simply go back and lead a normal life? Fuck that. As long as he drew breath Simon would fight all.

The spot they were in, wasn't like jumping to some planet along the Hydian. It was more like crossing the gap between two Couriscanti Skyscrapers attached by a thread, on a unicycle. Nearly Impossible, but once you did it the first time, and time again after that, The fear left. His Captian, Zax Mantor, had given him the Coordinates, how he got them? Simon didn't know, but he guessed that a now deceased, or extremely rich Smuggler or pirate in the galaxy had something to do with it.

Simon's thoughts soon drifted to his shipment. The Action IV frieghtor he'd just starjacked from some Company fronting for the Tenloss Syndicate a few hours ago in the Cademimu sector, held a variety of top grade Military spec. weapons. Everything from E-11's to Proton Torpedoes were still in their cases down in the cargo hold. The best thing though, were the DXH-6 Disruptor rifles, a weapon that was capable of turning the tables in a Firefight in the user's favor. Most of the men Simon ran with picked one up, Simon himself couldn't resist. However they were also the most problematic, strictly regulated, to the point where simply owning one would grant him an automatic death sentence, and although he had a permit to land at any Imperial World, It wasn't like Simon could simply dock at Firro and sell off a couple hundred without any unnecessary Imperial Entanglements. Entanglements, that suddenly got a real hard on for busting up organized crime. They're usual fence, a Ballaz faction associate, had been busted during "Operation Hollow Destiny" It's orchestrator, Some cocky Core World Senator, Has started to become a real thorn in the sides of many criminal Organizations, but after the most recent development, this Gubhar Bawet guy would have a lot more to worry about then a group of thugs.

Of course he could always go back to the Hutts. But business conducted on the business end of a blaster wasn't really business at all. Even with Simon's silver tongue, selling product to the Hutts was like transporting an unescorted frieghtor loaded with credits through the Phaeda-Ithor Corridor, or through the Maelstrom. Only difference is, the Hutts may give him a few Credits to cover the docking fee and if he was lucky, he might get a full night at a bar out of it.

There were a bunch of Trigger happy mercenaries out there, but Simon wasn't running a weapons market, The amount of disruptors he was sitting on would take far too long to sell to each individual Mercenary or Bounty Hunter that passed by. He needed to offload them all at once, and the sooner the better, each second he sat doing nothing, was each second the Law used to get closer on his trail, more importantly, he was loosing Credits by sitting here doing nothing with these rifles. Giving in, he shot one of his contacts a text. Hoping he haddn't gone completely legit yet.

Simon's datapad beeped. So, Patrick Swayze came through after all. Swayze, who'd just gotten sprung from a prison ship somewhere, always had his fingers seated deep in the workings of various Mercenary groups. But, the information broker had a dark secret, he liked to dance. His method of dancing was provocative, one might almost call it "Dirty" Not like Twi'leki Strippers, but how one would truly express passion to a lover. Since he'd gotten out of prison, this new style of Dancing had made him become an up and coming holostar, with his own show, a musical soap opera, "Time of my life."

Of course if it wasn't for Simon, Swayze wouldn't be doing much dancing at all. No, he had no part in teaching him the basics of the Calrissian 2-step, or the Dark Side jig. But he did manage to talk an angry mercenary from burning Swayze's legs off with an E-11, and kept the fact Simon seen Swayze in a 1 piece leotard a secret.


Contact this number: 01-821-36234125. It's Silver Infinity Network's owner's personal com.

This is the last favor I'm doing for you Basai.

---Patrick Swayze.

PS: Remember our secret.

Silver Infinity Network. A rising group of Mercenaries Simon was kinda familer with, They were much to Idealistic to the Federation's goals for his liking. But they had a good rep for business and if they had credits, Simon would gladly sell to them. He stepped back from the viewport, pulling out his comm, and put a link through to Endivain.

"Ms. Endivain." Simon started when the other line picked up. "This is..." Simon paused as he thought of a random name, as close to the core worlds as he was, it would be stupid to think someone wasn't listening. "Trent Braxton." Simon rolled his eyes. Really? That's the best he could come up with? It beat something cliche like 'Mr. X' or 'Mr. Smith' though. It didn't matter, if it went well, she'd know his real name upon meeting face to face.

"I'm sitting on a Nicely dressed shipment here, Dressed to the Nines in fact. A friend of ours told me you were a stylish kinda girl." Simon said. Everyone in the underworld now a days tried to be all illusive and mysterious, he'd much rather come right out and say "I have a large shipment of Weapons, with Disruptors, and a mutual associate told me you might be interested." but the skin around the "reminder" on the back of his neck began to itch again.

Simon chuckled to himself as he waited for Luciana's repy. If anyone was listening, they'd already started tracking him, He'd show up as the frieghter now known as Bite Me, the Changed IFF Transponder was a testament in the Pirates weird sense of humor, as a blip In the galactic core, where a black hole is supposed to be, as clothes salesmen, tempting to sell the latest Fashions to the owner of a known Military Contracting Company, who apparently likes to wear this season's heels when she's knee deep in the dead.

Fortunately though, his location would most likely be written off as interference, or some counter measure. Besides, Deal-slang was a hard habit to break.
Last edited by Simon Basai on 2012-07-09 15:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Luciana Endivain
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2012-06-22 04:24

Administrative duties seemed to come naturally to Luciana which was strange considering she had never really been a supervisor or manager of anything before founding the Network. Sure, there was the stint back on Tralus but she was more of a contact, supplier and assistant to the rebel groups there. Sometimes she got so busy with all the details of running the different operations that, when she finally did find a chance to take a step back, it struck her just how much things had changed, how much she had changed. Such moments of self-reflection were often short lived however as another task would suddenly be brought to her attention, this time it happened to be an incoming call from a number she didn't recognize. The Federation intel group usually used a more personal touch if they wanted to contact her while her sister would simply just force her voice straight into Luciana's head as though speaking was beneath her. Beyond Red Jack whom she hadn't heard hide nor hair from for the longest time, the list of people who had her personal comm number were few and far between.

As usual, she answered the call, knowing she hadn't gotten to where she was without taking a few risks- another brief moment of reflection as the unfamiliar voice on the other end started to speak. Luciana was on StarForge, hopping between locales as she tried- mostly in vein- to be everywhere at once. The thought of cloning or replica droids surfaced, as it usually did, but the thoughts were fast dismissed, the knowledge that it wouldn't be the same and, even if there was a way to make them perfect duplicates of herself, she'd still live in fear that they'd make the wrong decision even if she knew in the back of her mind she would have done the exact same.

The person on the other end identified himself as Trent Braxton and seemed to either be trying to bait her or was purposely trying to be vague and mysterious. Sadly, Luciana wasn't exactly on top of all the underworld lingo and nomenclature that she often heard in spaceport bars- part of her missed the simpler days when she was a spacer- so all she could gather from his words was that he had a shipment he hoped to sell her and that this shipment was worth a lot of credits. So long as it's not spice or something completely worthless for a private military firm... Luciana thought, recalling the last person who set up a trade, the businesswoman having shelled out a fair sum for a massive load of spice. Sadly, before she could demand a refund, the spacer had taken off to the stars and she didn't really have the time nor resources to chase after.

If there was ever a harder thing to try and sell, it was spice, at least anywhere corewards of the mid-rim. Some Inner Rim worlds weren't so bad but it all went back to her profession and the fact she didn't have smugglers and people who dealt in illicit trade. That all changed when she and Red Jack teamed up to take over StarForge station, one of the galaxy's better kept secrets. Now she could let the local economy take care of any illegal goods she happened to come across, selling them, sometimes at a discount rate just to help the economy here- which was still hurting after the invasion- so whatever this Trent Braxton fellow had, Luciana figured if it wasn't worth her time, she could easily pawn it off and not worry about keeping any receipts.

"A friend huh?" Luciana spoke, leaning back in her chair in her office, her gaze falling on her metal hand as it usually did whenever she felt a little uneasy about a conversation. Her one eye flickered to a dark red hue as sour thoughts wondered who this so-called 'friend' could be. "Well, I hope this friend mentioned that I prefer to be given details before I invest in anything because if I bit on every offer that floated my way, I'd have more male enhancement meds than the galaxy would know what to do with." A gross exaggeration to be sure, but Luciana knew it would get her point across, she wanted at least a better idea what was on the table before she agreed to anything.

Her eyes stared at the back of her right hand still as she flexed its fingers, her mind drifting just a little bit. The thought that she had just been called stylish was laughable to her. There wasn't much that was stylish about a cybernetic hand, a replacement eye and the usual gunmetal grey flight suit she wore, a relic from her time with the New Republic that she seemed reluctant to get go of. Her brown hair was messy, evidence she had just flown in and made a long journey out of the trip from Nkllon though she was just weary from all the traveling she had been doing lately. If he wants to talk style, he should really talk with Diri... That thought made one corner of her lips tug upwards.

"But you do have my attention," she added plainly. It was half true, but multitasking was a lot easier when one quite literally had a computer attached to their brain. "What are you offering?"
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Simon Basai
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Simon Basai » 2012-06-22 09:36

Simon paused as he thought about how to proceed. He'd pretty much told her what he had to offer, but she still didn't get it. Something didn't add up. He was carrying enough disruptors to warrant hundreds of death warrants, and that wasn't including the other military grade hardware he had on board either. She had to be greener than he thought to expect him to come out and give her all the details about his cargo.

His eyes fell on the DXH-6 Disruptor rifle laying on the console next to him. "Just this season's shoes." Simon said, as he picked up the rifle and held it in his lap. He continued talking for a few minutes, her tone suggesting she wasn't listening, Simon began adding a few snide remarks in Huttsese, getting mildly agitated with her lack of interest, Sure, she was a busy woman, with her time invested in Weapons Design, A mining company, and a PMC, but there something about knowing his words were falling on ears that were only half way open that bothered him. Having a corporate meeting with all her representatives present, six months from now wasn't gonna work. Aside from the fact he'd get screwed harder than a Twi'lek prom date, the disruptors would be gone, and Simon didn't even know where he'd end up by the end of next week. Simon broke into full on Huttsese before he stopped talking when Luciana's occasional 1 worded replies had stopped. It was clear she had stopped listening, he brought the rifle closer to the comlink he'd sat down on the console next to him.

Simon's hand quickly yanked back the rifle's charging handle and the rifle's empty chamber snapped loudly. Any Mercenary who's been in the trade for 5 minutes would recognize it. While similar to most blasters, the sound of someone racking the DHX-6 rifle was shorter, smoother, and deeper. It was the sound, that anyone who had been on the business end of the weapon would never forget, and was one of the most frightening sounds a person could hear in their entire life. If Luciana was who Swayze claimed her to be then she'd get the picture.

"Got your attention now?" A mildly Agitated Simon asked, repeating Luciana's first statement back to her. Usually in the hands of an assassin, Charging an DHX-6 was silent, however when the handle was pulled back and released, it was loud. Loud enough to disorient the average unsuspecting human for a second if done right next to their heads. Simon had racked it right into the comlink to get Luciana's full attention. If not from her eardrum snapping, and eyes vibrating, but from recognizing what Simon was holding, "If you know what I'm talking about. Which I take it in you're like of work, you do, You'll understand why I can't freely give out the "Details" of my cargo." he said. Simon glanced out the viewport at the black hole and shrugged. Anyone would have to be crazy to follow him in here.

Simon wasn't about to say anything about the size of his shipment, or say "Disruptors" over an open comm channel, but he wouldn't leave Luciana without some kind of Idea, "But I will give you this." He said as his fingers danced across the keys of his datapad. The Holoprojector on Luciana's comm, standard on nearly all modern comlinks, soon displayed a map of the core worlds. A translucent green Action IV freighter sat directly in the galaxy's center with the IFF code Bite Me displayed beneath it. Yeah, the law could track it but with heavy core world traffic and mild ionic interference from the black hole it'd most likely be considered a scanner anomaly. Even if they did get wise, they needed precise jump coordinates, and Simon could microjump just outside the core back into Federation space. If it got really bad he could just as easily take the ship directly into the black hole, getting his atoms smashed was still better than going to back to prison.

"If you check the holo, I'd say the size is enough." Simon said. "As for the price..." Simon said. "I'd rather do that in person. Let you see what you got before making a decision." Simon offered, but that was being nice. He usually set out the price in stone before even meeting the person, but after being relatively short with her, he would do well to let her negotiate on the price. If things ended up getting ugly, A ship full of military grade weapons and disruptors wasn't exactly a bad thing to have.

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Luciana Endivain
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2012-06-23 03:17

Now Trent had Luciana's undivided attention, his little audio demonstration going a long way to help her see this was a conversation worth continuing. She lowered her hand and looked at the holo that appeared, a momentary aside hitting her that she could perhaps integrate a small holoprojector or imagecaster into her hand and- There I go again... The ship Trent was on was somewhere in the deep core, supposedly. It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine the ship was routing it's IFF through all sorts of well placed dummy satellites or the coded signal that contained the location was purposely being tampered with or reprogrammed to throw her off. Whatever the case, she didn't really care where he was, it wasn't her job to make sure he didn't hurt, it was her job to make sure she had the credits to take the cargo off his hands.

And disruptors were very powerful weapons, illegal in nearly every civilized system and even most of the uncivilized ones. StarForge carried some though they were considered "controlled armaments" in the sense that, so long as they remained packed away and kept in limited quantities under lock and key, and the seller had a license (which was more just a means to find the person and lay all the blame if ever a tragedy involving disruptors broke out) then it was all good. And thinking about quantities, Luciana was skeptical that a freighter that size would be packed with the powerful weapons, unless Trent had a very large, powerful and capable fleet as even a single crate of rifles were usually guarded by a force that rivaled most Federation escort groups.

If he does have that many, I'd pretty much have to sell him my entire business just to buy them all... It was something of a rough estimation, but she doubted her math was too far off the mark. Maybe by about one hundred thousand, but she that was only a 5% margin of error. StarForge would become a juicy target for thieves, mercs or gun runners hoping to acquire the weapons for free. Doubtless Red Jack wouldn't mind having some too but as it stood, she suspected there wouldn't be enough credits on all of StarForge to afford purchasing them all. The Federation might enjoy some, but they probably weren't hurting for supplies so they'd be asking for a major price cut, something she doubted Trent would want to hear.

"Interesting," she began, still mulling over things. A meeting place to discuss arrangements would be good, and as much as she'd rather conduct business over Nkllon, she'd come under intense scrutiny if any of the Federation spies went back crying that she got enough guns to take over Kuat. Tralus was right out which really left only one place. Oh well, gives me a reason to stick around longer and actually rest up a bit. That sounded nice, maybe she'd finally take the chance and check out the Forge Spa...

"Alright Trent, I'll upload the coordinates to you." With but a thought, she began transmitting the necessary coordinates straight through the comm without having to speak them. They would be received by Trent's comm and stored. "See you in a few days? I hear getting out of the Deep Core is like trying to find one's way around the swamps of Dagobah."
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Simon Basai » 2012-06-25 08:44

"Yeah take a wrong turn and it can be a pretty crushing experience. Out." Simon said in reference to the black hole that lay dangerously close outside his ship. He cut the comlink off and put the uploaded coordinates into the Navi Computer.

Simon was mildly Impressed, StarForge had always been something of a myth, nearly everyone in the underworld knew about it, but only few had ever seen it, even fewer had been allowed to set foot on it. After a few hours of waiting, the Freighter touched down in a massive hangar built into a hollowed out portion of the asteroid the station sat on, dwarfing the YT-2400 parked next to it. Simon smiled as he walked down the lowering boarding ramp, he took a final long drag from his cigarette and flicked it off to the side as he walked down toward Luciana's group of 12 other people. "Miss Endivain." Simon said scratching the disfiguring scar on his cheek. "Simon Basai. We spoke earlier." Simon said as he shook her hand. "Sorry about all the cloak and dagger." He said apologetically. "But after Hollow Destiny, you never know who may be listening in these days. But I suppose you want to see the shipment? Follow me and we'll get underway." Simon said after all of the handshakes and introductions had been made.


Simon led Luciana's group up the ramp and into the Ship. The Action IV class Transport was a large ship, but the bulk of it, 8 out of it's 12 decks were devoted to cargo. Each deck was Massive, filled with large shelves that towered over everyone's heads. Each shelf capable of holding 30 neatly stacked pallets. Near the top of the shelves 10 guys stood armed with blaster carbines ready to open fire should the deal go awry for any reason. Although Simon didn't see it going that way, it was still a good Idea to be safe, since he had allowed them to keep their weapons, after all, it was her station.

"This is the first of 11 Decks." Simon said causally, as if walking past 20 capitol grade missiles was an every day thing. "Down here you'll find your capitol weapons, Turbolaser parts, Concussion missiles....I think we have a few T-33's somewhere..." Simon whipped his head around and smiled at Luciana. "Even parts for a v-150 Ion cannon." He winked, having saw the massive gun's naked framework on the way in.

"But I suppose you're here for what I demonstrated to you eh?" Simon said, leading them up to a turbolift.

On the 8th Level the Turbolift stopped, and revealed another hold similar to the first one. As Simon led the group through, Simon's men led potential buyers and their bodyguards off in different directions, showing them different weapons, or back to other levels of the ship. When they finally reached the back, only Luciana and 2 SIN mercenaries remained.

Simon walked up to the first of 6 pallets and produced a multitool. After inputting a code, the pallet opened revealing it's contents. Simon returned with a DHX-6 Disruptor rifle and tossed the empty weapon to Luciana. "I've got roughly 200 of these bad boys." Simon said as Luciana inspected the weapon. "All of them are in mint condition." Simon said confidently as he opened another pallet. "Now I've rigged all these to blow." Simon warned, noticing one of the Mercenaries motion toward another crate. The Mercenary's hand recoiled sharply. "With all the tibanna gas here, it'll take out the entire hangar. Us with it. So If you need to see anything let me know I'll unlock it for you." Simon said, trading Luciana for a disruptor Pistol. "With everyone cracking down on trafficking, it's an unfortunate, but necessary precaution."

"How much are you asking?" Luciana asked, still staring down the disruptor's sights.

"For the Disruptors?" Simon asked. "60K. 6 million for the entire shipment." Luciana looked up from the sights with an eyebrow raised "I Got everything from these, to E-11's, A280's, torpedo launchers, grenade Launchers....on this level. I haven't even shown you the Juggernauts and StarVipers yet...." Simon shrugged and smirked. "Hell, the Gracens were paying close to a Billion for this, but I gotta get rid of it pretty quick. I'm cutting you a pretty good deal here." A playful smile broke Simon's mangled face, "Lady." He started. "My point is, you're gonna have enough hardware here to take over..." Simon shrugged unable to think of any comparisons "...Anything you want really. That and I don't care what you do with it." Simon mentioned.

"So? We gotta deal here?"

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Luciana Endivain
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2012-06-28 04:19

Seeing the hardware, to say Luciana wasn't impressed would have been a lie though she remained aloof as she looked over the disruptor Simon had handed her. Normally she wouldn't have bothered with having two of her mercs follow her, but as a precaution, she brought them along just in case someone got the genius idea to use the disruptors to kidnap her and make extra credits. Hearing a brief rundown of the other bits of hardware they also had for sale, Luciana was more inclined to perhaps purchase the whole lot though six million was very steep.

"Six million for the whole lot huh?" She mulled over the thought, but was mindful not to spend too long on it, pirates were busy people and every minute spent waiting around was a minute not going towards their next haul. The rough and dirty math from what she could see showed that Simon was right, there literally was several hundred millions of credits of goods and materials here, the mention of the planetary defender made her perk up even more as she had already sent several requests for proposals to different construction and deconstruction contractors for the same device on Hoth that had long since been abandoned and that would chew into her budget quite nicely as it was.

Handing the blaster back to Simon, she said with a smile, "I'm sorry to say I'm a little strapped for credits." She could see the look of disappointment begin to form on Simon's face and she quickly added, "Don't get me wrong. I can agree to six million however..." It was here she trailed off, trying to think of an alternative arrangement. Scrounging up six million would take a little bit of effort, a lot of her credits were already invested so she didn't have much just floating around. Thankfully she wasn't on the HoloMarket yet, so she didn't have shareholders to worry about, just a single debtor in the form of Red Jack who was still off gallivanting across the galaxy- okay, maybe not, but not having heard from him for a while, she liked to make up the thought and had fun doing it. "I can afford to give you four million now, and the rest I could do two-hundred thousand installments on a monthly basis for the next ten months, or year."

Simon frowned, understandably so as pirates didn't usually have bank accounts for people to make monthly installments with. They wanted their credits and they wanted them now. Luciana, understanding his unique position, tried to present it another way, "No one needs to know you sold it for six million. Maybe I drove a hard bargain and convinced you that was the best offer you could get.

"Failing that, you could think of it as a sort of insurance policy. I know you may think I have an ulterior motive for this, but I did open a bank of sorts at Nkllon that isn't subject to the strict laws and policies most galactic banks are so if you do agree to this, those stashed away credits will actually increase over time through monthly compound interest at five percent per annum."
Luciana shrugged a little. "In short, in a year from now, you would end up with and extra forty-six thousand credits." In comparison to two million, it probably didn't seem like much, but Luciana was willing to take a gamble that Simon could see the value in having the credits stashed away that only he could access.
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Simon Basai » 2012-07-07 18:10

"So I get a retirement and 401k to go with it?" Simon mused, obviously displeased with Luciana's offer. Simon shook his head and crossed his arms as he took a few paces back from Luciana. "Do I look like a fuckin Idiot?" He asked. While four million seemed like a lot, It wouldn't cover repairs for the damages his ship had taken, much less supply provisions, and allow the crew to take their shares. With Expenses into three to five hundred thousands per month, depending on how much work they've gotten, 200 thousand would last them just a few days. That, and 10 months was a long time, maybe not to some, but in Simon's profession, which consisted of attacking heavy cruisers with a mynock ridden frigate that was held together with prayer and wonder-adhesive, made that span seem even longer.

Simon noticed Luciana look in the direction of the Turbolift, subtly signaling that the deal wasn't going to work. Maybe he'd been too rash, he needed to dump this shipment, not only because of the harsh penalties associated with disruptor based weapons, and carrying enough hardware to earn himself multiple life sentences, but also for a much more eminent and sinister threat that loomed behind him as well.

Simon had heard several horror stories involving the Tenloss Syndicate throughout the Criminal Underworld, most notably, the head Executive of Malakin Enterprises, a Tenloss front, who was filleted alive and found stuffed in 8 different garbage compactors, a day after she'd skimmed 200 credits off of the top of a payment, plus several others who stole from them, even hired goons like Simon, ended up dead within weeks or even days of doing it.

A few days had passed since the raid, and while Simon and his crew had done an extensive scan and removal of any and all tracking devices on the ship, going as far as completely changing the IFF codes, and even covering up the large "Galindas Exports" logo, another Tenloss Front, that had been plastered on the side of the ship, but it wouldn't Surprise Simon if they were already predicting his movements, and posted hit teams, or "Wet Squads" on Nar-Shadda, or Tattooine waiting to blast him as soon as he landed.

"Look." Simon said, in a cooler tone. "I have my own expenses too, and If I said 'yes' I'd find myself dumped out of an airlock, something I'd rather avoid." Simon mused. "I can do the 4 million." He said, at least that would pay everyone and keep the booze flowing, as well as missiles in the tubes and power to the weapons. "But a year is a long time." Simon said. "And if my face" Simon scratched his the first of 2 disfiguring scars that locked his face into a permanent smile, as his eyes fell from Luciana's eyes to her cybernetic arm that whirred and popped with each motion of her hand. "And your arm, and eye say anything, it's that people like us don't last long." He reminded. While she may be a business woman now, weaklings didn't start Mercenary Organizations regardless of their legitimacy, and those who did usually had a marks to carry with them.

Noting Luciana's Returned Interest, Simon got back to business. "I'll tell you what though, 200 isn't gonna work, but I can do 600k in 2 months." Simon said, putting part of his offer on the table. "Also, this is a pretty impressive operation you got here, and I see you need a lot of work done with it in the way of material, We're pretty regular with our shipments, and I can find just about anything, Diamond Boron Missiles, A280's, T-4b's, maybe we could help each other out? I'll keep your armories stocked, as well as product on the shelves if you keep the credits coming."

Simon crouched next to a maroon colored plasteel box and began disarming the booby trapped crate as he listened to Luciana's response, nodding as she spoke, He set the disruptor and inside and shot back up "Well." Simon said as he took a step toward Luciana to show that he was still listening. "If yo-"

A gust of deathly cold wind breathed on the back of Simon's neck, an unforgettable sensation Simon hadn't felt in 40 years. In a display of Jedi-like reflexes, The DE-10 blaster pistol on Simon's hip was brought up and 3 shots thundered in a deafening roar that echoed throughout the entire ship.

There was no body, but the durasteel deck was stained with a black liquid that trailed off behind them. "Fuck." Simon cursed as he brought his gun around behind him, a few feet away he saw a figure that was roughly 4 and some odd feet tall, clad in a black robe, limping away from them. Simon popped it in it's leg, the figure let out a catlike hiss and collapsed. As it lie there hissing in pain, Simon's body whipped back around to Luciana, and the 2 Mercenaries who had their blaster's leveled at him. "That's a Noghri bleeding on my deck back there. He would of taken you out too." Simon said, mostly out of surprise, but with a hint of annoyance, as he quickly spun his DE-10 on his index finger returning it to his hip after the Mercs lowered the rifles.

"They're fast." Simon said, as he walked over to the dying Noghri. Running into a massive criminal conglomerate such as Tenloss on StarForge, the station as secretive as it was, was still a hive of scum and villainy, much like a more selective Nar-Shadda, or Mos Eiesly, wasn't nearly as surprising as the timing. Simon hadn't counted on The Syndicate showing up as soon as they did, much less sending a Noghri after him. Had this happened 20 years ago, Simon would of vaped Luciana and her 2 Mercenaries where they stood, seeing it as a set up on her Part, but if Luciana was like any other Mercenary, she would of greeted him with 80 guys armed with proton Torpedo launchers and heavy repeaters if she wanted to rob him. The Federation or Republic would of sent a strike team, so it really only left him with 1 option, and with quite a bit of explaining to do.

"Who?" One of the Mercs asked.

"Tenloss."Simon said bluntly, seeing no point in hiding it. "I'll explain later, right now we got bigger problems." His eyes scanned the room as he cautiously removed the disruptor he'd just put back in the crate seconds prior. "I fought these bastards on Honronghr back when it was still a jungle. Where there's one there's probably more, and if this bastard has a tracker...." Simon said ominously as he looked back at Luciana and shook his head as his hand left the forward grip of the rifle and removed a multitool from his utility belt. "Cover me while I check 'em." Simon said "Like I said earlier, they aint known for their mercy and compassion, and we just pissed 'em off, that was probably someone's brother or cousin, So keep your head on a swivel. Bastards are probably watching us if not, then they're on their way." Simon warned, just in case Luciana decided to turn a blaster on his back, or leave him high and dry.
Last edited by Simon Basai on 2012-07-09 12:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2012-07-08 01:33

The comment about the eye and arm actually amused Luciana, mostly because she didn't actually get those cybernetics because she was in trouble with the law per se. Still, she understood the remark well enough to know what he was getting at: this business tended to produce a lot of dangerous enemies, but such was life. High reward didn't come without high risk after all. When he mentioned the potential about the possibility of regular shipments, she became more interested. The thought about heavily discounted goods meant she could buy it for cheap and, if it turned out she couldn't use any of it, she could always sell it for near the actual retail cost (or whatever the suggested retail cost was in the case of illegal goods).

"If you could make these shipments regular, it would force me to actually make sure I have the necessary credits to afford the goods from you beforehand." She smiled just a little, a yellow hue expressing her amusement at the situation, and his remark about the 401k. She always thought that had been tossed out like the idea of building Death Stars as people flocked to the latest investment opportunity: 401M.

Before much more could be said, Simon had suddenly spun around and shot his blaster at someone. Luciana noted movement but had left it largely ignored as it had been moving away from the group the whole time. She turned to look and saw a species she had never seen in her life aside from holos asking for donations to help restore the world of Honoghr- they were remarkably good tax write-offs- but she was more intrigued as to why the man had acted so swiftly in shooting the creature.

When he began explaining she began to scold herself. The fact that Simon hadn't been entirely forthright about where his shipment had come from before hand made her scowl, though most pirates usually weren't so really it was her own damn fault for not asking ahead of time. Regardless, it seemed like Luciana would have a pissed off syndicate to deal with if she proceeded with the purchase of the weapons and gear. The assassin and threat of being embroiled in a gang war with a criminal organization didn't exactly scare the woman however. Though she was a small time outfit, her holdings were protected well enough, either because of remoteness and difficulty of getting to as was the case with Var and Nkllon or because of the protection of a well fitted and equipped defense force as was the case with Tralus and StarForge.

"You know what," Luciana began as she began to turn around, raising an arm to signal for her bodyguards to depart, "Fighting a bunch of Noghri and pissing off an entire Syndicate just by purchasing these weapons isn't exactly in my best interests right now... I'm sorry to say this but you're on your own."

Simon looked up to see the departing figure. "Go ahead and leave, and get gored. Later." he said with no small amount of bitterness as he ran the scan on the Noghri's body, now bereft of support from the woman he was supposedly going to do business with.

Luciana disappeared around another crate, not sure if he was genuinely bitter about it or not. Hissing for her guards to stop, she motioned for them to follow her lead, adding in a hushed voice, "Watch your fire." She had a feeling there was going to be some unfinished business the pirate left unaccounted for, or possible repercussions from the people the cargo was stolen from, though she didn't honestly expect it to be anywhere near this soon so her sensor implant was already picking some signs of movement and as she readied her lightsaber and the blaster built into her hand, she could sense more movement incoming.

Reemerging suddenly, she spotted another one of the short little aliens and, raising her arm up, snapped off a couple shots, catching the creature by surprise, thinking she had actually stormed off to leave Simon alone to his fate. One of the shots missed by a fair margin but the other caught the short alien in the shoulder. It squealed but rolled with the blow, twisting around as a tiny blade glimmered suddenly in its free hand. Simon was already reacting though, preternatural reflexes a sign that perhaps he too was a Force Sensitive like herself allowing him to once again catch the creature off-guard and finish it off with his disruptor pistol.

Why do I keep finding these people?!? Luciana wondered to herself, wondering if she was just a magnet to attracting all the Force Sensitives of the galaxy. I swear, if he's another Jedi, Dark Jedi or Sith in training, I'm going to freak. The threat abated for now, she returned to Simon who worked on completing the scan after spinning his pistol around in his hand and holstering it. He had a flair for showing off, or maybe it was just a bad habit at this point but he didn't look at all surprised that she had come back though and that made her suspicious. "Why do I get the feeling you already knew I was bluffing?" she asked, folding her arms across her chest and shifting her weight to one leg.
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Simon Basai » 2012-07-09 11:20

"The Force told me." Simon said casually, but with no seriousness to it. It wasn't that he didn't believe in it, but the fact that there were entire cults devoted to it, prancing around the galaxy with swords in the age of blasters and Star Destroyers seemed kind of silly to him. Besides they were always sticking their noses in affairs that were really none of their business. So what if some could make a glass of water levitate. It was all smoke and mirrors anyways. "And cos I know you're not stupid." Simon said plainly. Even with all the issues that came with it, A shipment this size for the price Simon was offering was a bargain. "So it might come with a few strings attached, but it's a steal, and I'll keep 'em off your backs. I know how it looks, but I'm good to people I do business with." Simon reassured. If Simon had the slightest feeling that he would encounter a Noghri hit team, he would of never came to the Station, or even agreed to meet Luciana to begin with. Even with the extensive precautions Simon took, there was still a chance he may of been followed, but if that was the case, how could he have known? If he knew he was being tailed, Simon would of taken the ship in an erratic nearly suicidal run through a myriad of black hole clusters, asteroid fields, and other hazards half way on the other side of the galaxy. It bothered him, but sometimes things just happened and thinking about it wouldn't change the situation, regardless, he made a mental note to double check the ship's systems.

"The bright side is, most of the product is unmarked. I mean after it enters your hands, and I take care of the Ship, the trail goes cold, It'll take a miracle for them to find it." Simon said, standing back up after failing to find a tracker on the now dead Noghri "Think of it like a chopping up YT-1300. Separate or mix the parts with others like it and you aint getting it back.....This station moves right?" Simon paused and he wrinkled his brow noting the cylinder that Luciana carried in one of her hands. He didn't take her for a Jedi, Being the guardians of peace and justice throughout the galaxy, with Simon being the exact opposite, the conflict of interests would of earned Simon his death, and the evil Jedi were psychos. They would probably kill him just to show that they could. While he doubted they could shoot lightning from their fingers, few people have fought one, good or evil, and lived to tell the tale. Maybe she was one of those few and kept it as a souvenir? While it would be a story to hear, It didn't matter. So long as the saber's tip didn't end up through his back, he didn't really care. "In other words: Since I didn't find a tracker on that guy, and with the other one being an ashtray, If you hear from them again after this, I'll jump onto the beam of your lasersword." Simon said, emphasizing his point. While another Noghri could be carrying a tracker, the thought just occurred to simply space or disintegrate the bodies before the Station made another jump. The Disruptor pistol in Simon's other holster suggested disintegration.

"How'd you know he was even there? I didn't see anything." One of Luciana's Mercenaries couldn't help but ask.

"I'm a Sepan. A Dimok. We learned to smell a Ripoblus ambush from a world away." Simon said referring to his time in the Civil War that ravaged the sector for nearly 100 years. A cocky lopsided smirk crossed his face. "Nothing sneaks up on us." Simon took a few steps back from Luciana and her 2 Mercenaries who fanned out in a defensive posture around them as his thumb depressed on the comlink clipped to his armor's shoulder-boards. "Specks." Simon said, radioing into the Ship's bridge. His brow furrowed a few moments later, when no reply came. "Specks?" he asked with a hint of concern in his voice. If the Noghri were up on the bridge things would get real interesting really quick. Simon cursed silently under his breath when the line remained silent. His other hand turned a knob on another larger comlink clipped to his waist. "Boomer."

"Simon." The voice on the other end replied, mimicking Simon's tone. Simon breathed a sigh of relief, at least his other team leader who was with most of his men was alright. It wasn't that he was genuinely concerned for the man's health, but he'd rather not take on an unknown number of pissed off Noghri by himself. "What's going on up there?" Boomer asked having heard the gunfire.

"We gotta problem." Simon said. "Noghri problem. They got Specks."

"Fuuu-ckin Noghri" Boomer replied, with a hint of enthusiasm in his voice. Boomer, Simon's second team leader, was never one to back down from a fight, no matter how tough it may be. "Glasses was an asshole anyways."

"How's things on your end?"

"Good. Some of our guests are a bit startled, but so far everyone's still here. Who is it?"

"I'm banking on Tenloss. Check in with the others. If anyone has Thermals or bio scanners down there I'd suggest they use 'em. Stay off the Turbolift and out of any tight spaces." Simon said.

"And the dark. I've seen enough horror movies in my time Simon." Boomer replied, calling out Simon's cliche order. "What about the people we brought on board?"

"As for our guests, get 'em off my ship, alive, but if anyone even looks outta place, or makes a break for the elevator blow 'em away. I'll be in touch." Simon said, turning the volume on his comlink off as he walked over to the open crate of Disruptor rifles.

"Hey." Simon said looking Luicana after producing 2 DHX-6 Rifles from the Crate, He gave her an upward nod before gently tossing one of the rifles into her hands. "Look at it this way - You get to play with some new toys. Happy Holidays." Simon said, indicating that the rifle he'd just tossed to Luciana was now hers. With a quick nod toward the disruptors, he gestured to the other two Mercenaries that the same extended to them as well. Mercenaries loved guns. Big Ones. Especially when they were free. It was an often true galactic stereotype, probably a fact. As Simon walked over to another Crate and began quickly disarming the booby trap, he hoped that the free rifle would help mend any burned bridges between them, besides, she did just save his life.

"I'm headed to the Bridge, My guy up there, Specks, is dead. So I'm guessing that's where they are." Simon said, plus His helmet, which had built in thermal vision, and a bio scanner, along with the rest of his gear, which included a bioscanner was setting in a pile next to one of the consoles, equipment that would make the fight a world easier, and if the Noghri were up there, Simon's stay on StarForge was about to get shortened, Drastically. The Noghri Pilots who could helm a vessel the size of the one Simon was on was a rare commodity. Maybe they'd snuck a few pilots in, Simon wouldn't know how, but after hearing about several Killer Ewok Mercenaries that shared his name, Simon guessed that anything was possible.

He stuffed a couple power packs and gas canisters into each cargo pocket of the pressure suit he wore under his armor. "Nothing's forcing you to follow me, but Our best bet is to stick together." Simon said as he turned toward the Turbolift. He guessed she would follow him, after all she was still here, but Simon was still asking a lot. Simon craned his neck back toward the Mercenaries as began toward the elevator "And...I'll owe you one. Maybe two. I'm good at remembering people who help me, if you catch my drift." Simon said, while he might not have a wealth of information that would be useful to her, or a lot of credits, He was exceptional at kicking in doors, stealing ships, and blowing shit up, and he didn't care what it was or who it belonged to either. He hoped Luciana could see that. Who knows, with all of her business exploits, maybe she might receive some free hardware from time to time if things went well.

Simon shouldered the Rifle into a low ready and started toward the lift. The bridge was a ways up, and he had a pretty good climb ahead of him.

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Luciana Endivain
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2012-07-11 02:26

Luciana kept her lightsaber in her left hand, her right ready to blast anything or anyone who might suddenly leap out at her, or Simon for that matter. He could prove to save her millions of credits in the long run, millions that would enable her to afford another factory station, or even a repair yard, or expand her mining operations. Right now, there was no shortage of places she could spend credits, hence why buying this shipment was going to be difficult. Do-able but difficult. It helped her to think of the long run however, and as she looked at the disruptor rifle, it didn't at all surprise her as she found herself wondering if she could find a way to incorporate it into the mechanical hand she had. There I go again... Always with the science.

Using a rifle one handed wouldn't be much of a challenge for her, she had the strength to compensate for whatever kick a disruptor rifle threw at her, though she had never actually handled one before in the past. That didn't stop her from thinking she knew enough about them: they were powerful guns that were outlawed, banned and illegal just about everywhere in the galaxy and possession of one was a felony in many systems. Her eyes lit up, especially her right one, the yellow and red starburst hue unable to wait to find an unfortunate victim to test it on. She was always like this with new toys, even the ones she designed herself, always wanting to test them out, Viper had called it a sickness while No-Neck claimed she never really grew up.

"Wait, we're going to use the lift?" Luciana began as they approached it, raising her eyebrow at Simon, "But didn't you just tell your crew to stay off the lifts?" She wasn't sure what Simon was hoping to accomplish or how much faith he had in her skills, but she doubted she'd be able to fight very well with a rifle and a lightsaber in a tiny room if anyone ambushed them. Her shields might hold out for long enough for them to escape, assuming they were being ambushed from the outside, but inside, it would be a right royal mess if Luciana started swinging the glowing the red glowing blade around.

Reaching the lift, she watched Simon tap the call button and Luciana swallowed, glancing around at all the different crates, not sure whether or not this was really a good idea. "You may be better off taking some of the auxiliary ramps. They're probably trying to bait you back to the bridge and are hoping you'll take the lift. All they need to do is cut power, enter the shaft, drop a thermal detonator onto the lift and there won't be much any of us can do to escape."
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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Simon Basai » 2012-07-12 21:06

"We're not taking the lift." Simon said as the turbolift doors opened. He stepped in and hit the button for the top level. "At least not all the way up," Simon said, hitting the E-stop just after they'd hit the 10th level. He looked up at the single fluorescent light that illuminated the cabin. "The ramps are too open, have too many spaces to hide." Simon said trading his disruptor rifle for a menacing vibroblade, an eight inch long, 4 inch wide double serrated bastard, meant for skinning big game such as rancor. "They got repeaters built into the walls and floors." Simon said in a mildly strained tone, as he reached up and pried the Light light fixture from the ceiling, with his knife, reavealing the top mounted access hatch. "We'd just deactivated them, but if they're on the bridge...Gimme a boost woudjya?" Simon looked at one of the Mercs who moved below the open hatch. Stepping on the Mercenary's cupped hands, Simon felt himself rise far enough to pull himself up on top of the Elevator. He took his penlight from a pen holder on his left shoulder pocket and checked area, the shaft was dark, illuminated only by the light coming from the cabin, and a few dimly lit maintenence lights, Simon could barely make out pully system that controlled the rise and fall of the turbolift. It was clear at least for the time being.

Simon laid on his belly and extended an arm to Luciana and helped her climb out of the elevator. "It's safe to assume they've reactivated the turrets." Simon said finishing his sentence as the last Mercenary pulled himself up. "I'd need at least 20 guys to go through and take care of them, and they're set up so that there's next to no blind areas, cut my entire 4th team to ribbons before they even got to the second floor." Simon said, wishing he had taken the time to dismantle them, but the Freighter was going to end up stripped and scuttled a short distance away, so at the time it didn't matter. "Hope you were good at climbing rope in gym class" Simon joked.

He heard automatic blaster fire errupt from the lower decks followed by the cold and collected voice of Boomer, and the nearly psychotic voice of the Rodian Grelek, his 3rd team leader, taunting the enemy and shouting orders to their men. As Simon grasped the cable, he heard a metallic snap of the cord disconnecting, shortly after the floor shifted violently beneath his feet, staggering them all as the elevator's top fell against the wall.

Simon quickly brought the disruptor up and aimed at the door slightly above them, and blew a hole through the door large enough for them to run through. He raced up the ledge and turned around to grasp Luciana's extended hand and pulled her up, along with the First Mercenary. The 2nd Mercenary's hand was within Simon's extended Fingers when the Elevator Shaft finally gave out. Simon Clutched the man's fingers as tight as he could, but he could feel them rapidly slip out of his white knuckled Grip. "Help me!" he said, looking back at Luciana.

Fortunately for the Mercenary, who previously would have perished at the bottom of the shaft, Luciana was quick enough to grab the back of the man's collar and pull him up far enough for Simon to grab the back of his utility belt and help reel the large Mercenary in. "Thanks." He panted, relieved to still be breathing.

"Don't mention it." Simon said just as the lights above them cut off. "Well that's just fucking great." Simon muttered under his breath, followed by the snap-hiss of Luciana igniting her light saber. Simon removed his maglite from the ring on his utility belt and and held it up, resting the disruptor rifle on his wrist before he proceeded.

The vehicle bay, Simon noted by the partial silhouettes of the gargantuan wheels of the 2 Juggernauts parked there, offered little room to maneuver and offered the Noghri plenty of spots to hide. "The floodlights" Simon said in a whisper that was barely audible, referring to the massive pieces of destruction. "Might make it a bit easier if we could get in one and activate them." Simon wrinkled his nose as he smelled a a slight odor that resembled a cesspool on Nar-Shadda.

He turned his head back to Luciana, whose face was illuminated by the glow of her light saber, and quickly inhaled 2 times through his nose, silently telling her he could smell them. While Simon was no Shistavanen, he wasn't kidding about when he said he could smell an ambush. When he was in a room that was supposedly empty, body odors were an easy thing to pick up, and he didn't doubt Luciana could smell them, it was still good to let her know, because that also meant that there were a lot of them. Simon looked in between one of the wheels of the massive Juggernaut. With only one way to the bridge left, guarded by several hidden turrets, there might be a way to get through it alive. After all, who'd expect a Juggernaut to pull right up to the door?

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Re: Forging a Star.

Post by Luciana Endivain » 2012-07-14 03:47

The glowing red blade was probably the worst thing Luciana could use right now as it completely destroyed their element of surprise, and lit the group up brighter than a holiday tree. Still, she wasn't exactly worried about giving her own position away though, on the same token, she was probably the last person who even needed the thing, her left eye able to pierce the dark well enough on its own. In the end, it was the long activation time of the lightsaber that made her activate it, knowing that, against knife wielding Noghri who were quicker than A-Wings strapped to a pair of TIE Interceptors, she'd be glad to have it.

Plus, she began thinking to herself as she subtly gestured for her mercs to accompany Simon while she remained more as a rear guard, it might give them pause if they think I'm really a Jedi... As good as it would have been, Luciana somehow doubted their still unseen attackers would be so easily duped, or scared for that matter.

The sensor implant wasn't picking up any movement but she did detect the EM waves coming off the Noghri. They had set themselves up in perfect ambush spots and were waiting, no doubt watching the small group of (mostly) humans creep their way closer to one of the large vehicles. One of them must have seen a problem with the potential of them getting to a large tank as Luciana picked up a flicker of movement, the alien darting to another spot, keeping as much cover as possible between him and the mercs slash pirate.

The others started to move to, in perfect harmony with each other that only trained professionals could hope to achieve. Luciana fought the urge to bite her lower lip, not wanting them to see the rising concern in her stomach as she could almost literally feel them closing in from all around her. Once again, the same technology that was giving her the advantage was also showing her the other side of the same coin, the idea that she was going to be overwhelmed quite quickly.

Simon had just reached the Juggernaut when the Noghri made their strike, the sudden speed they moved at nearly made the sensors seem slow as it was the tingle that crawled up her spine that warned her of the incoming strike moments before the attack was launched. The lightsaber became a sudden red blur, catching the first of the little aliens little blade, sparks showering out before it cut through the tiny blade and cut into the alien too, a loud feline cry piercing the gloom, rising easily above the otherwise dull humm of the lightsaber. She had just enough time to whip the glowing blade around to catch another strike but she wasn't quite fast enough to stop three others from darting past her, the clumzy motions lacking the fluid grace her sister possessed.

"Watch out," she called out, managing to just nick one of the runners in the back, another spukamus-like yelp filling the air. Another blade lashed out and Luciana was too slow to parry it as she felt it dig into her left arm, the nerves wanting to release the grip on her lightsaber though her hand didn't open, the electronics in her arm, though relatively few compared to her right arm, were enough to keep her hand tightly gripped around the weapon. Still, it was enough to draw blood and she felt she had lost enough of that lately, the Necropolis fresh in her mind.

One of her mercs started shooting but another was jumped from the other side, barely able to get out more than a gurgling sound as he fell to the floor. Luciana spun around and drove her lightsaber through the head of the Noghri attacking her, bypassing his defenses in a rush of rage, her red eye venting her frustration as she withdrew the lightsaber from the alien and quickly turned her attention to the others who were already darting around, one of them scrambling up one of the giant tires in an effort to enter the vehicle from a topside entry hatch. Great, as if being in an enclosed space couldn't get anyw worse...
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