Star Wars: The Last Word

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Wolves, Jun 10, 2015.

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    Scorpio Lightless slept. The fiery hearts of her twin sublight engines smoldered a dim blue as they pushed her ever so gently through space, far above the swirling storms of Hespherex V and deep below the black, light-pierced blanket of the Peligian Gulf. The ultrasleek starship slid through the void like liquid metal, and her stealth subroutines and cloaking technology made her all but invisible to the galaxy, a durasteel ghost between the stars.

    "Two system patrol craft approaching." The electronic, disembodied voice of Scorpio Lightless's AI jolted her captain awake. By the time he'd come to a fully conscious understanding of where he was and what was happening, he'd already pulled the handgun at his hip halfway from its holster, and every fiber of muscle in his arm was primed to finish the draw and pull the trigger. He relaxed his grip and slid the weapon home as he slumped back into his chair.

    "Vectors?" he requested, clearing the sleep from his throat. The AI, in her feminine, educated Core Worlder's accent, chattered off a string of numbers and directions that amounted to exact positions, speeds, and orientations. Rubbing his temples with one hand, the captain cut her off and pulled up a holographic, three dimensional map of the system. The Scorpio's scanners, updating the graphic in real time, tracked two small icons across the map.

    "Fuck," he growled, rubbing his eyes. He'd forgotten to adjust virtual copilot's alert settings before falling asleep. The patrol craft, two Yzhikov-class heavy fighters, were on course to pass the Scorpio Lightless eighteen kilometers out, blissfully unaware of her presence. He dismissed the holographic map with a wave of his hand. "Venus, can I get a cup of caf?" he asked. ‘Venus;' his take on VNAS, Virtual Navigation Assistance System.

    "Brewing. Three minutes to completion. The patrol craft?" she asked.

    "Disengage – no, set course for Oracle-3, drop cloak, ping the patrol, open a line with Sedulga, request docking permissions. In that order," the captain answered as he made his way to the mess. By the time he returned to the helm of his ship, caf in hand, Sedulga was on screen.

    "Kaivr Thane," the dug addressed him with a sneer, "our scanners did not detect your ship exiting hyperspace."

    "Vigo Sedulga," Kaivr replied, bowing deeply. "I see you're in good health." The dug, who sat on what seemed to be a lavish throne of a chair, was not in good health but was very fond of deference. An avaricious glutton, the only thing on Oracle-3 fatter than Sedulga's wallet was Sedulga himself. The dug dressed in fine, brightly colored silks to disguise what Kaivr imagined was an unhealthy figure. "Do I have your permission to dock?"

    "Permission granted. One of my associates will receive you when you land," Sedulga answered with a scowl. The comm line went down, and the dug's image vanished.

    "Does he know who you are?" Venus asked.

    "He absolutely does," Kaivr replied, sliding into his captain's seat. He sipped the hot caf as Oracle-3, the asteroid station that served as home to a half million souls, grew larger in the Scorpio Lightless's viewport. "He's the one who asked me to stop by."
  2. When the word finally came from Sedulga about Scorpio Lightless arriving, Jebik was in the middle of watching his Kintan Strider get torn asunder by a Mantellian Savrips on the holotable. He grunted in disappointed annoyance as his Trandoshan opponent let out a throaty reptilian chuckle at the Jawa’s misfortune. That was three pieces in a row lost to the toothy bastard and another game of Dejarik lost, and with it, another 15 credits. Jebik grumbled under his breath, sliding a credit chip across the table to the Trandoshan bounty hunter, a perpetually sneering bastard named Jahrahk. The black spherical interrogation droid that accompanied Jebik everywhere translated, <All the better. Go buy yourself some mouthwash, you rank bastard.> as Jebik hopped off of the high seat across from the Trandoshan as the big bastard laughed at him. The Jawa collected his blaster carbine from the floor, throwing the stock over his shoulder and gripping it by the barrel. He turned back to face Jahrahk. <Same time next week?>

    Jahrahk was slipping the chit into his assault webbing, grinning at the Jawa. “Do you think I’m one to turn down the easiest source of credits in the galaxy? Of course I’ll be here, you rat.” He said.

    <Good. Your hideous face is what makes me get up in the morning. I’d hate to miss that look of despair when you pay out big.> He said, turning to leave the crowded, seedy bar into the busy street. Jebik’s droid floated higher than the crowd, keeping an eye ahead, and behind, the Jawa for trouble. Being an intimidating 1.1 meters in height made it damn hard to keep an eye out in a crowd. But anyone worth anything worked around their limitations, and that’s why an unassuming Jawa ended up as one of the most successful bounty hunters in the Outer Rim and could get away with insulting a Trandoshan to his face. Of course, he wouldn’t be so verbose if Jahrahk was anything other than a good acquaintance and sometimes bounty partner. While they wouldn’t ever be considered friends, there was a sense of respect between the two that defied explanation. Viga Sedulga hired them both to complete a job together months ago, and to both of their surprise, it was a rather lucrative and successful arrangement that had been repeated a few times since. However, when Sedulga contacted Jebik and told him he had a job for him with another gun for hire, the bounty hunter knew his benefactor had something, and someone, else in mind for this particular job.

    A short cab ride later, Jebik arrived in the docking Nexus awaiting for the captain of the Scorpio Lightless to arrive. A holo image of the man was sent to the small projector cube he carried on his person and he had studied the man’s face on the way over, taking in all the details. He sat at one of the Nexus’ many, many bars that were just off of the footpaths to and from terminals. The Jawa watched, and waited, for his man to arrive.
    #2 Dervish, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  3. Hangar Cz44 was a tight fit, but Venus put the Lightless down smoother than any flesh, blood, and bone pilot could. The wedge shaped starship glided effortlessly through the magnetic shield that separated Oracle-3's interior from the harsh vacuum of space and touched down on the pad. Robotic and sentient dockworkers advanced on the craft as her engines died and her systems shut down, prepping her for refueling and inspection. The boarding ramp descended, and as Kaivr exited the Lightless he found himself greeted by the scowl of a familiar, carbine-toting Rodian.

    "Weebo," he said cheerily, adjusting his gloves and flashing the green alien a crooked, knifelike smile. He flexed his fingers as he brought his hand to his side, keeping it far enough away from the hand cannon at his hip to put Weebo at ease, but close enough to draw in a heartbeat or faster. "Thrown your lot in with Sedulga?" Kaivr inquired, keeping his tone light and conversational. Weebo grunted an affirmation and stalked off toward the hangar's exit. Kaivr wrinkled his nose and followed, the boarding ramp rising as he stepped off the last step.

    The hangar's exit was a multi-locked progression of doors which protected the station in the event of a magnetic seal failure. The destruction could be catastrophic, otherwise, rather than relegated to a single hangar. Upon crossing the last door and stepping out onto the streets of Oracle-3 proper, Kaivr found what would might as well have been a city, complete with high-rise towers, layers of air lanes, and thousands upon thousands of people. It had a core world aesthetic corrupted by its industrial heritage; neon lights and alt-electrosynth music wrestled with repurposed mining droids and warehouses in the shadow of distant factory complexes.

    A speeder was waiting for the two of them, and Weebo held the door to the enclosed cab open for Kaivr. The gunslinger ducked and slid into the far seat. Weebo followed, and without receiving directions the driver accelerated and lifted off into the air lanes over the city-station. There was a long silence before one of them spoke.

    "People say you killed Koza," Weebo stated, voice dispassionate. Kaivr didn't reply at first, instead taking in the view of Oracle-3 as a bird would, if Oracle-3 had any. It was an incredible sight, much like Coruscant, but somehow dirtier and darker. The station was something like chromium paint smeared over rust. The shiny parts weren't real, and the filth beneath was still there. Or it was a Holonet model between glitterstim hits, sexual, beautiful, and drugged and dangerous all at once. That was Oracle-3.

    "People say a lot of things," he answered, voice far and away.

    "People say I killed Lac Varrow," Weebo said. "They say that because I put four blaster bolts in his chest." Kaivr nodded, understanding.

    "I killed Koza."

    There was a long pause then. A full minute, at least. The silence lasted long enough that Kaivr had begun to suspect that the conversation was over. "Did you need to?" Weebo asked. Isn't that the question.

    "Yes." No. He could have let Koza live. The mission had been over. The Santivex was adrift over Nod Kartha, most of its crew and passengers dead. The Feeorin, Tarav, had already dragged their prey kicking and screaming from the light freighter and onto the gunboat. Kaivr had been on his way back to the ship when he found Koza, propped up against the white paneling of the Santivex's corridor, bleeding out and likely dying. The Klatooinian had said something in his native tongue as Kaivr drew his gun, the same hand cannon he still carried. They had bacta on the gunboat, medpods too, but Kaivr lined up Koza in the slug-thrower's sights. He put a plasma-enveloped tungsten bullet through the Klatooinian's head, splattering the pristine white corridor with blood and brain matter.

    "I'm sorry for your loss," Kaivr said, breaking the long silence between them. They did not speak again before landing.
    #3 Wolves, Jun 14, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2015
  4. Ah, here's our conquering hero now. About damn time. Jebik thought, watching the ship touch down through the viewing window. He paid the bartender for his single drink before hopping off the stool and heading towards the hanger door, where Kaiver would be walking through at any minute. Ten minutes passed, and finally the man he was sent to collect was arriving. What came through the door, however, were a family of Ithorians and their stewards. Jebik's eye twitched. This was most certainly not Kaiver, and it most certainly wasn't Scorpio Lightless. He pressed on into the hanger and approached a human in a pair of workers coveralls inputting data into a terminal. <Wasn't the Scorpio Lightless supposed to be docking here?> Jebik asked, his droid translating.

    The human glanced over, blinked slowly after realizing the person approaching him was a heavily armed Jawa, before turning back to the terminal. He opened a second hologram with a list of all the docks. He pointed to hanger Cz44. "That's where the Lightless was redirected to. Basically, this ship belongs to one of the biggest corporate sponsors for this station and this terminal is most convenient for him getting back to his retreat. Between us, you don't exactly refuse the guy who supplies equipment to most of Oracle-3's security forces."

    Jebik cursed internally. Kaiver, according to the hologram, was long docked and could have been well into the bowels of the station by now. He'd never find him by searching for him or following him. He just hoped he knew how to make his way to Sedulga's stronghold because things were going to get awkward for both of them if one arrived without the other. He thanked the hanger attendant and headed back to the nexus to call another cab. What a waste of credits. he thought, waiting in a veritable sea of bodies he had to push in front of just to see. Not for the first time, and certainly not the last time, Jebik imagined taking a vibro sword and cutting everyone down around the knees to bring them all closer to his height. He paused for reflection and remembered that their screaming and wailing would be insufferable. After what seemed like an eternity, the cab arrived to save him from his macabre thoughts and he managed to press on before somebody else could take it from him. Even at one meter in height, few people argued with heavily armed individuals. The door closed automatically as he sit down and after transferring the required credits to the terminal, the automated car shot off through the Oracle-3 skyline at a record pace.

    15 minutes later, he was as close to Sedulga's stronghold as he was getting. He departed, moving towards his employer's fortress at a brisk walk. With any luck, he'd be able to head his quarry off and actually meet the man he was supposed to.
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