Era of Rebellion - Navigation


Michelle Green and Christopher Levy.

One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:1:16) in the Brentaal system: Brentaal IV (Cormond: The Speakeasy) and Kima.
Reg Collingwood, Oola Dulovic, and Tosha Previn.

Brentaal IV was one of the most significant centers of trade in the Core Worlds, but more importantly there was a Black Sun presence that Reg Collingwood thought he could utilize as one of his next get rich quick schemes. The Kima had traveled to Cormond, the planet's capital city, and the duo of Reg and Oola had traveled the short distance towards The Speakeasy, a legal drinking and gambling establishment that served as a front for the illegal activities of the Black Sun. Reg pulled off his glareshades the moment he walked in, allowing his eyes to adjust to the bright, artificial lights that filled the building to keep everyone wide awake and gambling. "Try and control yourself, Oola," he warned, as he moved deeper into The Speakeasy. As a waitress walked by with a tray of Reactor Cores, he reached out and grabbed one. He sipped from it quickly, before looking around the room, and taking it all in. "I like this place," he said, happily, but hoped all of the excitement would not overwhelm Oola and cause her to get them into trouble.

Oola looked around as she heard the cheering and clapping coming from winners of such a sinful activity such as gambling. Hearing what Reg said about her behaving she rolled her eyes "When have I not controlled myself?" Her ears pinned back against her head as she heard another winner strike it big with winnings her tail draped over her shoulder as she looked around making sure no one would step on it in the crowded area. "Besides what are we doing here anyways?" Oola asked as she watched Reg having a rather pleasant time with the sights and sounds, she crossed her arms over her chest looking at the men and women seeming to enjoy themselves. She like the fact they were so wrapped up in either losing credits or winning to even notice her. She would be on her best behavior if no one caused her any trouble and minded their own business.

Reg made his way through the casino, his hand never leaving Oola's, as he did not want to risk her placing a bet as they navigated the endless array of games with their attractive lights and come-ons. When they were through, they arrived in an area that was set up like an upscale bar and restaurant, filled with an equal assortment of winners and losers either celebrating or commiserating. In the back left corner at a table on a platform that was slightly elevated to give her a commanding view of the entire room was a particularly distinguished looking woman. "That's the one," Reg said to Oola, as he moved through the tables, dodging waitresses and serving droids, before making their way to the table.

Tosha Previn was a sub-lieutenant with the Black Sun, who had been making use of The Speakeasy for her various criminal activities and endless scheming. She was puffing away on a cigarra, and drinking two drinks at once, as she watched the Human with his Amaran in tow approach her table. Well, this was going to be interesting, she thought to herself, as she tossed back another another one of her colorful drinks with an equally colorful name. How she got anything accomplished while drinking as much as she did was a mystery, but nevertheless she seemed to always have a drink in her hand, but still maintained adept control over her Black Sun minions. She said nothing as they moved to the table, always listening before speaking, and patiently waited for them to make whatever pitch they had in mind. It seemed everyday criminals from across the Core came to her table with one scheme after another ... some she sponsored while others she dismissed ... and then there were her favorites that she stole to implement herself.

Oola didn't understand why Reg pulled her a long like some lost child that hand wandered away from her mother as he walked passed the loud colorful slots, she didn't care for any of the loud sounds either so there was no problem her following him, once they reached the bar Oola stepped out from behind Reg and looked at the women he spotted out, she tried not to make a face but it didn't work, her eyebrow arched her nose twitched up. "That's her?" She asked rather unimpressed by the women who seemed to be drinking more of her life away then most anyone else was in the bar. The place was filled with smoke that made it hard fro Oola to see, the smells of the drink that where being severed by the waitresses and droid, as Reg pulled her along she dodged them stepping lightly wherever he lead her till they both were standing in front of the contact she was guessing would help them with their next deal.

Moving to stand next to Reg once more she pulled her hand away from his slowly and fixed her top and brushed her long red bangs to the side of her face so the women could see Oola's full face. Looking at Reg she whispered "I know let you do all the talking, if she says anything about me just let it go in one ear and out the other, I got it before you even have to say it." Oola told him as she took a deep breath in. She started to wonder if the women would have the decency to keep her mouth shut and only talk business instead of make unwelcomed comments like so many have in the past.

Reg took a seat at the table, moving his hand in front of his Oola's face to waft away the toxic smoke emanating from Tosha's cigarra. He looked around, making sure that no one could hear their conversation, and then leaned forward to look at her. "I'd like to purchase a few crates of military grade weaponry," he said quietly, keeping his eyes fixated on Tosha's in order to convey his seriousness. "I'm told this was the only place in the region where we could acquire such things," he continued, before leaning back, sitting upright, and staring across at her. He had done this sort-of thing before, but this was the first time he was doing it with Oola at his side, which made him slightly nervous.

Tosha sucked on the end of her cigarra, deeply inhaling the toxic smoke, before blowing it out directly at the mixed species couple that sat across from them. "Interesting," she said, before stubbing out what was left of her cigarra and pushed her drink away. It was time for her to get serious. "I have to say you two don't look like any arms dealers I've seen before," she said, speaking in an exotic, distinctively foreign voice that was different than everyone else in the establishment. She then turned her head to face Oola, her own red hair nearly matching the color of her fur, and arched a single eyebrow at her. "I have to say, I think you would look absolutely lovely draped over my shoulder," she said, as she reached across the table, attempting to pet at her fur. "The weapons for the Amaran?" she suggested to Reg, but her eyes were decidedly on Oola.

Standing quietly next to Reg Oola kept her head down and eye contact away from the women who he was speaking with, once the woman's attention moved towards Oola she looked up and started to slowly back away from the women's reach, she didn't snarl, or snap just backed slightly behind Reg so she couldn't be touched. Hiding behind Regs Oola's heart raced inside of her chest with fear, would he traded her for the weapons or would he try to think of something else to get what they needed. Swallowing hard the small Amaran remained planted behind Reg, the only thing that anyone was able to see was her long tail.

She was biting on her bottom lip hard as she prayed Reg wouldn't do this to her that he would be the person she thought he was, the kind of person who she seen in the past. Peeking from over his shoulder Oola's green hues glared at the women who had offered the deal to him, she wanted nothing more than to bite her hand from off her wrist that tired to even touch her, she was doing everything in her power not to make a fuss or a mess of everything. Holding her head up she looked at the women as they both waited for what Reg had to say. Thought her hands lightly rested on the back of Reg, her claws were digging into his back slightly.

Reg had to quickly clench his jaw to keep from screaming in an embarrassing outburst as Oola dug her claws into the small of his back when Tosha made her inappropriate comments. "Oola is not for sale," he said, confidently, as he leaned forward across the table once again to emphasize his point. "I'm afraid you'll have to settle for credits," he said, as he outstretched his arm in front of Oola, pressing her back against her chair, in an effort to maintain himself as a buffer between the two women. "Credits," he said again, this time louder, to make sure she understood that she could *not* have his Oola. Was this going to be a problem everywhere they went? He wondered silently to himself, as his eyes rolled slightly towards his Amaran companion. Was her fur really that valuable? He questioned, moving his hand gently across some of her exposed fur to feel for himself. Perhaps it was.

Tosha let out a sigh, like a spoiled brat who had just been told 'no'. She rolled her eyes at both of them, moving to her silver cigarra case. In an instant she had a fresh one purchased between her lips, and she lit one, taking a quick puff in a huff. "Oh you're still here?" she said, after a few silent moments, as she dealt with her private outrage concerning their rejection of her rather reasonable proposal to trade weapons for the Amaran. After all, weapons were decidedly more useful and profitable than a single Amaran who she imagined was not useful at all ... except as a fashion accessory. She considered having her thugs or droids send the duo on their way, but there was still the matter of credits to be made. "I have some crates of old E-5 blaster rifles that haven't been opened since the Clone Wars..." she said, as she took another puff, exhaling a bored plume of toxic smoke skyward. "If you want to buy them ... they're yours ... but begone ... you *bore* me," she muttered, snobbishly, in her devilish foreign tongue, before dismissing them to get back to her drinks and entertainment.

Oola was more than ready to leave, standing to her feet quickly Oola didn't bother thanking the women nor wanted to, she would leave that to Reg slowly the Amaran moved out from the chair and made her way towards the front where Reg and her had entered, she didn't bother paying any attention to the sound this time, her blood was boiling in her veins with the thought her even becoming that *things* pelt, crossing her arms over her chest Oola huffed a little blowing her bangs that had fallen in front of her face as she marched from the bar to where she was standing now. Oola wasn't mad with Reg he saved her from that life once and seemed as if he would always safe her from things that involved someone skinning her, thought her mind flashed to the touch of her fur after he had told that witch no. Slowly her arms fell to her sides as she turned her head slightly to gaze at Reg, sighing softly she knew that her fur was worth so much more than he even knew or realized. What Reg didn't understand or he didn't see was her fur would make him have the easy life if he was to ever give her up to someone like the women they just met with.

With her fur he would never have to make a deal with anyone again, and the credits would just keep on coming if he told them about the village on Naboo. He would make more profit off her one pelt then he had ever made smuggling things in his entire life. Oola knew that since she was very small when the Hutt bought her from the women how ran the house she use to live in, he was going to skin her when she was old enough and sell her fur for as much credits as he wanted to. Sighing softly she forced herself to have a smile.

Reg nodded to the woman, but sensed it was time to leave, and took hold of Oola and began to head away from her table. As they made their way out of the bar area and back through the casino, he stopped at one of the gaming machines, and pulled out a credit chit. "Oh just one," he said to Oola as he stopped, inserting the chit into the machine. He pulled on the lever next to the machine, but he only got two out of the necessary three symbols necessary for a win. Sighing at his bad luck, he continued to head through the casino, and back onto the streets of Cormond. They would return to the Kima and load their cargo and hopefully make enough credits to cover the losses from credits lost to the reconditioning of his apartment back on Talus.

Now loaded with several crates of Clone Wars era E-5 blaster rifles, the Nella 342 light freighter Kima was flying through the Brentaal system. Unfortunately for them, their customer was a Rebel cell located within the Ringali Nebula, and they would need to first bypass the Imperial blockade. In front of them lurked three massive Imperial Star Destroyers, dozens of escort vessels, and hundreds of TIE fighters. His heart was racing as he accelerated the Kima to what he felt was a *casual* speed, not wanting to draw any unwanted attention from the Imperial patrols that were in place to prevent people from doing *exactly* what they were doing. "Be ready to dump the cargo at the first sign of trouble, Oola," he said, as he turned his attention to her in the co-pilot's seat. Shipping illegal arms through an Imperial blockade would surely land them in the spice mines of Kessel, or perhaps even result in their execution. That's to say if they were even captured ... perhaps the Imperial Navy would simply destroy the Kima with both of them involved to save time and the paperwork associated with the Imperial bureaucracy.

Oola didn't bother talking about what had happened back in the bar, what was said and done was behind them now, and as of this moment they both had bigger things to worry about, she didn't want to say anything because if she did their luck would only turn worse as it always did when she pointed something out, so this time Oola remained quiet only nodding her head to Reg's order about dumping the cargo if things turned bad. Remaining in her co-pilot's seat she looked over several datapad to keep her mind off the worst of things, thought her made sure to look at the controls every now and again to make sure things were working smoothly. Swallowing slowly she looked ahead of them as they came closer and closer to the Imperial Star Destroyer, setting the datapad down she looked out at the heavy arms they carried "I heard about these, what they could do to ships, what they have done. Rip a small ship like this in half with just one blow. Head it's nearly impossible to get away from those." Oola said as she pointed towards the TIE fighters.

"When I was in the bazaar back on Nul Hutta a lot of off-worlders talked about the sounds they make, high pitched almost wailing sounds that could shatter glass." Oola said softly as her green hues watched the Imperial ships. "Such a pointless war I think, thought I hear of people called Rebels, one of the off-worlders called them freedom fighters. They fight for those who can't, poor fools don't even win half the time." Oola said crossing one leg over the others while looking at Reg. "Would you fight if you had to?" Oola asked.

"The idea is not to fight, Oola," Reg said, offering her a cocky smile that all smugglers learned at the start of their exploits. "I don't take sides, Oola. I take credits," he said, as his hand moved above his head to the control panel above. He toggled a couple of switches to adjust the sensor sweeps, so that he could monitor the Imperial TIE fighters and picket ships as they approached. "If they scan us there's no way they won't detect those weapons crates," he warned her, as he angled the Kima towards the distant Ringali Nebula. In the distance, through the viewport, the swirling red and purple gases began to grow in their size. That was their destination, but unfortunately an entire Imperial squadron lay between *them* and *it*.

Oola shook her head as Reg smirked at her a little. "Then I guess we should be every quiet and not be spotted or scanned."She said smirking back at Reg, looking head of them she looked at the Nebula and sighed as the Imperial's where blocking them. Sighing softly she looked back at Reg "We'll fly low under them and not make any sudden movements?" She asked in a questioning manner. "I mean if we keep quiet we should be okay right?" Oola asked as her ear dropped down against her head, her tail swayed side-to-side slowly as they slowly move along past the squadron.

A flight of four TIE fighters appeared on the horizon as they were nearing the nebula, and immediately they began to set to work towards scanning the Kima. After a few moments their scanners began to flash red, detecting the cargo of weapons. "Freighter. You are carrying contraband. Follow us to the checkpoint and prepare to be boarded ... or be destroyed," the lead TIE pilot announced over the comm. "Well. That's unfortunate," Reg said to Oola, as his hand began to run over the controls, increasing the freighter to its maximum speed, away from the flight of TIEs and towards the nebula. "Don't dump it ... *yet*," he said to Oola, as he moved his hand to the controls to angle the deflector shields. The forward shields were almost completely lowered, with double power to the rear, as the fighters began to take shots at them. The viewport began to flash brightly, as if they were witnessing lightning strikes, but they were actually impacts by laser blasts impacting the shields.

Oola looked over at Reg as she narrowed her eyes listening to the comm, he was string to get really annoyed with having blocks in there way every time they tried to do something, and yet again she had to open her mouth and bring up being destroyed by the fighters that now wanted to check the weapons that they were carrying. Looking at the back she seen the crates but made she she was ready to dump them when Reg gave her the word to. "Ya know life seemed so much simpler back on Naboo!" She said as the Kima started to take fire from the fighters, she started shake a little in her seat from the blast that hit them. "Stop blowing holes in my ship!" Oola snapped.

The Kima was jolted suddenly by a laser blast that penetrating the shielding and impacted the hull, causing the craft to shake violently. "That was *too* close!" Reg shouted emphatically, as he sent the freighter into a sudden dive in an effort to lose the pursuing fighters. The freighter was no match for the oncoming fighters that were much more maneuverable *and* faster. They were nearing the perimeter of the nebula when another blast struck, causing a burst of coolant in the panel above Oola. The gas began to flow uncontrollably down towards the Amaran, while Reg continued to pilot the Kima to the best of his ability. Imperial capital ships were beginning to close on them, but they were too far out of range to be considered a threat. The real danger was the four TIE fighters that were buzzing around them like insects ... stinging them repeatedly.

Once the coolant burst Oola started to couch as she moved out of her chair quickly doing her best to get away from the gas, "Great now we have this problem too!" She said coughing hard as her tail fanned her face doing the best it could to get the gas away as she moved towards the back grabbing a large box, opening the lid she started to toss pointless objects she would not need for the matter behind her. Finding a patch to cover the panel she quickly ran to the front and placed it on the gaping hole above her seat "If I ever get my hands on them I will pop their heads off their shoulders." She said falling back as she felt another blast hit them. She slid down to the back as she looked up at Reg "Can you *try* to fly a little more straight or wait till I'm sitting down please!" She said crawling toward the cockpit again where she made her way into the co-pilot's seat and strapped herself in looking at Reg.

"If I fly straight we're dead!" Reg said, between grit teeth, as he did his best to pilot the Kima in an erratic pattern to confuse the oncoming TIEs. The shields failed, the hull suffered damage, and the Kima's systems had begun to be affected in a way that made operating the craft more difficult. Despite that, the stars began to fade, and the swirling nebula gases began to fill the viewport ... they had penetrated the Ringali Nebula. The TIEs pursued for a few meters, but soon their sensors stopped responding and they were unable to get a weapons lock. Frustrated, they broke off their attack, allowing the Kima to escape into the depths of the nebula. "Looks like we've made it ... *with* the cargo, but I'm not sure how bad the damage is," he commented, as he began piloting the craft towards the waypoints the Rebel cell had provided him. His eyes darted over the scanners to look at the damage readouts and power distribution ... he might have to charge the Rebels extra for this one.

Oola fell back in her chair breathing fast as she looked at Reg once everything started to settle down, she watched as the nebula seemed to engulf them. "Well I guess this is where my job comes in handy as the co-pilot. And here I thought I wouldn't ever need to be used on this old things and patching things up." She said unstrapping herself from the seat and rose to her feet, even though the firing had stop Oola seemed to be a slight off her balance as she headed towards the back. Grabbing her datapad which had slid from the cockpit to the back she started to look over things in the back making sure there were no leaks of any kind and that the operating systems to the lift was working.

Once she was done with her checks in the back Oola made her way back to the front with Reg as she started to press several buttons that Reg didn't even know what they did. "I need to vent some of the gas that was so kind enough to hit me in the face." She said with a smirk looking over at Reg "Don't worry I know what I'm doing, you just fly that way." She said pointing straight as she continued her checks on the system. "Oh no." She said softly seeing that their was a rather large blast fracture on the hull of the Kima. Looking at Reg she sighed "You want the good news first or the bad?" She asked leaning forward in her seat turning to face him.

Reg engaged the autopilot towards the Rebel waypoint and unfastened his harness, rising from his seat to look towards Oola. "Don't tell me yet," he said to her, his hands shaking from the ordeal of being attacked by the Imperial starfighters. He had never come that close to death in battle before, but thanks to help from Oola and has skilled concentration it seemed as if they would come out on this all right. The Kima had been damaged, but soon they would be at the Rebel base where they could make repairs and, more importantly, get paid. As he left the cockpit, he moved to the recreation area where he opened a small climate controlled container where he produced a bottle of Corellian ale. Popping the top, he took a large swig from the bottle, before sitting down on the couch and raising his legs. Dealing with the Hutts had been problematic for him in the past, but nothing he encountered could compete with the dangers he would face if he continued to tangle with the Galactic Empire. As he lay there, drinking his ale, he debated whether or not this would be a one time mission for them or the start of a new career. He did not like choosing sides, but right now there was only one taking shots at them.

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