Era of Rebellion - Navigation


Josh Barton and Christopher Levy.

Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:5:2) in the Brentaal system: Brentaal IV (Cormond: Spaceport) and Heretic's Avenger.
Commander Derek Atio and Jane Minersha.

Derek Atio waited impatiently in remnants of the Brentaal spaceport, standing next to a patrol of the Ringali Shell Security Force. Obviously local security had taken a renewed interest in protecting the facility ... after it had been bombed. His Alderaanian diplomatic credentials no longer useful due to the planet's destruction ... the Tetan male nervously shifted as he waited for the smuggler from the other day. His eyes darted down to his wrist chromoter and he noted she was already running a little late. He could feel the eyes of the local security upon him, and thus he began moving away from them and towards a small bar where he ordered a Corellian Ale from the droid. "Where is she..." he muttered under his breath to no one in particular, as he took that first, refreshing sip of the ale.

"How much?!" Jane asked the stupid looking spaceport orbital traffic official. She knew she was late, and so she sped up her descent, but was caught quickly by the local planetary flatfoots. She had landed, but at a different landing pad than she wanted. it was a few hundred meters away from where she should have landed. The official simply pointed to the 400 credit fine on the ticket, and she grumbled something under her breath as she gave him the thumbprint signature, as well as handed over the 400 credits in eight bills of 50 each to him. It was always useful to have some hard currency. The officer thanked her and got back into the small Z-95 patrol fighter as she stomped back into her ship. Raising the foot ramp she cursed aloud, and her droids gave her a wide berth as she got to the secondary cargo hold. Lowering the ramp, she pulled on a helmet and hopped onto the seat of her quite small landspeeder. It only carried one comfortably, and wasn't that powerful, but it was a hell of a lot better than walking.She checked to see that her blasters were secured, that she was wearing all of her standard attire, and told Sprocket to lock up until she came back. "Greedy good for nothing flatfoots." she mumbled before she took off towards the meeting spot. Arriving not too long afterwards, she looked around for Derek as she parked her bike and simply hovered. She loved spaceport cities, they reminded her of home on Corellia.

Derek finished the last of his first Corellian ale and placed the empty glass on the bar top as he heard the speeder approaching. He watched as a bunch of individuals awaiting transport had to dodge away from the reckless driver and he scoffed, wondering why they even allowed such people to ride through here. His eyes widened as he watched the rider get off and realized it was the smuggler he had contracted. "Ugh," he groaned as he lowered his head and brought both of his hands up to rub his forehead. Once he had regained his composure he began walking towards her, clearly irritated by her behavior. As he came upon her, his eyes slowly lowered and ran over the course of her body like he was navigating a hyperspace route. He could not quite place what species she was ... perhaps a strange combination of two. "You know ... we're supposed to be avoiding attention ... not attracting it..." he warned her, as his eyes moved towards the three RSSF agents who were eying the duo.

Jane pulled the helmet off and laughed, than looked to the trio of RSSF Agents who were eying them, Gave them a coy wave, then an exaggerated wink, and blew them a red-lipped kiss before laughing again and shutting down the speeder and letting it land softly on its small skids. "You really are paranoid, aintchya?" she poked him in the belly with a fingerless gloved hand as she said that, than hopped off the speeder and shook her head, letting her long white hair spill down over her back and frame her face. Pulling up the seat, she pulled out a canister, unscrewed the top, and took a big drink. Pulling it away, she screwed the top back on and smiled widely. "I love juice!" she said whimsically before replacing the bottle into the under seat compartment. "So whats new big guy?" she said with a big, toothy grin as she looked up at him with her hands clasped behind her back, chest jutting out. To the security people, she probably looked like a niece or a daughter or some familiar relation to the older man.

Derek's left hand clenched into a fist and he frustratingly punched it into the palm of his right hand. He let out a frustrated sigh as he felt the eyes of the security force upon them, and he reached to put his hand upon her shoulder and started ushering her away from the scene. "Stop doing that," he scolded her, as they walked past another security patrol. They were inspecting almost every piece of cargo that was coming into the system now and he felt a great sense of urgency to simply get as far away from them as they could. "You need to keep a low profile or we're both going to end up locked up, tortured, and executed," he warned her quietly as he came to a stop near a holonet terminal. "I have something I need you to do..." he said quietly, as a group of Quarren shuffled past, on their way to a nearby transport. He swallowed nervously as his eyes shifted to her, his left hand coming up to scratch at his eyebrow.

Jane huffed and stuck her tongue out at him. "Oh, you're no fun pops. Besides," she added quieter, now scolding him. "They don't have any reason to stop us. I'm being how I am, you're the one acting like a spooked Bantha!" she got quiet when they stopped at the terminal. 'Why do I do jobs for these guys, they aren't any fun' she thought to herself as she frowned and looked up at him with a sideways glance. "More eggs and bread? Those cooks go though a lot of that." she hoped that whatever he needed would be easy to find, cheap to get, and rewarding to deliver. And above all, Simple. Simple was good.

Derek put his arm around Jane's shoulder, and leaned in close to her, as his eyes looked over the other's moving through the winding corridors of the spaceport. He moved his face towards her, as if he was going to give her a kiss, but instead his face hovered near her ear. "I need you to help me steal a ship's transponder..." he whispered in her ear, as he went over their plan. Since the destruction of Alderaan his shuttle's diplomatic transponder had not worked. If there was no Alderaan ... there were no Alderaanian diplomatic ship. He had to retrieve a new IFF or he would be permanently grounded, he thought to himself, as he pulled away from the smuggler. Was she up to it? he wondered silently, he had sure hoped so. He was behind enemy lines and there were only a few contacts he had developed on this planet so far.

Jane giggled quietly as if he had said something funny. And he did. Steal a transponder? That was akin to ... well ... insanity. Just crazy enough, though, to work. "This may seem like a silly question, but why not get a whole new ship, or get the codes rewritten?" she asked, and before he responded she added. "I don't mind helping you out though. Any one particular vessel you had in mind? Choosing can be hard sometimes." she said with a nod. her tone was quiet like his had been.

"I like my ship ... we, uh, have a long history together..." Derek replied as he reminisced about the old Sigma-class shuttle that he had been laboring around the galaxy with for nearly the past year. He looked down, scuffing his booted foot against the duracrete surface of the spaceport. "A Sector Ranger ship..." he said very quietly, his eyes immediately darting around to see if anyone had heard what he said. It seemed they had not, and with that he felt a sense of relief. The Sector Rangers had fallen under the heel of the Galactic Empire like most of the security forces in the galaxy, but nevertheless there was still some flexibility and he felt if he could get one of their transponders he could successfully dupe the Empire and customs long enough to make a few supply runs to and from the nebula.

"I understand that ... I wouldn't sell off my baby." Jane thought about the technical aspects of what he wanted to do. It would be tricky managing to get the transponder without anyone noticing, and even more tricky to move it. she chewed her lip a bit and grinne. "I have a better idea. Why don't we just download the codes and rewrite your transponder with them? Its a whole lot easier than trying to lug around a piece of disconnected gear, and people will notice a missing transponder." she looked up at him. "Whaddya think?"

Derek shifted nervously as a group of RSSF agents walked past them again with their scanning devices. Clearly the locals were scooped in the wake of the recent bombing, which he was particularly annoyed with himself ... the civilian deaths had been catastrophic and it would be a long while before the Rebellion could gain control of the public relations battle. "If we just do that ... won't there be two ships in the system with the same codes?" he theorized, still talking in a hushed tone so that their conversation would not be heard. "How about you and I take a trip to the Outer Rim to grab the codes if that's how you want to play it?" he asked, as he feared the prospect of spending time like that with this young woman who seemed to attract far too much attention for his liking.

Jane did not pay much more attention to the security agents than a passing glance, than she spoke again when they were gone and he finished. "No, that's just it. We will copy your codes to the other ship, rewriting its codes after we take their codes. No double ships, no hassle. IFF Codes aren't well defended anyway. The main computer usually is the most well protected. other than that, our biggest trouble will be getting in and out unnoticed. But, if you want to go to the outer rim, I'm alright with that too."

Derek swallowed slowly, his throat bulging as he listened to the woman's plan. "It's not the difficulty of getting the codes that troubles me ... it's a local realizing his codes have been switched that does..." he explained, as he began ushering her back towards her rather unique looking speeder. "No, it's the Outer Rim for us..." he said reluctantly as they arrived back where they had started. He dropped down next to her a speeder and gave it a once over, placing a hand upon it to give it a good shake. "Will this thing hold the both of us, or are you going to have to walk?" he asked, in a playful manner, as he rose himself back up to await her response.

Jane went where she was led. He seemed to be relaxing. That was good at least. Shrugging as they both walked to her speeder, she watched him fiddle around with it a bit. It was quite sturdy and she was sure it would meet with his approval. Of course, she was a bit taken aback by his joke? She laughed aloud and put her helmet back on after she pulled her hair back and made it into a quick, tight braid that was loose at the end. "We can both ride it. Hop on!" there 'was' only one seat though, and she grinned like a maniac on the inside. He probably wound enjoy this particular ride.

Derek felt quite embarrassed as he climbed aboard the speeder and sat behind the young woman who was perhaps half his age. He had a bad feeling about this, he thought to himself, as his rough space hands moved forward and wrapped around her waist for support. His body moved closer to hers as he tightened around her and held on for dear life. She would be able to feel his heart beating out of chest and thumping against her back as the combination of the ride and her presence combined to overwhelm the poor man's senses.

When he got on, Jane giggled, pulled her helmet down over her head, and hopped on ... right onto his lap. When she started up the speeder and punched in the security code, she felt him hanging on for dear life. Probably not a bad idea. She was not used to passengers. Since the speeder was pretty well charged and ready to go, she gave it the extra power it needed to lift both of them. She did not go too fast though, maybe fifteen kph so that they would go along with some of the slower traffic and not kill anyone. As the speeder chugged along with its pilot and passenger, she had a grin on her face that would send sane people scampering up trees. After a not too long trip, they arrived at her Matte black ship on the landing platform. "Sprocket, I'm home, Open up!" she said as she turned the speeder to standby mode, and it settled down somewhat hard on its skids. Climbing off quickly she waited for Derek to do the same as the secondary cargo bay door dropped down.

Derek climbed off the speeder slowly and delicately as her close contact and the shaking of the engines had made it quite a difficult experience for him. He shifted his trousers uncomfortably as he looked over her ship. It was much newer and seemed better equipped than the shuttle he was dealing with, but as she worked for profit, and he was merely a Rebel volunteer it was not a fair comparison. Once he had regained his composure he let out a deep sigh and began to follow her towards the ship, and climbed aboard through the secondary cargo bay. "Nice ship. What's she named?" he asked, as he placed a hand on each of his hips and looked around, generally admiring it.

When he got off the speeder, it hovered once again, and she did not notice his little dilemma as she pushed it easily aboard and secured it with straps to the bulkhead and deck with heavy straps. All around the secondary cargo bay was various equipment and tools for repair, refitting, and even some smaller replacement parts. When they were both on board and the ramp sealed itself, the smells of the spaceport town were washed away in a hiss of artificial atmosphere. "Thanks. She's the Heretic's Avenger. She was my dads ship, now I take care of her." she pulled off her helmet and put it in one of six durasteel lockers attached to the bulkhead near the speeder, than tossed the gloves in too before shutting it. "Welcome Aboard ... and watch your step." she said as she went through the small door that led to the T hallway. To her left was an escape pod, to the right was the hall that led to the other side of the ship [with bulkheads and doors between them, all open] The deck was smooth and polished, and as she stepped out, the trio of Insectoid maintenance droids chittered to themselves as they walked along the walls, their 4 magnetic, spider like legs gripping the bulkhead. "Hello, you three!" she said happily, as if greeting children. They chittered to her in response. "Good to hear, we'll be leaving soon, so get to your nest, OK?" they chittered again and began walking quickly towards the small lounge area. that wasn't taken up by her fathers vast modifications. "Sprocket!" she called to the R2 unit that for all intents and purposes was her 'partner'. The ship looked clean, smelled like a workshop, and was worn in just the right places that one could tell it was well broken in and lived in.

Derek was amazed by the amount of clutter that seemed to fill this otherwise well equipped vessel. If he were a more ruthless fellow he might consider eliminating her and stealing it from her corpse, but he was a freedom fighter and such a tactic did not go along with that. "You ever think about sorting this stuff?" he asked, as he gingerly made his way towards the cockpit, doing his best not to trip over the droids or break something ... his body most of all. She was certainly an enigmatic creature and he wondered what exactly he was getting himself into as he finally reached the lounge where she had maneuvered. "Ord Mantell sound like the right spot to look for this?" he asked her, as he took up a seat near the table on port side of the lounge.

"I have my own system." Jane said with a grin as she looked at the so-called 'clutter'. Every bit of it had a use for something. If not for her, than for one of the five droids. The DV4 droid she had salvaged not too long ago was working on the holonet projector, sparks flying out every so often as she ducked into the small galley and sat opposite him, handing him a bottle of purified water. She opened hers and took a few sips. "Ord Mantell sounds good. A little more organized than I'd like. Tatooine is a little too backwater, might not be a ship with a passable transponder."

"How much do you want for this little sightseeing trip?" Derek asked as he leaned back on the chair and kicked his legs up on the table in front of him. A moment later the table collapsed from the weight of his legs and broke apart into three distinct pieces. A shocked look came upon his face as he quickly sat himself up right and looked at the broken piece of furniture. "I'm so sorry..." he said quietly, as he got down on his knees and attempted to see if it could be salvaged. Alas, it did not.

"Well ... maybe...woah! Jabe said as she saw the table break. It was not supposed to do that. "Sprocket! What did you do to the table!" with the standard R2 unit *waow!* sound, Sprocket came zooming into the lounge and bumped into the DV4 that was fixing the holonet projector, which had the surprising effect of fixing it and the thing turning on to local news reports about the recent terrorist bombing, and Sprocket with the DV4 began to approach the table. "You may want to stand back." she said as she stood up and took a step away as the droids began their work. In quick order, the table was now welded onto the deck plates instead of simply bolted down. Sprocket made several noises, and she got a very annoyed look on her face. "Listen, If you need spare parts, I'll buy some. Don't take apart the furniture and use bits from it without asking next time." Sprocket made a sorrowful noise and the DV4 responded. "Don't defend him, he should have asked!" she said before looking back up to Derek. "I'm sorry about this ... they sometimes get a little too overzealous."

"I don't like just sitting here in this seedy spaceport, sweetie," Derek said to her, as he rose from his seat and began looking for the cockpit. "If you're ready ... blast us off this rock before local security comes knocking to make sure we aren't doing anything out of sorts..." he said, as he made his way through the winding corridor towards the cockpit of the ship. This was perhaps the most impressive part of the ship so far, he thought, and despite his inclinations to pilot it ... he realized this was not his ship and made due situating himself in the co-pilot's seat.

"Alright." Jane followed him to the cockpit. The co-pilot's seat was situated above and behind the pilots chair, and it was a rather snug fit. The seat did adjust in two axes though, front, back, up, down. "Just need to make sure not to move too fast ... I don't want another ticket." she slid into her chair, which was just like slipping into a comfortable pair of shoes, or pants. "Sprocket, if you're done with the table, Secure for flight." she said. "Now, Commander ... Don't touch anything." she said as her fingers danced very quickly over the control panels in front of her. On his screen as well as hers, status indicators for the rather unorthodox power distribution setup showed active, with main power being redirected to the Six individual engines that took up most of the aft quarter of the ship. This time, luckily, they all started well within the green. A few more commands to the console and the ship went through its own pre-flight systems check. The cockpit doors hissed shut, as well as all the doors on the rest of the ship. Internal life support kicked in and she keyed up the comlink. "This is the Heretic's Avenger, Landing pad AA-27. Requesting takeoff clearance." she waited for a few moments and than the response came over the cockpit speakers. The voice was female, but artificial. A female droid. from her guess. "Permission granted ... Heretic's Avenger ... proceed on the following course at the designated speed until you reach the ionosphere. Thank you for your patronage." she cut the channel and the navigational computer kicked in. She grabbed the twin flight yolks and pushed a foot pedal as the landing gear retracted and the ship pulled up as she lifted, following the smoothly ascending course out of the atmosphere. Once they were in space they were generally free, and she began punching in the destination.

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