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
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
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
"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
"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.