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stingerhs 11-27-2006 12:49 AM

MC: AOTE: Fraught With Disappointment
Discussion Thread

Mercenary Crew: Fraught With Disappointment

<Logbook_ Entry>8943-1330-5660</Logbook_Entry>
<Paragraph>The day began fairly normal. We had just arrived at Coruscant to drop off some goods that we had smuggled in. I had been a bit nervous from the start once I found out that we were going to Coruscant for the drop. At least we were doing some honest work. Heh, now there's a thought: smuggling as honest work. Its seems so strange that just ten years ago, I thought of smuggling as an inferior and decrepit method of earning money. Now, I'm just glad that its easier than trying to get access to some derelict Republic Cruiser for no payment whatsoever.</Paragraph>

<Paragraph>Anyway, I had just finished with the file decryption on the data I stole from the Imperial Database. I was so desperate to find any news about Jeez, as much as I know that he wouldn't want me to try. That's just one of the many somewhat odd qualities about the man that I had grown to love those several years ago. Even now, he still has an enigma about him that I can't seem to quite understand; I just know that he's occupied my thoughts ever since I learned that he might yet be alive.</Paragraph>

<Paragraph>I was on to something, though. The files stated rather clearly that Jeez had been transferred to an Imperial Prison shortly after his capture. However, there are several parts of the files that I didn't understand. For one, they had mentioned several times that he had been placed under psychiatric observation, and then, the files also stated that a series of trials had been successful. The missing parts are probably still locked away in the most top secret Imperial Database Files, but now, I certainly have no desire to see them.</Paragraph>

<Paragraph>At any rate, I was excited enough at the prospect of Jeez still being alive that I didn't even give a passing thought as to what the missing pieces of data were. I just knew that I had to be with him again no matter what the cost, even if it meant my own life.</Paragraph>

starmark2k 11-27-2006 07:52 AM

Nic sat on a crate counting the credits that had just been handed over to him in exchange for the Smuggling Job he had just completed. He was waiting for Jack and Jana to get back with the rented speeder as the Twi'lek they dealt with would only do a deal with someone on there own. 'Crimminals are so paranoid.' he jokingly thought 'They think everyone is as dishonest as they are'. As he finished counting and was certain the chips weren't fake and it was the right amount he placed the credits into his pocket.

((OCC @ Stingerhs: Out of curiosity would you prefer Nic, Jack and Jana to returns ASAP or can we have a little fun with the characters.))

stingerhs 11-27-2006 10:06 AM

((that should be okay, but i don't think we need anything terribly prolonged or the like. ;) ))

JasraLantill 11-27-2006 11:46 AM

“So, lemme get this straight, Cloud….” Beryl began, leaning casually against the bulkhead in the Echo’s engineering section. “You want to cannibalise a vital part off of my Headhunter for the Echo?”

“It’s not your Headhunter. And the part is totally shot. Look for yourself.” Cloud held up the engine part for Beryl to see. “I could be the best mechanic in the Galaxy and I still couldn’t fix it. Not without a forge, and chip-sets, and….”

“But it’s only a thruster coupling,” Beryl protested, handing the part back to him. “It’s not absolutely necessary. Especially not for a freighter.”

Cloud frowned. “Not usually, no. But this one also acts as a heatsink for the tertiary thruster control.”

Beryl shrugged indifferently. “So? That’s not absolutely critical either.”

“It is if we want to land.”

Beryl shook her head. “Correction. Land gently.

Cloud sighed. “Fine. Then you tell Jack that he has to do without tertiary thrusters and has to land manually from now on. I’m sure he and Nic’ll both love that.”

Beryl’s mouth twisted wryly. “So, did you ask Jana about buying a new one?”

“She said she had to ask Nic, but she thought she could probably get him to agree to it.”

“Thought she could probably? Well, let’s hope she’ll also think to ask him after he pays us.” Beryl paused for a moment, looking back and forth between Cloud and the damaged coupling. “I dunno, Cloud…,” she said hesitantly. “I use my thrusters quite a bit. All the time, in fact.”

“C’mon, Beryl,” Cloud pleaded. “It’ll take me the better part of the day to install it, and that is assuming that I even get the part. But it’ll only take an hour to take it out of the Headhunter. And it’s the exact same part. Please?” And then he smiled in a most beguiling way.

Beryl let out an exasperated sigh. Even though she thought he was too young for her, she just melted when he smiled like he was smiling now. “Oh, I hate it when you do that.”

Cloud’s smile grew broader.

“Fine. You can have the part. But,” Beryl amended. “I’ll do the work.”

“What? Don’t you trust me?” Cloud said, mockingly hurt.

“I trust you completely.”

Cloud suddenly frowned. “Oh no. You’re not thinking of wiring your thrusters through the main…. Forget it,” he said, shaking his head. “I don’t even want to know.”

Beryl grinned. “No, you don’t. And, no one else does either unless they plan on taking the Headhunter for a ride.”

Beryl grabbed up the toolbox by Cloud’s feet, and left engineering for the hanger bay.

Once there, she pulled up a crate to lay the toolbox on, then opened up the maintenance panel underneath the engine and got to work. It wasn’t difficult to remove the coupling shield—only four bolts and a single weldpoint—but it was very fiddly to get to. Lots of small components were in her way, and they all had to come out first. She worked quickly, and soon there was a stack of parts, each lined up on the hanger floor, and one thrusters coupling in her hand.

With little ceremony, she took it back up to engineering and gave it to Cloud, then headed back down to the hanger to finish putting the Headhunter back together before either Nic or Jana came back. She let out a sigh before getting to work. Hopefully, Jana would manage to procure the part, and then Beryl could undo any hotwiring and put the ship back together properly.

Writer 11-27-2006 05:21 PM

While Jack waited outside the speeder rental store, Jana stood inside, yelling in some alien language about how poor the quality of the speeder was for such a high price. Finally, they agreed on a price and Jana exited.

"We're in that one," she told Jack, pointing to a sleek speeder parked to one side. Then, something caught her eye in the next store over. Pointing to the swoop bike in the window she said, "Hey, Jack, ain't that the swoop bike Beryl's got plastered all over her walls?"

She approached, just close enough to see the price. "Oh, damn..." she muttered. "It's on sale! Jack, whatever you do, don't tell her it's here. She'd go nuts!"

Shaking it off, she headed back toward the speeder they rented. "Let's get back to Nic. And remember... not a word of that bike to Beryl."

steven 11-27-2006 05:28 PM

Jack looked at the shop "Why not? It's not us she'll be bugging... It'll be Nic," He joked "It wouldn't make a difference. This shop advertises on the holonet channel that Beryl likes." Jack said getting into the speeder "She'll see it and will want it. I'm sure of it."

Writer 11-27-2006 05:49 PM

Jana grunted. "Well, if Beryl buys that bike, Nic will end up bugging me!" she protested. "I just hope Beryl ain't on the holonet while we're away..."

She slipped into the speeder they'd rented, sliding over to let Jack into the driver's seat. Then, she watched as he flicked it on. "Hey!" she muttered, gesturing to an odd bank of controls. "What's that?"

steven 11-27-2006 05:53 PM

"Not sure," Jack said "Only one way to find out." Jack pressed one of the controlls and instantally and the bonit lifted up "What the...?" He then looked in a glass reflection and saw that the bonit was revealing what seemed to be a "Rocket Launcher!"

Writer 11-27-2006 05:57 PM

Jana gasped. "Oh, hell!" she hissed. "Think of what the Imps would think if they saw this! Or worse if Nic saw it." Quickly, she gestured to the controls. "Put that thing away, Jack!"

steven 11-27-2006 06:00 PM

Jack sighed and pressed the same butten only to reveale a hidden turret in the back "What!? How in Vaders name did he get that in the back?"

Writer 11-27-2006 06:14 PM

Increasingly panicked, Jana hissed, "Weapons gone! Weapons gone!" She punched one of the buttons and the computer announced, "Rocket armed."

"No!" Jana gasped. She punched a few more buttons and the rocket launcher and turret folded back into the body of the speeder. "Rocket disarmed. Weapons disengaged."

Muttering a string of alien curses, Jana leaned back in her seat. "Damn crazy speeder," she muttered.

stingerhs 11-28-2006 01:29 AM

Ryshana opened her eyes and sighed aloud to herself. She had spent the last hour trying to meditate, but it wasn't coming easily with her mind already occupied. Since she had finally decrypted the files on the datapad, Ryshana couldn't help but to think about Jeez whenever she was alone.

Smiling to herself, Ryshana knew that Jeez would've scolded her slightly for thinking about him so much. "If our love is going to get in the way of the Force, then it would be best if we didn't love each other at all," Jeez had once told her just before a critical mission back on Felucia. The problem was that most of her thoughts about Jeez centered on the way they had left each other. Jeez had sacrificed himself for her, and although she had wanted so much to help him, even if it meant her death, Jeez had ensured that she couldn't.

It was a part of Jeez that puzzled Ryshana just as much as she understood it. Jeez was incredibly unorthodox when it came to the teachings of the Jedi Order, but at the same time, he was also one of the Order's most loyal Jedi. He followed the creed that the end is more important than the process required to reach the end. And when it came down to Ryshana first coming to realize that she loved Jeez, she remembered one of his most unorthodox statements ever: "Love is not something to be feared between two Jedi. Love is not a self-serving entity; instead, love's own method of binding requires a degree of selflessness that is unparalleled to anything in this Galaxy, even the harshest of the Jedi teachings."

A tear slowly began to form at the corner of her eye as she remembered the first time that he told her that, and she knew that it was the reason why he had been willing to give his life to ensure that she could live. The only problem now was that she ached on the inside for any opportunity for her to give back to Jeez what he had given her in that moment.

Sighing to herself yet again, Ryshana decided that the best way to clear her mind would be to do something physical. Standing up, Ryshana grabbed her lightsaber on the way out of her quarters. Heading down to the cargo bay, Ryshana caught sight of Beryl doing something to the Headhunter. That reminded her of something Ryshana had slowly began to notice about Beryl. It was something in the Force that she had noticed around Beryl, but she still wasn't quite able to place it.

Without saying anything to Beryl, Ryshana picked out a spot where nothing was going to be in the way, and then she closed her eyes. Trying to clear her mind, Ryshana closed her eyes and breathed in deeply. Activating her lightsaber, Ryshana then began to perform a number of different exercises that resembled fighting techniques. If anybody was watching, they might have assumed that Ryshana was fighting imaginary people, and actually, it wasn't far from the truth.

JasraLantill 11-28-2006 02:01 AM

Her head half-buried inside the guts of the Headhunter engine, Beryl was engrossed in a struggle with a uncooperative vibrospanner when she realised that she wasn't alone in the hanger bay. Ryshana had arrived, and when the telltale sound of her lightsaber activated, Beryl peeked out to see what she was doing, trying to be non-chalant about it of course.

She watched for a moment, recording the order of Ryshana's graceful moves as she sliced and parried at invisible targets with the elegant weapon. Beryl hadn't been that graceful when she had tried to 'use' the lightsaber when Ryshana had been recovering from their Rhea encounter, and now she suddenly realised something. No wonder Ryshana seemed a bit upset when she found out I'd been playing with it, thought Beryl. Even after I apologised. She's a part of it when she's using it. It's personal.

Before Ryshana could catch her gaze, Beryl turned back to the engine. And I bet she never accidently cut through a stair when she was learning either.

"There's a training drone in the maintenace crate," Beryl said to Ryshana over her shoulder. "In case you want a solid opponent."

stingerhs 11-28-2006 02:22 AM

For a moment, Ryshana didn't respond to Beryl at all, but it wasn't out of ignorance: she was just completing a move. With a twirl around, Ryshana brought the saber to bear in front of her face, and then she twitched the blade downward and deactivated the saber in one smooth motion. "Thanks, but I'm alright without it. I've just had some trouble trying to clear my head, and exercise is always an excellent method for such problems," Ryshana stated.

"Well, at least when it comes to my own issues, anyway. Staying focused is something that hasn't come easy over the past couple of months," Ryshana stated more or less to herself than necessarily to Beryl. Walking over to where Beryl was, Ryshana looked up to catch a glance at what she was doing.

"That's a lot of parts to get out of the way for something. Hmm, looks like your putting things back together more so than taking it apart. Sacrificing parts for the Echo again?"

JasraLantill 11-28-2006 06:06 AM

"Thanks, but I'm alright without it. I've just had some trouble trying to clear my head, and exercise is always an excellent method for such problems," Ryshana stated. "Well, at least when it comes to my own issues, anyway. Staying focused is something that hasn't come easy over the past couple of months," Ryshana stated more or less to herself than necessarily to Beryl.

"Yeah, I'm the same," Beryl commented, her voice echoing in the engine compartment as she kept on working. "Doing something physical is always a good way to clear my head, too. That's why I don't mind doing the maintenance on this baby. It's sort of... relaxing. And, you're right--the last few months have been, well, weird, for lack of a better word."

As Ryshana began to approach, Beryl used her foot to drag one of the larger parts that was in the way of Ryshana's projected path to the Headhunter, although there was no way she could have possibly seen which path around the side of the Headhunter Ryshana was taking.

"That's a lot of parts to get out of the way for something," said Ryshana. "Hmm, looks like your putting things back together more so than taking it apart. Sacrificing parts for the Echo again?"

"Yeah," Beryl agreed, sighing. "But Cloud gave me those Ewok eyes of his again, and I just caved. This time it's a just a thruster coupling though. Not that big of a deal to add on the tertiary thruster controls to the primaries. Just gives you a bit of a bother if you need to turn. Well, turn in the usual manner, that is. But..." Without even looking, her hand reached down and selected a vibra-joiner from one of the open drawers, followed by a specific, and very tiny o-ring from the jumble of small bits that were just piled into the lid of the toolbox. "'s all the fiddly bits in the way that makes this job a time-consuming nightmare. Damn!" She leaned in a bit further into the engine cavity. "The only hex head in this whole housing and it has to be right there...." Again, without looking, her hand reached down and latched onto a small, specific-sized socket from an apparently unorganised heap of them in the bottom tray of the toolbox. "Crap. Two mils short," Beryl said, more to herself than Ryshana. "Now I need a telescoping vibra-joiner..." Beryl's hand came down again, reaching for the tool that rested on the edge of the wheeled table that the toolbox was perched on.

stingerhs 11-28-2006 11:52 AM

As Beryl was working, Ryshana studied her intensely, although Beryl would have no way of knowing it. Her movements were incredibly precise and accurate even if she didn't have her attention complete focused on everything at once. It was a classic indicator that Ryshana recognized by instinct.

As Beryl reached for parts, Ryshana watched Beryl pick things up without even looking, and there wasn't any feeling around for anything: she just naturally reached down and picked things up as if she had seen them. For most people, it would be something that is relatively remarkable to see, but for Ryshana, it was something she had only seen herself and other Jedi do.

However, Ryshana still wanted to see if Beryl's abilities could be extended further. As Beryl reached for the vibra-joiner, Ryshana very subtlely used the Force to move the tool just outside of Beryl's reach.

JasraLantill 11-28-2006 05:35 PM

Beryl reached for the telescoping vibra joiner, but instead of her fingers grasping the handle, the tool was just centimetres out of her reach.

Huh? thought Beryl. I thought for sure it was....

To the untrained eye it must have appeared that Beryl must have just stretched her fingers that much further to reach the tool. But, even though Beryl herself was seemingly unaware of it, it was in fact the tool that moved to brush up against her fingertips—and all in one instantaneous and fluid motion.

Ah. It is.

"You know," Beryl continued casually to Ryshana while she worked. "If the... kriffin' designers at Incom had anticipated someone doing this sort of custom mod..."

She reached for another part without looking and began to install it.

"...which they should have, because everyone knows that pilots like to customise their ships..."

A couple more parts and a tool swap.

"...they could have just turned the acutator the other way 'round, and there would have been plenty of room to work in here. But, no-oooo...

"One of the bantha brains who designed this baby, is the very same bastard that designed the TIE, which in my opinion is the biggest piece of Dianoga dung out there to fly….” She paused to duck down and look at Ryshana directly.

“You know who I’m talking about, right? Raith Sienar.” She went back to work. “Biggest traitor that ever roamed the Galaxy," she continued. “Got himself employed under false names for both CEC and Incom, and probably a bunch of other companies, too, and then…”

She paused and came out of the engine space, then wiped her brow with the back of her hand. “And then he took whatever secrets he could swipe from all of them, and went to work for his father at Sienar.”

Except for replacing the access cover, the job was done. What would have taken any other engineer, with the exception of Cloud, at least an hour to accomplish, Beryl had done in less than half the time. And she appeared totally indifferent about it.

Beryl motioned for Ryshana to move out of the way before she lifted up the cover and set it into place. Balancing it on her shoulder, she began to attach it with the fractional welder.

“And, if that's not bad enough,” she said as she worked, “later, when the Emperor took control, Raith started up Sienar Fleet Systems--with a big, fat, and exclusive Imperial contract. Bastard. I’ve no doubt there was some double-dealing behind closed doors for that one.”

Cover attached, Beryl stood back and surveyed the ship with her eyes. Satisfied, she began to put the tools away. “Sorry,” she said, as she closed up the toolbox. “Didn’t mean to sound so bitter.” She looked at Ryshana. “Incom cut its workforce because of the loss of those contracts. That’s why I lost my job.” Beryl gave Ryshana a weak smile. “No need for test pilots when there isn’t anything new to test.”

She checked her chronometer. “I’m going to grab something to eat and see if I can catch the last bit of “Repulsorlift Review” on the Holonet. You hungry?”

Writer 11-28-2006 06:57 PM

Nearly a half an hour after she and Jack had been sent to get the speeder, they returned to where Nic was.

"Nice speeder, huh, Nic?" Jana grinned. Then, she gestured to the odd bank of controls. "Just don't touch those... rocket launcher and turret compacted into the body of this sleek baby... don't ask me how or why..."

She slid out of the speeder to help Nic lift the crate into the speeder. As she got back in, she said, "Oh, Nic, I just remembered.... Cloud said we need a new thruster coupling. Here on Coruscant, it'll easily cost 200, but he insists we need it."

stingerhs 11-29-2006 12:56 AM

As Beryl reached for the tool, Ryshana let go of the tool with the Force to see what would happen. As Beryl pulled the tool towards her, Ryshana smiled a bit to herself. You won't be able to hide it for much longer, Ryshana thought.

As Beryl started talking about Raith, she casually shook her head a bit. She was definitely rather passionate about this sort of thing compared to Ryshana. Ryshana always had an eye for quality when it came to fighters and speeders, but she didn't have the eye for detail like Beryl did. Ryshana was an experienced mechanic and could easily pass as a ship's engineer if she had to, but she certainly wasn't as good as Beryl or Cloud.

“I’m going to grab something to eat and see if I can catch the last bit of “Repulsorlift Review” on the Holonet. You hungry?” Beryl asked.

At the mention of food, Ryshana finally noticed that she was downright hungry. Thinking for a second, Ryshana couldn't even remember the last time she had eaten over the past couple of days as she had suppressed the hunger pains with the Force.

"Actually, I'm famished. Do you want to cook, or do you want to see if I can whip something up?" Ryshana asked.

JasraLantill 11-29-2006 01:59 AM

Beryl grinned broadly at Ryshana's offer. "You can cook if you want to," she said as the two of them headed up the ladder to the upper deck. "I really don't mind cooking, but food always tastes better when you don't have to cook it yourself, so I'm certainly not going to turn down anyone else's offer to do it instead. Well," she added, "anyone else except Oliver. I think he was trying to drum up business with that last meal of his."

"I heard that!" Oliver's voice echoed down through the corridor from the common room. "And it wasn't my fault that it came out a bit... crispy!

Beryl chuckled. "Burnt, Oliver," she said as she and Ryshana entered the common room. "The word is 'burnt.'"

Oliver looked up from his datapad. "Burnt? Burnt! It wasn't burnt. It was 'char-grilled.' Okay?"

Beryl nodded in acquiescence. "Fine. Although I think I'll pass the next time your "char-grilled meatloaf" is on the menu." Beryl turned on the holonet monitor. Her programme was still on, but it was the advertising period.

"I love this show," Beryl said as she sank down comfortably in one of the chairs. "They give all the latest reviews on all the new speeders and bikes and...." Suddenly, in the middle of an ad for a Corusanti swoop bike dealership, she sat bolt upright. "Son of a murglak!" She pointed to the screen which was showing a very sporty, very expensive model of swoop bike--the one she had been wanting for a very long time. "It's on special offer!"

"... limited edition, Mobquet-Zephyr Custom Hybrid!," the obnoxious ad announcer shouted as pictures and video of the swoop bike flashed across the screen. "Satisfy your need for speed with a Mobquet G3-I repulsorlift engine that goes zero to 200 in 2.8 seconds! And with bi-directional thrust nozzles, duel chamber turbo thrusters, and dallorian-alloy engine covers all standard, this model screams high quality and performance! Buy now, and metallic Supernova Red and Krayt-dragon leather seat are at no extra charge! So hurry on down! At these prices, they won't last forever!"

Rubbing her hands together, she smiled and said definitively, "When Jana and Nic get back, and we get paid, I'm going shopping."

Oliver laughed out loud, as the sale price of the bike flashed on the screen. "I know you don't get paid more than me," Oliver said to her. "And I certainly couldn't afford 8000 credits."

"I've got money saved up," Beryl said.

"8000 credits worth? C'mon! I've seen you spend your credits. And there is no way you've saved up that much."

Beryl bit her lip. "I've got a trust fund. For emergencies," she added quietly.

"I would hardly call wanting to buy a swoop bike for recreational purposes an emergency."

"It's not just a swoop bike, Oliver. It's a limited edition Mobquet-Zephyr Custom Hybrid."

"Still not an emergency. Even if it does come in Supernova Red," he added.

"When it's a third off it's normal price, Oliver, it's an emergency," Beryl countered. "Droyk, you're beginning to sound like Rayne..." she complained. "I'm buying it. Besides, if we ever get someplace where there's a swoop circuit, I can race it and earn enough creds to replace what I take out from the trust. So, no one will know I took creds out in the first place. No harm, no foul, right?"

"That's assuming that you'll win. What if you don't?" Oliver asked.

Beryl snorted haughtily. "A few engine tweaks and I can have that bike going zero to 300 in 2.8 seconds. Of course I'll win."

((OOC:Stingerhs--this would be a good time to suggest a card game after their meal, to keep Beryl's mind of the bike while they wait for Nic, Jana, and Jack to return. :) (Perhaps Ryshana would like to win some spending money and then go with Beryl into the city?) ;) ))

stingerhs 11-29-2006 10:40 AM

"You can cook if you want to," Beryl said as the two of them headed up the ladder to the upper deck. "I really don't mind cooking, but food always tastes better when you don't have to cook it yourself, so I'm certainly not going to turn down anyone else's offer to do it instead. Well," she added, "anyone else except Oliver. I think he was trying to drum up business with that last meal of his."

Ryshana laughed a bit at the comment. "I wouldn't worry too much: I've got ingredients and a bit of know-how. What could possibly go wrong?"

As Beryl and Oliver began to talk about the bike, Ryshana went into the supplies and started to gather what she needed. Wanting something simple, Ryshana grabbed the Virgin Hursti Oil, a couple of vegetables, a couple of eggs, and finally some Yossf Bird. Pulling out the frying pan, Ryshana went to work on a quick stir fry.

That's assuming that you'll win. What if you don't?" Oliver asked.

Beryl snorted haughtily. "A few engine tweaks and I can have that bike going zero to 300 in 2.8 seconds. Of course I'll win."

Ryshana shook her head a bit as she started to cut up some of the Yossf Bird. "You know, Beryl, I'd always thought it be a mechanics dream to build their own swoop bike from the ground up and then race it. Besides, what's a swoop bike worth these days? I thought the big thing now was pod racing."

((i'll get around to asking her in just a bit. just trying to strike up some conversation that'll lead into it. ;) ))

JasraLantill 11-29-2006 11:12 AM

Beryl cocked an eyebrow. "Pod racing?" she said incredulously. "Yeah, I suppose it's a sport generally more popular with the masses," she agreed. "And there's plenty money in it if you know where to bet, but it just doesn't have the prestige that swoop racing has."

"Prestige?" It was Oliver's turn to be haughty. "Snobbery. The word is snobbery, Beryl."

Beryl cocked her other eyebrow. "Are you saying I'm a snob?"

Oliver looked upwards in thought. "Hmm... let's see... trust fund, limited edition prestigious swoop bikes, food critic...." He met her gaze. "Erm, yeah."

Beryl's eyes widened in surprise. "Okay, okay!" she said defensively. "I take back what I said about your meatloaf."

Oliver smiled with satisfaction.

"But I stand by what I said about the pod racing. It's popular, yeah, and fast, definitely, but I've never done it before." Her expression darkened a bit. "Knew someone who did once, but that was a while ago. Anyway, I feel more comfortable betting on swoops than pods. I can usually tell who the good riders are just by looking at them. It's harder for me to tell with pod racers. Maybe 'cause hardly any of them are human, no offense, Ryshana," she added quickly, "but it's just harder. I choose Sabacc tables at casinos the same way," she added. "Just sort of figure out who'd be a good bluffer or a bad one before I sit down to play." The aroma from the galley wafted under Beryl's nose. "Say, something smells good. Where did you learn to cook, Ryshana?"

stingerhs 11-29-2006 11:59 AM

"Actually, it wasn't where: it was when. During the Clone Wars, the men I served with quickly started getting tired of the rations we were provided with," Ryshana stated as she stirred the Yossf Bird meat bits in with the Virgin Hursti Oil on the pan. "So, me and another Jedi that I was serving alongside decided that we would start cooking our own meals."

As the meat was cooking, Ryshana started cutting up some of the vegetables. "The first ones didn't turn out so good, but that was mostly because we were trying to make some fairly complicated dishes." Heading back over to the pan, Ryshana then started to stir around the meat so that it would cook evenly.

"So, we started making simple dishes and working our way up from there," she stated as she cracked the first egg and started to stir it in. "After the Clone Wars, I was soon able to find a job on a freighter. Although my official job was to keep track of the cargo we were constantly hauling, the Captain always made sure to tell me that my unofficial job was to be the ship's cook."

As she finished putting in the last of the three eggs, Ryshana started to stir in the vegetables. "There's more to the story than that, but then, its going to get a bit too personal," she stated as the last of the vegetables made it into the pan. Stirring everything together, Ryshana pulled apart some of the meat with the spoon to see if it was done.

"Anyways, what about you and that trust fund you keep talking about. I thought you were a good enough gambler that you didn't need one of those things," Ryshana stated as she used a fork to grab a piece of the meat from the pan to taste it.

starmark2k 11-29-2006 12:55 PM

"Is the ship likly to explode if we don't get it?" Nic said as he put the crate back down and got into the backseat of the speeder.

Writer 11-29-2006 12:59 PM

Jana considered his question and shook her head. "We're more likely to get shook to pieces as we land."

starmark2k 11-29-2006 01:15 PM

"How many Pieces?" Nic asked as he turned to Jack. "Hey let's get a drink before we head back to Echo.

steven 11-29-2006 01:41 PM

"Never turn to chance to get drunk," Replied Jack, who had his eye's set on a certain building, to the other's it seemed like any ordinary building, but to Jack it wasn't.

Writer 11-29-2006 02:21 PM

"There could be bits of sharp metal involved," Jana told Nic. "Could get stabbed an' stuff... like with sharp little shippy knife-bits." She shook her head. "If you ask me, that's worse than exploding... much more painful."

starmark2k 11-29-2006 02:30 PM

"Alright we'll buy that part... after we get a drink." Nic replied taking the credits out of his pocket and handing 200 credit over to Jana.

Writer 11-29-2006 02:34 PM

Jana grinned. "Now when ordering a drink," she said, "there's only one question to ask... is the Corellian Ale imported or did they try to make it themselves?" She pointed to a sign on a nearby bar and said, "This is a quality establishment!"

The sign read: 'Corellian Ale imported from Corellia weekly!'

JasraLantill 11-29-2006 04:57 PM

“I’m not saying that I don’t win a fair amount when I play, but to take up a career as a professional gambler?” She looked around the room. As far as ship’s went, the Echo’s furnishings and decor were pretty standard. No opulent fabrics, fancy storage units, or highly polished surfaces —a testament to Nic’s frugality. Beryl grinned. “And give up all this?”

Still grinning, she shook her head in answer to her own question. “The trust fund is just a safety net set up by my dad, when I was working for him at CEC testing the new CR-90 Corvette series cruisers. Not the most exciting job, I must admit, but….” She paused for a moment. “Anyway, guess he thought I was a bit too reckless with money or something. Which I’m not, by the way,” she quickly pointed out. “But neither was I ‘saving for my future’.” At this she rolled her eyes. “So, he set up this fund for me. Didn’t find out about it until he died. And,” she continued after a long sigh, “that sort of caused some problems between me and my mother. She’s a co-signer of the account until either she dies or I get married and have a family.” At this she snorted sarcastically. “Like either one of those things are going to happen anytime soon.” Beryl then donned a mischievous grin. “But fortunately for me, and unknown to my mother, I know her transactor code. And, even more fortunate, she has the statements sent to Rayne, because she can’t be bothered by them. And he doesn’t mind if I use it, as long as it’s for ‘emergencies.’”

Beryl tried to peer over the countertop to see the dish Ryshana was putting the finishing touches on. "That ready yet?"

Writer 11-29-2006 05:13 PM

As the trio approached the bar, Jana caught the name and her eyes widened. "Corellian Pride Cantina," she said, gesturing to the sign. "You two are lucky I'm with you or you'd not get in."

She continued toward the door. "Corellian Pride is a cantina chain run by Corellian Merchants' Guild. Only members and their friends can get in and I," she grinned, "am a member. The CMG is quite a useful thing to be a part of... so my dad always told me. And I've found it quite useful too. In CMG spots such as this cantina, I, being Corellian can get many services we might find useful... information, trade contacts, repair facilities, messaging, financial services..."

She entered the cantina and was promptly scanned. The scanner beeped. "Pureblood Corellian." A cheer went up around the establishment. Then, Nic and Jack stepped in and the place fell silent again. The scanner observed them both and buzzed. "No traces of Corellian."

"They're with me," Jana called out. "Damn good crew, they are too!"

Laughter echoed through the cantina and the men were allowed in, following Jana to the bar.

"I see your Corellian Ale's imported weekly," Jana said to the bartender. He nodded and beamed.

"Just got a fresh shipment this morning," he announced proudly.

"I'll take one," Jana ordered. Then, she turned to Nic and Jack. "And what'll the two of you be having?"

"Orders are on the house," the bartender told them. "You two are in the company of a pureblood Corellian... we ain't had a pureblood in here in months!"

steven 11-29-2006 05:25 PM

Great, an Corellian only cantina. Jack thought to himself as they approced.
"You two are lucky I'm with you or you'd not get in." Jack heard Jana say, he simply replied with a usually sarcastic coment.
"Well I'm going to have to thank my lucky stars." Jack said before drowning out Jana's proud to be Corellian speace and walked into the bar. She got scanned, people cheered. Jack and Nic got scanned, "No traces of Corellian."
"Shocking isn't it, after all I do look like the average Corellian, don't I." He replied.

"They're with me," Jana called out. "Damn good crew, they are too!"
Laughter echoed through the cantina and Jack turned to Nic to wisper 'Am I the only one who didn't find that funny?' The two men were allowed in and they followed Jana to the bar.

Jana began talking about Ahle, again Jack droaned her chit-chat out and only respouded when Jana asked what they'd like.

"Orders are on the house," the bartender told them. "You two are in the company of a pureblood Corellian... we ain't had a pureblood in here in months!"

"Seriously? Here? No purebloody Corellian. Now that's surprising, espically since we're on Coruscant, you'd think they'd be more, wouldn't you?" Jack replied sarcastically before saying "I'll have a regular beer, please."

stingerhs 11-29-2006 11:35 PM

Beryl grinned. “And give up all this?”

Ryshana smiled at the comment as she went ahead and popped the piece of meat into her mouth. Chewing slowly, Ryshana savored the flavor as best as she could while listening to Beryl.

Beryl tried to peer over the countertop to see the dish Ryshana was putting the finishing touches on. "That ready yet?"

Turning off the burner and grabbing two plates, Ryshana then said, "It is now." Dealing out the food from the pan in roughly one half, Ryshana handed a plate over to Beryl. "And watch how you chew that Yossf Bird: the oil makes the meat even more tender than it already is." As Ryshana grabbed some utensils, she remembered that she might want to test Beryl's precognitive abilities in addition to the relatively mild test she just gave her with the tool.

As Ryshana joined Beryl at the table with her own set of food, Ryshana then said, "Well, if you are as good of a gambler as you say you are, then get ready. If you're up to it, you might have to pull some money out of that fund to repay me."

JasraLantill 11-30-2006 02:25 AM

Beryl's brow raised. "Are you suggesting a little after-dinner card game?" She glanced over her shoulder to the corridor threshold as if expecting to see Jana suddenly appear with her 'disapproval-of-gambling' look. "For actual credits?" She grinned. "You're on. You sure you can afford it?"

"You sure you can?" Oliver interjected, his head still buried in his datapad. "You know that Jana doesn't approve of gambling."

Beryl gave him a deadpan look. "Yeah, well, Jana isn't here, is she." She eyed him over. "You playing?"

Oliver looked up. "Me?"

"Yeah. You. I've taught you the basics. You're not that bad. You in or what?"

Oliver considered her offer for a moment. "I think I'll sit this one out," he said. "Playing for zorgang nuts is one thing. Playing for actual credits is something else."

Beryl shrugged. "Suit yourself. Well, Ryshana, it looks like it's just you and me then. Any particular game in mind?" She took a bite of food, and an expression of bliss came over her face. "Mmmm...," she said to Ryshana, then swallowed. "This is excellent, by the way. You got to make this again sometime."

starmark2k 11-30-2006 07:31 AM

"Well if they're on the house i'll have an Ithorian Brandy." Nic asked for knowing that it was perhaps one of the most expesive drinks in the house. Ithorian Brandy was considered a delicassy among nobles before the empire and was expensive then but the empie started putting restrictions on trade with non-human worlds so all Alien drink prices spiked up. Ithorian Brandy also has an acquired taste and most people who didn't grow up in wealth never even tasted. "I ain't had one of those in years."

stingerhs 11-30-2006 02:59 PM

Beryl shrugged. "Suit yourself. Well, Ryshana, it looks like it's just you and me then. Any particular game in mind?"

"I was thinking about some Pazaak. I picked up a couple of new side deck cards for my, erm, 'emergency' deck, and I'm wanting to try them out," Ryshana stated as she started to eat.

She took a bite of food, and an expression of bliss came over her face. "Mmmm...," she said to Ryshana, then swallowed. "This is excellent, by the way. You got to make this again sometime."

Smiling, Ryshana said, "Thanks, but I'll have to decline the offer to cook more often: I don't want Nic assigning me the 'cook' position like my last job."

Taking another bite, Ryshana got up. "I'll be right back. I'm gonna go grab my deck."

In less than a minute, Ryshana was back with her deck. "Well, whenever you're ready, let's play some Pazaak."

JasraLantill 11-30-2006 04:01 PM

While Ryshana was away retrieving her side deck, Beryl went to get hers and the main deck from where she kept them in the cupboard in the common room. Returning to the table, she began to shuffle the main deck with all the skill of an experienced high-class casino dealer.

Disturbed by the repetitive fluttering/slapping sound of her shuffling, Oliver looked up from his datapad. "Do you have to shuffle the cards that way?"

"Yes," Beryl said matter-of-factly. "I'm limbering up. Sure you don't want to play?"

"No. I want to read." Oliver let out an irriated sigh, rolled his eyes, then went back to his datapad.

Beryl was still for a moment, watching Oliver, then, just as he was beginning to relax again, she shuffled the cards again, but this time, slowly--just to irritate him.

"Hrmph!" Oliver snorted, and Beryl grinned mischieviously.

Ryshana returned, and Beryl sat the main deck on the table, followed by her side deck. "So, Ryshana, what's the ante? Should we start small, say, at twenty, and work our way up from there? Or are you feeling a bit more adventurous?"

Writer 11-30-2006 06:12 PM

The bartender grinned at Jack and gave him his beer. "Quite the sarcastic wit, you've got," he said. To Jana, he said, "I think I understand why you keep this one around!"

"Oh, he's the best damn pilot in the galaxy!" Jana answered grandly, giggling. "That's why we keep him around. The sarcastic wit's an enjoyable bonus."

"Alright, so what about the other?" the bartender wondered. "With his expensive taste, you'd hope he's useful for something..."

"He's cute," Jana answered. "Not to mention, he's the captain."

The bartender seemed startled for a moment. "Not you?" He frowned and glared down at Nic for a moment. "Does he treat you well? Is he a good captain?"

"Would a pureblood Corellian sail under any but a good captain?" Jana demanded levelly. The bartender's grin returned and he gave Nic his drink.

"Drink up," he encouraged. "You're highly praised, Captain... uh..." He stammered, unsure of Nic's name.

"White," Jana supplied. "But everyone calls him Nic." Shrugging, she pulled out a tiny card and handed it to the bartender. "Is this a mailstop?"

"Sure thing," the bartender answered, taking the little card and scanning it. "Ah! Ms. Jana Vincent. You've got six letters."

"Six?" Jana wondered. The bartender handed her a datapad and she reviewed her 'mailbox'. "Junk, junk, join the Empire, join the Rebels, junk... oh! From Mom!" She opened the one from her mother and read over it quickly. "Aww!" she whined, "they moved! They're in a smaller apartment now... not our lovely little house." Shaking her head, she sighed. "I'm gonna miss that little place."

As she handed the datapad back to the bartender, one of the more intoxicated patrons caught her eye... or more specifically, the striping on his pants caught her eye. "Bloodstripes?" she murmured. Grinning eagerly, she crossed the room to sit with the older man.

"Congratulations, Sir," she said respectfully. "It's an honor to meet you."

"The honor is all's me... mine," the man slurred. "You's pureblooood."

"You're wearing second class bloodstripes!" Jana interrupted. "That's no small feat. What's your name?"

"Na-name?" the man stammered. "Ooh! Uhm... Gavin Tercer."

Jana ran the name through her head and frowned thoughtfully. It wasn't a name she recognized from the small list of men and women who'd earned bloodstripes. Suspiciously, she wondered, "How did you earn your bloodstripes?"

"Earn them?" Gavin Tercer laughed. "Bought them in an antique store here on Coruscant!"

Suspicion was replaced with shock and horror on Jana's face as she stood abruptly. "Petchuck! What in nine Corellian Hells do you think you're doing with them?" She drove a hard, little fist into his face and drew her blaster on him. "Where is that antique store?" she growled. Startled and a little unsure of what was happening, Gavin Tercer told her where the shop was. Satisfied that he was telling the truth, Jana knelt and ripped the bloodstripes from his pants.

"Hey!" he complained. "D'ye know how hard it was to put those on?"

"There's a reason it's so difficult to put them on, yet so easy to take them off," Jana growled. ""A Corellian is entitled to kill any other Corellian wearing bloodstripes without having earned them." Raising her blaster a little to aim at his chest, Jana glared angrily at him and finished, "May your rot in all the hells there ever were!"

The shot of her blaster rang out inside the little cantina, startling the other patrons. They all turned to stare at Jana, who held up the bloodstripes. "He didn't earn them," she explained. As all the others returned to their drinks, Jana crossed the room, bloodstripes still in hand and sat down with Nic and Jack as if nothing had happened.

steven 12-01-2006 11:04 AM

Jack gave Jana a dark look "What the hell did you do that for?"

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