One of the troopers gave Ara'ala a look that indicated he was in a hurry and a bit impatient. The word that came out of his mouth was "Yeah..." but his eyes added an "obviously! Now would you hurry up!"
"What floor?" asked the other trooper with a smile towards Ara'ala. The Arkanian could tell that he was not in such a hurry.
“Deck N15,” Ara replied, hoping that it, unlike their true destination, was still open to non-Imperial personnel. “Reported leak of Cyanoxis D-587. It’s the stuff that fracks up droid sensors and ocular implants.”
‘Now let’s just hope these berks get off before we get to N14,’ Ara thought as she stood in the lift and returned the stormtroopers’ smile.
“Deck N15,” Ara’ala said smoothly with a sweet smile.
The trooper bit his lip a bit and gave the mechanic a lecherous grin. Pushing the buttons for Deck N15, he continued chatting up the Arkanian, “You been on the Sel long?”
[OOC: Insert reply…]
“Hmmm,” came the man’s reply, his focus on Ara’s slender frame rather than words coming out of her mouth. “Really… Nice.”
The lift came to a sudden stop at the Promenade again, and the stormtroopers got ready to exit. The one “conversing” with Ara’ala gave the woman an invite as he left, “I’m getting off now… I’d like to get off later too, you know what I’m saying. Shift ends in about two hours. Why do you meet us down at Moise’s when you finish up?”
The trooper’s partner gave the man a cuff upside the back of the head, “Let’s go, let’s go.”
The trooper’s focus didn’t change a bit. “Sound good?” he asked Ara’ala.
[OOC: Again… insert reply…]
The stormtroopers finally got off the lift, the doors finally closed, and the companions were finally alone. As the lift moved passed the Promenade, the deck number shifted from the P decks to the N decks.
[OOC: I’m assuming one of you inserts the code for Deck N14…]
The rest of the lift ride last another two minutes, and is uneventful with no other stops along the way.
The lift doors open at Deck N14, revealing a very neglected part of the station. Many of the lights have burned out, and blaster marks and carbon scoring mar the walls, ceiling, and floor. The area reeks of ozone and electrical fires, and the companions regularly have to avoid pools of Cyanoxis D-587 and other coolants which litter the hallways.
After winding their way through a near-labyrinth of decrepit, almost post-apocalyptic corridors, the three “maintenance workers” arrive at what seems to be the entrance to the storage bay. Peering around the corner, Mars notes a pair of Gammorreans guarding the doors. They are wielding what looks like vibro-axes, but it is difficult to make out in the dim lighting.
From their position, the companions are about seventy-five feet away from the thugs and the entrance to the storage bay. The corridor is about twenty feet wide and ten feet high. Nearly twenty feet away from the companions, up the corridor and to the left, is a stack of abandoned containment crates (10’x10’x6’). Nearly fifty feet up the corridor and to the right, there seems to be an entrance door to a room of some sort (it’s door is off and laying flat on the floor).
The Gamorrean guards do not seem to have noticed the heroes yet.
“Not long. Flew in from Tanaab a week ago. More work here for a…,” Ara paused mid-reply. The burly Stormtrooper’s eyes were fixed several inches below her throat, and it was not because her unadorned, sleeveless blouse was especially alluring.
“Hmmm. Really…nice,” he muttered, even as Ara took a nervous step back, her pale cheeks flushing a deep blue. Thankfully the lift chose that moment to shudder to a sudden stop. “I’m getting off now,” the armoured man purred, “I’d like to get off later too, you know what I’m saying. Shift ends in about two hours. Why do you meet us down at Moise’s when you finish up? Sound good?”
“Uhh…yeah, sure…” Ara mouthed unconvincingly. But the words seemed to do. The Stormtrooper threw a last, fond wink, and Ara was left to thump the back of her head against the wall of the elevator.
‘What was I thinking? I might as well piss on the grave of Dil and be done with it. Idiot!’
The code for ‘Deck N14’ was punched in, the lift shuddered back into life, and Ara, for the next few minutes, tried to avoid the gaze of her companions.
“I was hoping Maya would be wrong about the Piggies,” Ara breathed quietly after Mars relayed what he had seen further down the decrepit corridor. Although between the hiss of venting gas, the twisted and scarred metallic walls, and the failing internal atmosphere, Ara knew that it was unsurprising ‘Switch’ couldn’t afford better mercs.
“We could try and bluff our way past them. Or I could search and disable an exhaust vent that we could slip through, and out into the docking bay. It shouldn’t be too hard to do.”
Ara'ala searched ceiling briefly for a venting shaft that she and her companions might enter in and skirt around these guards. While she had no trouble finding venting shafts, the Arkanian noted that none of them appeared to cross into the storage bay. It appeared that the storage bay had it's own venting system.
Railroading... or pressing on... however you want to look at it...
While Ara'ala's suggestion to enter into the venting system did not pan out, she had presented another option -- simply talk to the Gamorreans.
With neither the Jedi or the Merc offering any other suggestions, the three companions moved forward into the corridor. Fairly quickly the pig-like creatures noted the three "maintenance workers", though they continued to converse with each other, almost casually.
When the three heroes were within fifteen feet of the bay doors, the Gamorreans finally turned towards them and looked a bit more like guards. From this distance, the heroes could definitely see that the guards were indeed armed with vibro-axes.
"No fixer-workers here," grunted the one.
"No, no. No work here," said the other. "Go away."
Their demeanor and words seemed to suggested that there was no way that anyone was going to get by them to perform maintenance work in the storage bay.
Ithiria watches the guards turn and looks them over, noticing the vibro-axes. Approaching them they speak in their best attempt of basic.
“No fixer-workers here," grunted the one.
"No, no. No work here," said the other. "Go away."
She continues walking towards them, arms at her side, wanting to get closer to them she speaks in huttese.
“Sorry good sirs, but we have orders from our chieftain, we don’t want to piss off our chieftain, he’s big and mean.” she stops 5 feet from them, her brain tails twitching “tell you what, we look inside, and then tell chieftain work done without doing work.”
She thinks to herself hopefully they aare dumb enough to fall for it, but I highly doubt it, I wonder if I should break my hiding as well she considers this for a moment before reaching out softly with her mind to ara.
OOC: Use the force +8 telepathy ability to ara
It started as a whisper on the edge of her consciousness. But it did not stay that way. Words she couldn’t quite make out grew deeper and stronger in intensity, crowded out all other thoughts, until all she could hear was: ‘Be ready.’
“Ah! No need to shout!” Ara murmured to Ithiria. The tall, pale woman shook her head trying to will away the throbbing pain in her head the words had caused.
“Look, your ‘Bossman’ said you shouldn’t let us in, but we need to get in,” Ara added to the Gammoreans when it seemed Ithi’s original plan had failed. “So how about we pay you to ‘take a break’. That way you haven’t seen us enter, we get in, and you get some creds. Deal?”
Ara’ala makes a quick deal with the Gamorreans, which leaves everyone peaceable. Mars coughs up the lion’s share of the bribe (80 credits), while Ara’ala and Ithiria split the rest. (35 credits each)
The Gamorreans take their new found wealth and, true to their word, step away from the storage bay doors. Mars steps forward and presses the button. The bay doors give way with a terrible squeal, revealing the storage bay.
The deep storage bay is as run-down as the corridors leading up to it, with entire metal plates missing from the floor and a huge, open exhaust shaft near the back of the room. Large crates litter the area, creating the appearance of a haphazard mess, and the air has a distinct smell of sweat and fumes that makes the entire area unpleasant. Flickering lights provide modest illumination, and a burst pipe along the ceiling leaks blue fluid down one wall.
Near the centre of the room is an item that immediately draws the companions’ eyes as it is both beautiful and seemingly out of place – a large, finely crafted desk made of Japor ivory wood. Ithiria has seen a similar desk in the Jedi temple, before it was ransacked, and all the companions have no doubt the piece of furniture is both priceless and rare.
Sitting peacefully behind the desk is a protocol droid with shiny, ebony coverings that seem to soak up light and only the slightest reflection. The droid’s eyes flicker slightly, as though imitating a person blinking rapidly, while its left hand works the computer beside it. Assessing the companions, the droid stops typing and addresses its guests. “Ah, visitors!” it says light and cheerfully. Its voice is male, with a Coruscanti-Imperial accent.*He gestures his guests to come closer. “Come in, come in. I hope my guards did not frighten you much. They are a bit boarish.”
The three companions step warily into the storage bay. “Come, come!” continues the droid, his voice carefree. “Can I offer you something to drink?”
As the companions step closer to the desk, their perceptive senses pick out other beings in the storage bay. Three thugs can be seen hiding behind the some of the crates. In addition, a Twi’lek stands off to the left of the droid and in the shadows of a large cabinet. The cabinet contains a large selection of various alcoholic drinks – ales and wines, whiskeys and rums. A rather large collection for a droid, considering the metal-head couldn’t drink.
A beep and a whirl from behind the desk alerts the companions of another droid – a blue and red astromech. “Ah! Ofcourse!” the protocol droid says in response to the astromech. “Where are my manners?” Turning back to the companions, he gives them a curt bow, “I am Switch. And this,” indicating the astromech. “is my trusted companion, R5-B8.”
R5-B8 whirls and chirps his greetings.
Switch continues, “And now… drinks! What would you fine organics enjoy?”
[OOC: Feel free to make up a drink… or decline, if you desire… makes no difference…]
After the heroes have stated their drink preferences, Switch claps his hands once and the Twi’lek by the liquor cabinet gets to work preparing the requests. Another clap of his hands and one the thugs comes out from behind his crate and approaches Switch. “Yes, boss?”
“Prepare our visitors a place to sit, Jenus”
The thug moves one long crate and a short box in front of Switch’s desk and arranges them like a chair and loveseat. Switch indicates for the heroes to sit and the Twi’lek comes with their drinks. When everyone is ‘comfortable’, Switch moves into business. “Now, what can I do for you? My services are available to anyone who can pay. What would you like to know?”
[OOC: *Coruscanti-Imperial is a core-worlds upper-class nobility dialect.