Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

Episode V: Back in the cockpit
zet's journal

Working Corellia was a bit tricky with the Black Suns in charge, but in spite of that it was real nice that things felt kind of normal for a while. Seedy hotels, backroom deals, drinking in crappy cantinas, griefing tourists at the pazaak table… I can even ignore this nagging feeling that it’s all gonna go to shit again on Selonia because we’re all just so awesome.

It all started with Catrinna. I got her name from a friend of a friend of a friend, who told me she could help me move our Imperial speeders. We showed up at what looked like her dive bar, but she lead us right into the back to this super classy sabacc table. Now, sabacc really isn’t my favourite game. I gambled my good skifter away ages ago after a few too many glasses of quenya, and when you’re playing the game on someone else’s turf with their friends it’s almost always rigged. But it wouldn’t have been polite to refuse. Even though the buy-in was really, really high. I’ve been trying to teach Santos how to be a better card player and I guess he thought that was as good a time as any to try his luck.

We actually weren’t doing too bad, but it became clear really fast that Catrinna was determined to completely empty our pockets before she’d do any business with us. In the end we walked out with four thousand credits each for the speeders, but she’d taken everything else we came in with AND put Santos and I at a pretty big deficit to her. Instead of letting us just pay her off, she asked us to go do a job for her. We can’t afford to be in even more debt and it’s not like we had any other good way to get off Corellia, so we took it.

Catrinna wanted us to “borrow” some junky old freighter from an “acquaintance.” It was docked with this huge CEC transport ship and one of the executives was on board. This would have been a problem for lesser beings, but luckily we’ve got a really tall blue guy with a military uniform on our side. And he hasn’t put on too much weight to wear it. With Callia and Qurzer pretending to be his aides, I told the guys working at the CEC ship’s loading bay that I was there with a representative of the Chiss Ascendency and they were finally interested in making a deal with the CEC. That got their attention real fast, and we were lead in to meet with the guy in charge. That conversation was mostly boring, but it covered for Callia while she slipped off to “get Santos a drink” in order to scope the place out.

That guy took off to oversee the takeoff, which left us free to follow Callia’s lead to a docking tube. At the bottom of a ladder we found this shifty-looking human just kind of … hanging out. Santos was still playing “too good to speak Basic,” so I talked the guy up. His name was Palob and he was there to do something or other for the CEC boss upstairs.

Palob invited Callia and I aboard his ship, probably thinking he was just gonna get to have fun killing time. I’ve been inside a HWK-290 once or twice before so I got this idea to ask him to show me how to fly it. The thing with the 290 is the copilot seat is in front of the pilot instead of beside him, which means your hands are hidden. So while he was flirting and bragging and whatever I just popped my breather into my mouth and triggered a knockout grenade. A few minutes later we had Palob locked safely in a box in the cargo bay and we disengaged from the CEC ship just before it made the jump into hyperspace.

Our next stop was Centerpoint Station, where we were supposed to meet Catrinna’s contact Draal. Turns out the job was the Corellian Shuffle! I only know a handful of beings who’ve pulled it off successfully, like, seriously the prestige alone would’ve made me interested in the job, even if we had to do it in some loser’s junky old ship. We had a convict, two shipments of spice and an expat to deliver through this carefully-plotted series of microjumps. It’s a good thing Santos has been teaching me a bit of piloting because he had his hands full calculating the jumps for us, although Palob woke up when I repeatedly didn’t do so great at docking with one of the ships we had to meet.

Things went pretty smoothly up until Callia announced that she wasn’t okay with delivering glitterstim spice. Honestly neither am I. Like I’ve done it before. I’d do it again if I had to. But I don’t like to touch that stuff – slaves usually have to mine it and glitterstim is REALLY bad. But we had a deal, right. When it’s creepy Force stuff, she’s in charge. When it’s smuggling stuff, I’m in charge. Well, me and Santos. Anyway our reputations were on the line – we’d said we were going to do it, we needed to wipe the slate clean with Catrinna, and also we were well on our way to having bragging rights throughout the whole sector at least. So I might’ve snapped at her to sit down and shut up and then let Palob out of his box to carry crates with us… whatever.

It ended up being the right call anyway, because some stupid pirates had dropped an asteroid right on our jump path as we made the final microjump. It helped a lot to have two legitimate pilots in the cockpit as we made our escape. There was no way we were going to stand and fight with our one little gun against three ships.

We made it to the final drop point so fast we actually set a brand new record in the sector! That’s gonna be worth something the next time I have to deal with someone like Catrinna… Palob was surprisingly reasonable about the whole thing and even offered to let us all tag along to Selonia with him. We kind of wanted to head there with Qurzer anyway. The thing is, he mentioned he has a briefcase to deliver to a Trandoshan named Nossk.

Maybe that’s just a really common Trandoshan name but I have a bad feeling about this. Especially with what I know now, about how easy it is for someone who’s Force sensitive to go bad… part of me just wants to avoid him, but if Santos wants to chase him down of course I’ll back him up. And keep him from doing anything too awful. I need more specific information from Callia. Obviously it’s bad if he kills Nossk in cold blood but what if he just hurts him a little?

Roleplay log: DADT
an e-mail roleplay log

While Palob is presumably doing a few pre-flight checks on Corellia and/or making more sad noises about the damage Zet’nuri did to his ship, the Twi’lek gestures Callia aside.

“Hey, um, are we cool?” She’s absently checking through her pockets as she asks the question, making sure her gear is where it belongs and reattaching her blaster pistol at her hip – she’d hidden it away while she was making fake business proposals for the Chiss Ascendency. “It got a little heated there for a minute, with the glitterstim spice.”

Callia follows after the Twi’lek, having remained quietly judgmental since they have landed the ship again.

“We will be fine. I am out of my element, clearly, but glitterstim is not something anyone in the galaxy should be ferrying about.” She tells Zet. “I am willing to make concessions but just remember what you are doing doesn’t affect only you.”

“Sorry.” Now that Zet isn’t right in the moment, buzzing with a combination of adrenaline and nerves, she’s able to muster up a sincere apology. “I didn’t forget. I don’t like to touch that stuff usually. I know it’s bad — it’s literally produced by slave labour.” She looks up at Callia’s face, satisfied with the state of all her hidden pockets. “But me and Santos also can’t really afford to be in debt to anyone else. Now we’re clear with Catrinna, and if we wanna work with her again, we did that so fast that we’ll have enough pull to say no next time to cargo we don’t want to move. I think we just broke a record!” In spite of the gravity of the situation, the thrill-seeking smuggler can’t keep the excitement out of her voice. Isn’t it cool Callia? ISN’T IT??

“Yes it is,” Callia agrees softly. “Most illegal spices are. Glitterstim just seems to be the worst of them.” It’s hard to stay judgemental and quiet around the excited Twi’lek. “Yes, I believe we did. Didn’t they say a uneventful run usually takes longer than that? I suppose now you will have a lot of clout amongst the smugglers on Corellia.”

“That’s right. We’ll practically be famous once word gets out. Santos and I can start making our money back and then we can all get to Nar Shaddaa and pay off our repairs and stop scrambling for any old job. Which means no more glitterstim. See?” It’s really probably not the first time Zet’s helped to smuggle drugs, given that she used to work for the Black Suns. That doesn’t mean she had to like it. “It’s not that I wasn’t hearing what you were saying. We just didn’t have time to argue by that point. You know, sometimes we smuggle for the powers of good. Like refugees or whatever. So it can all balance out in the end.”

There is always a justification for the next job. Callia doesn’t say a word as she studies Zet quietly. There is that silent judgement again. “I’m not positive that is how the balance of the universe works, Zet.” She wryly replies.

“Well you’d know more about that than me,” Zet says flippantly, not even squirming under the way Callia’s looking at her. It’s hardly the first time in her life some human has given her a dirty look and it won’t be the last. “If we’ve got to move cargo like that again is it better if you just don’t know about it?” Believe it or not, that sounds like a sincere question. This is Zet trying to figure out the best way to keep the peace.

Callia chuckles softly and shakes her head. “You want to apply a don’t ask, don’t tell policy?” She considers it thoughfully. “If you wish that is how we go about these things, then alright. I will try to remain purposefully ignorant.”

“But I mean, like I said, it’s not like we’re usually moving stuff like glitterstim.” Zet laughs a bit. “Uh, what about Santos? We’re sort of business partners so typically he needs to know what cargo he’s moving…”

“That will be up to you two, I suppose,” Callia replies. “It will be up to you and him what line you want to walk. There is always going to be a chance in this lifestyle leads down a dark path so just continue to be aware of that. Don’t let him go off on any revenge-based escapades or murderous rampages…though he doesn’t seem the sort.”

“Ha ha! Funny you should mention that…” Zet shifts her weight from foot to foot.

Callia tilts her head to the side, one eyebrow arching up. “Mention what? Murderous rampages?”

“Revenge-based escapades.” Some of the good humour leaves Zet’s eyes now. “Palob said he’s got something to deliver to a Nossk on Selonia. It’s a great big galaxy out there, so it’s totally possible that there’s more than one Nossk who just happens to do business with smugglers. But Santos’ ex-partner was named Nossk too.”

“Ex-partner…I assume it didn’t end well, then,” Callia murmurs. She tries to appear not too troubled by this new bit of information.

“That’s the guy he told you about on the Corellian Runner, who left him stranded on Nar Shaddaa.” Zet folds her arms, chewing on her lip. “Nossk beat the crap out of him and took all of his stuff. When I met Santos he was living on the street.” She doesn’t add that it was sort of by choice because he was hoarding every credit he could lay hands on to buy their new ship. “I kinda want to ask Palob about it once we get going, but I don’t know what’ll happen if Santos and Nossk are face to face again.”

Callia mulls it over quietly. “Well…you are there to ground him. I can step in if I need to. Hopefully it will not come to that, though. We may have to let Santos figure this out on his own, with as much guidance as we can.” The Jedi sounds like she’s viewing this as some sort of trial for the Chiss. “I will let you handle talking to Palob about it. I’m here if you need any assistance.”

Zet nods. Apparently her best friend’s mental health is one topic that will curb her exuberance. “I’ll try and get a word alone with Santos if I can. I’m not really sure if he knows what he’ll do. But it’s hard to predict that kind of thing until you’re face to face…”

“Yes, it is,” Callia muses. “You expect yourself to be strong and rely on the skills and knowledge you have, but sometimes emotion guides us in a way we cannot control.” She speaks, of course, from recent experience. “We will all be there to guide him in any way we can.”

“I’ll just stun him if he’s getting out of hand,” Zet replies without so much as batting an eye.

Callia cannot help but laugh. Its a slightly nervous laugh, aware that Zet is speaking somewhat seriously. “Hopefully it wont come to that.”

“Yeah… I think I’d have to hit him more than once to knock him down.” Zet winces. “And I don’t want to literally get between him and a Trandoshan.”

“Yes, that would be a dangerous place to be.” Callia agrees. “I will help, if it does come to that.”

Now Zet grins, flashing her pointy teeth. “I thought the point was to keep you two out of that kind of trouble. Didn’t you like my trick with the smoke bomb? That was dedicated to you.” She tosses her headtails with a feigned arrogance.

“I meant restraining them both, not hurting anyone,” The Jedi smirks. “It was a clever trick. I’m glad we also returned his spaceship to him. Palob does not seem like an awful fellow. A bit clueless and clearly a little too friendly, but not awful.”

“Yeah… it would’ve been hard to sell another stolen vehicle after all that anyway.” Zet… is … probably joking. “He’s being such a good sport about all this.” She glances back towards the ship. “I guess we should get on board soon, huh.”

Probably being the key word there. Callia just gives her a half-smirk. “I suppose we should.” She agrees. “I am going to check to see how Qurzer is doing. I will see you in a bit.”

Roleplay log: Pablum
an e-mail roleplay log

It’s up to the boys to battle it out over who gets to be the real pilot en route to Selonia. Zet just stays out of it, remaining aft during the initial takeoff and probably doing something real nosy, like touching all of Palob’s stuff. Anyway, once they’re free of the docks and out into open space the Twi’lek appears at the rear of the cockpot, wandering right in to lean off the back of the copilot seat.

“I can’t believe we’ve never used that one before,” she says to Santos like Palob isn’t even there. “It’s a good thing you never took the sleeves off your old uniform, huh.”

“Could you imagine if I did? Csilla would be knocked off orbit due to the tension of all the jaws and asses clenched in indignation.” There wasn’t much of a fight. The ship technically is Palob’s and he did spend an hour or so in a box.

Santos does make himself comfortable in the co-pilot’s chair. He’s reclined as far as it will go, feet up on the console. He’s also found a way to change back into his ne’er-do-well clothing.

“We definitely need to use that trick again. Only the Chiss wouldn’t sent a delegate who can’t speak Basic. The Chiss just wouldn’t deign to speak to a lesser species.”

“What were you after back there, anyway?” Palob asks from the pilot seat behind them. His posture is relaxed, one leg drooped off the edge of the slightly raised platform. “You were trying to pull the wool over the eyes of CEC or something? You’re bonkers.”

“Yeah, okay, we can definitely get the details straighter the next time…” When Palob speaks up, Zet turns around, leaning back against Santos’ chair to face him with arms crossed. Her grin is just a little sheepish. “Uh, no. Just your ship, actually. We probably weren’t gonna keep it though?” She pokes him in the foot with the toe of her boot. “You can take it up with Catrinna if you want.”

“Yeah. We were just borrowing it. You got some glory out if it any way.” Santos takes advantage of the space his reclined position affords him, stretching his arms straight out behind him. He’s certainly missing the spaciousness of the Rainbow Dash. “What’s going down in Selonia? Figure there might be something we can do to help you make up for lost time.”

Palob is genuinely surprised by the offer. “Uh, well that’s downright neighbourly of you. Not altogether similar to the circumstances under which we met,” he says, giving Zet a look. “What with the locker stuffing and all.”

“As far as what’s the word on Selonia, I’d figure you ought to ask the Selonian you hang out with,” he teases and gets quiet, looking out the window at the nothingness of space surrounding them.

After a moment, his boredom sets in. “Yeah lots going on down in Selonia- beneath the waves and above,” he says, addressing his attention to the pair of smugglers once more. “Lots of ships to be built, and I hear some major contracts are up. Selonia’s about to become the most popular aquatic vacation destination for high ranking shipwright executives, if you take my meaning,” he says without a hint of any idea of what he is talking about.

“It was just a little knockout gas,” Zet fires back. “You should see what we did to the last guy whose ship we ‘borrowed.’”

She shifts away from Santos’ chair to give him room to stretch, edging around to perch on the arm of it instead. The weird silence just kind of stretches on, and she shoots a puzzled look at Santos, like, what, that’s all he’s got to say? If we wanted to ask the Selonian we’d ask them…

“…..” The Twi’lek just blinks at Palob. “Unless that’s some kinda double entendre I… guess we do take your meaning…” She fiddles with the zipper on her vest. “But why are you in such a rush to get there?”

Santos returns Zet’s look. Rich people want to vacation on an ocean planet. Pretty straight forward. “Sounded like you had to meet with someone.” Someone Santos is eager to meet with too.

Palob grins and shrugs. “I have no idea if that’s true about the executives. Just something Bel said. He says a lot of course. Real info dump, that one,” he explains.

The smuggler follows Santos in a stretch out of arms and crosses them like a pillow, really leaning back in his home, the Void Crow. “Yeah, I’ve been retained by Bel for a few months now. Pretty boring but the pay is stellar! I’m just liasion between he and this Trandoshan. They’ve got some business and I just move the box back and forth. No biggie,” he says nonchalantly, clearly unaffected by Santos’ piqued curiosity and unaware of what bubbles beneath the surface of his query.

It occurs to Zet that she literally did not ask that executive’s name. Well, whatever, the Chiss Ascendency probably wouldn’t care about it either. “Wow. Wish we could get an easy contract like that. What’re they shipping back and forth?” She, for one, is good at making it sound like the kind of perfectly innocent question a fellow smuggler might ask, and there’s nothing in her relaxed body language to give away that she’s especially interested in the Trandoshan.

“You’d give up the regular brushes with death?” Santos gently nudges the Twi’lek with his elbow. “My friend, you’re going soft.”

“I’ll have you know I’m quite partial to that. The only regular brushing I participate in is the those related to personal hygiene,” Palob says with a wink to the Twilek.

“I’m quite happy to courier information from A to B. I don’t know what Nossk is up to on behalf of the old man, but he’s made a lot of stops around the galaxy lately. I deliver the same thing I always do, a briefcase,” he explains to the pair, gesturing towards the back of the ship with his thumb. “I don’t make a habit of asking questions or opening cargo – do you?” he says rhetorically, fully aware that any smuggler who wants to get work in their lifetime wouldn’t dream of looking in on their cargo. They might learn things about their employers- about themselves that they have a hard time living with, right Zet?

Zet smirks at Palob even as she playfully swats Santos’ elbow away. “Not forever, but it’d be nice to collect a few easy paycheques in a row.” She follows the man’s gesture with her eyes, then glances back at his face, feeling her stomach give a funny little flip. As a matter of fact, she likes to make it her business now to have some idea of exactly what she’s carrying. Then again, you can’t hide literal slaves in a briefcase. “Not if the job’s that cushy,” she agrees easily. “But I sure would get curious if I was making the same run over and over again, and Bel talks a lot. I guess Nossk doesn’t?”

“He talks a lot and trusts too easily. Not a great combination for a man in his position.” Santos sits up and looks for some new shinies to play with. He settles on fiddling with a few harmless knobs like rear lighting control. If Callia could see the flicker of the lights she might expect the dubstep to start soon.

Palob looks uncomfortable. “Nossk talks plenty. I just don’t always like what he has to say,” he says, shifting in his seat and straightening up.

A sympathetic frown tugs at the corners of Zet’s lips. She shifts off Santos’ chair to her feet, almost like she’s about to pace restlessly, but of course there’s no room to pace in here so she just kind of ends up standing closer to Palob’s seat before stopping again. “I’ve worked for guys like that. You almost wanna start charging a premium for the amount of time you spend biting your tongue.”

“At least you’re getting steady pay.” Santos gives his full attention to the group now. “Can’t be that unpleasant if you’re still working with him, right?”

Palob swallows and gives a weak smile. “Hey, I’m not backing out of a cushy contract just because some Trandoshan gives me the willies,” he says in a transparent attempt to re-introduce levity.

“Whatever Bel’s got going on with this Nossk guy, it is not a good thing.”

She’s facing Palob, not Santos, so the Chiss won’t see Zet’s little eye roll as he seems to coolly dismiss Palob’s misgivings. Not that she doesn’t share his sentiment, to a degree, but she’s living proof that suddenly backing out of a contract is easier said than done when you’re dealing with powerful people.

Of course, on the other other hand, her every gesture right now is carefully calculated to try to convince Palob she’s on his side here. Put the whole knockout gas-box stuffing thing in the past! “Well… watch your back. I’ve known a good smuggler or two who had a real unpleasant surprise when their bad-news employers decided they didn’t need them anymore.” She flickers a smile at him. “You let us know if we can do anything to help you out. I probably wouldn’t have shoved you in a box and borrowed your ship without asking if I’d realized we were gonna get a good person in hot water with a creepy lizard.” That’s about as close to an apology as he’s going to get.

“Yeah. We’re pretty good at stuff. I’m sure there’s a way we can help you out of a rough spot.” Santos recognizes Palob’s reaction well. Nossk has always had a creepy vibe. More so than most Trandoshans.

“It won’t be a long stop at the shipyards,” Palob explains. “I don’t imagine Nossk would take kindly to an entourage so I’ll make the drop alone. You’re free to head to wherever you like from the station. Depending on the pay, I might tag along.”

The smuggler twists until he is sitting sideways, and peers back to the narrow passage where the others are stuffed. “What’s with the blind chick, anyways?” he asks.

They actually have no next destination whatsoever at this point, although it sure is handy to be heading to Qurzer’s home planet. Zet replies with a confident smile nevertheless. “Sure. We’ll swap comm frequencies.” Gimme your number to be gassed and boxed again.

“Oh, Miranda?” Zet shrugs, returning to sharing Santos’ chair arm. “Well sometimes things don’t go as smoothly as they did with you.” She winks. “Blaster fire a little too close to her face. She’ll getting better.”

“Miranda will be fine in no time.” Santos nods in agreement, “she’s tougher than she looks.”

Episode VI: Starships Are Not Melee Weapons
Santos' Journal

Shit! Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!

This nightmare began with some boring journey through some tunnels on Selonia. Truthfully, I wasn’t paying much attention to what was happening. Who in their right minds builds a city underground? Not the best vacation spot for most people.

Anyway, I was distracted I guess by what I was learning from the holocron. I felt like I was reaching some kind of break through. I snapped out of it just in time to see a large, angry worm burrowing its way through the tunnel system, seemingly looking to dine on raw twi’lek. I guess that’s a delicacy among large, angry worms. It doesn’t get its meal though, and the team follows me down through an underground pond into a submerged tunnel, giving us access to oxygen again. Callia seemed to be hiding underwater a bit too long though, by the time we were safe her lungs were filled with water. I was able to draw the water out with the Force, and allowed it to dance in the air for a bit before dropping it on her face. That woke her up.

Qurzer led us to their Queen, who was pretty obviously under the control of some devious sort of Otter. It was clear to me that this Selonian, Hinger, was using the Force to do something to the Queen.

Selonia is a very strange place. Everyone goes on and on about Protocol, and judging by how Qurzer was interacting with everyone, Protocol is constantly changing! So it turned out that the CEC was sorta involved in the subjugation of the Selonian people, so Qurzer started a civil war. Remind me never to get on their bad side. We all escaped to the ring orbiting the planet, where we had planned to disrupt whatever was jamming communications on the surface. There, we ran into our old friend the Executive. He’s not in the custody of the Rebellion. Hope they put that little gift to good use.

Oh, yeah, and Nossk. We went to Selonia looking for Nossk, but we didn’t want him to find us first. He had rigged the hangar with bombs, attached one to Palob and somehow got one on Qurzer. Nossk was all to happy to set off the one attached to Palob, and destroy one of the hangars, but that gave time for Qurzer to board the ship he was about to take off in. Naturally I saved Qurzer’s life by pulling the glass shield off of the cockpit, making it impossible for Nossk to escape into space. He adapted though, driving the ship into Zet. He then ran through the hole in the cockpit. I wanted to go after him, but Zet was just hit with a FRACKING SPACESHIP. I needed to know that she would survive, and he got away. Next time he won’t.

Episode VI: Starships Are Melee Weapons
zet's journal

I think I need to get Santos to teach me how to lift or something. I can’t keep getting the shit kicked out of me like this.

Palob got us to Selonia and buzzed off to deliver his package to Nossk. It quickly became clear that things weren’t how Qurzer remembered them, but they weren’t willing to admit it outright, so we were all kind of stuck just going along with it. And before we even managed to get onto a transport to take us down to the planet, a Star Destroyer under construction blew up, and by crazy random happenstance, Rakine Bokete was hanging out waiting for a ride. That’s not suspicious at all.

Apparently it’s highly unusual for the ride between the shipyards to the surface to be ticketed. Or for tunnels to end in dead ends. Or for male Selonians to be in charge of anything, let alone Force-sensitive ones. But that’s what we found! Along with some kind of huge subterranean worm that I fed a frag grenade after it tried to rip my arm off. Also, Callia almost drowned, and there were a few times that I thought we were gonna lose Santos to a particularly narrow passage. I guess we better start carrying engine oil for those situations.

After a very strange encounter with Qurzer’s queen, we met up with this other one who was very concerned about all the local changes. I don’t know much about Selonians but I think politics and business kind of fly above their heads. CEC has been working on a merger with Kuat Drive Yards, which in turn is part owner of the Selonian shipyards. So somehow they were behind all these changes, like they were coming in and changing the business model or whatever. Selonians were losing their jobs and their homes, which, by the way, it’s pretty messed up that no one on that planet seems to understand what homelessness is.

I don’t feel the connection to Ryloth that my parents do. I’ve never lived there, and I’ve only visited once or twice. But I feel for them when they talk about it.

We decided to help by reestablishing communication between the Selonian septs. We managed to steal a CEC food supply ship (with minimal casualties, just for Callia) and head up towards the shipyards. En route, we overheard radio chatter that suggested the CEC was about to get crazy violent down below, so Qurzer hopped on the comm and convinced them all to rise up and rebel. But what they really wanted to do was get into the CEC area and find our old friend Rikkard Bel.

Rakine and I managed to talk and/or threaten our way through the guards when we docked, and we got all the way into a boardroom where Bel was going to meet us so Qurzer could tell him all about the rebels. That was the story we fed them, anyway. We knew he’d recognize us as soon as he walked in – a Chiss who travels with a Twi’lek isn’t exactly something you forget. The minute he saw us it turned into a firefight, but those guys weren’t much of a challenge. The problem was Qurzer just went for Bel right away and the two of them disappeared down a hallway before the rest of us had dealt with his guards.

This is where things started to go really badly for us. We hit a fork, and Rakine went one way while the rest of us went another. We found this hangar bay, with a transport ship right in the middle, and then someone with a super creepy voice got on the ship’s comm to say hello to Santos. He’s told me a lot of things about Nossk, but I don’t think I was even a little bit prepared for the real thing. Nossk had put a bomb on Qurzer – and also on Palob, who’d had the shit kicked out of him on the other side of the hangar. Before we could even begin to try to negotiate through the situation he just blew Palob up…

It’s kind of a confusing blur after that. I sort of remember Qurzer running onboard the ship to try to take Nossk on himself, and Santos doing something cool with the Force. But Nossk decided to just drive his ship right at us, and I was the only one who couldn’t get out of the way in time.

By the time Santos managed to stim me, Nossk was pretty much long gone. We found Rakine – she’d already been blown up by ANOTHER bomb he planted, and then hit with a stun grenade. We used her comm to call the rebels for a pickup and turned Bel over to them to deal with – maybe they can help the Selonians somehow.

I’m so relieved that Santos didn’t do anything really awful… I was supposed to be there for him, to make sure nothing bad happened. And I can’t even begin to imagine what Qurzer is feeling right now. They’re sticking with us, they want to find some of the other Selonians who’ve been away from their homeworld, but they aren’t saying much about what just happened. And then there’s Palob… I know we barely knew the guy, and we didn’t even know he was working for Nossk before it was already too late. But I keep wondering if we could’ve done something. If we’d followed him in the first place, maybe we could have saved him, but then we wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time on Selonia to help all those beings on that planet. Or maybe if I could’ve just thought of something faster, when we came into that hangar bay and saw him there, he’d still be alive right now. We’re gonna track down his family and tell them what happened, and we’re gonna make sure we send them some money, but money can’t replace a person you cared about.

Even the thought of finally unloading these old Jedi artifacts for a chunk of change can’t quite cheer me up. Things were supposed to go back to normal after Jiroch. We were in our groove on Corellia, and then the second forces bigger than us get involved it all gets out of hand quickly. I hope Duros is quiet.

Roleplay log: Heavy conscience
an e-mail roleplay log

Callia is still laid up, waiting for the rebels to work their medical magic on her eyes. Zet slipped away for about half an hour, likely finding somewhere to pace in anxious silence within the larger ship, but she finally winds her way back to the hangar bay and lets herself inside the Void Crow.

She’s surprised, actually, by the pang of guilty emotion that prickles at the back of her throat as she passes through the cramped hangar bay. They hardly knew its former captain. They certainly didn’t part on the best of terms. But there’s a big difference between sucking a fellow smuggler into a big job and making him collateral damage in a personal vendetta.

Zet weaves through the ship, headed for the copilot’s seat in the cockpit. The rebels dealt with the worst of her wounds but she’s still moving stiffly after her close encounters with the front of a ship and the business end of a giant worm. She just needs to be somewhere quiet, to think.

If Zet wants some quiet, Santos certainly isn’t going to argue. She’ll find that he’s already taken up residence in the cock pit, pouring over every control, every contour of the dash. He’s careful not to disturb anything, this isn’t his ship. It’s still Palob’s. He’s just borrowing it. Part of him wants to find Nossk, hunt him down and end him. Palob’s death was senseless. He simply had the misfortune of knowing Santos. What if it’s Callia next, or Zet? Could he trust himself to fight off his darkside? Would he want to?

Yeah, quiet suits him just fine right now. Still, when he see’s that it’s Zet joining him in the cockpit, he offers her a weak smile.

She half-expected to find her best friend here anyway. If this is their temporary ride, of course the pilot is getting comfortable with the controls. Zet smiles back at him, lightly touching his shoulder as she pauses beside his seat. Her eyes rest on his face for a few seconds before they drift away to take in the rest of Palob’s former home away from home. “How’re you doing?”

“Well, Pablum is currently in several pieces because he happened to know me, Rakine had a lovely encounter with a bomb, and you were run over by a transport ship, again because some lizard wanted to hurt me. I’m not sure I’m doing so well right now.”

Santos begins accessing the computer, skimming through Palob’s files. “Maybe we can find something here that would lead us to his family. If he has any.” The Chiss hopes he doesn’t. Letting them know what happened is not something he’s looking forward to. “How about you?”

“Palob,” Zet corrects him quietly. Her fingers squeeze lightly into his shoulder before she leans away, swinging around to perch on the back of the copilot’s seat. “It’d be good to be able to tell someone what happened.” That sounds like she’s volunteering to do the deed if he can find the information.

She lifts one slender shoulder in a shrug as she watches him work. “Taking said transport ship and a giant subterranean worm into account, I’m doing okay. I guess I didn’t really realize how serious you were when you said Nossk was creepier than your average Trandoshan. Was he always like that?”

“Not initially.” Santos leans back in the chair and takes a deep breath. “He seemed cool when I met him, but as time went on he became less interested is your run of the mill smuggling jobs, and more interested in games, like the one back there.” He looks over at the Twi’lek worry written all over his face. “I was planning on leaving him, although I didn’t plan on giving him my ship. But he threw me out of my own ship and flew away. I really don’t understand why he’d do this now.”

“Well, consider this: he’s a sociopath.” Zet absently rubs her shoulder, the one that took the brunt of the blow from the ship. Good thing it’s not her gun arm. “I dunno, he saw the opportunity? I guess we know now not to beeline for him the next time we hear he’s in the neighborhood.” She musters up another faint smile for him. “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.”

“The list of people we have to watch out for keeps growing.” Santos let’s out a deep sigh and gets back to the computer. “I think we should take the fastest route to Hutt space. I’d feel a hell of a lot safer in an actual ship.”

“Agreed. We’ll see what we can get for this old Jedi stuff on Duros and then hightail it home. I bet my mother’d like to see you again.” Zet winks at him. “You’re uh, feeling okay though?” She gestures vaguely. Is that supposed to mean the Force or something? “I was worried about you in the first place, knowing Nossk was there.”

“I won’t lie to you, I really wanted to kill him.” Part of him still does. “But I saw what Sora became after she lost control. Hell, even Callia’s reaction to Sora was enough to scare me shitless.”

He smiles at her again. More convincing this time. “So yeah, I’m feeling OK. I wanted him to pay for what he had done, in custody, though. Alive.”

“He will.” There’s the faint edge of steel in Zet’s voice. No one runs her over with a spaceship and gets away with it. “But next time we pick the time and place.”

Some of the tension leaves her as he confirms that he’s all right – her eyes light up and she leans back a little. “Good. Callia was saying all this stuff about how I might have to keep you grounded. I had about half a second to feel really, really scared about that before the ship hit me.” Can’t keep him grounded when she’s out cold…

Santos can’t help but smile at the thought of Zet going toe to toe with Nossk. He’s never been a warrior, but he’s still Trandoshan.

“You being hit by the ship kinda helped keep me grounded. I’d been thinking about what I’d do when I saw him for a while, and I’d already decided not to risk letting my dark side take hold.” He pauses briefly, never all that comfortable talking about what the Force could do to him. “It was harder than I thought to resist, but when I had to make a choice between chasing him and making sure you were ok, there really was no choice.”

The subject makes Zet uneasy too, but her non-response (verbally at least) is really an improvement over the way she was freaking out over the Force only a week ago. She’s trying hard to be comfortable with it. There’s no question it’s been useful. “Oh, is that the trick? I’ve just gotta put myself in harm’s way to keep you on the straight and narrow.” She shoots him a teasing grin. “I’m gonna need to invest in some body armor.”

“Yeah, it’s that simple.” He tries to maintain a straight face, but quickly breaks into a grin of his own. “I’m sure it will get easier the more I learn about the Force. But body armour is always good. We’ll see what we can do with our profits from Duros.”

“Mm.” Zet shifts, unfolding her arms and pushing off of the chair. She stretches her arms over her head, such as she can in the cramped space. “I was really hoping we’d be able to quietly sell this stuff on the side instead of making a special trip. I don’t know how we’re gonna do this right under Callia’s nose, especially now that she’ll be able to see again.”

“The simple answer is, we won’t.” Santos stands up as much as he can in the cramped cockpit, walks around the chair and rests his arms on its back, allowing the chair to support his weight. “We need to tell her what we have, and we need to respect her wishes if she doesn’t want us to sell it.” Being responsible is a new experience for him. He’s not sure it’s one he likes. “We put her far out of her comfort zone with the glitterstim, and I know we really didn’t have a choice in the matter, but still. We need to let her know her input is valued if we want to keep her around. And I get the feeling that we will need her around.” He’s actually nervous about Zet’s reaction. “And this is a part of her heritage. A heritage she wasn’t given the choice to give up on, like we did.”

Zet’s brow ticks on “we won’t.” But she bites her tongue, hearing Santos out, even though her expression grows more and more unreadable. She’s not sure what to make of his newly minted responsibility either. As he wraps up his pitch, her arms fold across her chest, the gesture less casual this time and more closed-off and frustrated. The Twi’lek looks aside, a flicker of sharp teeth visible as she chews her lip.

“We need that money, Santos.” At least she isn’t mad at him. She does sound a little exasperated. “Sure, we’ve got a ride back to Nar Shaddaa now if we hang onto this ship, but the Hutts are gonna pop our heads off if we show up without everything we owe them. I didn’t give up my entire heritage. I’ve got parents living there they can hurt if we keep messing around out here.”

“We do.” Zet is entirely correct, they need the money, but Santos is pretty confident this won’t be their only opportunity. “So what happens when Callia finds out what we’ve done? Maybe there’s something there that would be useful to us and we don’t know how to recognize it. Maybe she’d have no problem with it at all. I just think that if we do this and not tell her, it’s going to come back at us, biting.”

At what point does someone become more trouble than they’re worth?

The second the ugly thought crosses Zet’s mind she regrets it. That’s not fair. They’d probably still be stuck on Tatooine if not for their new friend, and Santos would probably be taking a nosedive to the dark side without her spiritual guidance, no matter how Zet feels about the Force. Once upon a time they were a crew of two, but now they’ve got other teammates to factor into the equation.

“She told me she was fine with a don’t ask, don’t tell policy,” the Twi’lek insists, but with less fervor now. “We talked about it before we left Corellia. That if something like glitterstim came up again she’d just rather not know about it. Couldn’t we just do this the same way?”

Santos cocks an eyebrow. “This isn’t glitterstim. This is something so profoundly personal to her. If we don’t let her have a say in this, we may as well spit on everything she is.”

The Chiss sits back down in his seat and reclines as much as possible, He closes his eyes and takes in a deep breathe. “Look, you know I wouldn’t make you do anything you didn’t want to. Just, please think about it. We’re far from Nar Shaddaa, and our track record for keeping ships isn’t that great at the moment. There will be more opportunities to pay off what we owe.”

“Rrrgh.” Zet pinches the bridge of her nose. That subtle twitch of her lekku is no doubt the equivalent of saying something very foul under her breath. “Fine. We’ll tell her.” Tipping her head back, she closes her eyes, shrugging her headtails over her shoulders to let them hang down her back.

“We need to figure this out. Are we business partners carrying a pair of refugees? Or are we a crew of four? We don’t have time for a huge moral debate every time we try to make some money, okay. If Callia wants a say she needs to know the time and place to pipe up isn’t after five crates of glitterstim are already on our ship, and we’re docking to make the delivery. And if she and Qurzer want in then they need to pitch in and help us get rid of this debt instead of shooting dirty looks at us when we pocket a few extra credits.” She hasn’t forgotten the way Callia got in a huff about holding onto half of Palob’s share. And now look what came of giving him hers.

“So let’s have a big family meeting.” There’s no passive aggressiveness in Santos’ tone. He understands Zet’s reluctance, but in his mind, they’ve already made their decision. Well, Callia has anyway. She’s put herself on the line for both of them numerous times. How much more does she have to prove? “We don’t know that she’ll be against selling these items. But even if she is, we all have things we won’t do, and if we respect each other’s boundaries, why wouldn’t we respect hers? Callia is one of us, and has been for a while. Qurzer too as long as it suits them and their Queen.”

It’s kind of a hypothetical question for Zet, too. She doesn’t need Callia and Qurzer to jump through hoops of fire to earn a place, but it sure would help if things were just a little bit formalized. And it’d probably end in fewer hurt feelings later if it was something slightly different than ‘when smuggling do as the smugglers do and shut up.’ “Okay.” She rubs at her arm and looks at Santos again. “Maybe we can just broach the topic with Callia when we show her what we have. All at once. I think Qurzer still needs a bit of time to process the part where they convinced their entire planet to rebel before they make any other big decisions.” At least that’s genuine sympathy in her voice.

“Sounds like a plan.” Santos suddenly grins, ear to ear. “She doesn’t have to be sober when we talk to her. I’m sure we can find some quenya someone on this boat.”

Zet barks a laugh. “Good luck. We could hardly get one glass in her the last time. Anyway if we’re trying to liquor her up she’ll know we’re planning something.”

She jerks her chin towards the controls. “What d’you think? Can you deal with walking around hunched over all the time all the way to Hutt space?”

Santos shrugs. “Don’t have much of a choice, do I? Unless I want to crawl out of the cockpit. Could be worse though. We could be stuck in a Selonian ship.” Unfortunately, the mention of the ship brings his mind back to Palob. “We should probably try and sell this thing anyway. I’m sure whatever family Palob had could use the money now.” Has he been drinking? This is far more charity than Santos is used to.

Yeah… Zet’s starting to look a little bit confounded. Not that it’s a bad sentiment. She’d want her family looked after if she met a bad end. “Okay, but do you think they’d mind if we borrowed it long enough to get where we’re going before we make our donation?”

Santos shakes his head emphatically. “No, I don’t suppose they would. Considering that he was kind enough to give us a ride to Selonia even after we stole his ship and put him in a box, I’m sure his family would even insist that we take a small cut.”

“That’s the Santos I know and love. I was starting to wonder if maybe you’d gone just a little bit wrong in the head after all,” Zet teases. “Okay, if you can find what we need in his computer I’ll reach out to them. Otherwise I guess we’re just waiting for Callia to get her clean bill of health.”

Vignette: Familiar Surroundings

Another dream of another place. It’s comforting and familiar, the warm sun filtering in through a large window while she sat in lotus position upon the smooth floor. There was the sound of running water from the refresher, then a door opening and closing. Delicate smells of clean soap and earthy tea filled the small living space. She lost herself in the nostalgic pangs of this life, of being young and ambitious once more.

“You still have so much to learn,” Her master had always told her. There was truth to that. Even now she felt the ignorance of her youth creeping up on her once more. She has spent so much time being afraid since Jiroch. It’s one thing to decide to return to a long-winding path, it’s another entirely to truly acknowledge and accept all that it means.

“I do have so much to learn still, Master,” Callia opens her eyes, staring at the woman who mentored her and raised her for so long. To see this place again, to look up into those familiar, smiling eyes was almost too much to bear. She blinkes rapidly. “So much. How do I continue on my own.”

“Callia, my child,” She replies as she sits down before her. Her smile has grown soft and gentle and she places a hand on her student’s shoulder. It’s warm, warmer and more full of life than she remembers. “You will continue. It will be a hard path, you knew that going in. The moment you decided to build the blade once more, you knew. Our brethren may be lost for now and the galaxy may seem in despair, but there is always hope.” She squeezes the girl’s shoulder. “You are one of a few who represent that.”

Callia swallows hard, feeling every bit the eighteen-year-old who abandoned her Master on Felucia so long ago. She’s lost and scared, feeling helpless and alone. “I watched the birth of a rebellion today.” She says. “Is this what the future of the galaxy holds? So much death and destruction.” Her Master chuckles softly while she voices her anxieties.

“You, my Padawan, know very well the history of the galaxy. Peace and balance can be brought about once more but it takes time. We cannot condemn the actions of those who wish to end years of tyranny and oppression.”

“I know Master, but—”

“There are no buts, Callia. Not anymore. The Order collapsed for many reasons. We were destroyed by more than just our own troops. We were destroyed by our ignorance and complacency. Act to the best of your judgement. Help those who cannot help themselves. Uphold the Jedi principles, of course, but do not begrudge those who don’t have the luxury of still having principles and morals.” She takes a deep breath. “Fight for those ones. Fight hard so they do not have to.”

She takes a deep breath and slowly releases it. “First, I need to be stronger. Mentally.”

Another chuckle. “Of course, child. And watch out for those you travel with. The time will come when your fight will change. In the meantime, prepare for that day.”

“I will.”

“No more being frightened of yourself or what the galaxy can do to you.”

“Of course, Master.”

“And you will let yourself live and feel and grow as not only a Jedi, but as a living being?”

Callia laughs. “I will try.”

“Good. Remember, whatever happens is the will of the Force. Allow it to guide you to where you need to be.”

“I will.”

“Good girl. Now, my Padawan, it’s time to open your eyes.”

Vignette: Best Served Cold

“Ow! Watch it,” she exclaimed as the medical droid clumsily worked at her arm, if you could call it that. The woman watched as sparks flew each time the needle-like mechanism interacted with the metal that was now a part of her.

There was nothing to do in the hours of sitting in that chair while that ridiculous robot rebuilt a limb for the woman. Sure, there were moments of searing pain as the cybernetic appendage was fused with her shoulder, her flesh stretched and stapled and soldered to something foreign, something that didn’t belong. However it was the time in between, the long, drawn out aching of her body as it endured the stress of surgery and recovery that she had nothing but time to reflect on how this happened.

She grew up on Alderaan, to a noble family. Her Uncle was such an idealist and would regale their family with tales of the Jedi and their noble quest to maintain peace in the galaxy. The way he went on and on about their courage but then glossed over their betrayal, their failed coup, their annihilation made her sick. Even at a young age, she knew the Jedi were wrong. Their sterile outlook and dogmatic approach, their willingness to stand by and watch the galaxy suffer until their own survival was at stake disgusted her.

The black bantha among her family, she proudly joined the Imperial Navy and had a distinguished career. That was ruined by the Jedi her Uncle so revered.

So here she was, gritting her teeth and tearing at the eyes as her nervous system integrates with the cybernetic arm and pain signals a reminder that this was not right. This was so wrong.

She’ll never forget that woman’s face, the way the glow of her light saber reflected on her cheek before she cut down a good soldier, a proud woman, and left her broken aboard a pirate infested cruise ship.

Rising and flexing her cold metal fingers, she looks over at the figure cloaked in dark robes at the door and accepts the data pad with her new orders.

“Sir,” she accepts with a nod. A grin spreads across her face as she crushes the datapad in her cybernetic hand like it was a dry leaf from the forests of Alderaan.

“”/characters/major-katryn-organa" class=“wiki-content-link”>Major Katryn Organa, reporting for duty."

Roleplay log: The call to unity
an e-mail roleplay log

The med bay of the rebel ship is relatively peaceful compared to many other areas. There aren’t many who currently need tending to so those on staff bustle about their daily work quietly. There is the occasional beep or blip from equipment and the same med droid wandering back and forth checking on Rakine’s vitals. The only thing truly out of place in this scenario is the blond woman calmly situated at Rakine’s side.

Callia has a holobook in her lap, though she doesn’t seem to intent on reading it. Instead her eyes are focused elsewhere and her mind clearly drifting off to some other point in time. She looks as if she found a refresher in the time they arrived on Commander Nebula’s ship, cleaned up and clearly in better shape than the last time Rakine would have seen her. She’s clearly waiting for the Togruta to awaken.

It’s a reversal of roles compared to when they last spoke this way. She had pulled a battered Callia off of Jiroch (with a little help from her friends) — this time the rebel was the one who had to be lifted out on a stretcher. A jedi-gone-wrong had been the one to land the jedi in the med bay, while Rakine — ironically enough — was downed by a rogue bomber. The ratio of surface-skin to bandages is quite alarming, even just from her shoulders up to the tips of her ‘horns’ and headtails. Her arms, one at her side and the other draped limply atop the blanket over her midsection, are unequally swathed: it looks like she took the brunt of the explosive blast on her left side.

She’s been out for hours already. A stun grenade’s effects (as anyone who travels with Zet would know by now) are slow to wear off, but of course they aren’t typically fatal. Callia’s patience is rewarded, eventually, by the sound of a sudden deeper breath from the patient, followed by an agitated motion. The med droid, in its unhurried way, clanks back toward the bed to process the new development. Rakine’s return to consciousness is marked by some belligerent confusion: her eyes are tightly squinting as they dart around the room, and she has to be prevented from trying to sit up immediately.

Irony of the role reversal is not lost on the Jedi. She senses Rakine’s slow arrival to consciousness before the first change in breathing even occurs. It’s amazing how being attuned to the Force can make her seem almost psychic. She stays out of the way as the med droid works, only stepping in when Rakine attempts to sit up. Gentle hands try to ease her back down before she can get too far.

“It’s good to see you awake, Rakine,” Callia greets. “You are in the Med Bay on Commander Nebula’s ship. How do you feel?”

The human voice seems to attract Rakine’s attention more than the standard drone of the droid, which advises her to “please remain calm”. The way she stops and turns her head, it looks like it’s given her something to think about. Figuring out who’s there and how to get her foggy concentration focused on the woman’s face, probably.

“The jedi,” she speaks in a mumble at first, accepting a glass of water and taking a drink instead of answering the question that was addressed to her. “What happened? Qurzer said to stop the Trandoshan I shot at. I followed him to the ship…”

“Indeed,” Callia affirms. She sits back down once the Togruta seems to have settled, her holobook already knocked aside for the time being. “I believe you were caught in another of the explosions. He got away before we could catch up to get him. Zet took your radio and contacted Commander Nebula to pick us up. Now we’re here.”

Skimming over the part where no one should be able to access her secure comm contacts (that is DEFINITELY going to be an issue to consider later on), Rakine inclines her head in a slight nod, which brings with it a wince of pain. “There was most certainly an explosion before I reached the hangar.” In a pause for thought, she seems like she still has very many questions. “Why were any of us trying to stop him? Who was he working with?”

“It appears he was doing some work for the CEC executive we…ah, took into custody. They were causing explosions and careful sabotage to help the negotiations with Kuat Drive Yards along.” Callia explains. “He is also a former partner of Santos’. There is clearly some very bad blood between the two of them, possibly more now that this Trandoshan needlessly used a man who helped us as a bomb.”

Rakine’s tired, impassive expression doesn’t change while she accepts most of this information — except for the part where Santos’ name improbably comes up. What are the odds of that? The idea of someone being used as a live bomb doesn’t seem nearly as unexpected. “I see. If Nebula is in a useful mood again, maybe we can investigate some of this corporate ruthlessness. Selonia appeared to be needing all the help they can get.”

“I hope you can. I know it would mean a lot to Qurzer. This whole situation is outside of anything they’d ever expect to happen on their planet.” Callia brushes some hair from her face. “If the Rebellion can help at all, I’m sure they will find a powerful ally in the Selonian people.”

She wisely avoids nodding this time, but there’s a sound of quiet agreement that the Togruta makes to acknowledge Callia. “Your Selonian friend at least appears dependable — if stubborn.”

Callia chuckles softly. “Sometimes stubborn is a good thing. We need more stubborn beings in the galaxy. More people unwilling to submit to what has become normal.” Is she agreeing that maybe the Rebellion isn’t a bad thing? Gasp.

“That much is true.” More crucially, is Callia suggesting that someone else here is stubborn?? Of course, Rakine could be directing an inquisitional stare in her direction for any number of reasons. Still so many questions.

The Jedi lets out a soft sigh. “I was wrong to look down my nose at you, Rakine.” Callia admits. “I was so wrapped up in the past and what it meant to be a Jedi when the Republic still existed that I forgot that we don’t have the luxury to…well, fix the galaxy with our words anymore.”

Once again the look of surprise returns to the Togruta’s white-encircled eyes. The patterns of her face emphasize any slight change in her expression. “I only assumed you were afraid.”

“Fear was a part of it, it’s true.” Callia replies. “Still, now, I am afraid. I need to stop letting that control me, though. Fear leads to the Dark Side.” She smiles. “I think seeing the Selonian people rise up against their oppressors opened my eyes to just how desperate our galaxy currently is. I am glad there are people like you out there, fighting against the Empire.”

There’s a sudden awkwardness that comes to Rakine’s posture in the presence of Callia’s appreciation. She shifts in her bed, glancing in the other direction where Dr. Droid is standing by, sedately keeping watch over the medical monitors. “It’s not easy for any of us to face,” she speaks slowly, “The scale of everything we are up against.”

“I realise that.” Callia replies. “It is a large enemy we all face, whether from the shadows or in the front lines.” She takes a deep breath. “The galaxy has been in turmoil for far too long. Since long before the Clone Wars, even. It’s time we all started thinking about how we can fix that.”

“Yes.” As simple a response as it is, Rakine’s tone is weighted with her own perspective.

Callia swallows and studies her hands for some time. “I will not be working in the forefront yet. There is much I need to learn, still. But if you ever need help or if the Rebels need help, Rakine, please do not hesitate to call upon me.” She turns her head to the side, staring at the door to the medbay.

A hand lifts in Callia’s direction: calloused and marked-up from the tasks of a mechanic, and bare now without the leather gloves Rakine is in the habit of wearing. She’s looking for their eyes to meet, waiting for the Jedi to take up this offer of a handshake between allies. “Thank you. At the right time, it could mean a lot to us.”

Callia will not leave her hanging for long. There is a moment’s hesitation in her eyes as she realises the magnitude of what she’s promising but it doesn’t stop her. “I hope I live up to expectation, then.” She smiles as she finally grasps the offered hand and gives it a warm, reaffirming shake. Jedi don’t just say things, after all.

She gets to her feet afterward, picking up the holobook and lying it on the table next to Rakine’s bed. “Some light reading for later. I must be on my way, Zet and Santos are eager to take off. We will speak again soon.” She grins. “Try not to get into too much trouble in the interim, Rakine. It was good to see you again.” With that, she heads on her way with an air of confidence not previously noticeable in her steps.

Roleplay log: Confessions
an e-mail roleplay log

Zet and Santos had ample time to make sure the Void Crow would be ready for departure while Callia was laid up in the Rebel infirmary. When a helpful Rebel aide sees her into the hangar bay, the cargo door on the back is open, and Zet is sitting on the lowered ramp, eating a piece of fruit and scanning over some papers in her other hand.

She glances up at the sound of footsteps and flashes Callia an uncertain smile. “She’s back,” she calls into the open ship before rising to her feet to meet their Jedi friend halfway. “How’re you feeling?” Zet wiggles her fingers a few inches from Callia’s face, testing her vision.

Callia looks as alert as ever as she walks through the hanger with her ever-so-helpful aide. Her hair has been let loose to cascade over her shoulders and her lightsaber bounces off of her hip as she walks toward the void crow and her friends. This is the only place in the world she can wear the weapon openly without fear of retribution, so of course she does. There is a certain straightness to her back and a confidence in her every step that has been absent for the past while, perhaps something she’s gained back with the return of her eyesight.

She stops short as Zet meets them halfway, a soft grin touching her pale features. She playfully swats the fingers away. “I’m doing well,” she answers. One might get the sense she means in more than just her eyesight. “How about you, Santos and Qurzer?”

“Santos seems to have made it out in one piece,” the Chiss answers as he half-crawls his way out of the tiny cockpit. He doesn’t bother testing the Jedi’s vision. She’s been useful enough with or without sight. Instead, he pulls her in for a tight hug, lifting her a foot or two off the ground. “I’m glad to see you… Seeing again.”

Zet leaves all the physical affection up to Santos. Things have always been a little less warm between her and Callia. She just stands back, her smile taking on a more sincere quirk as she watches the pair of them and their comical hug. “I’m kind of stiff, but alive. Qurzer’s been pretty quiet, but they’re all right. They’re gonna stay with us for now, and maybe we can help them make contact with some of the other Selonians who’ve been offworld for a while.”

She fidgets with her papers, exchanging a look with Santos, and then folds them away into one of the many pockets of her vest. “Me’n Santos have been working out our next move. We’re hoping to borrow the Void Crow long enough to get the money we need and get back to Nar Shaddaa… but we’ve been searching the ship’s computers for information about Palob’s family. We want to tell them what happened to him. And if we sell off the ship we’re going to send them money.” Seems like there’s some modicum of honour among thieves.

The Jedi looks a little alarmed when she’s picked up and squeezed, her face turning pink. “It’s good to be seeing again.” She laughs softly and hugs Santos back. “Good. Glad to hear it. I can’t imagine what Qurzer is feeling. It’s horrible, seeing your people being reduced into something theyre not. I’m worried about what those Force uaers amongst the queens means.”

“I think Palob’s family would appreciate that. It’s the least we can do, right? What sort of move do you have in mind?”

Santos shoots a glance at Zet. Is she dining this, or him? “Right now, we’re looking at Duro. For a quick stop over. We know a guy there.” Santos walks over to the container Palob was stored in when they first met, hopping up on it to use as a seat. Palob currently resides in a smaller, refrigerated box until they can give him a proper send off.

There’s something a little bit too composed about Zet’s face when Santos looks her way. But she gives her shoulders a shrug as she gestures for Callia to step inside the ship with them, and once everyone is in she hits the button to close their cargo bay door.

“Santos wanted to run this by you first.” The Twi’lek stays on her feet, leaning back on the door with one hand on the frame near the release. It’s like she’s making sure there’s an escape route! “We want to meet up with this buyer on Duro, he’s into all kinds of rare and expensive stuff. The speeders aren’t all we found on Jiroch.” Zet digs her hand into one of the many small pouches on her belt and withdraws something very, very small, which she tosses over to Callia. It’s a clear crystal. “We’ve got some of these, and this.” From another pouch she withdraws a small, ornate, egg-shaped artifact. This, she doesn’t toss.

“We need the money. We’ve gotta get our ship back and pay off the Hutts before they get more violent about collecting.” She sounds defensive already, a tension in her shoulders like she’s bracing herself for an outburst. “But Santos thought that we should make sure you’re okay with it. Even though it’s not like it’s from your own temple or anything and it’s probably a zillion years old.” Perhaps this was one instance where the besties weren’t of one mind.

Callia can sense the tension in the air before it’s even visible. Ruh roh, what wily shenanigans are these kids pulling her into now? The Jedi follows on up the ramp into the ship while she brushes some of her long hair off of one shoulder. It can’t be that bad.

Can it?

Her face changes from mildly curious to serious when Zet tosses her one of the small crystals. The Force seems to flow easily through it, which makes her swallow. The small egg-shaped artifact makes her frown in thought. “Jedi artifacts.” She states simply.

“You realise the danger you are in, trying to trade these? If the Empire found out…” She shakes her head softly. “Especially considering one of the many applications these crystals may be for. I understand wanting to pay off the Hutts…” She sighs. “And no, they are not of my own Temple, but you will have to excuse me if a small part of me feels…offended that anyone would even consider taking and fencing old Jedi artifacts. Nothing is sacred anymore…”

“You don’t need to be excused for feeling that way,” Santos speaks softly, if the faintest bit smug, knowing that’s exactly how Callia was going to react, “that’s why I felt the need to tell you first. I understand that you and Zet have an agreement about our line of work, but this is different because it relates to your line of work.” He gets up and walks towards the pair, gently taking the egg in hand and turning it about to get a good look at it. “This is a bauble from the Jedi Order, true, but it’s from an order that you have as much connection to as I do to the Chiss Ascendancy that allied with the Sith thousands of years ago. I understand that you may have a historic attachment to it, and I respect that. So if you are absolutely opposed to selling it, we wont.” Callia might pick up on the slightest emphasis on the word, ‘attachment.’

He hands the egg back to Zet. “We know the risks of the Empire, so does our Duros contact. We’ll do this with complete discretion. The revenue from this could potential keep us away from the Core for very long time.”

Wow Santos! Like Zet didn’t know this was how Callia would feel. Which is why she didn’t want to tell her at all and then she wouldn’t have to feel bad. Zet is all about preserving her feelings!

She makes this little ‘huff’ sound as Santos plucks her treasure right from her fingers, but she lets him check it out. But when he gives it back she smoothly tucks it inside her vest, like, you’re gonna have to loot that from her corpse. (Probably not.) “The Empire doesn’t like it when you cut the arm off the major commanding a customs corvette either, but sometimes we’ve all gotta do things that tick them off.”

Callia snorts softly. “Especially when you do it with a lightsaber. I’m sure that will eventually come back to bite me in the behind. I don’t say this with me in mind, though. I am only concerned about you both.”

Santos is clever. Callia knows Santos is clever, Santos knows Santos is clever. It’s the emphasis of ‘attachment’ that has her exhaling deeply through her nose. “I’m not opposed to selling it, no. Not the egg. I would be a little more concerned about the crystals. Just make sure they’re not going to end up in the wrong hands.” She turns the one in her fingers over and over. “Do you mind if I keep this one?”

“We appreciate your concern for us,” Santos isn’t actually sure Zet does, but that doesn’t need saying. “But this isn’t exactly our first dance with an expansive, terrifying organization.”

He’s fully ready to jump into his next argument when the Jedi gives the OK to sell the items. “Oh, great.” He doesn’t attempt to hide his surprise. “Yeah, it’s cool if you keep that one. And don’t worry. Our contact deals with collectors mainly. They’ll likely end up in a private museum.”

Actually, Zet does appreciate Callia’s concern. Callia’s concern kept Shard from snagging her on a rope and flying her away over Cloud City. She just has a funny way of showing it. Let it not be forgotten that Shard, also, was working on the behalf of an expansive, terrifying organization.

“Of course you can keep one,” Zet says overtop of Santos, all ready to look super-generous in the face of Callia’s agreement. “Honestly with some of the stuff this guy moves, I doubt he wants to attract the kind of attention you get when you sell Jedi artifacts to the Empire. It’ll be okay. And we’ve dealt with him before and we’re not on bad terms with him so it should go pretty smoothly.”

The Twi’lek edges around the pair of them to find one of the foldout chairs to perch on instead. “Well now that we’ve dealt with that, there was something else, too. We were talking,” she glances at Santos, “and I guess I’ve been imagining this situation, like, Santos and me are partners, and we had you and Qurzer along like refugees who were occ- er, often helpful. But with the amount of trouble we’ve stirred up together lately…” Zet shrugs. “If we’re in this together, we really need to be in this together. Which means our little business, but also your own problems. I don’t know what that means for our whole don’t ask don’t tell policy…”

“I am aware of that…” Callia lifts her head from the crystal, eyes on both smugglers. “Alright. I will place my trust in the faith you have for this to go well, then.” She rolls the crystal through her fingers once more before tucking it into a pouch on her belt.

Callia cannot help but smile as Zet stumbles over her words. “Often helpful?” She asks playfully. “Mmm. I agree. We do need to be in this as a, dare I say it, team.”

“Right, especially since there’s a new, scaly player in the game.” Santos toys with the idea of pulling them in for a group hug, but holds back. That’s something to be saved for when the whole team’s present. “As for the don’t ask policy, I don’t think it needs to change. Part of the social contract of traveling with a pair of smugglers that we will by nature do things Callia won’t agree with. Just accepting that is a pre-requisite. The other side of that is when our work intersects with jedistuff, we ALL need to be in the know. Seem reasonable?”

His eyes dart back and forth between the two women, waiting for reactions.

“Okay, usually helpful,” Zet replies charitably, but with a flash of good humour in her eyes. “Anyway. I meant what I said before, about how usually Santos and I don’t move stuff like glitterstim anyway. So whenever we can avoid taking contracts for really bad stuff, we will. If something’s sensitive enough that you really need to know about it, I hope you can trust us to tell you.” She folds her arms as she leans back against her chair. “But yeah, when it comes to the Force… if we’re all gonna crew this ship together it means that if you want to check something like that out again, we’d go with you – but we’ve gotta all be aware of the potential risks.”

Callia’s head bobs. “I can trust you enough with that, yes.” She breaths a sigh through her nose again.

“Of course we all need to be aware of the risks…but I need all of you to understand that I am not…that I was still only a Padawan when the Order fell in the first place.” She brushes more hair back over her shoulder. “I am still learning the risks myself. I will be more thorough in recognizing them, though.”

“So what you’re saying is that you’re making stuff as we go?” Santos interjects in an attempt to lighten things up. “You’re in good company then.”

“That’s kind of what we figured.” Zet swings a foot beneath her chair. She’s coming off as far more relaxed than she was when this all began. It’s so nice when everyone gets along. “So if we get enough on Duros we can head straight back to Nar Shaddaa, pick up our ship, and then it’s finally back to business for us. That’s the plan.”

“I suppose I am.” Callia laughs. “We’re a group of idiots just figuring things out as we go along, hmm?” She crosses her arms over her chest. “That sounds like a good plan. Perhaps we can make a stop-over. I think…” She flicks more of her blond hair gently. “I think it will be easier to blend in with the outer rim if I look more like the part.”

“Nah, no need to stop for that. We have all we need here.” Santos heads over to the cargo, looking for his disguise kit. “What were you thinking? Zeltron? OH! How about Mirialan? I could do some stunning face tattoos.”

“Umm.” Zet casually rearranges her headtails, draping the right one across her chest and over her left shoulder. “I don’t think she’d fool any real Zeltron or Mirialan if we met one. Probably we should just leave her human. But do something with her hair.”

There’s a pause, as the Twi’lek scratches her noticeably hairless head. She doesn’t even bother to pencil in eyebrows like so many other women of her species most of the time. “I have no idea what to do with hair.”

“Yes, sticking as human would be best. Well, is there anywhere on Duros we could go for clothing and that sort of thing?” Callia runs her fingers through her hair… “I could cut this all off. Or dye it…” She frowns at the idea of dying her beautiful hair.

“Oh.” Santos is slightly disappointed. “Yeah, the Duros often wear clothing. They won’t have much to help with the hair though. We’ll figure something out for that.”

“I think they more or less always wear clothing,” Zet says slowly. “Hey, I can help you pick that stuff out. Maybe we can look at pictures of human hairstyles and pick one out for you. Something super cool that makes you look like a scary criminal. Some of the Black Sun women used to shave some of their hair off.” She swipes along the side of her head (such as she can, with headtails and those little cone ears Twi’leks have) to show what she means.

“Nothing says terrifying than someone who looks like a scary criminal waving about a lightsaber.” The Jedi laughs. “I’ve seen the look you are talking about before, though. It could work. I would appreciate the help in picking out clothing.”

Punk Rock Rebel Jedi Princess.

“No worries,” Santos reassures their human friend, “we have you covered. How do you feel about sleeves?”