The Players: Delphine, Sarna, Siika, Trina
Bright, light, golden blonde tresses are what first strikes whenever this human woman catches the eye. They part near the center framing her lovely and expressive features, with a smile that is broad and quick, and flow down to her elbows. She's of average height for her species with an athletic frame and a healthy build. Her nose is narrow, straight and pert, fitting nicely between her large eyes and full lips. Her brows are slightly darker and expertly styled. Long dark lashes frame aquamarine eyes that shine with confidence and intelligence. High cheekbones and a well-balanced chin and forehead lend perfection to her stunning appearance.
She wears a lightweight white tunic with light grey pants that go to mid-calf. Over this she wears a crisp black tabard cinched at the waist by a black leather obi and matching utility belt. A clean black blaster is strapped to her left hip in a black leather holster. She wears short black leather boots that leave her legs bare for a few inches before her pants hem begins. She may also wear a light grey cloak over her outfit and black leather gloves.
With slender limbs and a narrow waist, Trina has the silhouette of a human female. At a glance, however, she could easily be mistaken for a droid. Both her arms and legs have been completely replaced, the incomplete outer surfaces of each appendage made up of a mixture of brushed aluminum and mirrored chrome. Wires and servos are exposed in places, either as an aesthetic choice or due to lack of funds to complete the work. More chrome covers the crown of her head and down the back of her neck, a sharp contrast to the tan flesh still visible over her cheeks and clavicle. One eye looks upon the world with a blue, human iris, the other takes in the light through an optical lens and sophisticated technology.
From her choice of attire, Trina shows no desire to blend in with the unmodified humans of Regency society. A gray tank-top reveals more than it hides, exposing where her synthetic shoulders meld with the remaining flesh of her upper body. All along her bare midriff, lines of metal contour with shape of her abs, a crude map of where bio-mechanical equipment has invaded her torso beneath her ribs. Simple black shorts function for the purposes of modesty, another wardrobe statement to show where her fully cybernetic legs blend with the remaining human anatomy. No shoes cover her feet, nor gloves cover her hands.
This young, human woman carries a skin tone that is somewhere between dark and fair, framed by black hair and brown eyes upon an angular face with full lips. She has an average height for her age, and her slender frame has just enough shape to be on the light side of curvy. Her thick hair is braided and pulled back into a ponytail, revealing some sort of cybernetic enhancement affixed to her head. The sleek, black metal covers part of her ears and wraps around the back of her head, starting at the temples and disappearing behind her hair. The skin around this technology has the appearance of scar tissue, suggesting that it is a permanent implant that cannot be removed.
Woven fabric in earth tones is draped over her upper body, the darker weave breathable and fitting much like that of a tank top. Beneath is a lighter fabric that drapes down her arms, covering part of her hands. Black metal piping winds down her fingers, appearing to be some sort of cybernetic implant lining what would be her bone structure, complete with tiny servos where the knuckles would be. The fingers themselves are encased in a material that fits like a second skin; the same material is worn up to her neck, suggesting it may be a bodysuit of some type, closely matching her natural skin tone. A leather belt is clinched around a slender waist, matching the necklace worn around her neck. The necklace is adorned with three artistic baubles of mysterious origin. Her legs are covered by trousers of a similar color to her woven, tunic-style top, fitting just loose enough to hide the cybernetic supports worn on her legs. Brown leather boots are worn up to her calves, and a single earring dangles from the left side of the cybernetic halo upon her head.
A young human female of average height who appears to be in her late teens. Her face is rounded with youth, her nose slightly upturned, yet the large hazel eyes flecked with green and gold that dominate her features are intelligent and confident. Her long, dark brown hair is worn unbound, allowing it to fall in loose waves to her waist.
A white, cowled cloak covers her shoulders and falls to her polished brown hide boots. A pair of layered tunics in contrasting earthen brown tones are covered by a rust-hued tabard that's cinched at her narrow waist with a broad obi and a leather belt lined with pouches for storage. A holster for a blaster hangs at her hip, while the hilt of a lightsaber is clipped to her belt. On her legs she wears a pair of white, tight-fitting trousers tucked into her boots.
The mottled maelstrom of hyperspace flicks past the vessel at insane speeds. Siika has taken to propping her boots upon the dashboard of her vessel, a stim-stick in one hand and a bottle of booze in the other. Black plumes of smoke flick forth from the stim-stick, while she sips upon the bottle of Black Death with her other hand.
Riding at the front of the ship is a much more comfortable trip for Trina. For one thing, she has a seat instead of a work shelf, so her back is more fully supported with cushions. For another, she isn't loaded full of drugs. Glancing at what's left of Siika's bottle, she isn't sure she can say the same thing about the ship's pilot.
Trina is so comfortable in her seat that she's completely put out of mind the 'talk' she meant to have with Delphine. That was a concern for another time. At the moment, the streaking starscape beyond the viewport captivates the cyborg. As often as she piloted vessels, she rarely got treated to such a humbling view.
Sarna peeks her head into the cockpit from the main hold and is less surprised than she should be to see Siika relaxed and probably more than slightly drunk, while Trina looks like she might be about to fall asleep in her own chair. "Hmm." At her feet, the little droid Vee-Four beeps a question to her and she bends down and pats him on his cone-shaped head. "Maybe it's not a good time for that talk," she says more to herself than anyone else. Still, out of curiosity, she awkwardly maneuvers herself between the occupied seats to take a look at the control panel, wanting to get a glimpse of the ETA. "Blast it, how long till we get there?" she asks the computer in exasperation.
"Its not the fastest ship in the Cresh," Siika grumpily responds, before perching the bottle between her legs. "And don't worry. I know my tolerance is about as low as a slugworm on mating day, but I found a good detox cocktail." She pauses, before reiterating, "I fashioned one. So I can sober up, like, really fast. But, since we're stuck in hyperspace for another sixteen hours with nothing to occupy ourselves except for each other, I figured, might as well get blasted."
The bottle is lifted and offered to Trina first. "Go ahead, gorgeous."
After securing her gear below and freshening up, Delphine then arrives above to find the main hold empty of anyone even partially organic. She gets a few hellos which makes her smile and she answers each one in kind. She makes a cup of tea and heads up to the seating area of the pleasure-ship turned workshop.
Trina grins and leans forward to take the bottle from Siika. She brings it to her nose first, letting the fumes tickle her olfactories first. It smelled like something she used to use to degrease mech engines, but it would probably get the job done. Whatever job that might be.
Before she can put the bottle to her lips, she hears the chirping of Vee-Four to Sarna. Her grin widens and she leans down, extending a hand to the tiny droid.
"Who's a good boy!" she says. "You're a good boy! And you're smart enough to know it, too!"
Trina turns her smile up to Sarna. "I'm glad you brought him. We should probably keep him on the ship, though. Right? I mean, if what we're going into is dangerous..."
"I'm a terrible pilot," Siika admits. "Vee here managed to navigate the Silke asteroid belt. I'd have gotten us pulverized. Plus, if anyone dares to mess with him..." Up comes a hand, and she draws a line across her neck, suggesting the proverbial slitting of throats.
"Of course it's dangerous," she adds. "I'm of half a mind to strap Boomer to my back again, but his plasma cannon is //not// subtle."
Turning her eyes upon Delphine, Siika knocks a boot against one of the last remaining unoccupied chairs. "Make yourself at home. We're all just... getting drunk and lamenting over the insanity of all this."
Vee-Four whirrs and rolls forward and backward a couple of times in his excitement. "Sure, Vee, you can be the getaway pilot," Sarna says as she turns back from the nav-comp, spotting Delphine's entry and moving out of her way. She chuckles at Siika and looks thoughtful, appreciating the way that both she and Trina understand the little droid's usefulness. "Hopefully we won't need Boomer. What kind of trouble do you think we're looking at this time? Everyone's got weapons, right?" She arches a brow and glances at each of the other women in turn, then wiggles her eyebrows and holds out a hand, flexing her fingers playfully. "Gimme that. What is in that bottle exactly?"
The Acolyte, wearing a more practical outfit of a simple grey tunic and pants with black and white trim, smiles gratefully at the invitation. There'd been tension in the air and Delphine knew she was part of the cause of it. She moves past Sarna to one of the armed acceleration chairs and gestures with her cup. "Oh, I only brought tea," she smiles offering a cheerful smile to hopefully ease the moods in the ship's cabin.
Trina again starts to bring the bottle to her lips, but stops when Sarna requests it. She lets more of the fumes fill her nostrils before passing the bottle on to Sarna.
"Go easy on it," Trina warns. She looks back at Siika. "Is Boomer one of your droids? It might be nice to have a battle droid on hand, in case Ravace manages to get his droid fighting again."
As Delphine moves past her, Trina's mind races back to the Cantina. She was going to come clean, wasn't she? It was in Delphine's best interest. The right thing to do. The thing Sarna would probably do without hesitation.
But then Sarna's question hits home. "Oh! Weapons. I'm... uhm... unarmed."
Speaking of attire, Siika has decidedly become more comfortable upon her own vessel. Much of her cybernetic exoskeleton is exposed, revealing access points where the sleek metal intercepts with joints that disappear beneath the skinsuit she wears for both decency and protection against the scar tissue of contact points. It reveals her slender frame in such a way that her usual attire often hides, a body that borders on frail. She's either comfortable around her friends, or drunk. Probably both.
Mention of weapons brings an uncomfortable frown to her face, and a weird look that's given to Sarna. "I'd shoot myself in the foot," she remarks begrudgingly, before happily sidetracked by talk of whatever is in that bottle. "Picked it up on Orum's Bastion. Don't worry, I scanned it for narcotics. It's just booze, but I have no idea what."
Talk of Boomer has her grinning and jerking a thumb aftward. "That big guy, with no legs and a blasted arm cannon? That's boomer. Old battle droid, with one hell of a plasma cannon. I set him by the ramp to blow away anyone who comes aboard without permission, but, he's got no legs and hasn't been in production for three decades, so, finding a suitable replacement is.... pretty much I strap him to my ass and let him have at anyone who tries to screw with me." A pause. "From behind. And only when I don't want it that way."
A flush comes to her cheeks, and Siika turns to eyeball her ship's nav console. "Anywho...."
Seeing that Trina didn't actually drink from the bottle, Sarna thinks twice herself and takes a whiff of whatever it is that makes her eyes squint. "Not exactly a subtle bouquet," she remarks, listening to the others as a slow frown spreads on her face. "Okay, so some of us are armed, and some of us aren't. Let's make sure that those who aren't armed stay together with someone who is." She gives a meaningful nod to Delphine in that regard, and finally takes a swig from the bottle. She makes a face as it burns down her throat and then passes it back to Trina. "Boomer came in pretty useful last time," Sarna agrees. "Have you ever thought about fitting some repulsors on him?"
Delphine sits, and crosses one leg over the other. She eyes the bottle and wonders if there's more aboard or did she pack any. She frowns a bit at Sarna's plan. They hadn't really been able to recon the area they were headed to, something Delphine means to do later, but hopefully they'd all stay together. Then, dumbfound, Delphine stares pointedly at Trina. "Have you used a blaster at least, ever?" she asks, incredulous, her hand instinctively brushing her own thigh. Her weapons were put away tonight. "It may be too hard to interface with tech that old but wow, if you could that'd be helpful."
The safety of hyperspace is nearly absolute. The swirling display of light and stars forms a cone of safety around the ship. This is not a place where blasters or concussive missiles offer any sort of danger. The ship cruises through space and time, its route plotted carefully so as not to fly through anything large enough to destroy them.
So it's a surprise when the proxmity alarm sounds. The pattern of light outside the ship dissipates, withdrawing until the tunnel of light the mottled black void of space, distant stars shining cold, so far away.
The sensors tell the story. Pirates, parked along common space lanes, their huge grav-well generators dumping energy into the void. A B'Tan Corsair sits off to starboard, its dull gray hull near black in the dim light.
"A yacht!" crackles a voice over the com. "Looks like our lucky day. Prepare to be boarded, chummos!"
Hat pulled low over his features to allow him to sleep, Lincoln in a dreamed state plays over the talk that had led him to agreeing to accompany the group on their merry little adventure while he catches up on some needed rest down in a common area. He had dozed off where no one would disturb him. That had been one of his conditions afterall, that they let him at least use this 'vacation time' as a chance to do just that, relax some and sleep during the journey.
Trina leans close to Delphine. "I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot, if that's what you mean."
Then the sickening sense of the ship slowing hits Trina. She grabs the edge of her seat to keep from being thrown forward. An unnecessary gesture; the inertial dampeners are already doing their job keeping the occupants from getting scrambled. And yet if Trina had knuckles, they'd be white with the ferocity of her grip.
"What do we do? What do we do?" Trina's voice isn't shrill, but it isn't calm, either. Her one blue eye is wide, staring out at the pirate ship.
"I need a weapon," she says, more coolly.
Delphine doesn't answer Trina's panicked query. Instead, she is up out of her seat and gone down to the common area in what seems like a single move. Running past were Lincoln is slumbering the Acolyte pauses and jostles him hard. With quiet intensity she says, "Wake up, sleepy head. We've got trouble!" After making sure he's at least reacting Delphine slides a bag out from under a bunk to pull out her gear. Zippers are undone and soon she's strapping her blaster in its holster to her thigh and her shock batons are out and at the ready. She looks up towards the cargo bay and reaches out with her senses. She then hits a comm panel to address the cockpit. "They're gonna breach the cargo door!"
Truth be told, Siika had dozed off, right there in the captain's seat, all sprawled out and inglorious about how her body is positioned. The sudden slowing of the ship has her falling forward, abruptly waking and throwing a hand out to steady herself.
"BISKA!!" she curses, a particularly foul word where she comes from, and turns to look out the viewport as they drop back into real space.
"... the hell is- oh. Oh damn, //damn//, //DAMN IT//."
Throwing herself back into her seat, she begins flipping switches and tapping at computer screens, shutting down critical systems. "Boomer!" she says over the comm. "Wake up, buddy, it's time to have some fun."
Boomer, the half disassembled combat droid with no legs and a single, rather large plasma cannon, is seated in his spot pointed at the main boarding door. His head turns toward Delphine and he asks, with a deep and vocoded voice, "Lady Aurelia. Kindly point me at the cargo door so that I may have some fun."
That big, mean plasma cannon of an arm begins to throb as it comes online.
Coming out of hyperspace so unexpectedly brings an exclamation of surprise from Sarna, who braces against the doorway and Vee-Four immediately begins to beep and warble his assessment of what's happening outside the ship. "Pirates," the girl hisses, a fearless gleam in her eyes that no one here has ever seen before. As the pirates threaten to board over the comm, she turns to Trina and draws the blaster out of her own holster to give to her. "Don't shoot your foot," she says, turning it over to explain the basic features to the cyborg. "Here's the safety. If you want stun, flip that lever." She gives her an encouraging smile, then glances toward Delphine, a brief but meaningful exchange conveyed in her nod and through the Force as well.
With a flick of her wrist, she unclips the hilt of her other weapon from her belt. "Come on, hurry," she says to Vee-Four as she tramps out of the cockpit, catching a glimpse of Delphine rousing Lincoln. As the Acolyte preps for battle and wields her batons, the Padawan passes by his bunk and swipes his hat off his head, affixing it to her own before she catches Boomer's awakening voice.
"I got you, buddy!" she says, and wasting no time, she drops into a state of concentration, extending her hand until the legless droid rocks in place and then finds himself levitating over to a prime spot where he can target the cargo bay with ease. The girl herself takes up a position just behind Boomer, her unignited weapon held at the ready as she gives Delphine a quiet acknowledgment through the Force.
The offer of the weapon is enough to pull Trina out of her initial panic. She accepts the blaster from Sarna, nodding as the Padawan gives the brief instruction. Then Regency training kicks in. She holds weapon away from her, index finger away from the trigger. Insider her head, a drill instructor chides her, _Trigger discipline!_ Then she turns the weapon over in her hand, her metal fingers moving of their own accord. She pulls the charge flap, observing the power levels of the weapon. Another rotation, she toggles the safety off, then disengages the stun setting. Trina had some idea what her level of skill would be with the weapon, and it wasn't great. Stun blasts were less accurate, so she'd shoot to kill. It's what the pirates deserved, at any rate.
Then she moves, taking a position behind the partially disassembled droid. She trusted Siika when she said it served well in combat, but in that moment, it looked like it would make for good cover. Kneeling behind it, bracing the weapon with one hand and her knee, she prepares to make those pirates meet their maker.
The Acolyte moves into a position to one side of the cargo door and behind a bulkhead. When the pirates came through she hoped to stun as many as possible with her shock batons. She grips their sparkling black and silver handles, flexing her fingers a couple of times.
The pirates waste no time trying to secure the exotic fly that flew into their web. The gunship remains stationary, its engine thrumming to keep the grav-well net in place. It wouldn't do to let the yacht escape that easily. A massive door on the Corsair opens, exposing a wide shuttle bay.
An armored, boxy, troop transport emerges from the Corsair, directed at Siika's ship like a slow moving bullet. Red lights flash like the angry eyes of a predator as the transport bears down on the yacht. Guiding arms, clawed and snapping, clamp onto the vessel, dragging the personnel carrier's front door inline with the yacht's cargo hatch. The entire ship shakes as the bulk of the transport slams hard into the yacht's rear.
The breach has begun in earnest.
Now alone in the cockpit, Siika is a whirlwind of motion. Systems are bypassed and re-routed, setting up obstacles and traps for as many potential outcomes that she can think of in what limited time there is. One by one, she sets commands that can be triggered by her wrist computer; all the while, her eyes remain focused as they jump from switches to gauges to computer panels. There is an undercurrent of brewing anger and defiance within her. This is her home, her mobile workshop, and she'll die before she lets a bunch of ruddy, space-sucking scallywags take it from her.
"Alright, you filthy, nerf-screwing spice heads," she mutters to herself. "Come and get it."
Jumping out of the captain's chair, she skids on stockinged feet toward the open hatch and eyeballs the security feed showing the cargo door, splitting it into both an internal and external view. One hand hovers near the remote door control, while the other hovers with a finger perched over her wrist computer.
The jostling of the //Servant Mercy// has Siika baring her teeth in an angry sneer. "Dank ferrik," she curses, and switches the comm. "Soon as those bastards are at the door, I'm opening it and blasting them with engine coolant. Stay away from it unless you want your faces to melt."
It might seem that Sarna is not paying attention to what's happening. She stands still and poised, her eyes closed, her lightsaber hilt held in both hands as she adjusts her grip. Her breathing slows as well as she concentrates, using her senses instead of the video feed to anticipate the arrival of the invading pirates. When the ship gives a jolt, her eyes open, and she nods to herself as she hears Siika's warning over the comm, taking several more steps back from the cargo bay door. Unlike the others, she doesn't look for cover, instead simply making sure she's not between Boomer's plasma cannon and their enemies. Her stance widens and there's a thrum of energy and vibrating sound as she ignites her lightsaber and positions the shining blue blade over her head.
Jostled by the impact of the enemgy ship against the _Servant Mercy_, Trina nearly enters a state of panic again. Her HUD lights up, elevated vital signs displayed in her left, cybernetic eye. Heart rate increased. Shallow breathing, leading to lower oxygen levels. Temperature rising, as human blood vessels constrict. It was almost like being back in the arena, without the tons and tons of armor and technology to protect her.
Then Siika's words hit home. Venting the cargo bay with coolant. Wait a minute. SHE was in the cargo bay! Whatever protection Boomer might offer from blaster fire, the partial droid wouldn't do anything to keep the toxic substance ruining Trina's entire day.
With the weapon still directed towards the cargo bay doors, Trina backs up. She slips back and back until she's in the corridor leading from the cargo area to the cockpit. She lowers the weapon and eyes a comm panel mounted on the wall. Perhaps there was something she could still do.
Opening her empty hand, then opening her palm to reveal her scanner-interface, she places her hand on the panel and begins to reach out to the yacht's communicator array. Numbers and symbols play across her HUD as she seeks a tight-beam to direct at the Corsair.
She might not be able to hold her own in a fire fight, but maybe she could hack them a way out of this.
Delphine hears Siika's commands and moves back from the door, standing instead to the other side of Boomer from Sarna. She also takes a beat to calm her mind and focus on the motions outside of the cargo bay door.
Siika waits patiently, watching with ire as the pirates make for her cargo doors. She even lets them get to work at setting charges, but she'll be damned if they're gonna blow her ship up in any way, shape or form. Her fingers may tremble, her breathing shallow, but she waits until just the right moment before bashing the button on the wall.
The cargo doors open, likely giving the pirates a momentary surprise. Siika counts two beats before touching her wrist computer, now with a smirk on her face.
From either side of the open doorway, ports in the exposed coolant pipes blast open. White gas pours out, a searing exhaust given forth by the vessel's engines. These billows of white smoke pour into the opening, some of it spilling into the //Servant Mercy// while most of it pours out toward the pirates faces.
Alone in the corridor, Trina continues to reach through the ship's systems, drinking in sensor and telemtry data like it was life-nourishing water. She gathers information on her friends as she continues to try and penetrate the pirate Corsair's defenses. Through an internal diagnostic loopback, she's able to detect Siika's footprint in the system. Trina cheers quietly as her cybernetic friend lets the pirates in for the final surprise of their life.
Via a cargo monitor meant to measure thermal levels, Trina witnesses Sarna leave cover. To Trina's senses, Sarna is a glowing silhouette, raising her arm and beating back the toxic gas with her will alone. Trina doesn't understand it, but she cheers for this action as well.
Then all of her attention moves to the Corsair. A vulnerability? She focuses the tight beam and begins a series of algorithms meant to penetrate ane debilitate network securities. To her senses, the gates to the ship are blown wide open, and the pirate systems are exposed, like grubs wriggling in the mud after turning a stone.
On a display in Siika's cockpit, Trina wills the words to form: I'm in.
The Acolyte sees Sarna move center and she steps back to let the young woman work the Force against the pirates using Siika's well placed gas explosion. For her part, she closes her eyes and thinks cool thoughts - literally - as the temperature in the bay begins to drop, hopefully granting some relief to Sarna and herself from the intense heat.
Next she focuses on the figures in the troop transport trying to assess if the threat is mitigated or if there is a backup plan to make a second assault on the yacht. Of course there was still life on the Corsair, but how many more combatants might they face? Delphine breathes serenely awaiting the pirates' next move.
The vented engine coolant is loud, as is the roar of the engines from both ships. Yet the screams of the pirates trying to enter the yacht are louder, filling the cargo area with the sound of death and dying and pain.
The reponse from those protected by the ones at the front: blaster fire. Red waves of energy lance out from the personnel carrior. Blind fire to be sure, but there is a lot of it.
Many of the boarding pirates have died, but those that remain are fired up. They fire their weapons, because it's too late for them to go back. Perhaps it was too late even before the doors opened.
In the next few moments, Siika stares at the external camera footage, watching what she and Sarna have done. She's never killed before. Her ears go deaf, her vision blurs, and she grips the bulkhead with metal-laced hands that ply for some sense of stability.
The screams cut through her muted ears, and it makes her stomach turn. Tunnel vision forms at the edge of her sight, and she can feel the bile rising at the back of her throat. Even as the blaster fire comes, all she can think about is trying not to lose her lunch.
Brown eyes flick to the computer display and read through the fog. A gasp for air brings the world crashing back down around her, and she grasps the computer panel with both hands.
<<Overload the converters>>
Meanwhile, Boomer answers the incoming fire with a massive blast from his plasma cannon. "Not on my watch, scumbags!" he announces.
As many times as Sarna has wielded her lightsaber in training, she, too, has never actually been in a real battle against living beings and blasterfire intended to kill. There's a brief flicker of fear that she brutally pushes aside, allowing the Force to fill her and guide her instincts. Though her hands still burn from the coolant, she ignores that, too, and steps forward to meet the barrage of laser bolts with the blade of her lightsaber. She deflects some shots back on their attackers, hearing their screams joining those that have already fallen, while others bounce harmlessly off the bulkhead. "There's... too many!" she calls out more to herself than anyone else, retreating slowly back a step at a time. "Boomer, any time you feel like blasting these guys, I won't complain!"
Really with the pirate boarding, Lincoln was not sleeping in a bunk. He had been down in the engine room doing something or other. He has a bit of a knack in some regards with such things, or at least pretends to. At least that will be the story. But with everything falling into place as it has been the Valentine Lawman has made his way to the boarding area where the sound of blaster fire greets his ears. There's a rather stoic expression on his usual passive features and in his hand he holds the Peacemaker he rarelypulls from it's holster.
"There's never too many pirates," he comments as he steps up beside Sarna, flashing the Jedi girl a small smile before he looks back towards the din of bodies and calls out, "Hey-o! You hosers! You best have a reason for boarding this ship!" A pause, "Cause you boarding the ship of the son of Blackjack. You bringing a whole host of noise down on ye'!"
Trina's perspective on the happenings of the ship are complex, to say the least. The thermal view she has of the fighting the cargo area is given a heightened sense, as she is able to see when the pirates die, their bodies immediately cooling a fraction of a degree as soon as their fate is sealed. The blaster bolts flying the air are like shooting stars, brilliant wish-bringers whizzing into the sun rod in Sarna's hands. The heightened sense of light and heat is made that much more stark with the lack of sound. Where Trina's mind is at, she cannot hear the screams. But she can imagine them. She knows what it sounds like when a person dies.
When the lawman of Valentine joins Delphine and Sarna in the cargo area, Trina lets that part of her awareness go. She was juggling a great many data feeds now, and she didn't need to distract herself with the kind of drama those three could potentially bring to each other while in the same room. There would be time for drama later.
It's Siika's monitor and the Corsair ship that hold Trina's greater portions of attention. While holding onto the link through the tight beam, Trina ingests the simple message from Siika. Overload the converters. Often easier said than done, but these pirates apparently didn't put a lot of thought towards digital security.
Sighing in real-life, Trina reaches into the Corsair with her digital hands, taking hold of the strings of control, pulling and pushing in accordance to her designs. Safety overrides are disabled. Shunts meant for dissipating heat are locked into a danger state. Power is diverted. Siika's command is crafted in the digital sphere, shaped by Trina's will.
These pirates were going to regret capturing this ship. If any of them lived through it, that is.
The Acolyte joins the ranks of the other women who had never been in real battle before. Though she'd had extensive martial training, in her short years as a member, the Enclave had not engaged in armed disputes. Not that she'd never needed to protect herself or her client at the time. Some people just react to bad news, like losing or being double crossed, with violence. But one person is easily subdued by someone of Delphine's abilities.
Oblivious to the cyber manipulations going on fore of the cargo bay, the stench of burned flesh and fuel blows back into the bay as the blaster fire begins. Delphine draws her blaster, already charged and -not- set to stun, and one baton and just starts unloading with rapid fire and precise aim. With the baton she catches any stray bolts that escape Sarna's expertise.
When Lincoln appears she smirks giving him some side eye and yells above the roar of battle, "Nice of you to finally join us!"
The initial chaos of the frenetic blaster fire gives way to some semblance of order. The stray shots minimize, the blaster fire reducing to just a handful of pings every once in a while directed at the shiny weapons held by the Jedi and Acolyte. The screaming continues, but that's only because some of the pirates are dying slow, their vocal chords still in tact while the corrosive engine chemical destroys them from the inside out.
The blaster fire halts altogether for a handful of seconds, like the drawing in of a breath. Something happening within the dark recesses of the personnel carrier. Then an explosion of sound, heavy metal feet pounding on deck plates. The gap betweeen the ships is breached. A heavy loader powers its way onto the yacht, one of its massive arms held up to shield from the flow of gas. With the heavy loader comes a handful of pirates of various races, moving past the loader like wolves nipping at a pack animal. Some brandish blasters, which they engage immediately. Others care more primitive weapons. Vibroblades. Cudgels. One Zabrak leaps forward with a sword in each hand and madness in his eyes.
It is the last surge of hope and terror from the pirates, that much is clear. It is the desperate act of desperate men and women.
The valves suddenly shut, cutting short the waning burst of scalding gas. Siika whirls around, grabbing a cable from where it hangs on the wall. One end of it is jammed into the port on her wrist computer; the other is shoved into a data port just next to the vessel's main computer.
As soon as the gas dissipates and the loader drops in, Boomer cuts loose. His big arm-gun packs a big punch, and globs of green plasma death spew forth one after the other. "Yes, the son of Blackjack!" he announces, picking up on Lincoln's gamble (and likely making it worse, given his unconvincing delivery).
Meanwhile, Siika is monitoring Trina's cyber-warfare now that she's jacked in, literally, to the main computer. She doesn't talk, or communicate, or do //anything// to distract the mech-fighter. However, if this all goes to plan, there's going to come a moment when they're all going to need to move fast in order to avoid being pulverized when that Corsair goes up.
"I'm so sorry," she says quietly to herself, and presses a button on her wrist computer.
The //Servant Mercy// is, literally, filled with droids. Some in working order, others not so much, but all of them have power cells. Those capable of movement leave their places, resting near bulkheads, and begin walking, rolling, and repulsoring toward the throng of pirates. Then, one by one, each of them begins sparking with arcs of electricity as they throw themselves at the pirates.
A tear streaks down Siika's face. They can be repaired, but the sacrifice cuts her to the core.
Those in the cargo hold continue to fight back the intruders, unaware of the efforts by Trina and Siika to sabotage the Corsair from within. Sarna's focus remains intense as she pivots and deflects the blaster bolts away from herself and her friends, sparks flying from the blue blade of her weapon as it hums and sings in her hands like a living thing, and she's grateful for Boomer's deadly contributions to their efforts. When Lincoln joins her and begins shouting insults and threats to the pirates, she shoots him a brief but brilliant smile, peeking out from under the brim of his hat she stole. "It's about time!" she voices her agreement with Delphine's assessment.
Then there is a moment of quiet, and Sarna pauses, not relaxing her guard by any means, but vigilant to what the next move may be as she shares a glance with her friends. A second before the loader attaches itself to the yacht, she senses the danger and motions for the others to stay back. "Here they come!" she warns.
The Zabrak attacks viciously but with no finesse, and Sarna is able to relieve him of one sword with a swipe of her lightsaber, and her kick sends him reeling further back than someone of her size should be able to accomplish. Another alien, at least three times her size, comes down with a vibro-axe for her, but she extends her hand and something unseen sends him hurling across the deck to slam into the bulkhead. Brandishing her weapon, Sarna prepares for the next attack -- just as she realizes that the droids on the ship have come to life in a suicide maneuver. Blinking in shock, she backs away from the sparking, relentless droids as they march on this last desperate wave of pirates.
Lincoln grumbles a bit under his breath, "You want to vent coolant and have the hyperdrive not explode, then gripe about me being here after?" He glances between Sarna to Delphine and shakes his head. "Ungrateful..." his words trail off because the heavy blaster he holds begins to unload. The shots the come from it screech from the compression they are shoved through in the barrel to create a near energy slug that slams with great force into targets that he hits. From his back behind his belt he pulls a secondary blaster into his free hand, lighter than the first, and begins discharging it as well. "You know, if you told me there was going to be this much trouble I'd have brought both big ones."
Systems on the Corsair begin to crumble under the weight of ones and zeroes stacked and piled in such ways that none of the bridges and digital shells can hold their weight. Fire suppressant is the first subsystem to fall to Trina's attack. It would be a real shame, now, for a fire to break out, wouldn't it? Next falls navigation and long range communications. The connection between Trina and the Corsair buckles at that, but short range comms continue to support the hacker's machinations.
Working through the _Servant Mercy_, Trina is unable to completely shield herself from some of the other happenings on the converted yacht. A tickling in the back of her mind lets her know that something is happening in the droid bay. With the cascade failures taking place almost on the Corsair almost on their own, Trina allows some of her attention to be diverted to the droids. Such precious creations! Not all were good boys like Vee-Four, but she couldn't help but feel some amount of kinship for the artificial lives.
Then she sees what they're doing and her blood runs cold. She perceives each of the activated droids like galaxies in space, their complex systems illuminating the dark spaces and promising logic and joy in their complicated algorithms. Then those precious galaxies began to supernova, the potential of their light extinguished. She couldn't hear them screaming, but she felt each loss like a stinging on her metal skin.
On Siika's screen, Trina's will pours out in letters: No, no, no. Not like this!
It's at that moment that the grav-well collapses, the Corsair no longer able to afford to dump so much power into that system. They have diverted that power into their failing life support. They have also begun powering up their turbo lasers.
The loader was unexpected! As it steps towards the trio and Boomer in the cargo bay, within the hold of the grav well, the weight between the two openings jammed together shifts and Delphine stumbles a bit. Then there is a moment when she senses the rush coming towards them around the bipedal machine. "Boomer, get the loader!" she calls out while she sheathes her blaster and ignites both shock batons with a hiss of electricity. She spins the batons twice to loosen her wrists when a Gamorrean woman rusbes towards the more petite Acolyte. Delphine meets the blows from her porcine opponent's halberd with deft moves.
The last hurrah of the boarding pirates is met with a resistance they could not have foreseen. The blasts from the canon droid. The lightsaber. The shock rods. The big gun from the sheriff. And then there is the army of droids, throwing themselves upon the invaders and electrocuting them like some kind of mechanical immune system.
The Zabrak, the Gamorrean, a Trandoshan, a pair of Rodian twins... it becomes clear to them that they are not going to see the other side of this fight. Not like this. One by one, they throw down their arms and offer a surrender.
Meanwhile, the Corsair begins rotating, bringing its weapons to bear. It has faced a different kind of defeat. They see no way to surrender. They thought they caught a fly in their spider's nest, but instead they caught a sparrow, cunning and vicious. They may not be able to consume this bird, but they might be able to kill it with their own brand of venom.
"Happy to!" True to his word, Boomer sounds more than happy to follow Delphine's guidance. His big arm cannon turns to the loader, and begins unloading its massive globs of green destruction. He's aiming low, pelting it's wheels and claws in an effort to push it back where it came from.
"Vee!" Siika's face sticks out from the cockpit, her voice a shrill cry over the deafening sound of what's happening in the bay. "I need you!!!" Spinning back around, she takes to the controls, her face contorted into malicious anguish with mascara smeared around her eyes.
Chirping and squealing, Vee-Four wheels into the cockpit and plugs in. Siika punches buttons and flips switches, then bangs her fist into the comm. "BOOMER!!!"
The cry from his mistress causes Boomer's eyes to glow a brighter shade from their usual pale white. His shooting pauses, and the plasma cannon begins extending its guard vanes and widening its compression barrel. "Fire in the hole!" He shouts, and unleashes the remaining power cell in one massive, sustained blast. The sound vibrates the air, and pushes the loader just beyond the threshold of //Servant Mercy//'s cargo doors.
With the yank of a level, Siika closes the doors. Punching a large button next to that level causes the blast doors to slam shut. "Shields!" she yells, and Vee-Four chitters his confirmation.
The vessel's shields come online, slicing through the docking port of the pirate ship with a terrible sound and a spewing of shrapnel into space.
"Hang on everybody!" she calls into the comm, then reaches for the hyperdrive controls. "Let's hope we don't have a burn out," she mutters, before pulling the levers together and pushing them forward.
The //Servant Mercy// gives forth a troubled groan. A handful of pipes bust, jetting hot steam into various parts of the cabin. But then she lurches, and the stars become ever extending lines. There isn't more than a second to spare; as the Corsair opens fire, it's turbolasers come within inches of striking the shields and throwing the yacht off course, but in the barest of fateful moments, the vessel lurches into hyperspace, leaving behind the pulverized remnant of her violent struggle.
Sarna can sense the obvious, that the battle inside the cargo bay is all but over. Though her reaction to the kamikaze efforts of the droids is not as visceral as Trina's, she does flinch and mourn the sacrifice of the automatons as they fling themselves into oblivion. Though the remainder of the boarding party retreats pr surrenders, the ship rocks as the grav-well releases the //Servant Mercy// from its clutches and the loader is unleashed upon by Boomer's mighty cannon. Sarna catches her balance and moves back, motioning for Lincoln to follow, giving the old battle droid plenty of berth to fend it off. "Get us out of here!!" She shouts over her shoulder, and as if on cue, the bay doors crunch closed and she can feel the ship lurching at last into hyperspace.
The jump to hyperspace severs the connection between Trina and the pirate's Corsair. The cyborg hacker tried to prepare herself for it, but there's only so much one can do to ready their consciousness from collapsing back in on itself. One moment, Trina existed beyond the confines of the ship, her senses no longer limited to the capabilities of her body. The next, she is laying on the ground in the corridor, hey eyes adjusting to the light. A stranger in her strange body.
The disorientation passes and she pulls herself to her feet. She knew there were bodies in the cargo bay, some living, some dead. She didn't think any of her flesh-and-blood friends suffered the ultimate sacrifice, and she didn't have the stomach to go confirm.
Trina's thoughts are on Siika. Her droid-like legs are not as graceful as she would like as she makes her way to the cockpit. She leans in, first seeing Vee-Four near the control console. Such a good boy! Then she sees Siika.
"I'm so sorry," Trina says. The cyborg witnessed the droids hurl themselves onto the invaders, felt so many of them cease to exude that vital spark of existence. It had to have been worse for her cybernetic friend, and Trina could not find any good words to offer for comfort.
With a last effort before the doors shut, the Acolyte pushes forward with her hand and the bulk of the carnage is swept back from whence it came into the transport. Quickly, Delphine follows Sarna and Lincoln out of the cargo bay after the blast doors slam shut as the newly free //Servant Mercy// lurches forward and then falls into the lull of hyperspace.
In the main room she sees it devoid of droids and frowns. The area was devoid of droids and Trina is getting up from the floor. Siika will be beside herself!
Delphine pushes forward to the cabin and turns to Siika. The cargo bay was clear and secure. It's also very messy despite her Force assisted attempt at cleanup. "I...I'm sorry about your ship. And your friends." After all, none of them would be here if it weren't for her. Delphine was the only one with a mandate to find this Envoy and meet with him. "I can see about getting compensation from the Enclave..." But she knows it will never replace what Siika has lost. So she turns her seaglass gaze to Trina, unaware of the link she shared with the Corsair and shock of severing it. "You look rough back there. Are you okay?"
As the others gather in the main hold, Sarna pauses to survey the carnage, or what's left of it, after Delphine's attempt to clean up. There are droids shorting out, moans of the maimed and dying now discernible over the quiet that's taken hold now. With the focus of battle over, Sarna can sense their overwhelming fear, their dying thoughts of home and their searing hatred for those who cut them down, and she's suddenly overcome with nausea she can barely control. She looks at the lightsaber in her hand, at the blue blade thrumming its familiar song, remembering the powerful connection between the Force, herself and her weapon in the heat of the battle, and she extinguishes it with a soft cry before wiping her sleeve across her eyes. "Force help me," she whispers, blinking back tears against the pain of her burns and the remorse clenching around her heart.
Unable to look at it any longer, Sarna turns away and rushes to join Delphine, Siika, and Trina. Catching the tail end of Delphine's comments, she turns her concerned look on Trina. "Is everyone all right?" she asks in a high voice.
For a few long moments, Siika simply stares at the majesty of hyperspace. It always made her feel a certain sense of wonder, until today. The numbness sets in, prompting her to check over a few systems if only to make sure the ship isn't about to break apart and thrust them all into a horrible, light speed death.
Flicking the last switch, she turns and leaves the captain's chair, pausing to kneel wordlessly next to Vee-Four. She gently traces a gloved finger down his cone, then pats his head gently. "Thank you," she says to him, before turning to join the others in the main cabin.
The young woman's eyes turn from one face to the other. She refuses to look at the droids that she programmed into self sacrifice, instead choosing to focus upon her friends. When she does at last speak, her tone of voice is cold, stiff, and dry.
"They can be repaired. I have full backups of every single one of them. They won't remember any of this nonsense." The young woman has raised shields of her own, seeking to protect herself from the tremor that threatens to throw her into emotional disarray.
To Delphine, she offers an empty smile. "If they see it as appropriate," she answers, before crossing the way to seek out Boomer.
"Mistress Siika," the droid says, "I'm afraid that last attack has drained my plasma power cells."
"Its okay, Boomer," she says, comforting him. "You did well."
Finally, her eyes turn upon the surrendered. Those who can feel the Force will sense it moving darkly within the young woman. Her fingers clench, metal rods moving to pull the skin and broken muscle beneath into a white-knuckled ball. There is murder on her mind, and it begins to show to those without clairvoyance in the way her brown eyes begin to stare at them, with a mounting malice that none could have possibly expected.
"You," she says, raising her voice and pointing a finger at one of those who have lived. "I should throw you out of the airlock, along with your dead friends." She takes a step closer, but the malice in her heart begins to cool. "Instead, you're going to throw your dead friends into the cargo bay. Then you're going to help me patch up my ship."
Another step closer, and she snatches a metal rod from the wall, lowering it toward the pirate's neck. Not with the speed of attack, but with the slow intensity designed to frighten.
"If I catch you trying to sabotage //anything//... then we'll be going back to this airlock idea." Her voice lowers into a growl, and a cold rage enters her eyes. "Do you understand me?"
Taken as a whole, the remaining pirates in the main cabin of the //Servant Mercy// are a pathetic lot. Some have sustained such injuries that their time left on this plane of existence is short. Others may yet live if they receive medical treatment soon. And some, like the Zabrak that came into the ship with two swords and a dream of conquest, are uninjured physically. Mentally and spiritually... it's another matter entirely.
The one singled out by Siika, a Trandoshan with an old scar that covers one eye, twisting its mouth up into a permeant sneer, looks suitably afraid.
"Yes, Master! Of course, Master!" he says in thickly accented common. Looking in the Trandoshan's eyes, there's no question as to what fate he believes he's landed. He turns and immediately begins doing Siika's bidding.
The corpses begin going into the airlock, as do one or two of the gravely injured. One figure singled out by the Trandoshan, a Rodian with a cybernetic eye stalk, does not appear to be injured at all.
"What are you doing?" the Rodian cries.
"The corposes are getting spaced," the Trandoshan says, shoving the Rodian ahead of him. "And you're a dead man, Jorlo!"'
Having followed Siika to the main hold, Trina stands back as the ship's captain makes her demands of the captured individuals. She feels some portion of Siika's rage and pain, not because she's hacked in through some fancy cybernetic wizardy, not because The Force is with her, as it is with some of her other friends, but because she still has empathy, and she can see it in Siika's posture and her stance.
When the captives begin turning on each other, Trina says nothing. She looks towards Sarna and Delphine, wondering what they might do. As far as the cyborg is concern, they could eat themselves. They deserved whatever fate they brought on themselves, and Trina felt no compulsion towards kindness. Not this day, anyway.
Delphine watches as Siika's tirade fills the post-battle silence and then Trina walks away without responding to any solicitations of care from Sarna or herself. It's then that the so far serene Acolyte feels the weight of the violence within her chest. She regards a small bit of blood splattered on the fine fabric of her shirt and frowns, rubbing at it then looking around a bit lost now. She sinks into one of the acceleration chairs. From the seat behind the pilot's she sees the bottle of rotgut still holding onto it's last dozen swigs. Her expression darkens and she moves into the co-pilot's seat, snatching up the bottle and begins to take sips while the starlines speed by outside the viewport. Should she have come alone? Could she have sensed it? she wonders then sits quietly exploring her guilt.
Sarna glances at Delphine as the Acolyte retreats into the cockpit, understanding her feelings while still struggling with her own. With the adrenaline fading from her bloodstream, the girl sighs and tries to control her trembling, and she extends a wordless message of comfort to her friend through the Force.
But then, the shouts from Siika to the surrendered pirates draw her attention and she frowns. Her eyes go wide as Siika threatens the Trandoshan with the metal rod. "Hey... take it easy," she suggests in a soft voice that sounds very young. Sarna watches, stricken as the corpses are loaded into the airlock, but gives a start when the uninjured Rodian is coralled along as well. Gritting her teeth, she approaches, grasping Jorlo by the shoulder and jerking him away from the Trandoshan. "No more death!" she demands, fixing the reptilian with a meaningful look. "Space the corpses, but anyone who can be helped, get them into the quarters and I'll find a medkit. Got it?" Turning on her heel, she includes her friends Siika and Trina in the demand. "Got it?" she repeats to the two women, authority in her voice now far beyond her years.
When Jorlo makes to space the bodies, rather than stow them in the cargo bay, Siika's eyes go wide. When the Rodian is shoved along, she steps forward and blurts out, "Hey!! What are you -"
Her voice cuts short as Sarna shares her tone, and she looks toward the younger woman with life in her eyes once more.
A short upnod is given to Sarna, and the metal rod is lowered to her side. "I've got more than medkits," she assures. "Assuming you scoundrels didn't blast all of my medical gear to pieces. We will fix you up, and then you will fix my ship."
She turns her eyes upon Trina, checking visually to see if she's on board. Then, her attention moves to the cockpit, where Delphine has retreated.
A quiet sigh escapes her lips, and her shoulders slacken for a moment. Then, she gestures with the rod, pointing it toward the pirates still alive, then pointing it into the direction of quarters. "Get it over with and do what she says."
"I got it," Trina says quietly. She didn't know what she did to be included in Sarna's admonishment. She didn't say anything. Maybe she was supposed to?
Regardless, Trina knows first-hand what Siika's ship is capable of when it comes to medical aid. She raises her right hand up to rub her left arm. The injury had been repaired, first by Siika, then by herself and a handful of technicians on High Centre. Good as new, so they said. Yet there was still a sense of loss there. Something intangible that was just... missing.
Trina shakes her head and moves to help drag some of the injured to the medical kits. Her hands move mechanically over pirate injuries, cleaning wounds, applying bandages, setting bones, and knitting tissue together. Mentally, she checks out.
None of this would have taken place in properly controlled Regency space. These savages would have been picked up by a patrol or military ship and dealt with accordingly.
Trina looks over her shoulder in the direction of the control center of the ship. She should be there consoling her friends, not wasting medical supplies on people that didn't deserve it. Yet this is what her friends wanted her to do, isn't it?
After consuming half of the remaining bottle in her hand, the Acolyte leans forward towards the control panel. While it felt like days they'd only been in hyperspace and battling pirates for a few hours. There were at least a dozen hours left in the journey to Telmuria (sp?) and now they had a gaggle of unwanted passengers. Upending the bottle and finishing it, Delphine flips through the star charts for their route. She flicks on a com switch to address where she thinks Siika is. "Do you want me to pick a system with good interstellar prosecution laws to drop these scumbags off on?"
"Good," Sarna says, relieved when Siika drops the rod, and her shoulders relax. She clips the lightsaber back to her belt and commences to help Trina identifying and treating the wounded. Both women are quiet as they work, and Sarna pushes her own misgivings aside, concentrating on making sure the injured are as comfortable as can be expected.
After a time, the Padawan looks up at Trina and offers her a smile of gratitude. "Thank you for helping," she says softly. "I know it's a thankless task, but... I don't like to see anyone suffering." She squeezes Trina's shoulder before giving her a warm smile.
Turning away, Siika finally takes stock of her vessel. She looks at the carbon scoring on the bulkheads, the deck, the ceiling; the general disarray of supplies and broken tables and crates that have been shattered. She looks at her little army of droids, all of them (save Boomer) resting in powerless slumber.
A hand rises to rip at the braided hair, letting it fall loose over her shoulders in a haphazard mess. She grips the metal rod for comfort, feeling as if the cold metal against her gloved fingers is the one thing keeping her from breaking down into a sobbing mess.
Finally, there is Delphine's voice on the comm. Swiftly she turns and approaches the panel, opening the channel. "You bet your ass I do. I'll put all of my security recordings onto tape."
Closing the channel, she drops the rod onto the floor with a jarring *clang!!*, then moves to join Trina and Sarna after retrieving her medical scanner and a selection of sedatives, analgesics, surgical disinfectants and bacta implants.
Crouching down to help one of the critically wounded, her expression once again becomes dull. After a time, without looking up from her work, she remarks to anyone in general, "This had all better be worth it."