The Check Is In The Mail - episode 1

Admiral Duck Sauce 2004-01-09 16:29:20
The Second Chance drops out of hyperspace near Sullust and is treated to one heck of a fireworks show. Two Rebel Nebulon B frigates and a Mon Calamari cruiser are mixing it up with an Imperial Star Destroyer. X-wings and TIEs arc around the larger ships like angry hornets, engaged in their own conflict. As the Chance comes to sublight speed, one of the Nebulon B frigates takes a huge turbolaser hit right behind the front section. The initial explosion cascades through the "stem" of the ship, splitting it in half as plasma and debris detonate from the now-drifting bridge section.

A closer look reveals the Star Destroyer to be less than pristine as well. Air hemmorages from a number of decks, and one of the shield generators sitting atop the massive bridge simply isn't there anymore.
CuteMotherFucker 2004-01-09 17:59:47
Mak watches the battle through one of the screens with obvious nervousness, touching his blasters every once in a while.

He then takes off for the nearest unoccupied turret, giving the ship's walls dirty looks and mumbling "..godamn tin can.."

(Edited by CuteMotherFucker at 7:00 pm on Jan. 9, 2004)
Gatac 2004-01-09 18:10:44
Erit walks onto the bridge.

"Will we turn around, or will we join the fight? With the amount of stray firepower flying around, staying here would be unadviseable."
Dieter 2004-01-09 18:32:24
Wayde looks out a porthole at prolific exchange of turbolaser fire.

"Cap'n, I'd have to agree with the Jedi. We'd only get our asses shot off if we joined the fracas."
CrazyIvan 2004-01-09 19:15:53
Aurelia simply sits by one of the windows, looking out at the battle, visibly distressed with the frigate begins to break up.

"God those are great ships...wasted with the Rebellion though." She sighs softly, and goes back to her quarters.
CrazyIvan 2004-01-09 22:57:29
They're fighting the good fight, but I've got business to take care of.

"Not our problem right now."

Arnae steers the Chance away from the space brawl and towards the planet, but as he does so, he checks the sensors to see if the Rebels have any help coming.
fanchergw 2004-01-10 00:21:00
Seated in the autocannon turret, Jileeza watches the battle with detached interest as she files her nails. It's fun to watch the lightshow, but she doesn't really care who wins.

Hearing the discussion, 'Za speaks up. "Let's get planetside, pay off the slug, and get outta town."

If so ordered, she'll shoot at whatever's in range. Otherwise, Jileeza will just play voyeur, as she has so many times in the past.
punkey 2004-01-10 09:11:47
Reyes is nervously watching the scanners and the ports. "Yeah, can we get out of here before reinforcements arrive, possibly right on top of us?"
Admiral Duck Sauce 2004-01-13 07:52:41
Sensors show a few wings of Y-Wings scrambling from the far side of the planet, but no capital ships seem to be inbound.

With a *click* of his seat harness and a quick look of "I hope this doesn't get me killed", Arnae slams the Chance's thrusters hard and barrels for the safety of Sullust's atmosphere.

Luck is with Maddock and the crew - the big ships seem more than content to slug it out with each other, and Arnae dips the ship under the Mon Cal cruiser, keeping his berth from the ISD. An X-Wing shatters in a fireball off starboard, green blaster fire streaking past the Chance as the victorious TIE screams by. A stray hit brings a warning light to the cockpit readouts, but the deflectors soak the blast completely.

As Arnae begins to skim his freighter into Sullust's atmosphere, Erit picks up two TIEs that broke off from the dogfight, following the Chance into the soup. The comms are schitzophrenic with chatter from both sides, but no hailing frequency comes from the Imperial fighters. Arnae curses - the TIEs couldn't have picked a worse time to tail them. The Chance needed crucial seconds to slow down and enter the atmosphere, and any damage to the hull could be disastrous at this speed...
CrazyIvan 2004-01-14 01:53:33
Arnae comms the turrets.

"We've got a pair of unwanted fans. You know what to do."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2004-01-14 04:26:47
Indeed they do, as Mak and Wayde open fire on the TIE fighters. Wayde's target's left solar panel blossoms into a cascade of fragments that flare as they ignite in Sullust's atmosphere. The rest of the fighter spins out of control, exploding a few seconds later. Mak's fusillade punches red bolts under and past the TIE, whose return fire skims the Chance but doesn't hit home.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2004-01-16 16:36:13
The Second Chance starts pulling away from the TIE fighter as the atmosphere thickens, paying for the gain with beeps and warnings as the deflector shields strain. The TIE manages to miss one last time as Mak and Wayde both aim downrange and send a stream of bolts into the hapless Imperial. A direct hit on the center cockpit turns the TIE into a glittering fireball and Arnae eases down on the throttle, bringing his ship into a cruise underneath Sullust's cloud layer. Sullust looks barren and undeveloped from the air; landing beacons and communications stations dot the rugged, arid plains, but it glows at night with the light from subterranean cities that look out from canyon walls and valley floors.

Arnae picks a landing elevator a short ride from where Gulgo hangs his ... er... where Gulgo hangs out.
Dieter 2004-01-16 16:40:20
As the docking thrusters put Chance down on landing pad, Wayde looks at the cannisters of stacked credits then out one of the ship's portholes,

"I gotta bad feeling about this..."
fanchergw 2004-01-16 17:58:55
Unable to fire behind, 'Za watches as Mak and Wayde turn the pursuing TIEs into space dust. As the last one bites it, she gives a lusty cheer. "Bite me, Palpatine!"

As they come in for a landing, Jileeza unstraps herself from the turret and makes her way down to the bay by the exit ramp. "How you want to handle this, Captain?" she asks Reyes. "We each take a bucket of chips and go visit the slug?" Part of her really likes the idea of carrying that much money at one time. Of course, her other hand would remain very close to her blaster...
Gatac 2004-01-16 18:42:35
Erit speaks up.

"I do not think it is wise to transport the credits ourselves. We should contact Gulgo, tell him what's happened and that we have his money, so he can send some of his guards who then escort the credits to his treasury. The sooner we relish responsibility for the safety of these credits, the better, since I would prefer not to lose Gulgo's cargo a second time."
Dieter 2004-01-16 19:01:51

Quote: from Gatac on 12:42 pm on Jan. 16, 2004
Erit speaks up.

"I do not think it is wise to transport the credits ourselves. We should contact Gulgo, tell him what's happened and that we have his money, so he can send some of his guards who then escort the credits to his treasury. The sooner we relish responsibility for the safety of these credits, the better, since I would prefer not to lose Gulgo's cargo a second time."

"Sounds like a plan. I'd rather not have to kill more people just because they got between us and Gulgo's credits. Let his men do the dirty work. I suppose we contact his fatness and let him know our intentions. While we wait, I'm going to try and monitor the Imperial frequencies...maybe I can find out what the heck is happening up there."
Admiral Duck Sauce 2004-01-19 22:04:51
As the rest of the group check their weapons and divvy up the credits, leaving a chunk behind for themselves, Arnae apprehensively scans Gulgo's comm frequencies. A human face appears on the other end of the line, the blue holo-glow shimmering through the Chance's cockpit. Arnae recognizes the woman as Joss... well, just Joss was all Arnae ever got from her.

"Captain Maddock," she says, simultaneously pleased that one apparent headache is over, yet concerned that perhaps it's just beginning , "Gulgo would like to speak with you directly. Hold on a moment."

The blue glow vanishes, and reappears soon after, with a crackling image of Gulgo, his green-gray bulk arrayed over a hoversled covered in fine silks, furs, and other, more exotic fabrics. Arnae can see motion in the background - either a party or something else has got people riled up over there.

(translated from the Huttese, of course)

"Arnae, my favorite smuggler. You disappoint me; it's been too long since we talked, ho ho. I thought we had an arrangement; no, I thought we were friends, Arnae. Explain - explain to me what's going on, why my tibanna isn't in my storage holds, why I haven't heard back from anyone I sent to meet you, and why you decided to show up after all that? Tell me a story, Arnae, dearest of all my friends."
Dieter 2004-01-19 22:11:51
"Don't tell him where we are...that's the last thing we need. We're here with the credits, plus a bit extra. We hope there is no hard feelings...yadda yadda.", Wayde whispers.
CrazyIvan 2004-01-20 09:32:12
"Shh, shh, I got it, Wayde. If any of you's got religion, pray."

Arnae takes his hand off from covering the audio pickup.

"There's nothing to worry about, Gulgo." He swallows. "Our gracious benefactor." He takes a deep breath, and then starts in with a nervous haste. "We ran into some Imperial entanglement over Rodia, and damned if the bastards didn't try to kill us. Well, we barely managed to escape with our lives, but lost the tibanna. Now wait, that's just the beginning."

A pause here for a gulp of breath.

"We all felt awfully sorry about your tibanna and decided to take the initiative and pay you back without you even having to ask us, see? So, we made a few side trips, took on some private enterprise, and now we've arrived practically on your doorstep (ohshitshouldn'thavesaiditthatway) with the full monetary value of the lost tibanna. We wanted to pick you up a gift to make up for the inconvenience, but the only thing you could agree on what you liked was standard Imperial credits, so we included a little extra, just as a way of saying, 'Gulgo, we're sorry,' and all in cash. Cold and hard, just the way you like it."

Arnae ends, gulps for breath again, and tries on what he hopes is a winning smile, which is betrayed slightly by the sweat running down his temples. The sweat is terribly uncomfortable, since it reminds him of acid, which coupled with the holo-image of Gulgo in front of him reminds him of some very terrible rumors.

Pleasepleaseplease, he hopes, don't mention the missing goons again.
Admiral Duck Sauce 2004-01-20 15:34:27
"Ho ho ho ho," Gulgo bellows. "Just what I wanted! That's what I like about you, Arnae, you're a clever man. Bring me my money."

The holocomm goes dead.

As if to break the tension, long-range sensors show the heavily-damaged Star Destroyer heading for deep space, with the no-less heavily-damaged Mon Cal cruiser floating victorious above Sullust.