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Posted on Sun Apr 19th, 2020 @ 4:03pm by Jambre Scoker & Xee & Pezzir Ve & Darth Moirai
Edited on on Sat Apr 25th, 2020 @ 4:45am

Mission: The Motherlode
Location: Forward Auxiliary Control, Aboard the Mining Barge Motherlode
Timeline: MD 02: 0145 Local

"You think your furry ass is so damned smart... hand me the memory bridge." There was a terse sigh, "One in the morning and Arky-Five wants one of his assay droids repaired. What am I, a Doctor?" The voice belonged to Jambre Scoker and with another terse exhale, he affixed the memory bridge to one of the Motherlode's aging ARCY Assay Droid units. The powered down droid sat limp in the repair bay while, despite his brusque nature, Jambre gently laid it down on the examination table.

Xee was normally barely tall enough to look over the table, save that now he was sitting on one end of it, the droid's feet in his lap. His legs were in a butterflied shape, save one raised knee. His vulpine face yawned and he blinked groggy black eyes. "You whine like a pregnant nerf in labor," the little Bimm murmured, resting his sculpted cheek on a furred hand. He stared into the lifeless single eye of one of Arky-Five's fellow assay droids. "I was asleep with my face between Twi'lek tits when he woke me up..."

Jambre chuckled at Xee's overshare. "I'm sure Magleroy'll have her lap cat back in a few minutes..." He drawled with a sarcastic turn of his mouth. He scratched his chin. Xee turned his triangular ears back, eyes narrowed, and mimicked a cat's hiss. The deck-plates shimmied a moment later- the Bimm's large ears flipped up attentively, eyes widening.

Jambre stilled as well, watching the lights of the repair bay flicker above- but they stayed on. He sighed and turned back to his work, "Static sink." He said. He lent out his large hand. The Bimm lounged out, a spindly arm reaching for the toolkit barely in his reach. He nabbed the device and slapped it into Jambre's artificial prosthetic palm. Jambre affixed it to the droid's exoskeleton at the top of its head. "I haven't seen an ion storm like this in quite awhile..." There was an air of tension when the Jedhan said that.

The Bimm blinked, and turned one ear to lay flat. For the moment, he stayed lounging. "Hated thunderstorms as a child? Aww." His tiny, fox-like mouth pursed liplessly in mock sympathy. Jambre eyed him pointedly. It wasn't normally Xee's job to undo the ion damage a trip like this would incur: case in point was this droid.

"You haven't seen lightning til you've seen it on Jedha," Jambre muttered. He activated his diagnostic tool and then the static sink. "There. It'll be a bit. But we'll get it flushed and then we can restart it." Jambre sighed and eyed the condition of the droid. He touched at several of the droid's arm joints, "This one really needs a lubrication bath."

Xee shrugged, "Want everywhere, and no money for it. Welcome to our life."

Jambre stepped away and pulled off the static proof gloves he'd donned for the operation. "So the kid's sure weathering this ion storm's worth it?" He glanced over his shoulder at the Bimm who was extricating the droid's feet from his person.

Icy resentment beamed from Pezzir Ve's round azure gaze at this complication. She had expected an easy jaunt through the spine of the ship, between the two massive cargo areas. Instead, the warm yellow light of the repair bay presented her with a problem- there was life at this hour. From the timber of their voices, the Vanterine could work out who she was dealing with: the Twi'lek's pet was of little concern to her. But the one from Jedha... Pezzir knew he was a complication, one she had had to deal with since coming aboard.

She sensed no true potential in him, but he was shrewd: he understood what to look for in the Sensitive. When she turned her wrist to look at the time, she felt the press of it weighing on her shoulders. The crew was not the issue- these tramps kept regular hours and much of the ship would remain automated for several more hours. The press was her own schedule- and one was not tardy in reports to Moirai.

Pezzir crept to visual range of the bay, eyeing around the corner. The dark one was slipping off static-proof gloves while the Bimm looked on. Pezzir chewed her lip, studying the gap of several meters she needed to cross to get to forward control. With a flick of her wrist and a well of resentment in her gut as fuel, she unleashed her budding talents.

Jambre had turned back to the Bimm when the mounted diagnostic screen on the wall opposite the bay opening fizzed and popped. The smell of acrid smoke came with a lazy stream of it. "Oh dammit... really?" Jambre muttered while he moved to examine the console. The Bimm had shifted as well, back to the bay front, his legs dangling off the table. A shadow skulked by behind them, as Jambre murmured something about the kid needing to be right about this.

The acute act of gremlin-like destruction was a fleeting glee to Ve. Her way clear, she folded her fingers back into her pockets and slunk the rest of the darkened way to forward auxiliary control- and the hyperspace antennae therein. It was down the axis of the ship. She fumbled from her pocket, once she arrived at the door, a chitinous looking device of Verpine design. She pressed it to the door's access gang and tapped it. The doors hissed open- but only a few inches. The Vanterine pushed them open just enough to squeeze through, then shut them behind her with a tap of the wall console.

The room was a terrace of three levels, much of it inactive machinery in the form of consoles and interfaces: control was largely in the command center of the Motherlode, and under automation for now; even Duros needed to sleep. Before her was a windowed vantage that filled her soul with something terrible. The ion storm was aglow in angry reds and fleeting purples. In the distance, red-white lightning sizzled- and warm red will o' wisps flitted with strange, chaotic patterns like they were raging racquetballs between invisible walls.

Pezzir plugged a device from her pocket into the communications array, again the chitinous design of a Verpine tool. It hummed to life, flickering with two yellow bars on a status screen. Pezzir muttered a curse, suspicion having her look at the immobile warm gray doors that she's shut behind her. Then she sat at one of the consoles, hands splaying out in front of a round holo-emitter. When it flickered to life, she kowtowed.

"My mistress...." Pezzir said in sycophantic submission. "A thousand apologies for the delay."

The face in the hologram was heavily flickering. Spots of red glowed behind a strange, burnt metal looking mask. The voice on the other under chirped and then a muffled, synthesized voice came. "Your delay has been logged. What have you found, My Servant?"

Pezzir lifted her head, her eyes still cast low, "I have encountered a disturbance in The Force, my mistress."

The hologram of a masked face did not move, so much that it appeared frozen. "Continue. The boy?"

Pezzir shook her head, "No, my mistress. The boy continues to not understand what he is."

"What then?" Came after a series of mechanical clicks. The hologram distorted heavily, pulsing gray and red so much that Pezzir straightened, fearing she'd lost the connection. She glanced down to make sure the signal she was piggybacking on hadn't been somehow traced. Two bars had shifted to one yellow... then flicked to two, blinking red.

"These tramps have turned their vessel into unknown space. A useless piece of ice and dirt called Numbi Station. Several hours ago, we dropped from hyperspace. I felt a weak oscillation in the Force. It has grown since. Now, I feel I am surrounded in it. I feel... immense loathing. Hatred beyond hatred."

Darth Moirai clicked, tilting her head in an almost mechanical way. "A Sith Lord?"

Pezzir chewed her lip, keeping her eyes low even as doubt crossed her path, "I am unsure, my mistress. It lacks discipline. It's rage is omni-directional. As if it cannot burn the hatred... it is choking." She flexed her fingers out, "It is both terrifying and... beautiful." Pezzir smirked, "Glorious... in a most terrible way."

Moirai clicked and looked away, the profile of the strange mask bathed in the reds of her ship's low light. "You will discover the source of this Dark Energy, my Servant." The Sith inclined her head, "Then report to me. Maintain your cover. Do not fail me."

Pezzir touched her forehead to the console again, "Yes, my mistress."

The hologram fizzled away into particles of flickering and then nothingness. Pezzir closed her hand against her throat. If she reached out into space, she could feel the hatred: it would flare as if carried on the ion lightning, or buzz like fleeting thoughts as a will o' wisp. The Vanterine collected herself and unplugged her hack, returning it to her pocket. She checked the logs of the array's emitter to assure her interventional tools had worked. Then she made her retreat.

When she closed the control doors and retrieved her device from the gang control, she eyed the long passage. The yellow-white of the repair bay had gone dark. She sensed life but it was more distant now. Pezzir crept away, feeling like a bug in a torrential storm. She had encountered nothing like this before.


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