Star Wars: Kestryl

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"Hold fire unless absolutely necessary, and go for disabling shots if you can. Let's keep off the grid as much as possible, I'd prefer to avoid a bounty on our heads." She stepped to lean against the cockpit door frame. "As for Mree, it's a mess." She shook her head. "Was a contested world during the Clone Wars. Planet more or less broke into two factions, one Republic, one Separatist. Grand and Droid armies both pretty much didn't touch it, so they fought it out amongst themselves for the war."

Shana shivered. "Four years of trench warfare and terrorist attacks by both sides. In the end, the Separatists got dealt with when the Empire dispatched a Star Destroyer to bombard their holdings - full power turbolaser strikes on Separatist-controlled cities from orbit."

Anyone who'd lived through the Clone Wars knew what that meant - turbolaser strikes released exojoules of energy. One well placed shot could turn land for kilometers in every direction into nothing but debris and fire. An Imperial-Class Star Destroyer could turn the crust of a planet into slag and blast holes into the mantle of a planet, rendering it a lifeless rock with only a few short hours of bombardment.

"Then the Empire left. They haven't really touched the planet since then. Left a garrison and a governor, but not much else. Now some Sep survivors want to resurface, continue the fight." She shook her head. "They're idiots. But they're paying."

There is comfort in rhythm, in the familiarity of repetition. This was one of many reasons why Mara could often be found sleeping in the engine room rather than her actual bunk. Other reasons included being close by in case something went wrong, and the fact that the engine room was, on average, probably cleaner.

Amidst the hum of the engine, the creaks of the gears, the whispering slush of the hydraulics and the faint snoring, an annoying beeping came up. Mara's alarm-clock was very good at its job, and she hated it for it. Hated it with an intensity she rarely showed otherwise. She planted a surprisingly well-aimed kick at the blasted thing and it flew across the room, but even after it came down it didn't stop its incessant beeping.

A string of half-muttered, barely intelligible curses escaped Mara's mouth as she reluctantly got up, stretched, and picked the damn thing off the ground. She turned it off with a very satisfying *Click!*

As she yawned and tucked her left tail behind her head, she checked up on the engine: running smooth, could be smoother. Same as usual.

Retying the knot in her jumpsuit, she strolled into the common room and rummaged around until she found a half-empty can of protein that claimed to taste like a four-course meal rolled into one dish. To Mara's great surprise, it did. Though of course nobody ever said throwing a four-course meal into a blender was a good idea.

Can in hand with a spoon stuck in, the still-drowsy Twi'lek made her way to the cockpit.

"Hey boss." she waved, as she saw Shana standing in the doorway, "How're we doing?"

Standing next to Shana, Mara could now also see Ian and Kao. "Morning fellas. Sleep well?"

Hinek had paused in the corridor when he had heard the others chatting. He rarely had much to add to the conversation, but he still found it was often best to lend an ear at least. Hinek didn't pay too much attention as the others discussed the trip planetward, the most Hinek had ever done in a starship was fire the guns a few times; and less to actually hit anything then to just keep the enemy weary.

Hinek gave a quick greeting nod to Mara as she joined the others. As he did so the conversation shifted to a different subject; one that pricked up Hinek's ears a touch; the specifics of the job. Hinek didn't know about the entirety of the captain's history, but he had found out enough for a warning light to go off in his head. The fact that the shipment of weapons in the hold were headed to some anti-empire group on a rim-dump planet was a bit to convenient for coincidence.

Out in the corridor Ian and Kao couldn't see Hinek, and Mara had her back turned when Hinek crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow at the captain. His mildly accusatory stare directed at the captain clearly said everything his words didn't. Was this going to be personal?

"If you have something to say, Hinek, just come out and say it." She turned to give him a look of her own, glaring back at him. "It's way too early for the passive aggressive shit." She rubbed her eyes. Everyone made the job about something. It wasn't about anything, it was about money. Spitting in the Empire's eye was just a bonus where she was standing.

"Morning fellas. Sleep well?"

Kao smiled as he kept going over his checks. "Sleep? Who do think was keepin' an eye on things while you were gettingyour beauty rest?" After doing a few minor adjustments he went on. "An' don't give me any of that 'the navcomp can handle the ship while in hyperspace' bull. You show me a pilot who's happy to trust it all to a computer, and I'll show you somebody who's just cargo."

Still facing towards the multitude of stars streaming past he took another sip of coffee, closed his eyes, and let himself relax. Just because he was out of the Corps, and that if he was found out as a Force sensitive he was a dead man, he saw no reason not to keep up with the meditations he'd been taught. Reaching out with the Force he could feel the presence of the others on the well as another now just outside.

Concentrating on the new individual he quickly recognized them. It'll drive him nuts while he tries to figure out how I realized he was there. Eyes still closed he chuckled quietly.

"If you have something to say, Hinek, just come out and say it. It's way too early for the passive aggressive shit."

Damn! The Capitan just had to spoil my fun....oh well.

Hinek held the gaze for another second before looking away and giving a shrug. "Nothing captain." He responded succinctly intentionally using her position rather then her name to show his accepted subservience. Really, whatever Shana's reasons were didn't bother Hinek; he simply felt these things should be clear. Hinek figured she would be in a better mood after some coffee and once the job started in earnest.

With that Hinek turned and strode away from the others, if anyone wanted him they would know he'd be in the cargo bay. Today though he would have to not push too hard, if he exerted himself too much now he might be tired during the job. Of course Hinek hoped he wouldn't have to do anything other then help move the goods; but thongs had started like that enough that he didn't put much stock in that hope. Perhaps he would start with the punching bag today.

"Morning fellas. Sleep well?"
"A little too well, I think." Ian said. "I swear I'll space my alarm one of these days." He handed the datapad to Mara. "Here. You should probably read up on this. Check if we can get any supplies at the spaceport." Then again, it probably doesn't matter much. Ian thought; they weren't exactly swimming in credits.

"If you have something to say, Hinek, just come out and say it. It's way too early for the passive aggressive shit."
Ian grinned a bit at that. One could always trust Shana to be up front about things. Hinek, not so much. It always seemed like he was hiding something, and it made him hard to trust. But Ian had done just that several times, and he had yet to be disappointed.

"I did actually know pilots like that, back in the day. Makes you wonder how in the hell they ever-" Mara stopped herself before she spilled a few too many beans. She hadn't ever talked with the rest of the crew about her past work with the Republic, least of all with the captain. Instead she awkwardly stuffed the can of protein in one of her many pockets and took the datapad from Ian. She went over it, muttering her thoughts half to herself but just loud enough for the rest to hear:

"Protein supplements: fair enough. Ionic reflector modules: eh, get 'em secondhand. New lasersaw: not without some backdoor deals. Lessee, in-atmosphere stabilizers, new plating on the cockpit, refill the engine coolant, tune the artificial gravity sink, espresso machine..."

"Okay, we should be able to get, like, the most basic essentials off of this at the spaceport, if we keep things nice 'n legal. I might be able to get a bit more, say about half of everything left, if we look into *ahem* 'alternative distributors'. 'S your call, boss," Mara said, turning to Shana, "Wanna try the black market or 's that too risky?"

She leaned over Kao's chair to look at the display of the planet. "Kuh Pricks Ehmumree? Sounds like something you should show your doctor if you cough it up. Is this really the place?"

"You'll find most species in the galaxy didn't start off speaking Basic...hell, the Kokhpesh can't really speak it at all. Fortunately they can speak Bocce. You can all speak Bocce, right?" She glanced at them. It wasn't a big deal if they couldn't, but the language was pretty common anyway." She looked at Mara. "Get the materials as fast as you can. Weapon smuggling tends to be a bit tight, so we'll collect our pay and then get out of here as fast as possible...also, you're going to have to wait until we get paid to get your parts. We're a little bit strapped for credits at the moment."

She was drastically understating it. Shana never would have taken this job normally, weapon dealing was too risky. But over the last few months work had been scarce and they'd barely been making enough to keep the ship fueled and the crew fed, much less keep it in repair. As a result, they had a little bit more than enough to pay standard docking fees. With what remained, they could maybe get some candy bars.

Sleeping in for too long is the result of staying up too late. Cedric often spent too much time milling around and putting off going to sleep. Though now he was awake, there was no point in backing out of work. Besides, out of all members of the crew, he found he had less to do than most. Since his skills only really came into play when things went wrong he could relax for the most part. His knowledge of space lanes meant he could function as a navigator but it wasn't a full time job by any means.

Getting dressed in an hurry and walking towards the sound of voices, entering entering the cockpit where his fellow crewmembers were talking. Cedric greeted them with a cheery:

"Good day all, have we discovered billions of untraceable credits while I was asleep or are we going to have to work for our pitifully low funds?"

The looks the crew gave him suggested the latter.

Devron opened his eyes and sat up in his bed.
He had been dreaming of Halesha again. To him, those were the best and worst dreams at the same time.

"I had best get up and see if we will arrive soon."
Devron exclaimed as he got up from his bunk and put on his armor and clothing.

He got his double vibro-blade positioned comfortably in it's sash on his belt. It was retracted to the point of looking almost like a double lightsaber, except it was a lot thicker and looked just a little bit bigger.
After equipping his blaster and putting on his gloves and boots, he stroked his left lekku and remembered how it got cut.

"AH in the name of Akul!"
He quickly cursed in Togruti as he stubbed his toe in the door's corridor on his way out.
It wasn't exactly painful but he had newly awakened and pain was new to his body at this stage.

He slowly made his way into the common room for a bit of breakfast. He could also smell the faint smell of coffee.
Opening the door, the aroma of coffee took him by surprise and it again reminded him of his life in Alderaan. Quickly shaking off the thought, Devron poured himself a cup and rummaged through the cupboards for some food.

Hektorr awoke, groggy and fatigued. He never could sleep well during long hyperspace jumps. Even after piloting for years, the concept always make his fur stand up. He rolled out of bed and stretched, working out the kinks in his back. For some reason, he never got used to sleeping on ships. He missed Kashyyyk, and he felt the familiar pain in his chest that comes alongside missing Kashyyyk.

He checked the datapad next to his bed and examined it. We're over K'pryxm'mree, he thought. Is that even a real place? I thought it was one of those fake places mapmakers use to avoid getting their maps copied

Sighing, he made his way down to the cockpit. The Twi'lek didn't like flying outside of hyperspace, and she'd probably want him helping the Zabrak. They were probably coming up on a checkpoint, so he figured they may as well look legitimate.

He walked into a common room filled with nervous mercenaries as a half asleep Twi'lek walked past him. He turned his attention to Shana while grabbing a massive lump of protein for breakfast. "How much trouble are we in with that platform, boss? Should the Zabrak and I get ready to jump, or we gonna try walkin' past them?" His Shyriiwook was deep and guttural, sounding more like a deep growl than most others.

His abbreviated meditations finished, Koa opened his eyes as Hektorr spoke. Don't do it man. He thought to himself. This is a really bad idea...frak it. "FRILLING HELL CAPITAN!" He said with a huge grin. "How long has it been since the galley fridge has been cleaned out? I mean not only is it walking, but it's trying to speak!" He knew it was borderline suicidal to tease a Wookiee, but he couldn't help it. His tendency to be a smartass was probably another reason why he'd never made it as a real Jedi.

On Kashyyyk, the slavers didn't realize that Hektorr spoke Basic. He used that to his advantage. Hektorr wasn't sure if the Zabrak knew he spoke Basic, but it was insulting him and making a joke out of it. Hektorr finished his handful of protein, took a swig of the ships recycled water, and punched Koa in the face. "I'm called Mad-Claw for a reason. Insult me again, and I'll rip your horns out." He growled in Shyriiwook
Hektorr took another handful of protein and sat down at the table. "So, cap. About that checkpoint. Waddya want me ta do?"

Ian hide his smile to Kao's comment. It was funny, but he knew Hektorr wasn't one to be trifled with. The guy was asking for it big time, and Ian found that just as funny as the joke itself.

And yet, he was still caught off guard when he decked Kao.

Ian stood up, his hand instinctively dropping to his blaster. He extended his palm towards the Wookiee, not unlike a police officer about to pull his gun. "Hey, big guy. Calm down. Someones gotta fly the damn ship."

Devron sat at the table and watched as the excitement unfolded. It looked like a regular stand-off, but figuring that the wookiee was just defending his honor he didn't mind him hitting the Zabrak.

"What the hell do they think they're doing.... bunch of kids on this mission..."
He rumbled under his breath in between his sips of coffee.
He was quite fond of his native language and used it often to remind people of where he was from, and besides it sounded way more badass than basic. Especially swearing.

Sitting back in his chair, he finished the last of his cup, as he slowly lowered his left hand onto his blade.

He could have dodged it, as the large hairy fist hit he knew he should have dodged it, but he didn't. Nobody but someone with a connection to the Force could've moved fast enough. Damn Hektorr is least he was nice enough to hold back.

"I'm called Mad-Claw for a reason. Insult me again, and I'll rip your horns out." Kao had served with a couple of Wookiees before, and had learned some Shyriiwook, not much but enough. He was about to reply when he saw Ian stand. "Hey, big guy. Calm down. Someones gotta fly the damn ship." "Hey Ian, while I do appreciate what you're doing it's not necessary..." Shooting Hektorr a baleful look he rubbed his rapidly bruising cheek. "Mad-Claw or not that's not reason not to have a sense of humour, but since you took it as an insult I will apologize." And if you try that again, I'll shave you bald.

"When it comes to comedy, Kao, you need to know your audience." Shana didn't take her eyes off her datapad for the whole exchange, although her lips twitched upwards in amusement. "You're on co-pilot, Hektorr." She pressed the switch for the ship's intercom. "Alright, we're ten minutes before realspace. Everyone get to their posts and standby." She switched it off. "Cedric, I want you on sensors and communications. They'll hail us when we arrive. If they ask for our cargo, tell them we're hauling construction materials." If they were boarded a lot of scrap metal would be found, cheap salvage they had acquired. Technically illegal, but they wouldn't get much more than a slap on the wrist for it. Hopefully that'd be enough to persuade them from looking further.

"Everyone know what they need to do?"

Devron finished the rest of his breakfast and stood up from the table.
"One question Captain. Would you like me to accompany you, or shadow you and report back with surveillance?"

He walked past the captain waiting for a response and started leaning up against a wall next to the entrance to the common room.

"Of course, I know the routine." Cedric said, rolling his eyes and wondering how many other ships used the same trick. Still, if a trick works all the time then there is no reason to stop using it. Leaving his arguing shipmates to their jobs and bickering Cedric went to the mess hall to get breakfast.

Breakfast was a rather loose term for what variety of foods and supplies they had left. The Galley fridge didn't have much to offer but under the circumstances anything was preferable to not eating. Grabbing two edible looking objects from the fridge Cedric entered the cockpit and sat down in the chair behind the pilot. He rather liked his seat on the ship, being in the cockpit meant he could see what was coming and having everyone face away from him meant he could procrastinate. But only a little, keeping an eye on the sensors was important.

Sitting in the faithful chair he took off his jacket and draped it over the back. Checking the time until realspace. Six and a half minutes. Time enough to get comfortable and get bored. Time enough to eat something too.

"Let's get through to groundside first, Devron. Then we'll figure out our plan for the deal." Shana headed for the dorsal laser battery, walking through the length of the ship until she reached the gunwell and climbing up into the turret, then leaned back on the uncomfortable moving chair, waiting. Only a few more minutes.

Shortly later, the mottled blue-white of Hyperspace gave way to starlines, which in their turn resolved into stars, a few of which quickly became much bigger as they decelerated - the gigantic grey-brown sphere of K'pryxm'mree, the three-petaled flower-like shape of the XQ4 Platform, a scattering of transports, freighters, and other craft passing through...

And an Imperial-Class Star Destroyer, escorted by a squadron of TIE Fighters.

"Oh, frak."

A heartbeat after arrival, a message came through the comm. "Unidentified transport, this is ISD Stormclaw. Transmit your cargo and destination, and identify yourselves." The voice was clipped and precise, with a noticeable Coruscanti accent. Imperial to the core. Shana slid her hands onto the controls for her guns, a white-hot blanket of rage descending on her mind. She really, -really- wanted to open fire.

Shana took a deep breath and slid them away. That was a bad idea. She keyed the intercom. "Cedric, you're on."

Devron figured that he wouldn't be much of a help in any in-space proceedings, so he checked his blaster and re-fastened his belt as he briskly walked toward the boarding ramps and got ready to land.

"If I'm lucky, maybe I'll find word of my brothers on this planet. It sure feels like a planet you would go to hide..."
Devron said as he picked up his blade and started practicing his maneuvers.

However, when they exited hyperspace, he suddenly got a bad feeling in his gut.

As they dropped into sub-light, Kao saw the SD and let lose a hearty string of Zabraki curses. Just smeggin' perfect! Why in the void would they Empies have an SD in this septic tank of a system? As he was bemoaning their luck in his head, his fingers flew across the instruments plotting several different escape routes, just in case shit went sideways.

"Cedric, you're on."

"Yes, dazzle the Empies with all that charm you keep claiming to have."

"Cedric, you're on."

"Yes, dazzle the Empies with all that charm you keep claiming to have."

"Oh quiet down will you? You couldn't do better." Was Cedric's retort, Kao was nervous and angry at the presence of the Empire.

"Watch the master." Said Cedric, sitting up straight in his chair, he always thought that made him more formal and persuasive, answering the hail he said "Stormclaw, this is the Kestryl. We're a trading ship and our cargo is currently construction materials. Destination is something I couldn't ever pronounce. I think it's nickname is Mree."

Hopefully ending on a casual tone would convince the Empire there was no risk here and let them on their way. Still there was often some jobsworth officer who thought checking every ship they came across was a requirement. Hopefully the Stormclaw didn't have one of those kind of officers today.

Ian's jaw dropped as the ship exited hyperspace and he saw the Star Destroyer. "Oh shit!" he exclaimed before regaining his senses. It's ok. It's ok. he whispered in his own mind. They have no reason to suspect us of anything. If we act natural we can just drift on by. No worries.

"Stormclaw, this is the Kestryl. We're a trading ship and our cargo is currently construction materials. Destination is something I couldn't ever pronounce. I think it's nickname is Mree."

We're boned.

Mara had instinctively ducked under Hektorr's fist when he swung it, getting out of the way just in time. She watched the subsequent brief argument with mild disinterest, generally more focused on emptying the can of protein than breaking up the fight. She was about to turn around and throw away the now-empty container, when she heard the voice over the comms.

Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit, oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.

She listened to Cedric give his best impression of a silver tongue with held breath. If this went wrong (and she didn't trust life to have this go any way but wrong), they would board the ship. She had a fake I.D., but she would bet credits to donuts she was still somewhere in the Empire's databases. Gun-smuggling AND desertion? She'd be lucky to get life in prison.

She sidled over to Shana, her face unusually serious. "Please tell me you've got a plan specifically for this kind of scenario.
Or failing that, any favors with deities you've yet to call in."

"Transport Kestryl, this system is currently under Level Two security protocols. All shipping traffic must be inspected by Imperial personnel. You are ordered to heave to and prepare to be boarded, we are launching a shuttle now."

"Kriffing Frak." Shana keyed the intercom. "Do as they say. Bring us to a stop, but keep the engines warmed up. Power down weapons. Hektorr, get the navicomputer to start plotting our escape vector. Head for deep space, we'll rejoin the Hydian Way somewhere along the route."

She slid down the gunwell back into the engineering section. "Check those hatches, make sure all compartments are sealed! No blasters! Keep them in their holsters. We're getting in and out of here without any of us going in bodybags! Anyone have any ryll, glit, anything illegal with them? Put it out in the open in your quarters."

In the cockpit, a quiet alarm began going over. Text began scrolling across the sensors console. "Alert. Targeted by ISD Stormclaw's batteries."

"Oh joy, they're targeting us with their weapons." Said Cedric in a resigned tone. Why couldn't they have had some layabout officer who just let them past instead of insisting they search the ship? Cedric supposed it was to maintain a degree of fear amongst smugglers. The knowledge that they could be searched at any time probably set a lot of smugglers on edge and caused them to make mistakes.

Now they had the Kestryl in weapon sights they would be able to destroy them in a matter of seconds. Not even the sturdy Corellian Corvettes could survive for long against a Star Destroyer. Their little transport would be disabled quickly. The Imperial Gunners were accurate enough to target important systems in a ship and force it to surrender. It suited the Empire to string up the crew as a warning to others. Rumours would get around in the smuggling underworld and only cause more fear.

Still, if they were boarded by stormtroopers the crew might get lucky and be facing the new recruits who couldn't shoot for all the credits in the galaxy. If they were unlucky they would be up against Fett clones, highly skilled soldiers right from birth and veterans of the Clone Wars. Of course there seemed to be less and less Fett clones around. Cedric had heard they aged twice as fast as other humans and were now getting old, slowly being replaced in the ranks of the Stormtroopers by poorly skilled recruits.

"If anyone has anything illegal then poor little you!" Shouted Cedric, "I'm so glad I stay away from that stuff."

It's all no good. He thought to himself. None of the escape plans he'd thought of before would work...the SD was too close, and the Kestryl wasn't nearly fast or manoeuvrable enough. Instead of letting it stress him anymore he took a deep breath, sighed, and rolled the freighter slightly to allow the shuttle easier access to dock.

"If anyone has anything illegal then poor little you! I'm so glad I stay away from that stuff."

"Cedric, shut the hell up right now, or I'll come over there and shut you up!" Kao snapped. He took another breath and forced himself to calm down.

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the Force.

Repeating the Code over and over he tried to still his nervous mind, but with each passing year since the Purge began, it seemed to mean less and less.

Hinek rushed through the ship's corridors in a way that did not at all betray the rushing panic inside of him. He knew Kao was a good pilot, but there was simply no way that the old Kestryl could outrun a modern top of the line warship like an Imperial Class Star Destroyer. The cannons could also reduce them to star dust in a trice if they chose too. Now Hinek knew that technically he wasn't wanted for anything (you had to get caught to get a record) but he also knew that these days the Empire wasn't into much discretion when the blasters came out.

Hinek quickly entered his obsessionally orderly room and began tearing through his trunk. He wasn't looking for anything illegal of course. Hinek's disruptor was locked in a special shielded box in a hidden compartment buried under a pile of mundane cloths and other items. Oh no. Instead, Hinek was searching for the exact opposite; something he had for just such an occasion; something that he did want the boarding troops to see. Finding what he was looking for Hinek started to pull off his shirt in a hurried way.

Ha, some of these people had illegal possessions they would be caught with. Fortunately Cedric didn't have any of tha- oh damn! His blaster! The kind they issue to stormtroopers!

He had to hide it but where? One of the other cabins? No, as much as they argued sometimes the crew of the Kestryl were friends. Where? Behind the fridge, under a display screen? No the Empire would find it and that would raise more questions.

No, it was best he keep his blaster with him and hope the stormtroopers were more focused on inspecting the cargo than the crew.

"Roger that, powering down weapons." Ian replied into the weapons station's headset. He kept the shields ready to go though; they wouldn't do to much if that Star Destroyer ready wanted to kill them, but if they just sent TIEs after them the shields could buy the hyperdrive valuable time.

Ian was also aware of everyone milling about hiding their illegal gear. Thank goodness I don't have anything like that. he though to himself smugly. I fact, the only illegal thing I own is... OH FUCK, MY BIKE! Ian jolted out of the seat and rushed down the hall into the mechanical shop. The modified BARC speeder bike, which was technically stolen military hardware and certainly something that would give him away as an outlaw, sat on the far side of the room, the lights overhead reflecting beautifully off it's pitch black armor. Ian grabbed a power drill and went to work. He carefully removed the front portion from the back which housed the controls, seat, and engines. Then he carried each half to opposite ends of the room, placed them upside down, and threw a tarp over each. It was a simple trick that had worked thousands of times, but most of those had been in Hutt Space. Still, it was all Ian could do on such short notice, and it would likely hind the bike fairly well unless they were looking for it.

"Standby." Shana stepped up to the airlock doors. "Here we go, boys and girls." Through the narrow transparisteel window she could see the incoming transport. Not a craft she was familiar with - it was a pretty ugly ship, an airlock on one end and and a set of engines on the other. Kind of disappointing, usually Imperial hardware had a certain cold, simplistic elegance to it rather than being this utilitarian. This wasn't even chilling, it was just a tool.

Of course, the yield it held, on the other hand.

She tugged her coat on a bit tighter and faced the airlock as it made final approach and began to couple with Kestryl. A few heartbeats later, the console by the airlock beeped that it was receiving a request to open and confirming a steady seal. She sighed and flipped the switch, the airlock sliding open.

Through the threshold stepped a number of the Emperor's iron fists, Imperial Stormtroopers, clad in their bone-white armor and clutching carbines. They fanned out as they entered, allowing a man in a brown officer's uniform to step up. "I am Lieutenant Norven. You will cooperate with this inspection or your ship will be impounded and your crew arrested."

"Understood." She gritted her teeth. "I'm Shana Kovace, Captain..."

"I don't care who you are, alien." The Imp turned to face his stormtroopers. "Fan out, search the ship. If you're hauling any contraband it would be wise of you to declare it now." A pair of personnel holding a portable scanner stepped through.

"No contraband. We're hauling..."

"Construction materials, yes, I heard your man's story."

Devron stood by the airlock as it swooped open.
Knowing the Empire's disapproval of alien species, he knew it would be best if he wasn't around when the officer came through. A ship filled with alien species was usually more thoroughly checked than otherwise.

Nodding his head at the passing stormtroopers, Devron concealed his weapon. While both of them were legal, he just didn't want to seem alarming. He knew new recruits were often eager for action, and he didn't want to give anyone a reason to do anything drastic.

However, when the stormtroopers stopped by him and began their scan, their scanner suddenly started beeping.

"Sir I'm going to have to ask you to turn around and face the wall behind you."
Devron did as instructed. Followed by a very thorough hand search of his clothing and person.

"He's clean. Armed, but clean."
One of them turned to the other.
"Are you sure that blaster is within regulation for civilian equipment?"
The second trooper looked at his friend, then at me, then back at his friend.
"Come on rookie, we've got more of this ship to search. I'm certain if we bring the officer some blaster, he's just gonna condemn us to cleaning duty!"

Then the two troopers went on their way, toward the southern end of the ship.

Devron checked his person and leaned back up against the wall. He opened his blaster holster and put his hand on his blade. If anything went down, he would at least be able to kill half of the troopers in this room and maybe the officer if he stayed on the ship. And that at least made him feel a little bit safer.

Kao yawned loudly, and stretched. Man, that coffee really isn't doing anything. From his seat he could hear the sound of the Capitan talking to the Empies, but not what was being said. Knowing the Empies...barked orders and xenophobia. He thought.

As if summoned by his thoughts, two Stormtroopers marched onto the bridge. "Everyone! Hands off the controls." One of them barked. "Yessir." Kao replied, sliding his chairs back a few centimetres on its guide rails. That done, he slid down in the seat, clasping his hands together on his chest, and closing his eyes. "Hey! What are you doing alien!" The other trooper snapped, shifting slightly. Kao opened his eyes, and rolled in his chair so he could look at the Empies. "I was just wrapping up a night watch, and had been planning to catch some shut eye while we where planetside, but since we've been delayed I figured now was as good a time as any."

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