A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

The legendary Ryustlore- the secret base of the Nefarious Blue Star Pirates.
Does it truly exist?
User avatar
Rane DeCola
Registered Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:19 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Rane DeCola » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:54 pm

Marbles had shut the door to the docking bay and sealed it behind himself and Rane.

“Nice looking ship you’ve got here. I’m not too familiar with the model, but it’s Corellian-made, so I know that she isn’t a junker.”

Corellian built vessels had always been known for their reliability and resiliency. Rane was pleasantly surprised by Marbles’ vessel. The ship looked space-worthy and the impeccable condition of the ship said something about its captain.

As Rane proceeded to walk-around the exterior of the vessel, he can hear noises beyond the entry door to Docking Bay. Suddenly, blaster shots ring out and impact the door.

“MARBLES! YOU EXPECTING COMPANY???”

Marbles, whom had gone up the ramp to the vessel came hurrying back down the ramp quickly carrying several items with him.

“Here ya go tough guy. If they get through that door, you’re going to need these!”

Marbles pressed the items into Rane’s arms. Rane quickly looked over the small arsenal that he had just been handed. He was holding a Merr-Sonn Deck Sweeper, a DL-17 blaster, and a brand new suit of boarding armor.

“What’s all this for?”

“Hustle and suit up, you’re going to find out soon. You keep them busy.”

Without saying anything further, Marbles disappeared quickly back up the ramp to the ship leaving Rane once again.

Rane was still somewhat shocked, but knew that if he didn’t move quickly and follow the Iotran’s directions that it might be the end of life as he knew it. He quickly began working to put on the armor, which to his surprise and delight slid on only a little tightly over his clothing, but otherwise seemed to fit and move well. He forewent donning the armor’s helmet, as he didn’t want to impede his vision, and with the armor well situated checked the both blasters, which were charged and ready for action.

Putting on the armor quickly brought Rane back to a different time and place in his mind. One of the last times that he had worn similar body armor had been with the Alliance’s Starfigher Corps. While in the Corps, Rane had been part of the branch’s pararescue force. These were the soldiers tasked with rescuing stranded or downed pilots whether in deep space or enemy territory. It was a duty that Rane had enjoyed and one that he found that he was extremely proficient at.

The sound of the docking bay door being blown off its hinges causes reality to come rushing back to Rane as he snapped off a shot with the Deck Sweeper as the first attacker barged through the open door.

“HURRY UP MARBLES!!! THE COMPANY'S ARRIVED!!!”

------
OOC: Hope you don't mind that I took a few small liberties with Marbles as an NPC. I think he's starting to grow on me. ;)
--------------------
Image

User avatar
Master Buggie
Staff
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Master Buggie » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:27 am

Marbles swore in his native tongue as the shooting started in earnest. He had just primed the repulsorlifts, and they'd take a moment to fire up, which would allow him and his newest companion to lift off and away from the blasted Devaronian and whatever cronies he had enlisted to blast them to ashes.

Marbles hadn't mentioned it to Rane yet, partially because he hadn't had an opportunity with how fast reality had come crashing down on them, but he was a down on his luck spacer. His only saving grace was his ship, which, from the outside, held all the characteristics of a reliable vessel. The truth of the matter was that the interior workings had begun to deteriorate, evident now in the fact that the repulsorlifts were refusing to engage. Interior panels that had been discarded long ago exposed piping, wiring, and all other manner of inner workings. Bonding tape secured pipes, while patches and makeshift tie-downs could be found just about everywhere else. Marbles was a fertilizer hauler on his best days, but that's exactly what had made him unassuming.

Through a series of insignificant interactions with shady sentients that, in better times, Marbles would have never engaged in, he found himself in the Blue Star Cantina, where he met Rane. Their cargo was a high priced piece of technology, which Marbles, a known fertilizer shipper, would smuggle out of Galactic Alliance space with a false manifest. The Devaronian was a well-known spacer with ties to the Hutts. In times of galactic strife such as these, many spacers on the fringe got by through picking up work with criminal organizations, and the Devaronian and Marbles were no exception, though Marbles had always attempted to stay out of it. Money talked, though, and if Marbles was being honest, without this big score, the Vo'tre might have to be sold off.

The whine of the repulsorlifts brought Marbles back to reality. Leaping out of the pilot's seat, he rushed to the boarding ramp to find that Rane was still alive.

Good fortune, Marbles reasoned, the thought passing from his mind as quickly as it appeared.

"Get up here! Get up here!" Marbles called.

A stray shot passed under the fuselage of the ship and slapped the edge of Marbles' ankle, causing him to cry out and fall back into the ship, more surprised than hurt.
Image

User avatar
Rane DeCola
Registered Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:19 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Rane DeCola » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:16 pm

Rane quickly snapped off a few more rounds with the Deck Sweeper causing two of the pursuers to take cover inside of the docking bay. Seeing it was time to leave, Rane hurries up the ramp and finds Marbles picking himself up off the deck hurriedly.

“Are you alright?” Rane quickly turned his attention to Marbles.

“Oh don’t worry about me tough guy. I can take care of myself. You get yourself to those controls and get those repulsorlifts primed and engaged.”

Rane didn’t require any further direction from Marbles. He quickly proceeded to the cockpit, noticing the battered state of the interior of the vessel.

I guess outward appearances aren’t everything.

Looking down at the panel in front of him, Rane begins to familiarize himself with the various displays, switches, levers and other panels necessary to fly the ship. Finding the readout for repulsor control, Rane notices that while main power seems to be available, for whatever reason, the repulsors don’t seem to be working. Almost immediately, his training from the Starfighter Corps again begins to take over, as Rane runs through a mental checklist in an effort to troubleshoot the essentially non-functional system.

Marbles raises the ramp and appears in the cockpit.

“So tough guy, you can get us out of here right?”

“I think I know what’s wrong. I’d better check the negative power coupling.”

Blaster bolts ring off the hull and the transparisteel windows of the cockpit.

“We don’t have time. Fly. Now. I’m the captain and you’re the first mate. Remember, I’m in charge.”

The Iotran forcibly shoved Rane back into the pilot’s seat. Rane was a good pilot, but trying to maneuver the freighter out of the docking bay without repulsors was going to be... challenging.

“Strap in. This is going to be a bumpy ride.”

The Iotran responded without question and took a seat beside Rane. Rane tightened his seat’s restraints. Pulling back on the control yoke and moving a lever, Rane engaged the VCX-350’s forward ventral thrusters.

“What are you doing?!?!,” Marbles squealed at Rane in a voice so high that it even surprised Rane.

“If you want to get out of here, then sit down and hang on!!!”

As the vessel rocked back on its landing skids bringing the forward half the vessel off the ground, Rane lost site of the walls of the docking bay and the view through the cockpit window was now of Tatooine’s bright blue sky above. Marbles scrambled into his seat beside him and strapped himself in.

“Shields up, double front.”

Again, Marbles didn’t hesitate and Rane engaged the sublight engines, pushing the throttles to their stops. The engines of the powerful Corellian ship roared to life and hurled the ship skyward.

-----

“Amazing!!! Wowwie wow wow!!”, Marbles exclaimed. “Did you see that? Wow and I thought I we were having an adventure before.”

Having cleared the atmosphere of Tatooine, Rane brought the Vo’tre into high orbit above Tatooine. Until he could make sure that the ship wholly intact from its escape from the confines of the docking bay, he didn’t want to have to make any more adventurous maneuvers with the vessel in its current state of disrepair.

“Everything looks to be okay Marbles. I was right, that negative power coupling needs to be replaced before we try to land again, as we’re going to need repulsors to set us down easy since we tore the rear landing skids from the underside of the ship.”

“It was worth it for the adventure! I knew I was right to bring you along. With a name like Rane, I knew that you would bring good fortune my friend.”

Rane was pleased that Marbles had been happy with his performance. Had it been his ship and someone had torn off the landing skids pulling a stunt like that, he was sure that he would be less than thrilled over the performance.

Rane starts to get up to go begin making repairs to the repulsors and as he did so, an alarm begins to sound. Rane's can feel his adrenaline beginning to rise.

“What's going on now?”

“Nothing my friend, everything is as right as rain.”
--------------------
Image

User avatar
Master Buggie
Staff
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Master Buggie » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:23 am

Several hyperjumps later, the duo found themselves moving coreward along the Cerean Reach, on their way to the Cerean Quadrant. The Cerean system was on the frontier between the Galactic Alliance and Empire. According to the HoloNet, a number of skirmishes within the system led to it being officially considered as contested, though the gem of the system, Cerea itself, remained under control of the Galactic Alliance, at least for present.

This was a dangerous system to be encroaching upon, as a passing patrol could misidentify any freighter for an enemy craft. The Galactic Alliance, in an effort to protect the hard-earned homeworld of the Cerean species from Imperial agents attempting to sew discontent, would be sure to inspect any freighter attempting to enter orbit around the planet.

The objective of Marbles, a known fertilizer hauler, was to bring his ship past Cerea, deeper into the contested space, where his mysterious contact within a shadowy criminal organization would be available to pick it up. Of course, Marbles had shared this information with his first mate, and they had spent a considerable amount of time in transit discussing just how they were going to pull this trick off.

"Dropping out into Cerea, tough guy! Hang on to something as we revert!" Marbles called.
Image

User avatar
Rane DeCola
Registered Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:19 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Rane DeCola » Mon Dec 03, 2018 2:21 am

Rane didn’t hang onto anything too tightly, but braced himself nonetheless, considering the first time that the ship had gone to hyperspace and reverted Rane had been tossed like a rag doll out of his bunk. He had taken care of the problem with the inertial dampeners that had caused the incident, but learned that the VCX-350, while reliable, had its own set of mechanical peculiarities.

Marbles pulled back on the levers that disengaged the hyperdrive and thankfully nothing went awry with the Vo’tre upon re-entry.

“Well there my first mate, you must have made some type of sweet love to those dampeners. I barely felt us coming out of hyperspace this time.”

“All in day’s work, and don’t think that my engineering services aren’t going to cost you extra.”

“Don’t worry tough guy, you’ll have more money than you’ll know what to do with once we make this delivery. More than you can imagine!”

“I don’t know. I can imagine quite a bit.”

Marbles eyed him carefully and continued to chuckle at his promises of immense wealth. He started to say something else, but was quickly interrupted by a hail on the ship’s comm unit and activation of an alarm on the scanners.

“Space-going vessel Vo’tre, this is Cerean System Security Force. Your vessel has been scanned and selected for random inspection, proceed to the forthcoming coordinates and prepare to be boarded.”

“Well, here we go tough guy. Let’s hope you’re a good actor too. Go in back and get dressed. I’m going to need your help.”

“What do you mean get dressed?”

Marbles said nothing but instead cracked a large grin.

-----

Several hours later and up to his waste in bantha fodder, “WOWWIE!!! You did a hell of a job tough guy. Even kept your stomach contents down to unlike my last first mate,” Marbles exclaimed.

Rane was pretty much speechless at this point and glared back at Marbles. The smell of the bantha dung permeated his very existence at this point. “You mean to tell me you’ve done this before?” Rane was certain now that Marbles had sincerely lost his marbles now.

“Of course. Any sentient with a sense of smell is pretty much appalled coming aboard the ship. If they aren’t convinced by the outward appearance of the vessel looking to be on the up and up, the smell and otherwise state of disrepair doesn’t leave much to question once she’s been boarded.”

Rane had to admit that while it isn’t a plan that he would’ve thought up, that it had gotten the duo past the Cerean patrol.

“Now, hustle up there stinky guy. You need to get cleaned up, we’ve been approved to land and it’s in our best interest not to keep our customer waiting if we want to get paid.”
--------------------
Image

User avatar
Master Buggie
Staff
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Master Buggie » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:15 am

**Mid Rim, Semagi Sector, I-16**
**Cerean System, Cerea**
**Outsider Citadel Landing Pad**


A light freighter that carried the distinctive design of a Corellian Engineering Corporation product came into view over the landing pad, just passing through the cloud cover over Cerea. As the vessel kicked in its repulsorlifts, it seemed to shudder for a moment, as if instead of switching over to repulsorlift controls, the ship might opt to just power down entirely. Once the repulsorlifts did kick in, though, the ship eased itself down to the landing pad, apparently missing its rear landing struts.

"How the frak did this heap make it past customs?" Buggie asked his companion, Gary Storm.

The ship began cooling down and the landing pad extended, at least as far as it could, considering the heavy angle the freighter had settled upon without its landing struts in place.

"It's a fertilizer hauler," Storm began, "Chances are customs didn't give the cargo-- and whatever they hid in it-- much of a look."

Buggie looked back at his own ship, then back at the beaten-down freighter, "There's no way that cargo is coming aboard my ship."
Image

User avatar
Rane DeCola
Registered Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:19 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Rane DeCola » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:00 pm

Rane had already taken three sonic showers to try and get the smell of the bantha dung off himself, and while he reasoned the shower’s ultrasonic washing cycle likely had eliminated most of the scent, he couldn’t get the smell to leave his nostrils. As he pondered over taking a fourth shower for good measure, Marbles lumbered into cockpit.

“Nice landing. Couldn’t have done a better job myself under the circumstances,” exclaimed Marbles. “But don’t pat yourself on the back too hard there tough guy. If you hadn’t broken the landing gear on my ship in the first place, you wouldn’t have had to do all that fancy flying.”

Rane was taken-a-back by Marbles’ comment and shot a look back at the Iotran that conveyed the thought on his mind.

Is this guy serious?

The look was lost upon Marbles. Instead, he was already moving on to the task at hand.

“Grab your gear. My customer seems to already be waiting, and from what we discussed about your recent travel arrangements, one of my associates may have an interest in talking to you about that trip of yours to Roche.”

“I’ll talk about whatever he wants to talk about once we get paid. By the way, customs thoroughly inspected the load of crap we’re hauling and didn’t find anything.”

“Haha!! You think just like they do my friend. If I was a systems patrol officer or customs agent, I would look exactly where they looked. You have to be smarter though like me. Isn’t it obvious to you? It's the beauty of it!!! WE’VE NOTHING TO HIDE!!!”

“You really mean to tell me we’re not hiding anything on the ship?”

Marbles held up his hand and stopped Rane.

“No way tough guy. I’m by the book. Everything up and up here.” Marbles laughed heartily. “Again, you have to be smarter than the average cargo hauler to run the operation that I run my friend. You see, the Cereans have a certain dislike for technology. The less an operation infringes on the peaceful nature of their planet, the more certain Cereans value that operation. Our shipment here is just that, a shipment of organic, non-genetically modified manure. It is extremely valuable to certain people here on Cerea. Our customers are using it as payment in some larger overall scheme I imagine, we were just the vehicle that they used for getting it here.”

Rane hadn’t noticed anything special about the manure, but was certain that Marbles certainly knew his business and had 'dung' his homework on the matter.

“Like I said, as long as we get paid.”
----
Rane walked down the ramp of the Vo’tre. Across the landing pad, he could see two humanoid beings that had been awaiting the ship’s arrival. He held the deck sweeping blaster in a guarded position but didn’t raise the weapon. After the departure from Tatooine, Rane wasn’t certain what to expect at this point.

“You can leave the weapon my friend. The Cereans are sensitive to use of technology. Again, I assure you my associates wish us no harm.”

“If you don’t mind, I’ll think I’ll bring it along just in case.”

Rane lowered the weapon and let the blaster hang freely on its sling across his shoulder. He let Marbles lead the way across the landing pad following slightly behind. As they neared the two beings, Rane recognized that while one man was a humanoid, the other was a Verpine, which likely explained why Marbles had mentioned that there might be some interest in his travels to Roche.

“Gentlemen!” roared Marbles. “Good to see you again so soon! I hope you’ll find this load of manure as good, if not better than the last.”

The humanoid had a reserved look on his face. Rane recognized that his presence at the meeting may have been unwelcome. The Verpine’s expression was unreadable to Rane, but it was definite that he was an unexpected guest at Marbles’ pre-arranged meeting.

Having not elicited the response from the two that he had expected, Marbles looks over at Rane and is the last to realize that bringing Rane along to the meeting perhaps had been a poor business choice.

“AHH, my apologies gentlemen!! I forgot to tell you that I was bringing this tough guy along with me. Please meet my new first mate and wow-wee, does he know how to have an adventure!”

“What’s your name spacer?” the humanoid questioned.

“Name’s Rane. Rane DeCola.”
--------------------
Image

User avatar
Master Buggie
Staff
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Master Buggie » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:16 am

Storm ran a finger along his thick mustache and glanced at Buggie, who carried an expression of surprise.

"DeCola?" he questioned, "Any relation to Sien?"

The question was one that he suspected he knew the answer to already. Buggie didn't have to be versed in Human facial features to see that Rane bore a resemblance to the DeCola that Buggie had worked so closely with in the past. The two had famously uncovered a Sith temple on Umbara, an exploit that very likely still bore whispers in the learning corridors of the Galactic Alliance Intelligence academies. Sien and his droid had been close friends to Buggie, but ever since Roche, Buggie had lost touch with the Galactic Alliance Intelligence officer. This Rane DeCola had brought back a number of refreshing memories, and his presence was one that Buggie was immediately drawn to.

"Any relation to Agent DeCola is a friend to me," Storm offered with a chuckle, as if reading Buggie's thoughts, "Damn, imagine one of his ilk getting involved with the Blue Star Pirates. I bet ole Sien'd be a good White Blade, though. Loyal. You could raid the Chief of State's panty drawer and the guy would figure out a way to make sure you only got chewed out for it."

Buggie laughed at the absurdity of it, "No way! He wouldn't fit in with that crowd. Nightshade all the way, the guy is a 23er. Remember Umbara? If we had Sien undercover in the Corporate Sector, we'd be raiding so many of their convoys, half the Direx Board would be struggling to pay for a lunch."

The two shared a laugh, each looking at the landing pad floor for a moment and chuckling before turning their attention back to Rane and Marbles.

"Well? What do you say, Marbles? You keeping this moof-milker on the payroll, or are you gonna try pawning him off on us for a finder's fee?" Storm asked, gesturing at Rane.
Image

User avatar
Rane DeCola
Registered Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:19 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Rane DeCola » Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:25 am

Rane takes a moment to process everything that is being discussed. He stares back at the duo.

Could this be Master Buggie?

He opens his mouth to begin to speak when Marbles interjects.

“Aha!! I knew there was something about you tough guy!!! You didn’t tell me you were related to someone famous!” Marbles exclaimed elatedly. “This guy, he’s full of all sorts of surprises. He’s a descent pilot and good mechanic as well. If you want him, you’re going to have to pay better than you did for the last guy or else tough guy here is going to stay on with me.”

The comment about staying on with Marbles snapped Rane out of his momentary lapse of concentration.

“While I appreciate the offer there Marbles, I’d like to hear what these gentlemen have to say on the matter. Perhaps we get the cargo unloaded and hold that discussion somewhere a little more private?”

“Of course, of course! It’s not good practice to mix business with pleasure.”
----
Rane stands thankfully in the Vo’tre’s refresher unit. He isn’t certain if he is on his fifth, or is it his sixth, sonic shower cycle, when the unit’s failure finally becomes another of the multiple problems to plague the fateful vessel. It had been no pleasure getting Marbles’ ship offloaded. Rane had spent the better part of four hours removing manure from the Vo’tre’s hold. It took every ounce of self-control to keep from vomiting over the smell. He promised himself that once the job was finished that he’d never set foot again on a manure hauler ever again.

Rane and Marbles had arranged to meet with Buggie and Gary on board Buggie’s ship. To Rane, the choice of meeting location had been obvious, despite Marbles’ insistence that the meeting he held on his ship. However, it was Gary’s generous offer to provide food and drinks beyond field rations that had sealed the deal for Marbles. As they board the ship, unarmed this time, Rane looks around and is impressed by the high quality and well-kept state of the vessel.

“Nice ship you got here,” Rane remarked.

The group meets and most of the conversation centers itself on Marbles and his complaints about the current downturn in the manure markets. Rane is patient with the Iotran, but wants to get down to business concerning his own future. He looks for an opportunity to jump in on the now lively conversation that is being entertained for Marbles’ sake by the group, when Marbles’ comlink beeps loudly.

“WOWWIE!!! I have a meeting with an agent representing the Moof Milkers Consortium. If I’m late, I’ll miss out on a prime opportunity for securing myself a steady supply of moof manure for my customers. We’d better get going tough guy.”

“If you don’t mind, I’d like to stay and enjoy our hosts’ hospitality.”

“I’ve worked you pretty hard. Rest up friend, if I secure this deal, there will be more credits in it for you than you can imagine.”

“Again, I can imagine quite a bit.”

With that, Marbles moves to his feet and thanks Gary and Buggie. He departs quickly after realizing that he’ll only have just enough time to make it to the meeting.

“So now that our common associate has departed, let’s get down to the real business of things.”

From his pocket, Rane pulls out a code cylinder and sets it on the table. He slides the cylinder across the table toward Buggie.

“I was told if I wanted to know the whereabouts of Sien to give this to you.”
--------------------
Image

User avatar
Master Buggie
Staff
Posts: 599
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: A Search in Vain? (Buggie)

Post by Master Buggie » Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:30 am

Buggie reached out and grabbed the code cylinder that had been slid in his direction. As his three chitinous digits closed around the cylinder, his mind took control, immediately sensing something significant hidden in this code cylinder's past. To Storm and Rane, Buggie would appear distant for a moment, but his mind was a flurry of activity, taking him somewhere far away if only for a brief moment.

As if shrouded by darkness, Buggie could practically feed Sien DeCola holding the same code cylinder, announcing aloud to no one in particular, "Buggie, if you're hearing my voice, Rane must have found you. If anything has happened to me or Obie-Nine, I know you'll keep an eye on him for me..."

As soon as the image had appeared in his mind, the sensation ceased and Buggie's awareness returned to the table around which he, Storm, and Rane sat. Of course, this was the skill known as Psychometry, an ability that few Jedi had ever mastered. Psychometry allowed a Force user to feel information or events surrounding an object, in this case, the code cylinder. Sien had proven his cleverness yet again; few Jedi Masters even had the ability to read an inanimate object such as the code cylinder, so if it had fallen into the wrong hands, nothing would ever come of it. In attaching such stimuli to the code cylinder, Sien had displayed a creative way to pass along an ultra-secure message, but also showed Buggie that his friend had truly understood him and the extent of his abilities.

"Well?" Storm asked, "Aren't you going to pop that cylinder into a terminal and see what it says?"

Looking down at the code cylinder, Buggie wished he could delve back into it with his senses in order to find out more about Sien's whereabouts. He desperately hoped that the intelligence officer was safe, but he knew he had to trust the man's skill. He would turn out okay, Buggie was sure of it. In the meantime, Rane was the priority.

"I'm not sure it will tell us anything at first glance, knowing Sien. Whatever is in here is probably scrambled by several layers of encryption. It would take weeks with this ship's processing capabilities to crack it," Buggie decided, clipping the code cylinder onto his breast pocket.

On cue, Storm connected the dots and said to Rane, "Unfortunately, that means if you want to find out more, you'll have to stick around with us."

"Marbles would miss having you around," Buggie said, "I think if it comes down to money, though, you'll do just as well with us... and you might avoid getting your hands as dirty, so to speak."
Image

Post Reply