Closed RP The First Step

This RP is currently closed.



Coruscant Undercity
Sector J-27
Level 1229
The taxi droid brought the craft to a halt at the requested stop, repulsorlifts humming loudly enough to be heard over the rest of the Undercity but gently enough as to not be overbearing. The taxi droid turned and requested payment, speaking quickly as if trying to hurry back to the relative safety of the surface. "Oh, me?" started Celtar as he stepped out of the taxi and onto the duracrete that made up everything around them. "I don't have any money. Bill it to the Supreme Chancellor. Republic business, you understand." And with that, Celtar turned and was gone, cane falling into step with him and helping him support his weight even as his dingy, worn robes swished behind him.

The walk to the landing pad wasn't far, mostly due to the fact that Celtar had ordered the taxi driver to exit the designated travel lanes and bring them as close as possible. They were close enough to make the walk easy but far enough that the taxi wouldn't be able to be seen by the prey that Celtar had scouted earlier. Nobody here was innocent, no being spared by the effects of the war, of starvation, and of poverty. Those down here were the truly forgotten of the Republic and, more importantly, Coruscant. While billions of credits were being spent to give people like Celtar a job, next to nothing was being funneled down into social programs designed to aid those stuck in the Undercity. While plenty of resources were available to the beings on the 'surface' city, very little made its way down here. Everyone down in the Undercity, at least in Sector J-27, had to fight for every meal. Criminal enterprises ran the streets and it was extremely easy to disappear in the Undercity, though it was far from the safest place one could choose to disappear. You were just as likely to disappear as you were to be disappeared as a result of a robbery, drug deal, or kidnapping gone wrong.

As a result, few beings actively walked the streets. The artificial lights kept the same amount of ambient light regardless of the time of day, though it was little more than perpetual darkness this far away from the surface access ports that dotted the planet. Those walking, huddling, or hustling on the street didn't dare mess with Celtar despite his cane. He walked with purpose and he stared at everyone that he saw, a quiet message intended to intimidate people into leaving them alone. Luckily for him, it worked.

After roughly ten quiet minutes, Celtar came to a halt near a railing. Beneath him sat the landing pad that he had scouted earlier and, on the landing pad sat a ship. If all went well, it would soon be there ship. Turning to the Ubese, Celtar began walking towards the nearby turbolift. "These guys are up-and-coming spice smugglers. They're unaffiliated and lack the resources to be a real threat. We're going to take their ship from them. If possible, I don't want to kill them. Coruscant Security doesn't really care but killing them is boring and they won't be able to chase us for a while, if ever." Celtar stepped into the turbolift, passing a Rodian on the way in. He waited for the Ubese to board before thumbing the button that would bring them to the landing pad. "They just finished modifying this puppy and they sank every credit into it. It's a small crew. The dockmaster gave me his datapad in exchange for a hundred credits and he forgot to disconnect it from his system before he handed it over."

As the turbolift came to a halt, Celtar handed her the datapad. "I think he might be affiliated with someone but he only knows me as Darul so, y'know, we don't have to worry about him. Do whatever you want with it, just don't break it and don't sell it for spice. I brought you along because I figured you'd like the chance for a free stash." The last sentence might be true, though it was true that Celtar was looking forward to a free re-up of his particular type of spice. It was funny how far credits went when you bent the right ear and a few hours of surveillance about the sector's newest, prettiest addition was certainly worth it.

Celtar stepped off the turbolift and walked towards a Twi'lek who was overseeing a few cargo droids as they loaded unlabeled cargo into the hold. The Twi'lek reached a hand to his blaster and Celtar held his hands outstretched in an obvious bid to appear nonthreatening. The only thing he was holding was his cane and his blaster was safely out of sight, obscured by his robes. "I'm Darul and this is my associate. We need passage offworld, preferably to Nar Shaddaa. We hear you're the best smugglers in the sector and haven't yet drawn the attention of Coruscant Police. We'll pay two thousand now and three thousand on arrival on Nar Shaddaa."

As he spoke, Celtar found himself reaching for an energy that he hadn't reached for in some time. Better yet, it was an energy that he had actively hid from. It was an energy that, last time he felt it, did nothing but break him. Even now, his mind struggled to reach out, a result of years of actively suppressing the need or desire to do so. The tendrils of his mind finally fell upon the elusive thread of energy that was the Force and Celtar called upon it to make his words more enticing. To make his deal too appealing to pass up. To trick the opponents into letting them into the ship.

You'd better have a real person under the old man's face or I'm going to blow up this whole kriffing sector.

The antipsychotics she'd grabbed were beginning to kick in as everything around her became more real, but the hallucination of the old man had somehow stuck it out. Koushhk had experienced such persistent delusions before so she knew it was only a matter of time before she could see the actual person beneath the spectre before her.

The walk over here had be uneventful. The old man had been aggressively eyeing just about anyone who might have caused even a slight stir the entire way. It'd almost been comical. Of course, it was never the ones you actually saw that were the real problem, but Koushhk had learned a long time ago that the mystique and fear of the Ubese worked in her favor against those types. Having reached the launch pad, the fighter began to question the sanity of the man she'd accompanied along with her own. He wanted to seize the ship and not kill any of them? Koushhk was suddenly a bit more thankful for that new D-package upgrade she'd gotten earlier today.

Taking the datapad, the fighter began accessing her other, more discrete set of skills. Slicing was equal parts technical knowledge and professional artwork. Walking with her new comrade, her fingers danced across the screen with a mix of dexterity and beauty. Completing her work while...kriff...what was his name? ...WannabeCeltar? No...that wouldn't do. GrandPal? Oh god how did she come up with something worse than WannabeCeltar? GhostMan? GhostMan. Admitting that she hadn't listened to the name he'd given the others at the office or the diner was a bit of a faux pas at this point, right?

Koushhk looked up at the smuggler, her eyes evaluating him closely beneath her Ubesian mask.

Twi'lek. Lavender skin. Physically fit. Proud of it. No shirt beneath coat. blasters and at least a pair of vibroshivs. Obvious blaster on hip meant to distract. Eyes show semblance of hrrrrnngfuckno

Her assessment was cut short by a feeling. No, not a feeling... the feeling. Only then did Koushhk realize that it had been a couple of hours since her last Death Stick. The speed at which she had one lit in her mouth was rather amazing. Probably the fastest thing anyone had seen her do outside of a fight. Luckily for her, its effects kicked in before GhostMan finished asking the Twi'lek for a ride.

At that point, Koushhk turned a bit to her right, purposefully allowing the datapad she'd trapped between her arm and rib cage be readable to the Twi'lek. Coruscant Security Police wanted postings were made simple and easy to read. Altering one was child's play, and adding the simple emblem of the Exchange under their "photos" was just an extra step.

Coruscant, Undercity
Celtar watched as the Twi'lek paused for a second, obviously considering the offer. He called over one of his associates and it took a great deal of willpower for Celtar to simply watch them talk rather than leaving, trying to eavesdrop, or taking advantage of the distraction to engage them. Instead, he looked around as if looking for informants, undercover officers, or anyone else who might be trying to find the supposedly dangerous criminals. He used his nervousness to help him rather than allowing it to undermine their entire mission. Stealing the ship would be significantly harder if the crew was able to lockdown while they were still outside. If they had to repair lightsaber damage, it would easily delay them a day or more and Celtar was not in the mood to be delayed.

After about thirty seconds, which seemed like an eternity to the former Knight, the Twi'lek and his Rodian friend returned and regarded Celtar and the Ubese with a curious look upon their faces. "<<That bounty says five thousand apiece, Darul,>>" started the Twi'lek in Huttese, "<< We'd make more money turning you in and the good will would let us work in peace for a few months. Maybe we call Coruscant Police and explain that we'd like to turn in that bounty. Maybe we hold you here until they get there?>>" As they finished speaking, the Twi'lek and Rodian both grabbed a blaster and each took aim at one member of the fugitive pair.

Switching away from Basic and to Huttese, Celtar smiled. "<<I am open to negotiations but not in the open. Too many prying eyes. If you're amenable to it, let's negotiate inside. That way, if you decide to turn us in, we can't easily escape and you can claim you secured us so that we couldn't get away.>>" Again, Celtar reached out to the Force to bolster his words. Again, he felt the overwhelming sadness that he felt whenever he slipped up and allowed himself to feel the energy that flowed throughout the Galaxy. Again, he felt his body begin to ache as a result of the pain. Keeping his hands open and his movements slow, Celtar reached for the bottle of pills in his pocket. He swallowed one and returned the bottle before sweeping open his robe and revealing his blaster. Both the Twi'lek and the Rodian visibly twitched, their fingers moving to the triggers of their blasters. "<<Relax, this is my way of saying 'I mean you no harm.'>>" They didn't relax, though they did allow Celtar to remove his blaster. Keeping it between his thumb and forefinger, he passed it to the Twi'lek, who calmed considerably now that he had apparently disarmed the man.

After yet another conversation between the Twi'lek and the Rodian, the Twi'lek nodded his head towards the ramp of the ship. "<<Fine. We'll hear your offer but you only get one more chance. After that, we're turning you in. Too much risk for back and forth. Think about that as we walk, otherwise you might not be free for much longer.>>" As he finished speaking, the Twi'lek gestured both of them forward, keeping his blaster trained on Celtar. The Rodian fell in line behind the Ubese, keeping his blaster trained on her the entire time. The walk into the ship was a short one, though the hissing of the ramp as it raised and locked behind them was more reassuring than Celtar thought it would be.

The pair brought them into a central room and Celtar soaked in as much information as he could while they walked. The dejarik board on a table off to the side. The holoprojector in the middle of the room. The basic layout of the hallways and rooms that they passed. If his hearing was correct, there were only one or two others present with them on the ship and, if he had to guess, they'd be busy preparing the cargo hold for takeoff. Celtar was careful to avoid seeming too interested, using his peripheral vision just as much as his normal cone of vision and processing the information as he walked rather than fully turning his head to look into each room.

The group came to a stop next to the holoprojector and both the Twi'lek and the Rodian lowered their blasters, though the Rodian kept it held off to the side near the Ubese's hip. "<<So, friend, let's hear this new offer. I hope you've got the creds to make it worth it, we'll get paid either way.>>" Celtar nodded. "<<Of course. I can do eight now and six more on delivery, though I'll ha->>" As he spoke, he brought his cane up as if examining before lashing out with the hooked end of it, using it to loop around the Twi'lek's neck. He pulled him violently forward into his fist before slamming the Twi'lek's head into the holoprojector. He fell to the ground in a heap, obviously incapacitated. Celtar could only hope that the Ubese was at good as fighting as she proclaimed, otherwise he was about to get shot. Again.

Oh great...they're idiots.

The moment the Twi'lek brought up the bounty numbers and not the clear Exchange affiliation, Koushhk had been mentally preparing for a fight. Today was just a day for violence, she guessed. At least GhostMan was a talker. That might get them somewhere a little less conspicuous. Seeing the old man pop another pill, her mind began to wander a bit.

Color says spice tablet. Probably loaded with some kind of anesthetic. Phosovane salts, maybe? Bubse's probably too high-brow for this one, but that could explain why he needs this kind of serious payday...kriff...focus. Game face.

The Rodian moved behind her with a simple blaster pistol. Honestly Koushhk wondered if it was even strong enough to bust through her admittedly worn armor, but she decided that she didn't particularly want to test it. Plus, they were being kind enough to lead the two of them into the ship. The inside wasn't overly complex, and it was a much cleaner than she'd expected.

Negotiations began again, but the "Ubesian" wasn't focused on that. Instead, she was focused on the little port on her right hip where an Echani Battle stimulant she'd bought the day prior was just finishing its injection routine. A trick the fighter had learned from the Mandalorians a long time ago, and her newest implants had added a few new direct ports for her to use instead of trying to find unscarred veins to poke. Liquid fire burned through her veins as her eyes focused on the old man's hands.

"<<...though I'll ha->>"

Koushhk twitched the moment the GhostMan's cane moved. The Rodian on her left had lowered his guard, blaster near her left hip. Half-step back. Grasp wrist. Twist and pull away from comrade. Pain response. Blaster dropped. Catch with right foot. Back to wrist. Twist harder. Grinding then pops. Rodian head rolls upward from additional pain. Chop to throat. Vocal chords paralyzed. Wind pipe crushed. Threat to self and comrade negligible.

The Twi'lek hit the ground in a bit of a heap while the Rodian silently held its throat as he fell to his knees. Koushhk kicked the blaster she'd been carefully balancing on her right foot up and caught it with her right hand. She saw the GhostMan look at the actively suffering Rodian next to her, but she simply replied with a shrug as she began dismantling the blaster pistol.

Coruscant, Undercity
As soon as the 'fight' had begun, it was over. Celtar looked over at the Rodian and, standing over him, the Ubese fighter. "You're good," he said with a wry smile, bending down and grabbing his surrendered blaster pistol from the heap that was the Twi'lek leader. He flicked the fire mode to stun and, without looking, fired one pulse each at the Twi'lek and Rodian, leveling his pistol at each of them in turn. He knew they were on a clock now: if the crew hadn't heard the fighting, they would certainly have heard the blaster fire. He put his cane back on the ground and began moving away from the central room and towards where he suspected the cockpit to be.

"Seal the boarding ramp and hold off anyone who comes that way. Most of them are outside. I've got to get us moving," he spoke as he walked, exiting the room as he finished speaking. Elsewhere, a pair of confused voices were calling out and the thudding of footsteps on metal could be heard as the other crew members began investigating the blaster fire. Celtar didn't care, though, as he made his way down yet another corridor. He opened a door just in time to see a startled Zabrak on the other side. The Zabrak lunged forward, though his attempt to charge Celtar was met with failure, the Zabrak not quite quick enough.

Two stun pulses shot forth and intercepted the Zabrak mid-lunge, causing him to groan audibly but also causing him to fall into Celtar. They both fell to the floor, causing Celtar to yell in both frustration and pain as the Zabrak's vestigial horns scratched his face. It took more effort than Celtar would have liked to admit as he forced the Zabrak to the side and, using his cane to help him, stood back to his feet. For a split second, the urge to put another stun blast into the Zabrak or strike him with his cane hit Celtar, though the former Knight recognized the call of the dark side and resisted, instead using his foot to roll the crewman over and disarming him.

Remembering his original task, Celtar took his seat at the controls of the freighter. He took a moment to look around, looking for the switches he would need. He flicked switches seemingly at random, though the order made sense to any pilot with decent experience at flying freighters. He activated the engines, which whined to life with a pitch that grew until they were fully online, at which point they became the traditional roar that could really only be heard from outside the ship. Next came the life support systems. While they were not necessary for flight in atmosphere, Celtar had done the same startup process ever since he was taught how to fly by his father back on Corulag. He could hear his father now, quietly admonishing him for any deviation from the normal process.

As soon as the energy readings had stabilized, a second at most, Celtar poured power into the shields and repulsorlifts in turn. Both hummed to life and Celtar turned to the navicomputer. What he found was frustrating, though not to the point of the entire endeavor being futile: the navicomputer was locked with a passcode. The pilot found himself thanking the Force that the smuggler crew hadn't voice-locked the damned thing, though he still wasn't happy. He thumbed a button to activate the intercom and also activated the external speakers. "This ship is now property of the Exchange. Any attempt to reclaim it will be met with force. Kriff off." Deactivating the external speakers, Celtar spoke only to the interior of the ship now. "Kat, err, Kousshk, I could use you up here when you have a moment."

It wasn't the most important thing as any skilled pilot knew how to fly a hyperspace lane without a navicomputer, though any inability to make precise jumps or rapidly jump away from foes was likely to get them killed. For the moment, though, they could at least go pick up the others and leave orbit, giving the Ubese enough time to work whatever magic she was capable of. For now, he returned to his task and increased the lift generated by the repulsorlifts. In an instant, they were airborne, though it wasn't until Celtar increased the engines' thrust that the craft jerked forward, moving away from the landing pad with a speed that shocked Celtar. It wasn't the fastest freighter that he'd flown, though the acceleration reminded him of a heavy fighter rather than a traditional freighter.

Her right hand came up in a mock-salute as the fighter moved over to the primary loading ramp. Peaking the corner, she saw a couple concerned faces looking at the freighter. The concern spread and others came running after the engines started warming up. Unluckily for them, Koushhk the Rampant Drug Fiend already had a plan for this. A crate was sitting next to the door as some of the smugglers apparently took a break in the middle of loading it. Inside, the galaxy's top drug for who knew how many centuries running: spice.

A fistful of that lovely powder plus a fair amount of her private stash of glitteryll and Dimalium-6 she'd mixed for a special occasion all went into this neat little cylinder that sealed with a hiss. Presenting herself fully in the doorway, Koushhk waved before tossing the cylinder at the approaching smugglers. One, an Iridonian, actually caught the device. The part-time slicer, full-time junkie almost let out a silent laugh at this.

The Iridonian only barely managed to get out what could only be called a squawk before the cannister's tiny dispersion motors kicked on. The area around him became a rapidly expanding orange-ish cloud. A sharp bang and the cloud seemed to double in size. Koushhk had been bored a few days ago and thus did some tinkering with the device. A second air-cannister in the base of the cannister grenade would make the effects so much wider, after all.

The oldman's declaration coincidentally worked very well with the concoction the fighter had made, too. The spice naturally boosted mood levels with only mild hallucinogenic effects and it made people a bit more...trusting of others. The glitteryll and Dimalium-6, on the other hand, both had the side-effects of kriffing up memories. Koushhk felt fairly confident that the men on the docks would struggle to remember this entire day, let alone who stole their freighter and...and not a kriffin' small amount of spice.


"Kat, err, Koushhk, I could use you up here when you have a moment."


And just like that, she was back in the cockpit. Not of this freighter... No... some ancient rust bucket the old man had taught her to fly in. He'd kriffed up the hyperdrive motivator again... probably doing some insane stunt that should have gotten them killed... And then here he was...mere inches away from her with his palm outstretched... his voice was muffled as he asked for the hydrospanner in her hand as his head was buried in the hyperdrive core. She looked down at her tiny palms, both covered in grease as she'd been in the service ducts repairing the cooling lines after Celtar's last stunt... No... No this wasn't real...


Fucking spice betraying me. Need to check the mask filters later.

Stumbling into the freighter's cockpit a few moments later, Koushhk immediately saw the problem. The navicomputer was hardware-locked with a combination lock and a biometric scanner...that wasn't enabled...lucky. Not OEM. Third-party. Not cheap, but not great either. Retrofitted. Not a great fit either. Old navicomp. Doesn't even have a hard datalock. Lock probably had to have its way... no one is that bad at this...right? Fuck it... worst case was that she had to manually do the calculations for a bit until they found a replacement.

Koushhk sat down in the co-pilot's chair and quickly ran her hands over the navicomputer. On the back near the bottom, her gloved fingers found the little cord she'd been looking for and yanked it. The navicomputer's lock chirped then went dark. The part-time slicer then quickly unscrewed it from its mount and...bare navicomputer... bare dead navicomputer.

Koushhk put up a single finger to tell him to wait before the old man bitched at her for killing the navicomp. She flipped on the back of the device then flipped it back on. The navicomputer began booting up.

Flashing the GhostMan a thumbs-up, she hooked her little datapad into the ship's main computer. There was a lot more work to be done.

Undercity, Coruscant
As soon as the Ubese dropped herself into the co-pilot's seat and started messing with the navicomputer, Celtar was halfway across the galaxy.

His hands gripped controls of a freighter that he'd long since forgotten the name of in a system that few people flew through, let alone lived in. Flashes of energy rocked the ship as the Jedi Knight flew with one hand and pushed a myriad of buttons with the other. Those he couldn't reach, he flipped or pushed with the Force. "I'm gonna need you to hurry up, Kat! I can only draw so much energy and these pirates are not happy that we won their ship in a contest of 'Dibs.'"

He pulled the throttle back, flipped the freighter upside down and buried the controls in his stomach, and pushed it forward. The effect was a split S that lurched them forward back towards the very pirates that they were trying to evade. He thumbed the triggers to the forward facing laser cannons, red beams of pure energy loosing themselves at the now-oncoming fighters. The first rounds hit home, causing the lead fighter to explode in an impressive show of colors. The flanking fighters broke off to the left and right, though Celtar knew that the sixth fighter was still in front of him. He focused all power to the rear shields, aware that the fighters were forming back up to press the attack.

"The explosion must have blinded him, hold on," said Celtar with a focused look on his face. He trusted that she would heed his words even as she worked on the broken navicomputer, mainly because he couldn't take his eyes off of the myriad of instruments and the transparisteel viewscreen in front of him. Relying on the Force to get the timing correct, the Jedi Knight slammed the controls to the right, snap-rolling the freighter and lowering the gear at the same time. The impact with the fighter threatened to throw him from his seat, though the blaring alarms from the loss of one of the landing gear told him that he had destroyed the fighter with his maneuver.

"I need that navcomp back online
NOW, Kat. I'm running out of landing gear and that whole 'Destroy their hyperspace rings' move cost us what missiles were on this piece of poodoo." If he was being honest, it was his fault that their navicomputer had locked up. He'd tried his hand at beating the security system and had succeeded not only in almost bricking the navicomputer but also alerting the pirates that they were being robbed. While he considered himself average at slicing, hacking, and anything else that dealt with technology, Kat had proven herself the epitome of technological skill and it was one of the few things that he allowed her to laugh at him about.

He didn't even need to look over. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her thumbs up and heard the beeping of the computer coming back to life. He pointed them towards dead space and threw all power at the hyperdrive, causing the ship to shudder violently as the fighter's fire struck the freighter's hull. Within seconds, it was ready to jump, though a loud "JUMP COORDINATES NOT READY" alarm blared in his ears before he silenced the alarm. He wasn't making a calculated jump, he was making a short one designed to get them out of range of those damned fighters. As soon as he was sure the path ahead was clear, stars collapsed into streaks of light and they disappeared from the fighters' view.

Celtar snapped himself back to the present and blinked, moving his jaw around in annoyance. He nodded his thanks and exited the undercity, joining a line of automated traffic. "Unless you have a better idea, I might know a guy who can change our transponder codes, registration number, and ident tags. It won't get us into Sith territory but it'll make us harder to find and will allow us a bit more freedom from whoever those guys were. You don't get that much spice without a contact and, while I know it isn't the Exchange, I don't want to find out who it is."