Rogue Squadron Board

Welcome to the Rogue Squadron Community.
It is currently Sun May 27, 2018 1:57 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Piggy: The Lost Episodes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 10:13 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 559
Location: Upstate NY
Continuing the tale begun at the end of this thread:
http://www.rsplot.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1344&p=18997#p18997
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“It was obvious that a gamorrean piloting a New Republic X-Wing was never going to be able to stroll through the Imperial patrols circling the planet without drawing all sorts of unnecessary attention. The fuel situation meant there was no hope of out running them. Where could I go? I had to act quickly to find a way to get planet side while remaining out of the custody of the local constabulary. A random scan could have swept the quadrant at any moment and detected the ship.

It was then that I recalled something Elassar had said to me just after the Pearl incident regarding Janson’s SOL evasive maneuver that set up the Scaul’s jump out of system, He said: ‘It would have been safer to plot a jump to the far side of the Pearl rather than slewing everyone around like soup in a hot pot.’ We spent the rest of that evening in a discussion about the theoretical possibility of plotting a series of hyperspace ‘micro-jumps’ with enough accuracy to move a ship to the opposite side of a near space object.”

“Yes, I remember that!” Elassar interrupted “by the time we’d killed of our second case of lum we concluded that if hyperdrive could be made small enough to say, hide in your jacket, it would make for an excellent magic trick. Imagine… instantaneous teleportation. The ‘jumper’ would seemingly vanish and reappear in a different location. Alas, the fuel consumption for acceleration and deceleration was ridiculously high. Far more than could be conveniently concealed.”

“Some additional number crunching that night” Piggy continued “proved that to attempt this with a ship of any size the vector calculus needed to be accurate to no less than the thirty thousandth decimal place. Far out of even Squeep’s ability to process let alone a fairly standard astromech like Nitro. So there I sat in the cockpit sadly musing that this was all due to the gravitational constant, which normally pulls you safely out of hyperspace clear of a planet’s gravity well. There was no getting around that, unless I could change the laws of gravitational attraction… and then it hit me how I could do it.”

“Piggy!” started Janson incredulously “Don’t tells us you’ve figured out how to negate gravity?”

“Not exactly” the gamorrean smiled “The problem was the astromathematic theory held that the ordinate decimal was too extreme to be manageable, so I just moved the decimal place over a bit.”

“Sorry” Void uttered shaking his head “Not following you.”

“I convinced Nitro to recalibrate the hyperdrive’s gravity sensor array by a factor fifty thousand to one, and I also had him disable all the warning diagnositics. I knew I was attempting something extremely dangerous and saw no reason to have a bunch of lights and buzzers reminding me of that fact. While the droid was making adjustments, I quickly plotted the jump from my location near the systems center to a point at the planets north pole.”

“Ahhh!” chirped Red smacking the table “so you effectively reduced the array’s sensitivity to gravity allowing you to jump closer to the well before reversion. Sweet!”

She turned excitedly towards Face who, recognizing the look quickly reacted saying “No Red. No! I forbid you from recalibrating the Sacual’s nav arrays until we run some simulations and make sure it’s safe.”

“Oh, I can assure you it wasn’t!” Piggy countered. “I got lucky.” Red looked crestfallen.
“Anyway, just as I got the numbers entered into the nav ‘puter an alarm went off. I started to chide Nitro for not following orders again when I realized this was a laser lock warning. A patrol squint had ID’d me as an unfriendly and was heading my way at full speed. There wasn’t even time to triple check my math.”

“Oh the ignominy!” teased Void in mock distress, “General Horn will take away your Resident Scholar award for that!”

“I mashed the hyperdrive initiator switch just as he fired. I can only assume he thought he hit me. When the ship reverted to real space, it was a mere 70 meters over the planet’s surface. The ship buffeted violently as it slammed into the thin air and it rolled into an ungraceful stall, briefly hanging in the air with its nose pointing ever so slightly above the horizon, before dropping like a stone. That little jump cost one hundred percent of the remaining fuel reserves. The electrical systems were still online running on batteries, but without controlled thrust the atmospheric controls were nearly useless.”

As the world rushed up to welcome me, I lowered the landing gear and dialed the maneuvering repulsors to maximum. Some brute force wrestling with the control yoke managed to get the ship oriented into something more like a glide path and less like a flaming death spiral, minus the flames.

I got a bit of air under the wings which marginally reduced the ships airspeed and leveled her out. Trying to keep the nose up caused her to skip like a stone over the tops of a few tall snowdrifts before the repulsors overloaded and she slammed down onto an ice field, skidding to a stop a few moments later.”

“A typical Wraith, zero point landing.” quipped Janson.

“I popped the canopy and helped Nitro down. The ship had miraculously received almost no significant damage.”

“Almost?” interjected Cubber Dane the Wraith’s mechanic, “You sheared the laser cannons from both lower wings. Them things don’t replace themselves y’know.”

“True, and you have my apologies, Cubber. The next time I make and unpowered re-entry from space I promise to be more considerate about causing damage to one of your ships.”

“That’s all I ask of any of you.” the mechanic replied blithely. The chorus of groans went up from the pilots brought a devilish smile to his meaty face. “You were saying, Captain?”

“Fortunately the front landing gear held up nicely and I was able to get the survival kit out of the belly hold. That provided me with some rations and more importantly a portable heater and a thermal blanket which I used as a cloak. Then after zeroing my comm locator on the ships coordinates figuring I might be able to get back with fuel, I began a long cold walk in the direction which Nitro had detected the signs of habitation. ”

_________________
A Zen master walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."


Last edited by Voort saBinring on Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:52 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 559
Location: Upstate NY
The group peppered him with questions.

“So how cold was it?”

“Cold enough.”

“What planet were you on?”

“I’ll get to that in a minute.”

“How long did you walk?”

“Ah aha! It was a little over one hundred hours after leaving the fighter, a break appeared in the previously continuous field of ice. A few green weeds bravely poked through a muddy hole in the permafrost under my feet. More and larger patches were visible not far off. The last three thirty-plus hour days were spent walking except when huddled against the bitter cold during the planet’s darkening hours in the survival kits small collapsible shelter. A remarkable feat of materials engineering the durable material enabled it to serve double duty as makeshift sled upon which Nitro rode for much of the trip when it became apparent the drifting snow greatly inhibited the little droids forward progress.

In the distance below sat a lush valley. The sun shone warmly down onto its trees and sparkled on the surface of a long green-blue lake. That it meant a warm place to sleep with nightfall soon approaching was comforting, but even more so were the welcome signs of civilization.

Gray plumes of smoke which earlier had looked to be swirling clouds of snow in the distance proved, upon cresting the last hill, to be coming from the smokestacks of a goodly-sized industrial complex.

Stashing the survival gear in a small clump of low bushes and leaving Nitro to guard it I carefully made my way around the lake, hoping to remain hidden from the locals as long as possible in order to determine what sort of reaction was likely to result from the sudden appearance of an unknown gamorrean.

I managed to travel unnoticed to the edge of the small town just as dusk fell. Glancing back over the lake assured me that Nitro had obediently shut down all his exterior lights as ordered. From a hilltop vantage point behind the factory the towns population revealed itself. It included a good mix of species. The ones on the factory grounds mostly wore a standard work uniform. Time was spent noting the style of clothing worn by the pedestrians milling about the rest of the town, paying special attention to a pair of young gamorreans. These two appeared to loiter in front of one building for several hours which allowed for a bit of stealthy eavesdropping, from the adjacent alley, and revealed thier names were Guhfft and Fruhnnk. They worked as bouncers for the establishment, a local tavern.

I gathered a lot of local information as they chatted about everything from a sporting event they had both seen the previous night to the details upcoming election. Fruhnnk was on the fence, but Guhfft stongly advocated voting against the candidate who had insensitively described his opponent 'a pig in lipstick.'

Satisfied I could pass as a local given the right apparel, the next task was fabricating a rudimentary disguise. The only thing sure to be more out of place than a gamorrean flying an X-wing was a gamorrean in a freshly pressed NR flight officer’s uniform.

Behind a row of buildings sat a large metal deposit box belonging to a charity recycle shop, overstuffed with well worn clothing. The depository provided the perfect thing for blending in with the locals. Trying on a few items eventually yielded a shirt and jacket that would fit. By turning the uniform pants inside out and tying strips torn from the shirt around my legs I was able to assume the appearance of a local gamorrean admittedly a rather grungy looking one.
All this took most of the night. Nearby a factory whistle blew for the early shift change. It was nearing dawn so I began looking for a place get a few hours sleep. The gap between the recycle box and the nearest building made for good concealment and the overflowed contents of the recycle box made a fine mattress.

“Oh you’re getting soft Piggy!” Corran called from the next table “Are you sure you didn’t have Nitro by your bedside as a glo-lamp?”

“Funny you should say that General.” he countered “Just as I settled in a piercing light blinded my eyes, accompanied by a deep voice that drawled ‘Huiy dere boy-ohhh. Yuuuu-sah feelin okie-day ehh?’

I looked up into the eyes of a tall Gungan, one of significantly advanced age if the long facial tendrils and purple-grey coloring of his skin were any indication. The insignia on his jacket informed me he was a guard probably from the factory whose whistle I’d heard earlier. He had assumed I was a worker sleeping off a hard night of drinking.

‘Whatcha doin’ here den boy-ohh ehh? Sleepin’ awff de jah-wah joo-sah? Heh heh heh heh’ He kicked my foot ‘Gest up in go too afore you-sah getin late fur yur shif in de fac-tree if yah know whut-sah goot fo-yah boy-ohh.’ I stood up slowly and played along squeeling about an imaginary head-ache with the old grey laughing after me.”

“So you wandered into town and then what?”

“Well, I didn’t get far, I stepped into the street and turned down the very next alley and froze at the sight. The air was warm and heavy with ozone, the scent of an approaching rain. I recognized the jagged shape of a small crack that angled up along the wall to my left, and how the grey clouds in the sky matched the ashen grey of the bricks visible beneath the pale tan paint weather worn and flaking. I remembered the warm umber color of the dirt beneath my feet. This, this was the very same alley from the memory fragment of my abduction. Call it dumb luck, or the will of the Force, but I had somehow found my way back to this self same spot.”

“Just like the ‘The Little Lost Bantha Cub” Myn teased.
Beside him Elassar, caught mid sip, choked slightly as he snorted Lum out his nose.
"Aaww, I just washed this shirt!" he whined, grabbing some napkins.

"Piggy! Red burbled "you found you homeworld? That's awesome! What did you do next?"

“I fainted."

"Told you he was getting soft."
Elassar choked again.
"Good timing Corran." said Myn admiringly.

"My head swooned at this unexpected turn of events. With a hand I steadied myself against one of the walks. The lack of sleep combined with the flood of emotions from the memory fragment overcame me and my body collapsed from exhaustion. The guard saw this and called for a speeder to take me to the drunk tank. I woke a little while later to the most curious of sights.

A female gamorrean was standing outside the cell saying ‘Hvurgh, can you hear me?”

_________________
A Zen master walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:20 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 559
Location: Upstate NY
"So your real name is Hvuurgh? asked Red expectantly."

“No… it’s actually a term of endearment. The best synonym I guess would be, uh... ‘lover’.”

A simultaneous chorus of ‘Ooo-ooo-oooooh!’ rose from the males.
Myn quipped “You always Hvurrgh the ones you love.”

He smiled as the awful pun brought appropriate groans. Piggy undaunted, continued “Her name was Orrut Ohrmere. She held in her hand a care worn flyer advertising a missing person, a Gamorean male, roughly fitting my description, by the name of Rueturff Ohrmere who had been missing for some time. The most notable difference was the picture showing he had significantly chipped his lower left tusk.

“Piggy”, Kai interrupted “didn’t you once say that you avoided sticky food like the caramel in Sith Cake because of your cosmetic dental work?”

“Yes, that work was done shortly after I joined the New Republic, and my lower left is in fact one of the replacements. Most Gamorreans would not have such things done since they regard defects and visible injuries as signs of strength, badges of honor.”

“Females dig scars.” chimed Wedge amiably stroking a faint line under his own eye.

“And WHO gave you that one?” Tyria intoned pointedly.

“Uhh.. you did, dear.”

Again Elassar found himself reaching for more napkins, as Myn fell to the floor, convulsing with laughter.

“Orrut offered to pay the detention fine and arrange my release into her custody. This was a great relief as I had no funds, or identification, and without proof of residence, I could easily have been detained for months prior to being tried as a vagrant. I made a show of checking my pockets for a purse I knew didn’t exist then shrugged at the guard as if I had lost it. He just shook his head, and made her sign some papers before opening the cell and showing us to the street. As she signed I noticed that she had checked a box on the form indicating her relationship to me.”

“Oh let me guess!” shouted Elassar eager to avoid falling victim to the next quip “Mother?”

“No”

“Spouse?”

“No…”

“Oh please don’t tell me she ‘s your SIS-TER!?!” Piggy lowered his head in a gesture of admission, as a chorus of ‘Ewwwwwwww!’ rose from the males. He blushed slightly his skin turning a warm olive brown.

“That is what she had told the Guard to get in to see me, but it turned out not to be true. As we walked she explained we weren’t related at all. I have to say I was crestfallen. She was a member of ‘NHRAG’ the Non-Human’s Rights Action Group. Several members, including a Muftak and two humans who joined us along the way, had seen me being brought in to the drunk tank. The flyer was a fake, to give creedence to her sister story, printed that morning and aged with dirt and caff stains.

“I’ve never heard of this NHRAG” interjected Elassar “It’s not a known Alliance ally.”

“No, you wouldn’t have “Piggy explained “It’s a fairly small group and as far as I could tell their movement hasn’t gotten off planet. I'm getting ahead of my story, but I might as well tell you now” he said in anticipation of Kat repeating her earlier question.

He turned and looked right into Wedge's eyes “it was Dubrillion.”

The words hit the General like an ion blast. He reflexively took a step back.
A collective gasp went up from the group, all of whom recognized the planet as the place where the Rogues had once gone on a mission to destroy a prototype super laser.

“Sithspawn Piggy! ”Kia exclaimed“ do you think you had anything to do with constructing one of the Deathstar superlasers?”

“Well, the lasers for the two Deathstars were not actually built on Dubrillon. It was an ocean based testing facility for a next generation four dish superlaser, but it is almost a certainty that I was there when Rogue Squadron raided the facility in 3 ABY.”

The air hung silent for a moment as it settled around everyone that Piggy had been pressed into service to build the weapon which had nearly wiped out a squadron of Y-wings piloted by their comrades.

"The NHRAG’s felt that the officers had somehow violated my rights in apprehending me. They asked me if I worked at the factory. I told them no, I was from out of town, said I'd lost my ID while traveling, which was all true from a certain point of view. They offered me a place to sleep. They asked if I had any skills. I innocently asked what kind of skills were they looking for?”

“Intrusion skills, piloting skills, hacking skills’ yeah, he’s got skills.” murmured Corran.
A restrained chuckle moved through the room.

“They said they would find something for me. I suspected that the group might have Alliance sympathies, but not knowing for certain where Orrut’s political loyalties might lie, I decided to withhold as much about myself as possible until I could assess the situation, using my ignorance of the region as a convenient excuse to play dumb. For the time being I only told them I had found myself up north and had been working my way back here.

Arriving at the residence, a modest conventional dwelling on the outskirts of the city, she offered me a chance to freshen up while they prepared a meal. I used the brief moment of privacy to contact Nitro with my comm unit which the guards had returned as it was my only personal effect. The little droid had wisely spent his time attempting to triangulate our location based on the visible stars in the night sky. After much number crunching he had determined, to ten decimal places, where we were. This was important intel as it informed me we were well within Imperial space meaning there was little chance that any signal we could send off-world would go un-monitored. I had to bide my time and try to fit in until I could find a way off planet."

_________________
A Zen master walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:04 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 559
Location: Upstate NY
“There was a knock at the door. ‘Yuu all right ‘n dere?’ asked Berfizz the Talz in rough basic. Reaching for my throat to deactivate the translator, I opened the door. His eyes showed a flash of surprise. ‘Ja haffa ray-dee-oh awn? Uh heerds voices.’ He looked quizzically back and forth between me and the empty room, and then told me it was time to eat.

Finding a place at the table we passed the time in polite conversation. Everyone spoke slowly for my benefit and I played along. It became a bit frustrating at times waiting for others to translate comments through Orrut while I pretended not to understand them. This did however make it easier to simulate the short temperedness of an average Gamorrean.

One of the humans Merklyn Suir-Pashel seemed to understand Gamorrean fairly well and pressed her to ask about my work experience, explaining what they might be able to do for me. The meal itself was unremarkable but it was the first warm food in several days so I ate well.”

At this Face proffered his mug towards the serv-o-droid to request a refill.

“They set me up with a job at a warehouse on the far side of town from the factory. The next few days were spent playing the docile servant, dutifully sorting freight as instructed. Their organizational system left much to be desired. Quite a few things were out of place compared to the stock lists I’d surreptitiously read over the boss’s shoulder. Unable to resist the urge some effort was made to ‘accidentally’ put a few things into better order. The supervisor Fanrad, was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t appear to need any assistance. By the end of the second day, he was teasing the human workers ‘That Gammorean is smarter than the whole lot of you’.”

“Oh!” hooted Janson “If they only knew!”

“As it turned out the warehouse property was adjacent to a large refueling station. That immediately caught my attention as I was very keen to figure out how to acquire fuel for my downed X-Wing.

Having found myself in a place of relative safety, I began cautiously settling into this new life, a plan for my return from exile already forming”.

“So what was this Non-Humans Group?”

“The NHRAG proved to be a loosely formed organization with no formal leadership, more of a charitable enterprise than any sort of underground resistance movement. They seemed to be doing good, helping the planet’s underclass of non-human sentients to find work and generally making their lives better. Most ‘xenos’ were treated as poorly as could be expected on an Imperial controlled world such as this, and the NHRAG was a true oasis in the midst of a harsh world. They had small groups producing simple crafts to sell for fundraising efforts mostly carried out on street corners, and they took donations of leftover food from various businesses that were amenable to xeno-charity.

Merklyn seemed to take most responsibility among them. He was Soft spoken, deeply devout in his faith practices, reminded me somewhat of my mentor Brother Ulimia of the Bilapheei monks. As often I turned to Ulimia so, these gentle beings turned to Merklyn for advice and guidance.”

Most of the inhabitants of the house were simple beings with down on their luck stories. Berfizz the Talz had been a promising musician until allergies to common cleaning products caused him to develop a chronic nerve condition ending his career. As the condition worsened his performance opportunities dried up. Eventually he was forced to pawn his prize kloo horn for food.”

“Wait! Kloo horn?” asked Kat, her eyes wide. “Was this Berfizz ‘the Fizz’ Walloomol?”

“Yes.”

“My father practically raised us on his vids!” she bubbled excitedly “Tootle & Tip, Fizz Was the Bizz, Jizz Wailers All Join In!” her comment elicited a buzz of similar recognitions from the others in the room. “I still remember how I cried the first time I heard ‘Chandrella River’ I’ve never felt such emotion in an instrumental song. I’d wondered what happened to him.”

“Before he found the NHRAG he had been credit-less, sleeping on the streets, begging, and eating from waste bins, sometimes sneaking into pubs to gather food scraps, and even steal tips off tables to survive.”

“How could such a Jizz great have ever come to that?” Corran mused sadly.

“There are treatments available,” Piggy countered, “but falling on hard times and getting stranded in Imp space, it’s little surprise that no Imperial doctor would provide them to a ‘xeno’. Now the damage is all but irreversible, so he works in the NHRAG craft shop, his trembling hands taking weeks to assemble trinkets that bring in some tiny fraction of what he once earned in a night.”

Piggy recounted tales of the other house members, each sadder than the last till finally:
“Orrut herself had been enslaved as a child. She was rescued by Merklyn to whom she will be forever grateful and completely devoted. She had been taken from her mother as a yearling and put to work in a bamboo wet-field on Corulag harvesting lumni lichen for spicers when she was so small that she could barely keep her head above the water. As she began to mature she was put in charge of the new acquisitions, and was personally punished for any of their misbehaviors. Fearing for their safety and her own she did all she could to protect her charges from the master’s lash. In time she grew rebellious and assisted twelve of them in planning an escape. Only one, young human, Merklyn survived the attempt. She had stayed behind to care for the last two who were too sickly to participate. He alone made it safely past the property line, whereupon he attempted to lead the authorities back to the spice fields. No one would listen except one minor civic official who was quietly working to resist the sweeping xeno-phobic changes of the Palpatine doctrine. They returned to the place and together rescued Orrut and the others.

One was a human female who later succumbed to hepatolenticular brain degeneration resulting from ingestion of powdered cuprum metal used as a germicide in the harvesting process and the other was Zirmuf, who suffered brain damage in captivity due to a particularly violent beating he received for ‘claiming’ he was too sick to work one morning. Like Ourrt he is still with Merklyn.

Zirmuf’s special needs were the impetus for the formation of the NHRAG. Orrut now functions as a sort of house mother for the rest, preparing meals and keeping everything in order. The tasks were not all that different from what she had done in caring for her fellow slaves. It was the mere fact that she was no longer considered property that secured her happiness. She is now free and it was her decision to stay and provide what she could to those the group took in.”

“Sometimes” Tyria spoke, her voice catching “we get so wrapped up in fighting the Empire I think we forget the heroic survival stories of the everyman, err... everybeing.”

“Agreed.” Piggy concurred, “When I was not working the loading docks the little amount of free time I found provided a chance to learn about the planet and the locals. I took to exploring the town in the evenings eventually revisiting the alley.”

“A walk down memory lane eh, Piggy?”

“Ouch! Too soon, Wes!” Tyria jabbed at him with her elbow. ”Was it just like you’d remembered it Piggy?”

“The details of the place were subtly different as one might expect, after all quite some time had passed, but it was perfectly clear that I was home.

A week of shared meals allowed the chance to learn all this about these beings whose guile had saved me from the Imperial detention system. They accepted me, and allowed me to come and go as I pleased. Casual conversation one night led to asking Orrut about her brother Rueturff and the flyer she had used to get me out of the holding cell. She showed me the data terminal one of the others had used to make the flyer, and told the tale of how they had come to Dubrillion hoping to find him among the Empire’s slave workforce.

She explained how that same kindly civic official had been able to trace police records of slavers to determine who had been operating in the region at the time. Sales ledgers were uncovered in archived evidence holos. There was little record of her parentage. Slaves are never bred for pedigree so no records were kept of fathers, and little was required of females, even less once they were past breeding age. The data trail back to her mother quickly turned cold. However with careful cross referencing of the one known fact, that being Ourrt’s own age, they were able to find birth and death records, which were well tracked as inventory ‘gains and losses’ on a slaver’s balance sheet. From this they determined that only one of her four siblings had lived long after their separation at auction. Her brother had been taken off planet and sold to labor contractors working for the Empire on Dubrillion.

Together, Merklyn, Zirmuf, and Orrut traveled to the planet looking for Rueturff not realizing the danger the growing Imperial presence on the planet represented. Inquiring about a slave in a secret work camp proved to be a very good way to get their departure visas canceled. Now stranded on Dubrillon they were tagged as agitants and placed on a watch list, unable to travel beyond the borders of the province. With nowhere else to go, they persisted in digging for information about Rueturff. There were of course no official avenues of inquiry open, but as they began setting up the NHRAG house it was not long before Orrut became a trusted face among the xenos who introduced her to the local Gammorean population. Some, in strictest confidence, told about the secret Imperial work camps. In due course they met an old gammy named Sqeesupht who not only remembered Rueturff but had even worked alongside him. He spoke glowingly of her brother, and then sadly informed her that he had seen his friend shot dead while attempting to escape from their work camp. He held out a hand and gave her an ID chit with Rueturff’s personal data. That is where she had acquired the picture of him which was used in the flyer.

After everyone was asleep that night I went to the terminal for a better look at the files used to make the flyer. Something about the image kept haunting me. So much to assimilate. What followed was a fitful night’s sleep. My thoughts were jumbled the entire next day at work so much so that a small package of vacuum tubes slipped from my fingers and shattered on the floor. While fetching a dust pan to sweep up the mess I overheard Fanrad chatting with his Sabbac buddy who just happened to be the shop manager at the fueling facility. The other man mentioned that the shop had lost two of three mechanics in the past week. I had found my opening.

Using a considerable portion of my first weeks wages I placed an ad in the local periodical advertising an astromech for sale.”

“You sold Nitro?”

“Naturally he was furious at the idea, but the little droid relented and went along with my plan to offer him as an experienced mechanic for sale at an irresistible price. I made sure the ad turned up on my supervisor’s desk hoping he would show it to his friend. It was carefully worded to suggest that droid had programming that made it ideal for work in a fueling depot.

“We all know about your ability to spin the facts Piggy” Said Myn. “I have to hear this! What did it say?”

“Pretty basic stuff really I barely had to strain the truth at all:
For sale, used R3 Astromech in first class condition with all the latest upgrades. Inderium interlaced processors cores, with DJF Data-math v3.7 programming suite, a Hardi-mat 319 tool package, and dual Serelian Quintabyte memory cores.”

“Wait…Dual?” “Nitro has quad memory cores doesn’t he?”

“Yes, lying about the extra capacity enabled me to make an emergency backup of his personality in case they decided to wipe his memory.

This droid was purchased recently off world at auction by my spouse a retired machinist to assist in his hobby of restoring pleasure craft. As of his recent passing, I have no need for it.”

“It was only used by a little old lady to autopilot her speeder on holy days of atonement at the 1st Reformed Galactic Temple of Cthulu.” chimed Corran.

Suitable for any task, this droid was most recently employed as a class 4 shop maintenance repair unit

“Class 4?” piped Void “Taz put so much in that R unit it’s at least a class 6.”

“It’d better be before I’d let it set so much as a sensor onto my hangar floor.” interjected Cubber.

…and previously worked as an assistant to the shipping coordinator for the Derullion Tibanna refinery.

“Tibanna refining and storage being very similar to that of Argot Fuel in most respects” mused Wedge.

Will sell for 875 creds. Free delivery assured.”

“Low ball price and a free delivery. Nail in the coffin to a tightfisted buyer.” Corran added enthusiastically “Very clever Piggy, so obviously they bought it. Then what?”

"With Nitro on the inside it was simple matter to study their delivery schedule and arrange for a suitable shipment to a location of my choosing. Larger vehicles were usually crewed by sentients for security reasons. As I had no desire to harm anyone in my planetary escape attempt, I ruled out the possibility of hi-jacking one of these. The Drone operated local deliveries were classified as low priority so we determined one of those would be easiest with which to abscond. Nitro was able to bypass the company’s sales department and insert a requisition directly into the ordering system with fictitious approval codes confirming payment from a non- existent credit line for an order that would be large enough to refuel the X-Wing without having to bring a lot of extra weight along for the ride. Once it was all submitted our order was ready in a matter of hours. With Nitro able to place all the required security checks on the documentation for our erroneous consignment, the missing vehicle could go unnoticed for perhaps as much as a week before accounting flagged the phantom customer for non-payment, or anyone even thought to investigate its disappearance. In fact the greater danger once we left was that they might come looking for their newly acquired droid.”

“Ah, so you refueled, got off planet, and returned home, Great story!”

“Not exactly...” Piggy said uneasily “Unfortunately, we had made one small miscalculation. The delivery vehicles assigned to these smaller local shipments proved to be light duty ground vehicles intended for surface roads. Simple wheeled vehicles, they were never designed to travel across the rocky terrain immediately outside of town, let alone the frigid wasteland at the planet’s poles. With a range of only 500 kilometers one couldn’t manage even a third of the distance back to the abandoned ship, and of course, pulling over to refuel along the way in a stolen van was not an option for me. This meant concealing the fuel vehicle in an abandoned building on the opposite edge of town, and then searching for something bigger that we could fit the ground roller inside, something that was up to the journey northward.

The ever resourceful Nitro was able to tap into the depots daily traffic timetable and discovered a number of vehicle types that fit our needs. An appropriately sized vehicle was scheduled to stop at the depot for a mandated crew break late the next day. With one stolen vehicle already in my possession, time was of the essence. I arranged to take my evening meal break early in order to meet it.

Arriving at the depot that evening I wandered the edges of the publically accessible portion of the depot until Nitro could manage to grant me access into the enclosed hangar area where loaded transports were kept while their crews ate. Despite the increased security it seemed worth the extra risk to be able to acquire a vehicle without having to confront the crew directly. A storage closet off the enormous bay offered a small window through which most of the hangar’s interior could be viewed. From there I waited for the little droid’s signal that our target vehicle had arrived. It took some effort in the close quarters of the tiny room, to don my all concealing disguise assembled out of dark colored clothing purchased from the town’s recycling shop. It was ill fitting, but it would serve to prevent anyone from seeing a talking Gamorrean on the security vids.

Not long after, my comm pinged just as a sleek looking cargo hauler pulled up to the dispensing apparatus. An older model designed with heavy armor plating it had been relegated to ship to shore transports. It was all black and displayed an Imperial cog on side of the control cab along with a logo for ‘PALPAY’, a private corporation which I had not previously heard of in my travels, presumably local to the planet. A technician stepped out on to the platform to connect the intake and overflow hoses and gave the pilot directions to the refresher area. The co-pilot did not exit the vehicle.

Fueling would not take long. The tech chatted with the co-pilot until the driver returned. I opened the door to the storage room the better to listen. Fear gripped me when I heard the tech say something about it being unfair how the two had been ordered to make up time by cutting short their break and eating en route instead of taking the full mandated rest period. The copilot began citing Imperial Safety Regulations. The pilot countered that the time bonus they were offered for early delivery was all the reason he needed to follow the illicit orders. The co-pilot relented. The tech, hearing the numbers involved concurred.

The pilot handed a small package up to his crewmate, a self heating meal packet purchased from the vending unit near the freshers. He bore one for himself as well. They were not going to head to the diner after all, but lift off as soon as the fueling was complete.

Instead of an empty ship with 30 minutes or more in which to work alone, there were now three people to subdue in order to commandeer the ship. I had a bad feeling about this. I suddenly worried that this might be a secure Imperial shipment. That meant there were likely other measures that would need to be overcome, including a location transponder, and no doubt the crew had access badges needed to activate the ships systems and the nav-unit probably had a pre-programmed flight plan to boot.

My assessment was the situation seemed impossible. If I’d had a week to plan such an assault I might be able to come up with something, but there was no time to create a carefully detailed strategy. I could abort the mission but, getting back out of the secure area undetected could only be harder than getting in, and any slip up there would raise alarms that would only cause security to be tightened in advance of any future attempt. No. The time was now. The situation demanded this be a quick strike, and brutal if not surgical. I would have to capture the men without rendering them unconscious in order to get their security codes, and not raise any alarms in the process.

The tech began disconnecting the overflow hose, as the co-pilot stepped down abruptly from the cab and came around to the other two men holding out his meal in a manner suggesting its contents were highly distasteful to him. He exchanged words with the pilot about checking the food’s expiration date next time.

Their guard was down, surprise was my only advantage. The problem was the distance between myself and these men meant that advantage would not last long once they saw me approaching. Two clicks on my comm were the GO signal to Nitro. I had instructed him to wait until the ship had parked before disabling security systems to make possible our escape, and then head for the vehicle. He would be rolling out to meet me now.

Turning my translator back on for the first time in weeks, I set it to maximum volume and stepped out on the platform.

“Hold where you are” I bellowed, my synthetic voice echoing from every corner “and no one will get hurt.”

Simultaneously, everything was plunged into darkness as Nitro, rather than shutting down the security systems, had found it easier to kill all power to the building. Now, quite unexpectedly, I had a second advantage.

With a deep breath to summon the Ymeri Drosche I dashed to my left a few meters then, turned back toward them, my foot falls whisper quiet. I flew across the platform. With reflexive Imperial academy training the pilot drew his blaster and aimed squarely at the residual image his eyes held, the place where I was no longer standing. As the bolt scorched the wall it illuminated the empty space where they were sure someone had been an instant before, and their confusion became palpable. The apparition he fired upon seemed to simply vanish. In the faint light that spilled out from the cabs open door I saw the co-pilot reach for his side arm. He turned fanning a glo-beam across the room haphazardly, passing briefly over my face. ‘There!’ he shouted, waggling the beam at me, covered all in black, a shadow leaping out from the shadow cast on the wall behind me. Fumbling to get both hands on his weapon he dropped the lamp, sighted and fired a shot that would have hit me dead between the eyes were he not in fact aiming at the titanic shadow on the wall which had grown to an impressive height as the glo-lamp shone up at me from the floor. By the time he realized his error and brought his weapon to bear on the dark shape which he couldn’t believe he had seen, I was on him. He fired one more shaky snap shot which passed through the billowing fabric beneath my left arm.

Crushing both his weapon and his hand in mine, I spun and flung him into the darkeness. He of course slammed directly into the pilot, sending both men sliding limply across the floor. I cursed myself. I really needed those passwords.

Turning toward the sound of feet slipping on durocrete revealed the tech cowering in the dim light near the open door of the cab. As I approached he raised hand in front of himself desperately thumbing the trigger on his only means of defense, an e-comm unit the signal from which wasn’t likely to activate the repeater alarms due to the lack of power in the building. So focused was the terrified technician on the shapeless nightmare in front of him he completely failed to notice as Nitro rolled quietly up from behind and tasered him into unconsciousness.”

“That droid really deserves a medal.” Wes murmured to Wedge.

“I did not plan to take anyone hostage, but I was left with little choice. The three men were dragged over to the cab where the landing lights made possible a quick search of their persons which revealed wallets, house keys, ID chits, and the co-pilot’s access card but not one for the pilot. From up in the cab Nitro squealed. The Force was with us and the missing card was located still in its slot on the navi-puter, the ships systems still active. Rushed to meet the unfair requirements of their expedited schedule, the man had decided to maximize his bonus by not taking the extra time to log out of the secure control systems. With his co-pilot agreeing to remain in the cab in his absence it no doubt seemed a perfectly logical choice at the time.

We dumped our unwanted passengers clear of the repulsor wash and lit off toward the lake shore just a few klicks east at the edge of town. Nitro remotely restored power to open the hangar doors and then sealed them behind us scrambling the security codes for good measure. With no one conscious to get an alarm out of the building our hasty departure was not questioned.

It was short work to disable the ships transponder unit and fling it into the cool blue water, making it considerably harder for anyone to track us. Then instead of reprogramming the nav-puter I merely fried its memory core with a blaster as Nitro plugged into the auxiliary socket to plot our new course.

We carefully made our way back to the edge of town to pick up the fuel van. Upon opening the cargo bay to dump the ships payload and make room for the van I was briefly taken aback to discover a large number of neatly stacked pallets of tightly piled small pieces of paper, like these.”

Reaching into his jacket Piggy extracted two thick bundled stacks of the brightly colored paper and tossed them onto the table.

“Piggy!” said Elassar his voice an awed whisper “This is… this is MONEY!”

“Yes, Nitro and I, had somehow managed to steal a ship full of uncirculated Imperial pay scrip, delivered to us straight from the printer PALPAY, probably headed for distribution aboard a Star Destroyer or even several, I suppose.”

“How much did you take my dear, dear friend?” cooed Elassar sidling closer to place a hand on Piggy’s shoulder.

“If I read the manifest correctly, the face value of the bills was something in the neighborhood of 325.75 Mill-creds.

“Three hundred twen… Zarquon’s Dingoes!” hooted Myn “Hey Face, Piggy’s even richer than YOU!”

“325? Pffftt!” snorted the Loridian dismissively “That’s just my walkin’ ‘round money!”

“This, is only about 20,000,” Piggy mused, “all I could carry on my person. Sadly it never would have all fit in the X-Wing’s tiny cargo compartment”

“Pity you had to dump it all” pouted Kai.

“Yeah” Piggy replied dryly, “That would have been a pity.”

“What do you mean would have?” she replied suspiciously.

“Yeah Voort!” added Janson. You arrived in Taz’s X-Wing. What happened to the cargo shuttle the fuel van and all the scrip?”

“Is the money really gone?” asked Red, sadly.

“Well… The ships hold was not quite half full which meant there was plenty of room for the fuel van. Nitro drove it onboard and we flew to the X-wing’s coordinates then used the mag loaders to haul her on board as well. We left orbit shortly thereafter on a heading near perpendicular to the orbital plane. Once clear of the planet’s gravity well, we made a short jump for the Ryshi Mays.

When we were safely out of Imp space we took a little time to examine the X-Wing to see if she was still flight worthy. Then we put enough fuel in her to get back safely and as we departed the shuttle we fired a proto torpedo into the open hold to detonate the remaining fuel in the van, destroying the shuttle. I couldn’t bring it back it would have been spotted upon landing. When you steal a few hundred creds you can just disappear, but when you steal three hundred twenty five million, they will find you, unless they think… you’re already dead.”

“Piggy,” Wedge chided “I can’t believe you of all people would steal an Imperial payroll shipment.”

The Gamorrean waved his mug with a casual swagger worthy of Han Solo, a broad grin slowly curled his lips back from his teeth. “Call it… reparations”

“And you just blew the rest up?” asked Myn still awed at the numbers involved.

His mug to his lips as he drank Piggy slowly nodded affirmatively “… or perhaps,” he paused to take a breath while allowing the ale to settle in his stomach “Perhaps Nitro knew of a properly discrete banking establishment in the Mays cluster that would open an account for off-worlders with a minimum of questions. It is possible, I suppose that most of it just might have been deposited in a secure trust account in the name of Rueturff Ohrmere and the Non-Human’s Action Group on Dubrillion noting Merklyn Suir-Pashtel as superintendent of monetary dispersals, and that we kept only enough for fuel and landing fees.”

Some smiled warmly, others made kind comments regarding his noble decision. Elassar was visibly crushed.

“So after all that,” Face prodded “what happened in the debriefing?”

“Well I only told them how and where I crashed and that I had managed to find gainful employment until such time as I could refuel the ship and return home. Still as agitated as Kre’fey had gotten about my disappearance there was no way in the blue moons of Hoth he was going to let me get off without any sort of punishment, so I have been cited for: ‘Disobeying Captain Kaiukies’ order to rendezvous with the Sacul’, ’Failure to report for duties scheduled prior to the time of my return’, and ‘Appearing out of uniform upon my return’.”

“I’d have ordered you to keep the money too!” Kai groused.

“Having been found guilty of these offenses I am ordered to check in with my squadron leader, who is here.”

“So noted” answered Face levelly.

“At which point I am to be confined to quarters for seventy two hours under armed guard.”
He gestured towards the door where a pair of MP’s had been waiting all this time. Being sensible beings, they were not about to begrudge the Gamorrean a half hour to tell a good story. As they approached, Voort stood up from the table and held up his hands. Their faces were grim as they placed mag-binders on his wrists.

“Piggy, this is outrageous!” glowered Red “The circumstances were beyond your control! You were the victim of faulty droid programming. You should lodge a formal protest to get the citation removed from your record!”

“Why Red? Every one of us has a few marks on their records for insubordination or the like.”

“but… what are you going to do about the confinement?”

“I plan to go to my room,” he replied with a smile “to take a hot bath, and a looooong nap.”

The end

_________________
A Zen master walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."


Last edited by Voort saBinring on Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:01 am, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 7:10 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:56 am
Posts: 559
Location: Upstate NY
Epilogue

Finally alone in his quarters, aboard the Sacul, Piggy sat on the edge of his bed for a short while then hesitantly got up and flicked on the on the data terminal. He inserted the ID card Ohrutt had given him and accessed the files it contained. Quietly, methodically over the next few hours he set up a series of queries and methodologies to retrieve the corrupt information locked inside the memory chit. Entering the ‘RUN’ command he set the ships main computer to crunch the numbers in a highly secure fashion using low priority cycles of minimum sized packeting to avoid tripping any of the data-logging security checks that processing the full task all at once would. It would take far longer to get the results this way, but he had plenty of time. The whole while he stared deeply into the eyes of the image of Rueturff Ohmere.
Eventually the results were complete and then there could be no doubt.

“So is Orrut your TWIN sister?”came the Sacul’s voice tauntingly from a ceiling speaker.

“No Sacul. Not twins, the same litter yes, but not twins, not really.”

“You told everyone that the old gammy Sqeesupht had seen Rueturff killed.”

“That is what he said, but Rueturff… I… was heavily stunned, not killed.”

“You’ve encrypted all this data, are you going to tell anyone about this?”

"No Sacul, and I’d appreciate it if you would delete all this and forget it yourself. That part of my life is long over now, and I have done all I can for Ourrt and Merklyn. Making my current self known would only serve to bring the them the very much unwanted attention of Empire.”

“Consider it done. Welcome Home… Rueturff.”

“Thank you Sacul. It is good to be back among my family.”

_________________
A Zen master walks up to a hot dog vendor and says "Make me one with everything."


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group