Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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A Fresh Pair of Wings

Somewhere nice
[member="Owen Holst"]
Aedan's X-Wing had long since touched down on the grassy fields of Naboo. This was home now. It had been a while since he had felt grounded anywhere. After all being a fighter pilot in the midst of a great war between the Galactic Alliance and the First Order was the sort of thing that tended to keep you on the move. There was no rest for the wicked, and definitely not a wicked Rogue Squadron pilot.

Even so, Naboo was where his sister called home, and so Aedan had come to do the same. They didn't leave here, his sister was located closer to the capital. However Aedan loved the opportunity to spread his wings. It was more or less why he had become a pilot in the first place. He could go anywhere. In his X-Wing nothing seemed impossible. Mountain off in the distance? Sure, let's investigate. Lush valleys and warm beaches off in the distance? Sure, he could go there too.

But he wasn't alone. At least not for long. Owen would meet him soon enough. It was the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a brief break before the next thunderstorm. Yet the First Order was always on the move, far from defeated. And to add to it all his sister's business was suffering, and her with it. Times weren't the best for clan Lochlan. Aedan's own fortunes were unpredictable at best. He and his squadmates had been forced to come to terms with being sent on the most dangerous operations. He knew not everyone could return. What would he leave behind if he blew up above a rock in the midst of First Order and Alliance border territories? His sister was strong and could take care of herself. But he wished she didn't have to.

The pilot, casually dressed in t-shirt and cargo pants slumped down onto the grass. Worries could come later. For now he just wanted to enjoy the view.

[member="Aedan Lochlan"]

Owen’s X-Wing had landed quite some time after Aedan’s had. While the place might have been a new home for Aedan, this valley was just one of the few places that Owen had visited when he had grown up on Naboo. From this very spot he could see where his father would take him and his sisters fishing and if he’d gone just a little bit further up the hill he would have been able to see all the way over to where his friends owned a small cabin they’d go to every now and then during summer break.

And now he was meeting Aedan in the same general area. While the man might not have been a native he was still one of the closer friends Owen had made in his time, going as far as to keep executives and fellow squadmates from trashing his chances at scoring a ten-out-of-ten jedi at some sort of gala event. Really, by the time was over Owen had forgotten a majority of what had happened. Everything except having helped Aedan out. Now that was by many means his best performance as a wingman beyond that of being a literal wingman in the Alliance’s premiere squadron.

And when you were the best, well, you always deserved just a little bit more rest.

Not that others didn’t. Owen had quite simply not taken a break from active duty in what felt like forever. To sit down on the plains of his homeworld was something he had looked forward to ever since Aedan had come up with it.

“Brought the drinks.” The man grinned as he placed a pack of them on the ground by his friend. “Aaaand some kind of snack… Thing.” He placed some kind of oblong piece of dried meat by the drinks as well. “I think that’s all we needed, right?”

Owen knelt down and took a seat in the grass. “If not. Too bad. I ain’t getting up again unless I have to.”
[member="Owen Holst"]
Everything blended together perfectly within this scenery. The clear blue sky, the deep blue water, and the lush, green valley of meadows and trees. Even the mechanical flying beast that was Owen's X-Wing moved smoothly with its surroundings. Aedan was probably biased, to him the X-Wing was a symbol of freedom and a thing of beauty in itself. Besides, this particular mechanical flying beast contained his best friend. Who hopefully had brought drinks... Aedan always seemed to forget that.

Aedan remained on the grass, closing his eyes, simply listening to the engines of Owen's snubfighter as it drew closer, hovering lower and lower before finally touching down on the grass. It was a smooth landing. Gentle, almost as if Owen wished to spare the grass leaves of any pain. It was his home world, after all. Didn't really matter what you believed in, after the things they had seen, the heat and chaos of war, meadows such as this one were sacred.

He was so lost in his own thoughts that he reacted with mild surprise at the sudden inclusion of Owen's voice. Right. Now was a bad time to daydream. Aedan bounced back up to his feet, grinning widely as he went to greet his bestest wingman. The fact that Owen's very first sentence included the word 'drinks' may or may not have influenced the grin to become even wider than normal (spoiler: it totally did).

"Great!" Aedan clasped the shoulder of Owen. He would've pulled him in for a hug, but didn't want to do any damage to the drinks or.... Whatever that other thing was. Aedan's skepticism was short-lived, however. It looked like dried meat. How could you not love dried meat? Meat was great. Dried meat was great. Dried meat and drinks? See, Owen just got him. "Yeah! This looks perfect."

The two pilots found their seats in the welcoming grass. Aedan gave a chuckle at Owen's remark. It was understandable. Who would ever want to leave this place? Although sometimes it was not about want, it was something greater than that. Duty called. "Let's hope you won't have to." Aedan paused, thinking for a moment while looking back at his own X-Wing, parked not far from Owen's. "If we run out, think Baby could manage to fetch us supplies?" 'Baby' was the BB-unit astromech droid, that if Aedan had his way, would be astromech turned food delivery service.
[member="Aedan Lochlan"]On the contrary, now was the best of times to daydream. Owen stared across the meadow again with one ear to his friend and the other to the sounds of nature. The breezes rustling in the grass and the trees, the birds singing their happy tunes and the rivers trickling over the rocks that had once hindered it. A deep breath filled the man’s lungs with just enough peace to truly savor the moment for what it was. Perfect. A hand was placed on his shoulder with a small shake of appreciation for the gifts that had been brought.

Aedan and Owen just got along, always had for some reason. One of them was a ladies man suave enough to find his way into the beds of Jedi, and the other one was a once-in-a-lifetime wingman able to divert even the most depressingly boring business owners from pulling the handbrakes on his partner’s flow. While memories of that was muddied indeed, Owen would remember having a laugh at being Aedan’s saving grace not once but twice. They both knew who owed who what by now, Owen had refused to let that one go.

And then there was Aedan’s ever so loyal secondary partner-in-crime, Baby.

“I sure hope so.” Owen laughed and looked over at the BB-unit with a wide grin. “Little fella might need to go a ways, but what’s a few miles to a droid anyway, right?”

Eyes set on the landscape again, the first sip of the beer getting itself engraved upon his mind.

“No. After months, and months, and months…” Deep breath for effect. “And months, of fighting, it’s good to get a break.”

“I love the Rogues, but you can’t deny the satisfaction or freedom that breaks like this bring.” Owen exhaled once more as he took another sip. “At least it’s steady pay, I guess.”

“And lodging, and food, and healthcare, and… Well, a lot of things.”

“But…” Owen shrugged. “That don’t really matter right now. Places like this don’t really call for ‘work talk’, does it?”
[member="Owen Holst"]

Even since day one Aedan and Owen had just clicked. He'd have to search long to find better company to spend a sunny day with on the grassy fields of Naboo. Both in space and on the ground he felt confident that Owen had his back. And likewise, Aedan had his. Thinking back to the night at the gala still made him chuckle, how Owen had scrambled about to make sure he was able to talk freely to her. It had been a good night. With a little sigh he grabbed his beer a took a heavy sip, perhaps to distract, perhaps to forget. Some memories stuck harder than others. Maybe it was because she had been a Jedi. Maybe because she was special.

"Right? Baby's been through worse" Aedan glanced back at his ship, managing a little grin before turning back to Owy. Owman. Owenosaurus. Okay, maybe work some more on the nicknames...

"Yeah... I hear that" Aedan nodded slowly, raising his own bottle and clanked it against that of Owen's. They'd both spent far more time in life threatening situations than what was healthy for the mind. But they had both made it through. And for that he was eternally grateful.

"This. This is good. You come from a beautiful planet. My sister sure likes it. If only she took the time off from work to actually appreciate it" he joked mildly, although he knew why she didn't and understood it well. He wished she didn't push herself so hard though. Burning out would do no one any good. As far as Owen and Aedan were concerned, they both could use a break from war.

"Lodging, food and healthcare is great. But the pay could honestly be better" It wasn't bad, by any means. But Aedan was providing for two. "Or I mean... Ah, you know what I mean. Ailish tells me business isn't great these days"

After pausing and thinking on it for a moment, Beardy McBeardface chuckled and shook his head, bringing up his beer for another much needed sip. "But you're right. Now's a time for chill. We'll figure things out. We Lochlans always do"
[member="Aedan Lochlan"]

“Droids. They are made for that stuff.” Owen chuckled, and it would have doubled at the Lochlan’s nicknames. They had their nicknames to a degree. If it was all the same, Owen would always cherish the name Pie for as long as he could. It was after all something he had achieved out of geeking out over his assigned squadron number. He had asked for Three-Point because three-point-fourteen would have been pi, but… Well, obviously it stuck, just not the pi or pie he had wanted to stick.

And there was absolutely no denying Naboo’s natural beauty. Owen stared across the fields again before catching onto the conversation again.

“No no, hold up.” Owen turned towards his buddy, his foe terminator numero uno, his wingman by both definitions. “Ailish tell you that, huh?”

Owen still kept his Rogue Shades in a small compartment in his fighter, it was one of the greater benefits of being in the Rogues, excluding the camaraderies. Obviously he wasn’t staying for just the swag benefits, but they certainly counted into it.

“Something up with the business?”
"Yeah..." Aedan muttered while looking out against the river not far from them, down the valley. It looked so peaceful. Why couldn't life be as simple?

It was a topic he would've been reluctant to talk about to anyone but Owen. With Owen it was different. In his case, it was as if a part of Aedan wanted to talk about it, perhaps even needed it.

"We got the products. And you know Ailish can talk anyone into signing a contract. It's not that. But just... Shipping, you know? Everyone expects it all to drop on their doorstep as soon as possible, whether they live on Nar Shaddaa or on Hoth. We just don't have that capacity right now. And business is bleeding because of it."

That was the heart of the issue. They had that one guy, but that one guy was flying for much less pay than he was worth and it was unlikely he would continue forever. And that one guy was simply that one guy, and he couldn't be more than once. Yet supply and demand expected him to be. It was that or hire more pilots, but ships, manpower, upkeep of it all... It was pricey.

"I don't know man. Sometimes I wish I could just pack up everything and do those things myself. Get a medium sized freighter. Race across the galaxy." Fight the stock market instead of the First Order. Now that'd be something. Rogue Squadron represent. He nearly had to chuckle.

[member="Owen Holst"]
[member="Aedan Lochlan"]

Owen listened and Owen drank. His mind took in what Aedan was saying about the company, about the products and the delivery and the problems that they were facing as a result. It was a seat he didn’t envy, yet as Aedan ended with his assumedly exaggerated wish, Owen opened his mouth with a grin.

“Let’s do it.” He seemed oddly sincere. Actually, he was. He was being very serious right now and he shifted on his butt to face Aedan as he spoke on the matter properly. “I got savings, you got savings. Together we might just be able to afford ourselves a rust bucket spaceworthy enough to get us from place to place without hopefully dying.”

And just in case Aedan didn’t believe him. “I’m serious, man. If we just get a ship and start helping out the credits will eventually start making themselves for us.”

“... and if we happened to... Let’s say smuggle something, for a bit more credits on the side... “

“We know how soldiers think and act, we know the places they search in ships because we have as well. We could make big money if we did it right. Nothing too shady, just two strangers helping the good masses of the galaxy see places they needed to see, meet people they needed to meet. Or heck, escape from even.”
Aedan laughed and took an even bigger sip from his bottle. Surely his partner in crime, throughout time, whose skill as a wingman and best bud was sublime, was joking.

But he wasn't. And as bizarre and strange as it sounded at first... It actually made sense. Aedan's initial reaction had been something akin to 'but we can't just do that... right?' But it was slowly seeping over into 'but why not?' Indeed. Why not. Why the kark not.

"You're not joking are you" he muttered, almost as much to himself as to Owen, hoping that putting his thoughts into word would somehow breathe more clarity into this. Surely this was crazy right? Right? Maybe it was. But...

"Man, this... This... Alright. Kark it. Let's do it then" Aedan's grin mirrored Owen's own. "It might actually work. If we can just get started... We can probably start making some cash on it, don't you think? I mean. We could make back whatever savings get lost, throw it into the company, and just... Expand, expand, expand."

Aedan was no businessman, nor did he truly know the best strategy to invest and gain profits. But it seemed pretty simple, right? It made sense, right? To him it did. He thought it did. More than profits, he hoped this could be the break they had been hoping for. Maybe he could pull Ailish out of the mud, and not only that, help push her company up to become self-sustaining. She deserved that much.

Aedan had given pause when Owen brought up smuggling, not sure if he was joking or not. But seeing his face, he laughed with him. Aedan knew Owen, better than anyone he felt. They were both pretty similar in terms of moral codes. "Yeah... I mean, if some supplies happen to get lost on our ship and disappear again when we land next... Whose to say?" there'd be no spice, but weapons to the needy, even health care or food to oppressed people. There were many instances when smuggling illegal goods could be not only justified, but an act of good. "We've picked up enough smugglers in our time to know their game... And how to one-up it."

"We'd definitely be overqualified to fly it. We know the routes, got the experience, got the clearances..." It seemed so perfect now, made so much sense, that Aedan could barely understand why they hadn't thought of it before.

"I guess we'll be taking an extended leave of absence from Rogue Squadron. A couple of personal days" With a grin, he raised his bottle to Owen. To the new smuggler bros.

[member="Owen Holst"]
[member="Aedan Lochlan"]

Head shook. He was not joking in the slightest. Aedan had admitted he had started to make new plans and Owen wouldn’t have wanted him to do it on his own. In the end Owen was a risk taker, something Aedan most likely would have noticed in battle. Few could boast about nearly scraping the surface of an asteroid going two-hundred-fifty, but Owen certainly could. His decision to apply for the Rogues was something similar in itself, and now that an opportunity was presenting itself before him he couldn’t possibly forgive himself if he didn’t take it. Sure, Rogue Squadron was amazing, but so was a great many other things. He had the memories and that was good enough for him.

“I don’t think, man, I know.” He said to reaffirm his certainty to Aedan. “We get a ship, we ship stuff. If someone comes forth, someone who seems like a good sort mind you, we can see about helping them for an affordable sum or two.”

“We take what sucked and make it good,” Owen sipped excitedly from his drink. “We adapt, we cash in, we get to sleep in beds that are made of the highest calibre.” Now that last part in itself was almost reason enough. Military was nice, but comfort was often left out of the picture.

Then again, Aedan hit the hard nut right off the bat.

“... I don’t know how likely it is that the Rogues would actually be… There, you know?”

“We might have to quit, but I mean, chit, I feel great about this.” Owen nodded in continued excitability. “We get to see more of the galaxy, do less patrols around dead sectors, see the women of the galaxy while also helping your sister with the business.”

“There will be more downtime, and this will be a hard and painful life for the first few months, but eventually we will come out on top for sure.”

“So what say you?” Owen raised his bottle and angled its butt towards Aedan for him to clank his own against it. “Partners?”
[member="Owen Holst"]

"Yeah... Yeah!" The more Owen said, the more hyped Aedan got for the idea. It just made more and more sense, the more he thought about it, no the more he allowed himself to think about it. It hadn't really been on the agenda, or even something he considered possible. He was a Rogue, right? His duty lay with the Galactic Alliance's navy. Or did it? Why?

Considering it properly now, he felt none of the concerns or dark 'what ifs'. Quite contrary, he felt himself swell up with excitement he found hard to contain. If he was honest with himself, this was what he wanted. It would help out Ailish, but on top of that... The gig seemed pretty sweet too. And he got to fly, which was his life long dream.

"You make it sound so easy. And you know what? I think you're right" Aedan grinned wickedly. He rose the bottle to take another sip, only to realise he had in his excitement already emptied it and forgotten all about it. Glass met grass, and he returned full focus to Owen. "If we team up on this, ain't no gangster or thug in the galaxy who can hold us back. Heck, I bet we could even slip in and out of First Order space like a dream." Maybe. Maybe it'd be a stretch. Definitely a risk, and they did not need to take unnecessary risk and jeopardise their entire operation. But it did sound like bloody good fun though...

But the Rogues... "Yeah... We can ask for a leave of absence. They might permit it. Probably they wouldn't, and we'll be kicked out. But... It is what it is, you know?" If they wanted to scrap the best damn pilots on the squad, reduce the overall sex appeal, so be it. He'd understand. And make his fortunes elsewhere.

And the women. The women. Okay sold. "I feel great about this too. Man Owen, we should do this more often" were they geniuses on a pick-nick or what? Even now as Owen joked about the women, Aedan's own thoughts couldn't help but be drawn to that one Jedi lady from the gala. It didn't make sense. It was ridiculous. They had met once, and it had been great, but they had met once. But she was great. Had she cast a Jedi spell on him? Maybe. But what better way to get over her and move on than fly out on the streets with his bestest best wingman buddybud Owen?

Besides. It was about time Aedan returned the favour.

"Oh oh, hang on!" Aedan bounced up from the grass and bolted for the X-Wing. He'd left his second beer there, for some silly reason. For now he left the butt of Owen's bottle hanging, but he'd be damned if he let his wing hanging long. Barely a moment later Aedan came sliding back, literally sliding, as he used his speed and slid smoothly across the grass, one leg outstretched the other curled up ontop of it. The timing was impeccable, as he slid to a halt right next to Owen, and the full bottle clinked against the one already held up.

His pants likely had green all over them, but pants be damned. They could be washed.

"Partners" Aedan said with a wide grin. He opened the bottle, and got sprayed by beer in the face. Right, he hadn't thought of that on the run back.
[member="Aedan Lochlan"]

Well of course he was right. As much as Owen valued structure and the things that came with it, he also saw the importance in throwing things up in the air every now and then and seeing what stuck around. Sure, it was to gamble with a steady form of employment, but when the choice was between risking his only remaining closest friend in the squadron leave and remaining by himself the choice felt like one that made itself. Besides, maybe — just maybe — the move would mean less of a struggle to keep out of the medbay. Owen remembered the fight that the other Rogues had gotten into, and the resulting head injury.

Had brought him out of play for a month. Drove him insane.

Grin spread on his lips regardless as he watched Aedan bounce on back towards the ships to get another drink or beverage. He slid into the double-flask salute and with a happy incline of his head Owen would drink to their coming successes.

“Lochlan and Holst,” His arms spread wide as if to paint a logo before him. “Freight Heroes.”

An amused chuckle gently ripped at his throat. “Name pending, right?”

“I guess all that remains to ask at this point is when we start, and where.” Owen took another sip, emptied his bottle and dropped it in the grass alongside Aedan’s. “Ships seem like a good place to start.”

[member="Owen Holst"]

Lochlan and Holst. He'd drink to that. He'd drink to that all day. It sounded great. There was nothing in him now but enthusiasm and excitement to go forward with their plan. There was nothing that could stop them now. Except giant lasers. Giant lasers always could. But low chance of them today!

"Freight Heroes" Aedan grinned and clanked his second beer against that of Owen. He didn't mind the name. They could be named almost anything, but the fact that they'd be back out there again, doing good and feeling good doing it was amazing to him.

"Yeah..." Aedan started, thoughtfully, but he had nothing to go on. A ship would be a good place to start. A solid freighter, maybe with space to store the X-Wings. Speaking of...

"Think they'll let us keep the X-Wings?"

While he let that question float, he turned around to his droid companion. "Baby, bring up a map of the galaxy will you. Yes, all of it" the round droid rolled from the X-Wing and to the boys, and opened up a blue-hued hologram of dreams and endless opportunities.
[member="Aedan Lochlan"]

“Freight Heroes.” Owen repetaed after Aedan. A quick look shot out at the X-Wings with a frown. “Doubtful. Military assets, they’ll want those back.”

The map opened up. Owen placed his forearms on his knees and looked up at its great circling might. To think he had only ever seen so little of it, yet felt like he had seen it all. Some would say it was a small galaxy, but a smarter man — sort of like Owen — would know that such a statement quite simply wasn’t true. It was big, huger than huge. Him and Aedan could spend a good while trying to see it all, if they had so desired.

But all within good time. He still had cause to enjoy his time off on Naboo.

For one, they hadn’t even gotten to the food part yet. It was too early to call it just yet.

“So… Do you have any grand plands, Mister Lochlan?” Owen chuckled. “Looking up shipyards, orrrr… ?”

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