Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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It's Worse (Thengil)


Maybe he'd said it himself; maybe that was Shenna'vala or Dingo Darr, who he could see out of the corners of his blurry eyes. Waking up from getting hit with a null-burst projector was no joke. By instinct, he stretched out to the Force and felt exactly nothing: no sense of direction, no feel for movement, if any. They were clearly in the cargo hold of a ship or space station. Just as clearly, some clever fethwit had stuck some ysalamiri behind the walls. A lot of them.

"Shenna, Darr. You good?"

Darr pulled himself to his feet, scarred old carapace rasping. "Functional. The feth is this place?"

"Your guess is as good as mine." Shenna rubbed at her eyes and scooted over to sit against the wall. "But judging from the holocams in the top corners, I'm betting someone's gonna come tell us pretty quick now they know we're up."

[member="Thengil Ri'Shajirr"]


The door opened with the squeal of abused hydraulics and admitted a golden furred Cathar, with a scarred muzzle and eyes that burned like Tattooine's twin suns. He wore a nondescript tunic of somber hues, plain and efficient. The same could not be said for the gold rings on his fingers, in his ears, and braided into his mane. A keen eye might note strange, spiked script etched into the surface of each bit of jewelry.

Upon setting foot in the room, the Cathar gave a heavy grimace and the fur on his neck rippled like a wave, before settling back. His features smoothed into the haughty visage so often seen ennobling the feline races.

"The Twi'lek is correct," he pronounced, voice a deep-chested growl. "I am Thengil Ri'Shajirr. You are aboard my ship. I call it the Scourge. A... gift from the Panathan king."

A Togorian guard peering in from just beyond the open door chuckled darkly.

"It is a scourge in name only," Thengil continued.

"But you, you have a reputation." He pointed a heavy paw toward them, coal-black lips turning upward, peeling apart in fanged smile. "I asked for the best aftermarket shipwrights in the galaxy. They gave me your names. Did they lie?"

One got the feeling the Cathar would find lying a grave offense.

[member="Jorus Merrill"]
[member="Thengil Ri'Shajirr"]

As Cathar went, Jorus had seen bigger. Didn’t much matter, though: this Thengil out-massed any one of the three mechanics, had backup, had control of the situation, and was probably armed over and above his teeth and claws. He also knew something about the Force - the ysalamiri and the Zambrano connection made that plain enough.

“No, you heard right,” Jorus admitted. “I’m Merrill, and these are Shenna’vala and Dingo Darr, my chief engineers.” He’d almost specified that Darr was his chief engineer, but the game here was to make sure that none of them came off as less valuable for refit work - and thus more vulnerable to being used for leverage. The last thing he wanted was to mod this ship with Shenna screaming in a back room somewhere.

“We turned a Neimoidian Lucrehulk’s core orb into a flagship carrier,” said Shenna, getting to her feet. “Turned an old HWK-290 into maybe the fastest ship in the ‘verse. If it flies, we can mod it.”


"Proud boasts. We shall see if they ring true."

Thengil's smile proved fleeting. He waved a paw. Immediately, plates of transparisteel shot from the ceiling and ensheathed the cell. They hissed shut. Sealed. Gas piped slowly from two small vents overhead.

"You will work to make the Scourge a vessel rightly feared. It is a Lictor-class, an old design. It once housed nine thousand prisoners. We kept some of the more interesting cells. Give me reason and you will see why."

Both ears swiveled forward, eyes on [member="Jorus Merrill"].

"Don't hold your breath. The gas is for you."

Ixetal cilona, as it happened. Enough to dose a rancor, or a master of the Force known for tossing ships into hyperspace with his mind.

"I will show you the modifications which need to be made. Perform them to my satisfaction and you will be released. Do not attempt to escape. My surgeon assures me the implants in your skulls will only detonate with remote activation. Still, accidents happen."

The Togorian guard chuckled again.

"Best to finish this job quickly. "

Another gesture and the panes retracted.

"Now, follow me."
[member="Thengil Ri'Shajirr"]

"Ever hear a lobster laugh?"

The corridor's artificial gravity seemed to be all bibbledy. Nevertheless, Jorus did his level best to follow Thengil. Shenna and Darr tottered behind.

"'Cause you're donna. Gonna. Sixetal ixloner this strong is kind of hallucinogenical for humans and twi'leks and Krevaaki." Jorus scrunched his eyes shut. "Kaaaark, I think I can feel the implant rubbing my skull. I think I'm gonna need to take some notes while you-"

Darr burbled something in his native tongue.

"Straight up," Jorus agreed, steadying himself against the corridor wall. "Yeah, Gengthil, you're gonna want to write this stuff down. I'm just hoping I remember it all in the morning. Okay. Show us what needs modding."


A craggy brow arched. Chuffing, Ri'shajirr produced a small recording device from a pocket. Fortunately, the recorder was easy to use and would forego the trouble of reading Thengil's cat scratch, or one of the trio's drugged scribblings. Unfortunately, the Cathar forgot to delete the last three audio files on the device, all of which contained entries of Thengil attempting to read/pronounce the writings of Kissai philosophers and generally failing.

He tossed the device toward [member="Jorus Merrill"].

Ri'Shajirr did not sniff the air too strongly. The scent of the gas still lingered on them. Stepping into the ysalamiri room pushed the limits of his tolerance.

Never again.

And yet here he was, commanding the very same sort of ship which had kept him prisoner for ten long years. He hoped the thoughts would focus his anger, give clarity to purpose. Only time would tell.

Thengil led them through the various decks. They passed numerous Togorians and Fras, most of whom still looked half-starved, bodies laden with signs of abuse. They eyed the two humanoids with cruel gazes.

It was clear from the state of the vessel that most of the work had been hastily done. All around there were clear signs of exposed wiring and some sections merely had orange Xs marked on an airlock. Thengil indicated that those sections were not even pressurized.

They entered engineering.

"We installed a new reactor, but there are problems maximizing output to the engines and the weapons systems we have installed."

Too many weapons, by some estimates, and not nearly enough shielding.

"You will need to stabilize the reactor's output. The ship must be fast."

Ri'Shajirr went on to list another of number items which required attention, including the calibration of a number of accelerated charged particle emitters.

"My CHENG will send you a fuller list of our requirements."
@Thengil Ri’Shajirr

Only the occasional giggle escaped Jorus’ lips. A small and struggling part of his brain didn’t find this situation humorous whatsoever. Shenna was chuckling up a storm and batting at something imaginary. The last thing they needed was for one of these starving sapient felines to think of them in caloric terms and get irked by a laugh.

Even so, Jorus couldn’t quite hold back a sniffle of pure joy. “Cheng. Chennnng. Chief engineer. Darr and Shenna, you’re my chengs now.” He plopped the audio recorder on one of the engineering consoles, gave an access panel a ‘hnnngh,’ and promptly buried himself up to his waist in electronics. The Krevaaki and the Twi’lek, giggling furiously, began poking the reactor housing.

“Issa pirate ship, innit,” said Shenna, eyeing Thengil through a web of unclad circuitry. “Crap shields, nice legs, big guns. Ain’t much gonna be shooting back at you if you do your thingy right.”

Darr whistled and bubbled, then switched to Basic. “Going to need to make sacrifices.”



Thengil eyed the crustacean askance, as if he weren't entirely sure what to do with the lobster.

Still, better red than one of them. His gaze flicked toward the drugged Merrill. Humanoids, that is.

Very astute observation on the Twi'leks part, given her inebriated state. Part of the reason he... dragooned their services.

"One more thing. The life support systems are connected to a series of pockets, bubbles, on the hull. I need to be able to shut them off."

[member="Jorus Merrill"]
[member="Thengil Ri'Shajirr"]

Jorus slid out of the engineering console cross-eyed. With effort, he refocused on the big Cathar standing over him. "Baaaaaad idea," he said. "Baaaaaaaaaaaaad."

He slid back into the console's guts up to his waist. "You're wantin' to pull a...feth, Shenna, was it Ebruchi or Eickarie?"

"Karked if I know," she said absently, hiccupping into the plasma manifolds. "One has tentacles, one has jowls, both like bumming around the Unknowns."

Darr craned his neck around a mass of circuitry. "You're both wrong. The bubbles were the Vagaari."

"Vagaari, that's the one." Jorus' voice echoed from the console. "Bubbles on the hull full of prisoners. Living shields. Dead useful if you're a pirate. Heck, the Bando Gora used to do the same around Roon. But see, my friends and I, we're the ones that cleared'em out. Ran into the same thing off Cordumair, didn't we, Darr?"

"Close enough," said the lobster.

Jorus pulled himself out of the console and sat cross-legged against it, looking up at Thengil. "Here's your big issue. Say you've got a bunch of prisoners in those bubbles and you go for a walk. You run into someone who'd take a swing at you normally - convoy escort or navy or whatever. They're afraid to fire at you, you do your thing, fine. But then maybe things escalate. Maybe-" He rubbed his eyes with the heels of his palms. "Oy. So you say 'back off or I shut down life support to my prizzzzzzoners.' Or stang, maybe there's a Jedi gunning for you and you want to get them all bibbledy feeling folks choke and freeze in your bubbles. But here's what happens next, if that pilot or that captain or that Jedi has any steel at all. They'll say 'those folks are dead already unless I do something.' Then they do something. Could be they just shoot you real careful between the bubbles; it's doable. Or could be, soon as you know, your hull's got pests, maybe Jedi or folks in space suits, and they're cutting their way in and your guns can't get a bead on'em between the bubbles and bam. That's the ball game."

He closed his eyes and slid back into the console.

"Scrap the bubbles."


One ear flicked. Thengil cocked his head slightly to the side and his lips pursed as he considered [member="Jorus Merrill"]'s words.

He chuffed. "Any with spine will simply fire, but many will not. Those that do will feel the deaths on their heads. Guilt and self-doubt are the first steps toward stripping away these moralisms you cling to and accepting the true self. The krayt feels no sympathy for the bantha. When a Jedi accepts this, he is no longer a Jedi."

The advantages of having the tactic in play far exceeded the disadvantage of having to make do with only a civilian grade shield system. He wondered what this Merrill might do against him, should they ever meet in battle. He'd heard tales. Ships ripped in half by the aft section getting tossed into hyperspace. Purple centaurs laid low with a double-barreled shotgun. It seemed only natural that someone good at building things would be equally good at tearing them apart.

"Hmm," he growled, "still, perhaps you have convinced me, Master Merrill. But that leaves no use for the four hundred Epicanthix prisoners I have on board. Perhaps I'll tell my second to space them..."
[member="Thengil Ri'Shajirr"]

"Eh, now you're just baiting me." Jorus squirmed farther into the terminal and the space beneath, until only his boots protruded. "Ok, so. I've got no use for slavers, but better a work camp than a long walk out an airlock. Since you're workin' with Emperor Bloodgotha of Panatha, I'm betting these aren't people he'd pay to get back - but his enemies sure might, and he's got plenty, like the-"

He squirmed right out again. "-Cathar. Sorry. 'Course you're not working with Kaineypoo. You want clear recall from me, don't get me high. Okay, so. Sell his people to his enemies, or get a thousand a head at an off-book colony. Maybe I'll come rescue them afterwards once you've got your money. I know half a dozen colonizer outposts that'll pay that much for sure, and bam, you've got a cool half million that you were just gonna flush out the airlock."


A clawed digit pointed imperiously toward the human, who was so buried behind wires he probably couldn't even see the gesture.

"Do not presume to lecture me, Merill. They were jailers aboard this ship, torturers. They will not so easily escape their fates."

The credits did seem appealing, but even if everything went as smoothly as the engineer suggested the crew would mutiny. Dangling them along with their blood lust had proved all too easy. It would not when the only blood left to be had was his own.

Besides, there was an intangible at play. The swell of satisfaction every time he saw it was those frail human-kind behind the transparisteel and not him. Yes, he thought they would stay where they were... for now.

[member="Jorus Merrill"]

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