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Just Minding My Business

Jorus Merrill

is mek bote
Character
Bulk Cruiser S.S. Gossamer
Hydian Way - Deep Space
Cargo Manifest:
Governments came and went, rose and fell. Business was eternal. More to the point, bills always needed paying and mouths always needed feeding. Every once in a while, Captain J.Q. Merrill found himself and his people in need of a side hustle. Some spice variants were less addictive and harmful than others, and someone always wanted to ban or tax them, and someone else always wanted to buy them.

Running a bulk cruiser, even a well-shielded one, was always a risk -- always. The Great Galactic War was ongoing. Few governments had the resources or institutional will to patrol their territory, apart from the odd customs inspection slash shakedown. More commonly, pirates and raiders abounded on runs like these. And, of course, Jorus had made his share of enemies.
 
Sentimental Idiot
Character
Oh force, this is it. This is it. It's over. I'm dying. Oh force, why me? Why did this happen? What did I do this to myself? Where did I go wrong?

The refresher of the S. S. Gossamer was not so refreshing at the moment.

Because Nej was puking all over it. Specifically, mostly into the toilet.

Spice and booze never mixed, especially hours later.

He slumped, face-first along the tiled floor.

"Am I dead yet?"

He asked no one in particular. He'd make his way to go see the boss soon.


[member="Jorus Merrill"]
 
Sing the Universe Song
Character
Kanta, dressed in his prize coconut armour, pulled himself up on the tip top of his toes, reaching spindly orange furred arms up to grab a fuzzy wuzzy square the strange creatures wiped their paws on and padded over to [member="Nej Tane"]. The large creature looked wibbley-wobbley.

He smelled like the inside of a sulfur bog. Kanta dropped the towel and jogged off, back up the maintenance hatch and through the ship's inner workings to drop down inside the bulk cruiser's cockpit.

"Nicey spicey."

How a three foot tall coconut-armoured possum got on board was mysterious enough. But the lyre strapped to his fashionable conch shell hat was an even greater riddle. Buttons. Shiny buttons...

"OooooooOOooooooooo"


[member="Jorus Merrill"]
 

Jorus Merrill

is mek bote
Character
[member="Kanta Tukka"]

What was it about this ship that attracted short, furry, quirky, monosyllabic alien stowaways with a fixation on shiny buttons? Jorus had no answer. Still, the Code of the Outer Rim was clear: if someone stows away, extend at least minimal hospitality.

"Welcome aboard the Gossamer," he said, positioning himself between the controls and their admirer. "I'm Captain Merrill. What's your name?" He repeated himself in Huttese and Rammocate, maybe the two most common trade languages around here.

First contact basics: start simple, never condescend.
 
Sing the Universe Song
Character
The sentient coconut brushed his hand across the top of the console he could reach, then skipped back.

“Ooooooooo!!” Santa hopped around in a circle, pulling a cord from his conch hat to slide his tiny lyre and strummed it.

“Welcome aboard the Gossamer,
You’re Captain Merrill, what’s my name?
I’m a Singing Coconut from Noasiiiiis
Ooooh, oooo-laaa-laaaaaaaaaaa
Kanta Tuuuuuuukkkaaaaaaaaaa” He strummed wildly, then with a flourish, dove to his knees and waved his orange furry arms around.

The lyre swung around in a complete circle, and bopped Kanta in the coconut face paint.

“Oofh!” The limbed coconut fell to the floor, rolled around then popped back up. “Shiny buttons! Shiny buttons vroom vroom vroom!”

[member="Jorus Merrill"]
 

Jorus Merrill

is mek bote
Character
"Captain, that [member="Nej Tane"] guy is puking his guts out in the 'fresher."

"Spectacular. Someone get a power washer and an air freshener in there." Jorus refocused on the singing, dancing possum-slash-coconut, who clearly spoke Basic. Ish. The professional in him wanted to take the first contact seriously. The ship captain in him wanted to find the nearest airlock. "Noasis, eh? That little touristy waterworld off the Perlemian, right? Think I swung by there once on an agrocite run to Khorm." He gestured at the back hatch. "If you want a meal, we can set that up in the galley, plus an audience, eh? Or a bunk? You want a bunk?"

[member="Kanta Tukka"]
 
Sing the Universe Song
Character
“Oh a little sunshine in my shoes,
What’s Akalen’ike s’posed to do?
Wibley-wobley wet thing in Nowooes
The metal coconuts rescued me
From a wibbley wobbley destiny
Ask me anything that I did hear and see
Repeat it back in song and dance I will, see?”

The tragically silly creature strummed and sang with his lyre, hopping from foot to foot in a sort of dance.

“Treasure caches, transmit codes,
Lots of songs I’ve seen and know.
If you want a meal, we can set that u—“ The coconut went stock still. His lyre zipped from his hands, jerking on its’ little rope and veered back into his fashionable conch shell hat.

“FOOD!!!” A pair of grabby hands reached up into the air, as the coconut hopped up and down. At the mention of food, Kanta shoved his paws into the coconut, rolling around on the floor until with a squirm, scuffling noises and a chuckle, he popped out of the coconut and padded back over to [member="Jorus Merrill"] pointing at his open mouth.
 

Jorus Merrill

is mek bote
Character
[member="Kanta Tukka"]

"Well, food, we can definitely do. Did anyone get all that recorded? Too fast for me to catch most of it." The Arcona comms officer nodded. "Thanks," Jorus said, and dug a ration bar out of his pocket.

"This is one of my favorites - it's called chocolate. Here you go, man. How about you sing us another song, eh? Who're these metal coconuts you work for?"
 
Sentimental Idiot
Character
Nej, some time later, slowly rose to a stand. His hair was a mess, he felt like he hadn't a gig in years, and that everyone moved on from him after a few really great times.

He slipped out of the refresher, stumbling a few more times, before making his way back to his rack- and changing clothes. He brushed his teeth again, before sauntering (stumbling) up to the cockpit, and sitting in the seat several feet behind [member="Jorus Merrill"].

His head leaned back on the headrest, staring up at the ceiling.

"Why are there so many lights in this ship?"

[member="Kanta Tukka"] got his attention, if however briefly.
 
Sing the Universe Song
Character
“OoooooOOoOoOooooooo cho-co-laaaate.” The marsupial took the chocolate bar in both forepaws, shaking it up and down then smacking it on his nose a few times. The wrapper crinkled on his snout.

He opened his mouth and chuckled, climbing up into a chair with a few heaves and wiggle-waggles of his feet and tail to get upon it. “Cho-co-late…”

Nibbling the end of the bar, wrap and all, Kanta smacked his snout.

“……….. CHOCOLATE, YUM!” The Akalenedat’ike devoured the bar with gusto, tail thwacking against the chair back, “Om nom nom nom nom nom!”

[member="Nej Tane"] stumbled in, and a chocolate-stained possum-like creature stood on the seat of the chair, tail whacking back and forth. It was the man he gave the fuzzily square cloth to! With a grunt, Kanta hopped down from the chair, scurried to his coconut and took off the fashionable conch shell ‘hat’, padding over to Nej with the ‘hat’ clutched between his fore-paws.

“Hat!” A hat blocked the big swimming shiny sky-bubble, it ought to block the small swimming sky-bubbles the strange creatures off Noasis used to light their metal caves. Kanta offered the hat to Nej, tongue snaking out of his mouth to lick at the chocolate smeared around his jaws.

“Kanta ambie-bass-ie-door.” Waggling his head to and fro, Kanta set the conch shell in Nej’s lap and turned back to [member="Jorus Merrill"]. Not having to be asked twice to sing, Kanta picked up his lyre and strummed another tune.

“Ambie-bass-ie-door Kanta Tukka
Picked up by metal coconut Mand-da-ploor-bee-in in big wibbley-wobbley
Travels metal caves, for songs to sing.
La, la, la! Pirates! La, la, la, see the codes to the ISAF armoury you scurry furry fethard!
One two two alpha blackwell moonstone four seven dash three, nonny nonny!
Akalenedat’ike remember all, sing all!” The creature danced and sung of surveillance from Silver Jedi space, through neutral territories and even the dealings of a Hutt on the Wheel. Any and everything the creature saw or experienced was capable of being repeated verbatim, or acted out in vivid detail.

One merely had to ask the right questions, and provide the right motivations.
 

Sor-Jan Xantha

Certified Worst Jedi
Character
Jorus Merrill said:
"Spectacular. Someone get a power washer and an air freshener in there."
It never failed.

Thirty-six hours refurbishing a used hyperdrive motivator and no sooner had the cub-bot's tail settled into the droid corral than there was a call for service.

And what a strange call it was. Why would the organics want a power washer and an air freshener? And what did either have to do with the refresher on the upper port side? Was it a plumbing issue? Because the main computer hadn't detected any anomaly in the vacuum pipe architecture...

The kitten droid's fur stood on end as he walked through the door. His ears flattened down against his head, as the droid's shoulders slumped forward slightly, the power washer held like a rifle in his arms. "Why is this MY problem?" the cub-bot opined bitterly, before he powered on the washer and started blasting away.

This was the last time he hitchiked on a [member="Jorus Merrill"] freighter.
 

Helly Reyne

Hartlite Frontwoman
Character
As the Hartlite Cruiser approached a hangar of the S.S. Gossamer, Helly waited in the bridge with everyone she brought along with her, that being her personal assistant, Renni, her chief guard, Adroth, and her pilot, Vorres. It was moments like these when she regretted having Adroth as her chief guardsman, as the large Whiphid man seemed to have an ingrained bias against spices and any illegal activity. He may have been a man of the law, but he served a woman who couldn't have had any less regard for it.

"And you don't know this man, Jorus?" Adroth asked her as they began to land in the hangar.

"I've heard of him," Helly said, doing nothing to dissuade the concern in Adroth's eyes. "We can trust him, don't worry, you think he'd be dumb enough to try and get one over on a celebrity? If we're legit, he'll be legit, that's all there is to it."

"I trust Miss Reyne's expertise on this matter, Adroth," Renni assured him, standing as straight and astutely as ever with her tablet held against her with both hands.

"Yeah," Helly echoed with a smirk. "So trust my expertise already, eh?" Turning to Renni, she bit her lip and screwed up her face a little. "As for you... Let your hair down and rough it up a bit. We're professionals, but we're not businesspeople. I don't want anyone thinking this exchange is anything but chill vibes and good deals. You'll speak up only if I ask you questions directly, got it?"

"Understood, ma'am," Renni said with a single nod of her head.

Helly looked back and forth between the two of them with a deep breath through her nose. "Yeah, I'm getting both of you high sometime... And Vorres, look after the ship while we're gone, alright?"

"Remember to save some for me..." Vorres muttered under his breath.

Without wasting any more time, Helly began backing up out of the bridge, saying, "Let's meet our seller, shall we?"



[member="Jorus Merrill"]
 

Jorus Merrill

is mek bote
Character
[member="Kanta Tukka"] [member="Helly Reyne"]

"Cap'n, the client's ship just landed."

Jorus tore his eyes and ears away from the musical coconut. "Better tend to that. Gorrammit. Keep him singing, keep him fed, get him off the bridge and find out what he knows about this ship. Nice to meet ya, Kanta Tukka."

***

Shaking off the surreal last fifteen minutes, Jorus met the client down in the hangar bay. A binary loadlifter clomped up with a bunch of shipping crates.

Two folks came down the ramp. Jorus pegged one as the celeb.

"Miss Reyne? Captain Merrill. My daughter's a big fan. Glad we could help each other out today."

He cracked the shipping crates to reveal the goods: a bunch of high-grade happy-making spice slightly less addictive than a cup of caf.
 
Sing the Universe Song
Character
"Aaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha--OOF!" The sapient coconut-dressed possum-like animal raced through the Gossamer's corridors, a galley chef and crewman chasing after. In Kanta Tukka's arms were as many chocolate bars as the Noasian Akalenedat'ike could carry. His paws, and face were covered in a layer of chocolate.

"Oooooo... eeepyeebeyayayaya..." Kanta went splat against a cargo crate beside the shipment for [member="Helly Reyne"]. He hopped up, and started stuffing chocolate bars back into his coconut armour, restuffing the bars which fell out the arm hole he'd held vertically in line with the floor.

The odd creatures were talking! Something which smelled like bad seas and too many good times filtered into the marsupial's nose. before Kanta could stuff the last three bars in his coconut armour, a pair of arms yanked him off the ground, carrying him kicking and squirming back to the galley.

"Sorry Cap'n! Dang critter climbed up the vent shafts like they were a ladder to the gods. We got him."

"Stranger danger! Kanta needs adult!" The odd creature yelped, stuffing chocolate bars into his snout as he was carried out.
 

Darth Vazela

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Character
[member="Jorus Merrill"]

As the dear Captain, and his guest [member="Helly Reyne"] greeted each other, there was a sudden soft thud off the side of Merrill's freighter, and whirring by the mouth of the ship (of which Reyne's ship had just flown through to dock with) floated a body out in the cosmos, carried by the solar winds along the Hydian Way.
 

Helly Reyne

Hartlite Frontwoman
Character
With eyes narrowed behind orange-tinted sunglasses and lips ajar, Helly couldn't help but mutter to herself, "...the hell was that?" Shaking her head, she took a breath and turned her focus to the captain.

"A pleasure to meet you, and a pleasure to see all this lovely cargo!" She paced in front of the crates to examine them more closely. "Liking what I'm seeing, Jorus. Can I trust that none of this has been tampered with by stowaways or... critters?" There had been times when Helly had found less-than-pleasant remnants of whoever or whatever had gotten into precious cargo by the time she received it. "I'd love a reliable seller, and I can throw in some autographs and merch for your daughter for some extra quality insurance."

She turned to Renni, who was eyeing up the goods while punching numbers into her tablet. "Transfer this nice man his creds and hand me a photo of myself, would you?"

Renni reached into the neatly-organized carrying bag she held on one shoulder and carefully picked out a physical photo out of it, handing it to Helly along with a red pen.

c4s1Pll.png

"Who does this go out to?" Helly asked the captain, a smirk just barely present out of one corner of her lips.



[member="Jorus Merrill"]
 

Jorus Merrill

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Character
[member="Helly Reyne"] [member="Kanta Tukka"]

Jorus watched the crewers carry the furry coconut away. His mouth opened but he just couldn't find the words. Whoever had decided to train that species for espionage had been a genius. In the cold light of security whatever, he should have just locked Kanta Tukka away forever and kept him singing -- or thrown him out an airlock. But there was a deep innocence to the furry little being, and Jorus found he had serious ethical objections to doing anything other than sending Kanta on his way. A memory wipe, maybe, but professional memory tweakers were few and far between just now, and last he'd heard the side effects were pretty grim. Balls.

He turned back to his customer. "Sorry about that," he said. "And yeah, the cargo's ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-nine percent there. Caught a crewer sneaking a smoke. He won't be doing that again anytime soon, and your bill's getting a two percent discount for your trouble. Uh, make the picture out to Mara Merrill-Valkner, thanks. She's gonna love it. Actually saw you on tour on Coruscant a few months back, I think."
 

Helly Reyne

Hartlite Frontwoman
Character
As she signed the name onto the photo of herself, she wondered for a brief moment if she was a good person or not. The moment faded quickly as Renni went through with the transaction for the mountain of spice, and she handed the photo over to [member="Jorus Merrill"] before speaking further.

"You're a reasonable man, then," she said. "That's good. I like doing business with reasonable providers, makes my part in all this that much easier." As she tucked away the pen back into Renni's bag, she added, "Can I expect this kind of service in the future, Mr. Jorus Merrill? There will be a future here, after all..." She flashed a confident smirk as she crossed her arms. "Maybe someday your daughter would like to meet me in person?"
 
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