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Red Moon

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Character
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The engines of the ship stirred beneath Sebastian as he sat crouched behind a crate in the holding bay. Listening carefully for the approach of boots, he turned over and crawled behind another mound of cargo. All the while, he kept his ears open for any noise made by the smuggler who piloted the ship he on which he had picked to stowaway.

"Karking hell!" The small engineer cursed as he stood up suddenly, hitting his head on a shelf in the process. Recoiling immediately, he feared that the smuggler might hear him and dropped onto his hands and knees.

When the sound of footsteps entered the holding bay, Sebastian crawled on all fours to the other side of the room, where he saw the pilot enter and stand in the corridor. In a moment, the man turned around and left, much to Sebastian's relief. The ship surged into whatever unknown wasteland he had found himself on. Feeling the hull pull into the ground, he rose to his feet and crept silently out of the holding area.

Peering around the edge of the doorframe, Sebastian saw a vast desert looming beyond the viewport, jutted with curved rocks and plenty of shipwrecks for him to salvage. Just as he prepared to turn around, a large hand clamped his shoulder and the rugged face of the smuggler stared back at him.

"I was going to pay when we got here!" Sebastian cried as he recoiled in disgust beneath the physical touch of the man. He did mean it, even if he when he was a stowaway to get to different planets, he always made up for it in the end.

"You just..." Shifting his eyes from one side of the wall to the other, he rubbed his shoulder awkwardly and muttered. "Weren't around at the time." Running a hand through his pin-straight hair, he held his fingers inside of one of his suspenders and continued to avoid the man's gaze. "Do you need any work done while you're here?" Sebastian offered before the pair of them prepared to traverse the desert world.

[member="Velero Faren"]
 

Velero Faren

Member
Writer
Florrum, a barren wasteland planet soon came into view through The Solar Nymph's viewport. It's brown and white contrast surely made an impression on the smuggler and his wife, Clairis, who sat in the co pilot seat while Velero sat comfortably in the pilot's seat, maneuvering The Solar Nymph closer to Florrum. After turning the autopilot on, Velero had heard something coming from the ship. Whatever it was, it was something foreign. Maybe a stowaway, or critters that had entered his ship the moment before takeoff? With a little more analysis, Velero declared that it came from the holding bay. The smuggler stood up suddenly, hand on his blaster. He looked to his wife.

"I'm going to go check the cargo hold. There might be something or someone on board. Stay here while I go and see what it might be." His tone flowed like water, as if nervousness was not a thing for Velero.

"Well, hurry back! You know how hard it can be for me to pilot this thing!" His wife said, before her husband had taken off to investigate the holding bay for any intruders.

All seemed normal to Velero. All the crates were organized neatly, no signs of leaks anywhere. Maybe it was just his imagination? No, it couldn't have. There was someone on board and the smuggler was going to catch them. He turned around and headed right back to the pilot's seat, but not immediately. He wanted to make sure the rest of the ship was clear, just in case there would be no surprise waiting for himself and Clairis.

...​
The medical bay was clear, the main room was clear, and everything else. The one place he forgot to check was where his wife was.

Maybe they evaded me through my whole search and went straight to Clairis? With that thought in mind, Velero speed walked back to the cockpit. If the enemy tried to evade instead of attack, chances were they were not armed at all. As he neared the cockpit corridor, Velero could clearly see a figure peering in and looking at the viewport of the ship. The smuggler could already see the desert landscape of Florrum where ship wrecks and other treasures awaited on the surface. There he and Clairis would not look through the ship wrecks, but a pirate stronghold long since forgotten. Intel showed that the pirate stronghold belonged to some old Weequay named Hondo Ohnaka. Velero could see it now. Credits, weapons, and ammunition beyond compare. He could sell most of it through the black market on Coruscant, or give it to Jedi and Sith organizations who might need the extra firepower to intimidate their enemies. There was one setback though. The stowaway. Velero quickly walked over to the figure and put his hand on the person's shoulder just as they were about to turn around and possibly head back to the cargo hold.

Velero stared into what seemed to be a boy a little shorter and skinnier then Velero. The smuggler's eyes narrowing deep into the boy's face. Before the smuggler could finally speak, he already heard excuses coming from the stowaway. They were all things heard before, like getting paid before they landed, etc. Velero didn't care what the boy had to say until he mentioned work. Velero released his grasp on the young boy and stepped back a bit. He looked behind the stowaway and realized his wife had already landed the ship in front of Hondo's Stronghold and was now looking at Velero and the boy.

"Well, honey, are you going to say something?" His wife's voice filled the awkward silence in the ship.

"Yes, I am." The smuggler gave a heavy exhale as he spoke. "You say you want to work, right? Well I will give you work. See that big 'ol building right there? That stronghold belonged to a pirate whose name was well known throughout the galaxy hundreds of years ago. My sources tell me that there are treasures here that can make a man wealthy beyond anyone and anything in the galaxy. But, there was also a mention of booby traps. So since you already made it to my bad side and I feel too merciful at the moment to shoot you dead right here, I want you to be first to head into the place and scope it out for me and my wife here. We will be right behind you the entire time. If you make the job out alive, then you get a cut of what we receive. Deal?"

The offer sounded generous and the intimidation would surely persuade the boy. In all honestly, Velero wasn't mad at all and his wife wasn't mad either. They both knew that this boy probably had no home, so a cut of the share would probably get him someplace nice in the outer rim. Plus to only Clairis's and Velero's knowledge, there were no booby traps inside the stronghold. Velero just used that to scare the kid, that's all. After Velero gave his offer, he waited for the boy to speak on whether he accepted or not.

[member="Sebastian Thel"]​
 

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Character
With a wide gaze and a curious tilt of his head, Sebastian looked over the shoulder of the man to his wife, all the while fiddling with the pair of goggles hanging around his neck. The smuggler exhaled heavily, making Sebastian guess that he was not the first stowaway the man had to deal with. The line of his mouth remained fixed stone as he shifted his eyes from one side of the ship to the other, avoiding his host's gaze as he explained his offer.

At the mention of the building, Sebastian peeled his eyes away from the wall and looked out of the viewport. He walked over to the thick pane separating himself from the desert outside and lightly touched the glass, listening to the man give him a run down of the task at hand. The stronghold belonged to a pirate once, whether scavengers or rogues still occupied the building remained to be seen. With no combat skills other than his wits, Sebastian wondered if this was a job he could pull off.

"I can break into the stronghold and disarm the traps, for sure." Cupping his chin in thought, the engineer began to postulate a series of solutions which could secure them the treasure. Squinting as he looked into the sun of Florrum, he turned back around to the smuggler. "... But I need you to deal with any enemies, unless you're in the mood to teach me a thing or two about handling a blaster." Nodding his head, Sebastian accepted the offer.

Looking down at his skinny frame and lack of any weapon, aside from his plasma torch, he reviewed the mental note he had made to find somebody willing to teach him how to fight with ranged weapons. The smuggler would find no fear from Sebastian, his intimidation tactics having failed on the surprisingly fearless tech monkey. He caught the gaze of the man's wife, to whom he offered a slight smile, silently telling her that he meant the two of them no harm.

"I'm Sebastian Thel." He said in his accent, which revealed his Imperial heritage. "Bas or Bast if that's too fancy for you." Shrugging, he motioned towards the landing ramp and waited for the smuggler and his wife to follow. "What should I call you?" He asked, making an effort to patch up the rocky beginning of their first encounter.

[member="Velero Faren"]
 

Velero Faren

Member
Writer
"You don't know how to handle a blaster? Kid, a word of advice. In this day and age, a blaster is the only thing keeping you away from your death."

Velero eyed a platinum colored storage box underneath the control panel in the cockpit. The storage container held a spare pistol and some extra credits in case there was a rainy day for him and his wife. He would not mind lending the blaster to the boy, at least for this one time to protect himself. Velero knelt down, put in the passcode for the locker, and stood back up with a SSK-7 Series Heavy Blaster Pistol. He handed the weapon to the boy and the stowaway then revealed his name. Sebastian Thel. It sounded Imperial to Velero, or at least a name you would not see everyday in the galaxy at that. The smuggler decided to reveal his and his wife's names as well.

"I am Velero Faren. This is my wife, Clairis Faren."

Clairis gave Sebastian a light wave.

"It's a pleasure!"

Clairis got up from her co-pilot's chair to follow Velero and Sebastian out through the landing ramp. Outside, the desert heat immediately hit the trio. Velero could feel the back of his neck burning and Clairis looked around the soak in the unfruitful nature of Florrum. Without speaking, Velero and his wife walked up to Hondo's Pirate Outpost. The thing looked beaten to a pulp. Velero had heard stories that it was mostly destroyed by a certain Sith by the name of Darth Maul and an ally. Savage Opress. The smuggler raised his head to observe the collapsed roof, his eyes squinting as he did so.

"I gotta say, this might not look like the place where you can find a million credits in. Come on, let's get inside before the heat melts us."

Velero and his wife stayed a bit of a distance behind Sebastian as they made their way in. As they stepped through the entrance gate into the main room, the smuggler immediately had an unsettling feeling in his stomach. The room was littered with empty charge packs for blasters, alcohol bottles, and a few corpses from what must have been the outpost's destruction. There were two doors on the left and right side of the room. One led to the brig and the other to the treasure room. Something didn't feel very right, but soon the smuggler dismissed it as just nervousness. To him, it happened all the time whenever he would be in places like this because you never knew what could be around the corner. Clairis moved closer to her husband and let out a settle whisper, as if the corpses might come alive at any minute.

"Let's get to the treasure room and then get the heck out of here. This place gives me the creeps, ya'know?"

"I hear ya." Velero grunted as he tried to keep his voice at the same volume as his wife's gentle voice.

"Hey, kid." The smuggler called to Sebastian. "Time for your job. The treasure room is just beyond the corridor, you just gotta get through that door to the left. I don't know if it'll be locked or not. We'll be right behind you so don't worry about a thing." Velero and Clairis would follow Sebastian to the door if the boy chose to unlock the passage to the corridor.

[member="Sebastian Thel"]​
 

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Character
The smuggler spoke sternly when he warned Sebastian about the risk he took by not carrying a blaster, or not even knowing how to use one for that matter. He understood and nodded with a sigh, now accustomed to running from people and hiding whenever he found himself in trouble. Turning around, his eyes shifted to the older man, who produced a blaster pistol from a crate and handed the barrel to Sebastian. The navigator took a step backwards, his mouth slightly agape.

"Thank you." Was all he managed to say as he hesitantly wrapped his hand around the barrel of the blaster, feeling a mixture between honor and fear over somebody trusting him well enough to handle a weapon. The smuggler revealed his name to be Velero and introduced his wife as Clairis, to whom Sebastian offered a small wave a smile.

As Velero turned to leave, Sebastian followed him down the landing ramp, with Clairis soon joining them. He slid the blaster beneath one of his suspenders and felt the overbearing rays of the desert sun as they walked onto the sand. No matter how many places he traveled, the sight of a new horizon was never old and Bast did not regret leaving behind the tyranny of the Sith for good. Few words were exchanged between the trio as they walked across the plain, soon arriving at the site of the abandoned stronghold.

"Looks can be deceiving, I guess." Sebastian said in response to Velero's comment, noting that whoever hid the credits here must have intentionally chosen somewhere difficult to find. "They must have picked this place on purpose." Running a hand through his messy hair as he looked up at the ruins, he looked down to Velero and Clairis and picked up his pace as he followed them through the entrance.

What remained of the fort sent a chill down Sebastian's spine and he could tell that the other two were slightly unsettled as well. Decomposing corpses littered the hall, along with blaster shots through walls and glass from smashed bottles, which cracked underneath Sebastian's boots as he walked. Keeping his ears open, Bast listened for any enemies who had found the place first and taken it for themselves.

"Keep an eye out for scavengers." He knew the other two were already on high alert, the comment was more of a vocal note to himself than anything. They approached the two doors and Velero alerted Sebastian to attention, letting him know that it was time for him to work.

"I'm on it." Bast nodded and walked ahead of the others, towards the door. He unhooked a plasma torch, a spanner and a screwdriver from his suspenders and pulled his goggles up and over his eyes. Keying in a few numbers to the terminal, no screen was displayed, letting Sebastian know that the console was entirely dead. He would need to use force to pry open the door. Inserting his screwdriver into one bolt at a time, he jimmied the rivets loose and cause the door to rattle on it's hinges.

With a shuffle, Sebastian could feel the door coming loose. He pressed against the steel, which remained firmly in place. Picking up his plasma torch and activating the funnel, flames spurted out the end and he hovered the torch above the hinges, melting them beneath his hand. One by one, the hinges came loose and the door gradually moved from it's place. The sound of the searing metal drowned out the sound of footsteps approaching from the corridor around the side.

[member="Velero Faren"]
 

Velero Faren

Member
Writer
"Good job, Kid!" Velero would exclaim under a quiet breath. The door did indeed come off, making the trio even more closer to their objective and eventually getting the kark out of this place. As the door went down, Velero came up ahead first to see what other things might be needing a good prying. But just as he did, the smuggler spotted 3 men wearing black sun uniforms carrying large crates which must have been the treasure! Luckily, the men did not see Velero, so the smuggler quickly back stepped into the entrance and signaled Sebastian and Clairis to get down, and get their blasters ready.

"Hey kid." Velero signaled only Sebastian this time. "I don't have time to teach you about how to shoot a blaster, so just stay back and follow Clairis and I. If you think you can, shoot up some of them gangsters with me!"

"Hey honey, how did someone get in here before us? I thought our intel was correct!" Clairis would pull Velero close so the two would not make any noise.

"I don't know how they got in. They look to be from the Black Sun. But hey." Velero gave a smuggler's smile that only Clairis would understand what kind of things would ensue after a grin like that.

"Surprises like these always make these jobs more exciting."​
Right after he said this, Velero quickly pivoted so that he was surely in the Gangsters' views now. The men quickly dropped the crates and pulled out their blasters, ordering Velero to drop his weapon before things got ugly. The smuggler simply rejected the message and instead pulled out his trusty blaster pistol and shot 2 out of the 3 men, but 1 remained. Velero hid behind a crate that was near the entrance and was now in a firefight with the last gangster, who was calling for backup.

"Now would be a good time for help!" Velero exclaimed before releasing a barrage of red laser bolts from his blaster.

[member="Sebastian Thel"]​
 

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Character
When the door fell off it's hinges and crashed to the ground, Sebastian stood backwards and smiled with glee. He looked ahead and saw the inside of the next room, where Velero had told them where they would find the treasure. The smuggler's encouragement assisted in his confidence and he felt pleased when efforts assisted somebody else. As Bast turned to face Velero and Clairis, black uniforms emerged from the corners of the stronghold and alerted the trio to an enemy presence.

Backing away slowly, Sebastian kept the lowered the plasma torch to the ground and grabbed the blaster from his suspender, shifting his eyes from one side of the wall to the next. When Velero mentioned following his move, Bast gulped. He could not bring himself to kill any of these men, even if he could, even if they were a threat to him.

"I've... never killed anybody before!" The small mechanic uttered in a low whisper as the gangsters closed in. He held the barrel of the blaster and rested his finger on the trigger, aiming to wound the men only, not kill them.

The smuggler pivoted to the side and revealed himself to the gangsters, who dropped their crates and demanded that he resist. At that point, Sebastian would have run far away, if he had not promised to help Velero in his goal. He had already hitched a ride on the man's ship without asking and could not bring himself to go back on their deal. He watched in horror as Velero released a round into two of the men, who fell lifeless onto the sandy ground.

With one of the gangsters remaining, the smuggler hid behind a crate and left the last man to Sebastian, who trembled with the blaster in his hand. Sweat gathered beneath his palm and the barrel as he aimed the end at the man, who in turned raised his own weapon. In that moment, Bast realized that if he did not pull the trigger first, this man would kill him without mercy. He fired a shot blindly, closing his eyes with the impact and not knowing where the round had been fired.

As Sebastian's shot fired into the wall, he ducked as the man fired his own round. He swerved to the side as Sebastian ran around the length of the room and aimed his blaster again, firing blindly through a window. While Bast kept the gangster distracted, he allowed Velero a chance to take him out. In such a closed space, there was no way he could make an effective shot and could only dodge blindly as the smuggler took his aim.

[member="Velero Faren"]
 

Velero Faren

Member
Writer
Damn Kid! Velero had to take things into his own hands now with Sebastian missing his shot.

At least he distracted the guy Velero got up and shot the man and heard a yelp come from the corpse before it fell, a burning hole penetrating his chest. Clairis came into view and apologized to her husband.

"I would have helped, but - " She held her blaster up to Velero. It seemed that it wasn't even reading the charge packs inside.

"It jammed. But hey! At least Sebastian distracted the guard before you took him out!"

Velero looked over to Sebastian. The smuggler's eyes grew a little stern but he let the emotions go. The kid didn't know how to shoot and he DID distract the guard so at least there was something positive coming out of the incident. The smuggler walked over to Sebastian and placed a hand on his shoulder.

"After this job, I am going to have to teach you how to shoot. But good job on distracting that watchman. But there was one thing we could not stop." Velero rose his voice so that Clairis could hear him as well. "He called for reinforcements. That means that there are going to be more soon. We need to move fast and quietly. Don't shoot unless you know you can take someone out. We make our way to the treasure room, then we get the Crink out of here."

Velero turned and headed further down the corridor with his blaster held up to the ceiling. A T-Intersection came up the corridor and the smuggler decided to take a right, since that would be the fastest way to the treasure room.

[member="Sebastian Thel"]​
 

Sebastian Thel

Cipher Thel
Character
To Sebastian's relief, Velero took out the remaining pirates as the mechanic ducked quickly to avoid the shots. He heard Velero's wife stammering as she tried to source the intel on the treasure, only to reveal that the signal had been jammed. When the smuggler looked him up and down, he knew Velero was frustrated. At least, he appreciated that he acknowledged his efforts to distract the enemies.

"Thank you!" Bast's eyes widened when Velero offered to teach him how to shoot. "I know I need to learn how to fight eventually. Later is better than never." He certainly appreciated the gesture and knew he could benefit from learning more combat skills. Swallowing a gulp as Velero mentioned reinforcements, he quickly motioned towards the door which hid the treasure with his tool kit slung over his shoulder.

With Velero leading the way, Sebastian and Clairis followed him through the corridor and through the labyrinth of tunnels nestled within the stronghold. Bas kept the blaster wedged safely inside of his suspender and rested his hand on the barrel as he looked over his shoulder, the feel of the weapon in his hand unsettling him slightly. Whispers stirred outside of the ruins and as Velero took a right turn, Sebastian followed and poked his head around the corner.

At the end of the hall, was a vault fastened into the stone, baring a muted shine which was now quelled by dust. Moving away from the corner, the engineer approached the vault behind Velero, smiling slightly to the smuggler at their success. He walked up the vault containing the treasure chest and knelt down, inspecting the gears which kept it locked. Bas wrenched the lid and found it would not move. The console had been destroyed and would need to be salvaged in order to open the vault.

"Somebody's already blasted the console to bits, I'm going to need you to cover me while I repair it." Laying his toolkit down, Bas spread his hands wide and beheld the ruined numbers on the keypad. He spoke to Velero as he heard movement from their hallway where they had arrived, alerting the three of them to the reinforcements which the pirates had called.

[member="Velero Faren"]
 
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