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  1. #1
    A Simple Supply Run

    A Simple Supply Run

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

    The Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire maintain a fragile truce, but the threat of open war hangs heavy as both sides quietly vie for power and domination. The brutal Empire slowly but inexorably presses its advantage, while the Republic battles corruption and disunity within while trying to maintain their cherished democratic way of life. Small skirmishes break out on a regular basis between the two sides on more remote worlds, while on the core planets, plans are hatched and schemes are undertaken to gain the upper hand.

    But some still hope for peace. A rogue former Jedi seeks assistance to deliver aid supplies to an earthquake-devastated planet, with the intention of bringing good will to civilians on both sides of the conflict...
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #2
    Siralai Mahr



    Siralai didn't look much like a Jedi anymore. It had been years since she'd worn the robes. Something about her bearing gave her away if you looked closely, though - and her lightsaber still hung at her belt, the clearest sign of all that her past had been with the Order.

    She had grown up in the Temple, literally. Ever since she was a toddler, Siralai had been raised in the Jedi way of life. Even now, she had no quarrel with the Jedi. She still helped them on a fairly regular basis when they needed an extra set of hands. She no longer considered herself one of them, though. Her own path had strayed too far from the life they prescribed.

    At the moment, Siralai was in the crowded spaceport on Coruscant, looking for someone to hire. The planet Rash'lahn VI had been home to competing Republic and Imperial colonies - until that competition was put to an abrupt end by a devastating earthquake. Now mere survival was everyone's aim, and food and medical supplies were running short. Siralai intended to help them restock those basic necessities, irrespective of side. Civilians were civilians, regardless of which banner they lived under.

    There was one small complication, though. Siralai had a small ship for travel, a basic no-frills Defender model that was common among Jedi; it worked for getting from place to place, but it had nowhere near the cargo space necessary to carry enough supplies to make a difference on Rash'lahn VI. She would need to hire a ship for that... and most likely the ship's pilot as well, since Siralai's husband's piloting experience was mainly much smaller craft.

    She began making inquiries around the spaceport, hoping to find someone willing to assist with her mission of mercy.

  3. #3
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Siralai likely heard any number of excuses from ship owners and pilots alike. Aid missions rarely paid well as there was generally nothing to bring back from the devastated planet, and often enough the hires wanted the ship's owner to be a philanthropist as well. Flights to the border planets were considered risky for some pilots who would be willing to consider that sort of work. Others simply didn't have the ship for the job.

    "Pardon me, but I may know of a willing pilot with a ship that could do the job." A floor supervisor had overheard Siralai's last pitch. As she turned, she would find the supervisor staring somewhat uncomfortably at her light saber. "Then again...*cough*...you may not find the pilot to your liking." He nodded his chin toward a ship tucked into the corner of the busy port. Its mechanic was on top of the engine compartment, pulling handfuls of wiring out of the fuselage. The worker was wearing a sort of hooded vest, so Siralai would be unable to see exactly what the supervisor might be referencing.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  4. #4
    Siralai Mahr



    "Thank you for the suggestion," Siralai told the supervisor. "I'll make inquiries."

    Naturally, she was curious about what he meant by the pilot not being to her liking, but she didn't ask any further. Siralai preferred to form her own opinion of people; relying on the impressions of others could predispose one to think ill of someone rather than giving them a chance. She figured she could trust her own judgment instead.

    Was the pilot someone the supervisor thought was too disreputable to associate with a Jedi - even if that Jedi was no longer with the Order? Or was it Siralai that he thought was too disreputable, and the pilot who was a paragon of virtue? Either way, she was about to find out.

    "Hello!" Siralai called, raising her voice slightly to be heard from down below. "I'm here to hire a ship and pilot to transport some aid supplies, and you were recommended. Could we discuss terms we might be able to agree on?"

  5. #5
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva was mumbling under her breath at the tangled mess of wires in her hands as though talking to the pieces would mend the broken connection somewhere within the mire. As focused as she was on her task, she didn't startle when a woman addressed her from below. She placed the snarl carefully on the fuselage before picking up a rag to wipe her hands and swiveling toward the sound. Neva's hood stayed firmly on her head, likely because her horns held the fabric in place. There was no mistaking her race, though Siralai would notice that she wasn't *quite* a normal looking Zabrak. Perhaps in part due to the easy smile on Neva's face.

    "Interesting." the word gave little indication of whether she meant the job or the fact that someone had recommended her for this particular job. She stood and walked the length of the wing to the fuselage and used various handholds to bring herself to ground level. Neva didn't offer a hand, but maintained an open stance and friendly demeanor.

    "Neva Xolte. I own this transport and am currently available for a job. Let's talk." the pilot/mechanic gestured to a pair of oil cans next to a tool box. Neva seated herself on a can and pulled a thermal vial out of the tool box before closing the lid and setting the flask and two small metal cups. "Tea? I prefer to talk business over tea."

  6. #6
    Siralai Mahr



    "I'm Siralai Mahr," the once-Jedi replied, taking a seat on the other oil can and accepting the offered cup of tea. "I'm sure you're busy, so I'll cut to the chase. I need to deliver aid to Rash'lahn VI. They had a massive earthquake - you probably heard? The cargo consists of food supplies, blankets, med packs, that sort of thing. Standard post-disaster stuff."

    She shifted slightly, making herself comfortable, because the next part was going to be the kicker. If this was a dealbreaker, it might end up being a rather short conversation.

    "There are two primary civilian colonies on Rash'lahn VI. One is Republic, and one is Imperial. Both, unfortunately, were in the earthquake zone. I plan to distribute the aid supplies equally between the two colonies. I don't anticipate this mission being particularly high on the risk scale, but not every Republic pilot is willing to help people on the other side... even if it's the other side's noncombatants. So what do you think? Shall we discuss further, or are you out?"

  7. #7
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva nodded in response to the earthquake news - she had heard about it, but only in passing. She watched Siralai over the edge of her cup. Now she knew why she was 'recommended'. The Zabrak's smile looked a little sad for a moment. Too often people got hurt when big politics got in the way.

    "You are in luck, friend. You have found possibly the least-partisan pilot in the 'port. I have no issue helping people of different political backings. How much cargo are you hoping to transport? Are you sending aid workers? The fewer people you bring, the more we can carry."

    Neva glanced up at the wing above the two. "I have a few slight adjustments to be made, but we can load in the meantime. I will be able to fly by tomorrow."

  8. #8
    Siralai Mahr



    "Thank you," Siralai said. A simple phrase, but it would convey her relief that she'd found someone who was at least sufficiently like-minded to help prevent senseless civilian deaths over the endless warring of their respective governments.

    "It looks like you have a good amount of cargo space - we can fill that. Maybe add some tents, cooking supplies, larger items like that. I will, of course, pay you for your time."

    The Republic was providing some supplies, but only those for their own citizens. The Mahr family would be paying for the rest of the endeavor themselves. She had not bothered asking the Empire to make up the difference; she knew what the response would be. The Empire's government was, in Siralai's view, unequivocally evil and uniformly brutal. Civilians were never a priority to their Imperial rulers, other than the amount of labor that could be extracted from them. Her desire to help Imperial civilians was in no way letting the government off the hook for countless war crimes. Rather, she wanted to protect the citizens of the Empire from their own government wherever she could, as well as from outside circumstances. It wasn't their fault where they had been born, or which worlds had been annexed.

    "It won't be a large crew. Just me, my husband, and our oldest daughter. She's fifteen. She wanted to come along, and it seemed like a safe mission for her to help with. See a bit more of the galaxy and all that."

    It wasn't that the girl was sheltered. Quite the opposite. Rossi had only been recently adopted, and prior to joining the Mahr family, she had been on Korriban training to use the dark side of the Force. Korriban was a harsh, violent place, and Rossi had witnessed death and been forced to kill to survive. This aid mission wasn't supposed to be dangerous, so Siralai thought it was a good opportunity for her new family member to experience what it was like when the people of the galaxy helped each other rather than doing harm.

    "Tomorrow works well. We'll meet you here--"

    Siralai's attention was momentarily distracted by a harsh exchange of words nearby that seemed poised to escalate into a physical confrontation. It was hard to make out the details with all the spaceport's background noise, but she heard one phrase quite distinctly - Imperial scum!

    Her hand went to her lightsaber.

    "Excuse me a moment," she said politely to Neva. "I need to go take care of this."

  9. #9
    Paladin Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Neva was somewhat relieved that Siralai indicated that she would be paying for the supply run. It meant that she didn't have to posit the question herself - which she would have, as she did have a business to run. The next step was to talk about price, but the Zabrak had a feeling that this particular deal would go smoothly. She was also pleased to hear that the trip would be a family endeavour. Having grown up amongst the stars, seeing new planets, meeting new people, she very much supported travel for the young. It was a formative experience she felt prepared them well for life in general.

    To be quite honest, Neva hadn't picked up on the angry conversation only a few ships away, so she was a bit startled with Siralai suddenly stood up from the bargaining table. How had she not noticed the light saber early? Neva nodded politely and gestured in the direction of the voices, though clearly the woman didn't need her permission to leave. Interesting indeed. Clearly this Jedi wasn't an ordinary Jedi or she would never have sat down to talk business with the likes of Neva. Through past experience, she had come to expect hostility from knights of the order. Again, Neva analyzed her feelings - she should have noticed that Siralai was armed, at least, but she had felt no animosity from the woman at any point.

    Somewhat belatedly, Neva also gained her feet and was soon mere steps behind Siralai. Her hand rested lightly on her blaster and her eyes scanned the faces peering from tops of ships, from behind stacks of crates and the circle of onlookers. It wouldn't do if she let a business deals go over a scuffle in the hangar.

  10. #10
    Siralai Mahr



    Just around the corner, four men were arguing. Or, to be more accurate - three men were confronting a fourth, who seemed to want nothing to do with the spat. The three antagonizers were local, dressed in various permutations on pilot garb, while their target was clearly not one of their own, judging from his military bearing and Imperial accent. His Empire origin was the source of the conflict, as the three locals became increasingly aggressive in their accusations.

    Siralai stepped smoothly between the Imperial and the others. Her hand remained on her lightsaber, though she had not yet ignited it. "Do we have a problem here?" she asked mildly.

    "Imp scum doesn't belong in our--"

    She interrupted, speaking with considerably more force, though her voice was no louder. "I said, do we have a problem here?"

    The three locals blinked, baffled not so much that a Jedi had intervened, but that she was taking the unexpected side in their manufactured us-versus-them.

    "Nn...no... um... I guess not..." There was a clear stammer of nervousness in his voice now. It was one thing to pick on an Imperial when it was three against one, but he wasn't suicidal enough to cross a Jedi who meant business.

    "Very well," Siral said. "You can just move along, then."

    They did, expeditiously.

    "Sorry about that," Siralai said to Neva. "Shall we continue our discussion?"

    The Imperial had not moved on when the others did. He remained standing by Siralai. She didn't introduce him quite yet, though; she wanted to see how Neva reacted to what had transpired before she tipped her hand any more than she already had.

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