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#1
Xin Boa

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The Adrogaddo, Vagrant Fleet

It wasn't the largest ship in the fleet. That accolade went to one of the assault carriers that had left Corellian with the refugee fleet. But the Adrogaddo was perhaps the most militant looking ship. It was an old kuati heavy frigate. Now it was as close to a nerve centre as the fleet had. Council meetings weren't held there. It would have been seen as insensitive for the council leaders to dictate the future of the fleet from a military vessel. They alternated their meeting place each time around. But operationally, this was where everything was held together. A few duty fighter-bombers zipped around the strange variety of ships. The fleet was currently holding position near an asteroid field they were mining for resources.

Their YT freighter angled down towards the Adrogaddo to dock. The Coalition had provided better care than the Fleet could likely manage and hadn't asked for anything in return. Xin would have to brief back to Wesseq in a few hours. An interesting story to weave, but he would get to namedrop Jorus Merrill and that was cool. He also had a question to ask. Had the Fleet considered Kathol space? If they refused to live in an aid camp and wanted to make their own way perhaps it was the right choice. Pioneers had already started to push the frontier back and the people of the fleet were skilled and able to improvise. Their mining tech was now cutting edge, able to turn a profit where most corporations would simply move on.

Then there was the Starchaser girl. She was distressed about the amulet. The nautolan was empathic enough to understand that. Unable to find out more whilst the smuggler was in treatment she had come along. Xin had thought the notion nonsensical. They'd argued a few times over who had got who in and out of trouble. Xin maintained that being half invisible in the middle of the street had been the cause, she thought it was because Xin stuck out and was being followed.

Apparently it was a sensitive issue for the Fleet. They were getting a reputation for increasing crime whenever the moored near a world. Sprees of theft would be attributed them whenever they came. It was becoming a problem. It would limit their trade options, force them to use expensive smugglers to bring in key goods or even split up the fleet. They were keen to get to the bottom of an alleged theft carried out by a fleet captain.

Wearing a short shirt and a sleeveless jacket covered in pockets Xin went to look for her. She wasn't far from the docking port. The nautolan adjusted his small satchel of belongings as he approached.

"Have to report to the boss in a few hours. So if you want to give me the run down on what happened..."

Kinsey Starchaser

Edited by Xin Boa, 12 August 2017 - 05:54 AM.

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#2
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

 

Kinsey, vest, gloves, toolbelt, and patched pants that had seen a lot of travel was kneeling down outside of a derelict U-wing.  Merrill told her if she fixed it up, she could have it.  Grease-splotched fingers fidgeted between the hydrospanner and the u-wrench.  She'd been working on it since she and Xin got dropped off by those jedi folk.  She had a lead on where Larry may have stashed her amulet.

 

Did she feel bad about his crucifixion and all that?

 

Feth yes.  Still had bloodstains left beneath her fingernails.  If she'd gotten to him sooner or if he'd never stolen the amulet in the first place, he may have never been in that situation.

 

Hindsight.

 

Blues of starbursts flickered up to Xin.  "What?  With Larry?"  Standing, she grabbed the toolbox and hefted it up with both arms.  Gorram thing was heavy.  Chin tipped to the glow lights.  "Couldyah get those and follow?"

 

The sooner she could push off the better.


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#3
Xin Boa

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"Yes, with Larry," Xin replied. He didn't even respond to the question, he just picked up the lights and started to follow. His life of drifting hadn't come without hard work. He was quite used to being given manual tasks just to be allowed to stay on board a ship.

"He had a position of reasonable standing and if he'd been stealing it looks kinda bad for the Fleet. They'll probably want to talk to you too at some point.

Slowly his pace he side-stepped with his haul bundled up in his arms and eyed the ship. "Still looks like crap," he reflected. "Think they have some U-Wings in the fleet. Might be able to trade if you're missing any parts."

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#4
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

 

"Yeah," she smiled for once and set the box of tools down on one of the jump seats.  Bending over, fingers pulled at a section of grating on the floor.  "Looks like crap but," muscles strained and with a loud ummphh, she dragged the panel open, letting it fall back to the floor with a loud clatter, "still got life in her."

 

Palm pushed dark ribbons of hair away from her face and she approached Xin, plucking one of the glow-lights from his grasp, giving no thought to invading imaginary bubbles of personal space.  "How long is at some point?  Can't afford to stay here too much longer," taking a step back, she lowered herself on the floor and let her feet dangle over the open hole she just opened up.

 

"Still.  Might need to switch out the left coupling and the nav-computer connector."  Internal musings.  "And reasonable standing?  Hmph,"  finger tapped against the floor-grating in thought.  "Met him at a shadowport near the sith planet we just came from, actually.  He's a poor sabaac loser."


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#5
Xin Boa

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"I don't imagine that will last long," Xin mused. "Shadowport, not the ship."

He stepped forwards towards the removed grating. These ships were basic inside. Some harnesses for passengers in the back, a comms station and up a few stairs to cockpit for two. They were certainly lean vessels for military use.

"Saying that, I would swap out those couplings," he continued. Like most of his kind he had a relatively deep voice outside of the water. He tended to emphasise vowels. "Once they get those streaks down the side they haven't got long.

"Anyway, they can probably see you today if you need to go today. How do you know he stole it?"

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#6
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

 

Palms pushed off the grating and she dropped into the pit.  Sharp-eyes looked up at Xin, the glow-light casting shadows across her paler skin.  His deep voice reverberated through the empty ship.  Taking out the hydrospanner, eyes shifted back down to the couplings as she jimmied the tool around the powerpacks.

 

"Cause he saw it hanging around my neck during sabaac."

 

Granted, she should've kept it better hidden.  Usually it was.  Probably got lose after she'd had one too many.  No matter how hard she tried not to, sometimes Kinsey got a little too wild.  Too many drinks.

 

"I dunno why he suddenly wanted it but he did. Begged me to bet it in the next game.  I didn't and he lost anyway.  Next thing I know he's getting all close and leaning in, then gone and so is the amulet."

 

Hand lifted.  "Pass me that pilex driver?"

 

Palm pushed an itch away from her nose, not really caring if grease got smeared across her face.  "You said the fleet would trade for parts.  I don't have much on me.  Think they'd trade for labor?"

 

That'd be trickier for getting out faster to track down that amulet but she'd have to work with what she was given.


Edited by Kinsey Starchaser, 12 August 2017 - 07:56 PM.

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#7
Xin Boa

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Xin placed another light on the edge of the opening. His lips twitched slightly as he tried to hold in amusement at how the smuggler had taken the necklace. He tried not to imagine her look dismay at not receiving a kiss, but ending up slightly light around the neck.

Xin scratched an imaginary itch on his top lip as he passed down the piled driver. "Fleet will trade anything they have for anything they need. Each ship kinds of runs as its own little organisation, but Brak'll know who keeps the inventory across the fleet."

She had seemed particularly perturbed about the loss of the amulet, he thought to himself. With a shrug Xin added: "Look I could always lie and say you really helped with the rescue instead of pulling the magical-appearing-woman act and bringing the troopers down on us. I'm in a good mood. I got to meet the Jorus Merrill today. You don't need anything too expensive, s'long as the fleet isn't needing badly for any of them they'd probably let you have them. But I've just got to ask, quite why is it so bad you don't have this thing if it draws Sith?"

Edited by Xin Boa, 13 August 2017 - 05:33 AM.

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#8
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

 

Fingers nicked his as she took the pilex driver.  She was reminded about the different texture of his skin.  She bent down and jammed the tool around the coupling's edge, working it in and out of the circuitry.  A bark of laughter left her lips, interrupting her serious-expression.  Blues glanced up at the nautolan for a sec.

 

"Listen.  We've already been over this.  I was minding my own business when you got all handsy.  Troopers were already after your tail I'm pretty sure."

 

Hadn't he mumbled something about shooting them?

 

Dark-haired head shook, tangled ribbons clinging to a face that was producing more moisture along the edges as she continued working.  "Well," she hesitated, not sure if she could trust Xin.  He did try to get her in trouble on a ship full of force masters.  Calling her butt out in front of everyone.  Then again, he'd refrained from shooting her and he seemed to be trying to help now.  Not to mention the life he described with the fleet sounded a lot like home.  She'd grown up on a fleet colony.

 

"You ever heard of something called psychometry?  It's a force power.  And if that amulet gets back to this crazy-karker sith lord, he'll have no problems finding me," voice trailed off.  "Who's Brak?"


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#9
Xin Boa

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"Ah now...that was entirely accidental on account of you being invisible. And I see now reason to go into the specifics of that collision should someone senior in the Fleet wish to discuss it. That's going to be a condition of me exaggerating your help in getting those smugglers free." Even a human could probably read the amusement in his expression and tone. Xin wasn't known to take matters too seriously. He liked to live by the minute.

He held his arms out wide and gave a shrug. "You could write what I know about the Force on one of those microcircuit. With a pen, not in data. Brak does a lot of tech work for the Dragoons, but he also does some fixing up around the fleet. Lots of people seem to have lots of jobs around here."

He placed his hands on the lip of the opening and leaned closer. "Now why would you have a Sith Lord chasing you?"

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#10
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

 

A lopsided grin pulled at the girl's face.  "Sure it was.  Suresure."  Eyes rolled slightly as she popped off a piece of the metal.  "Giving me conditions now huh?"  The smirk was still on her face which Xin may or may not catch a glimpse of.

 

She handed Xin the pilex driver.

 

"Magnetic clamper?"

 

Couplings were almost out without causing damage to their holding.  She didn't want to have to make any more unnecessary work for herself.  Especially with the clock ticking down.  "An yeah, lots of jobs.  Sounds like home," she murmured.  Head quirked up at Xin's next question and his proximity.  Gloved-palm pushed the growing sweat off her brow.  Feth it.  Next time she was nabbing a portable power-pac fan.

 

"Because he thinks he owns me."

 

That was the short answer.  The whole mind-frakking and kidnapping for the sake of going after her uncle and how he'd trained her to be a sith could wait.  And all the rest.


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#11
Xin Boa

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"Oh dear. I could say something along the lines of 'ooh it's okay we wouldn't let him get you'. But it's a Sith Lord and frankly you seem better equipped to deal with that kind of chet." Xin offered a shrug in lieu of any bravado.

He passed down the clamper. The tools seemed better arranged than he kept his own. However given that his were kept in a constant state of chaos they could have been in equal disarray and just randomly arranged in more order at this precise moment.

"Where's home?" He asked bluntly.

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#12
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

"Ha," gaze lifted back to his inky-eyes. "You're right. Against a Sith Lord you'd probably last thirty seconds." She'd been on her own for the past few years. Running and hiding. Exploring. Taking care of herself.

It would be weird NOT to be.

"Thanks," she mumbled, taking the clamp and lining it up. At least this guy knew his way around tools. The alternative would've been exhausting. With a squeeze and twist, the piece popped out. Catching it, grease-stained hands passed it up to Xin.

"Although. You're pretty good at dodging bolts. How's that back wound doing? And home," eyeing the clamp, she lined it up on the second coupling. "Is a bit of everywhere. Any ship. Grew up on a drifter colony. Stuck mostly around the Kathol Outback. Well, for a time anyways."

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#13
Xin Boa

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"Similar circumstances," Xin admitted with a shrug. He realised she hadn't asked. "Never been to Kathol space."

He held the coupling up to the light and turned it around in his hands. "I like how you complement me on doing blaster bolts, then enquire about the one that I didn't. Luck is a flighty creature." His voice was barely a murmur. The nautolan was paying attention. He gave the coupling a shake. "Yeah this is fethed," he admitted. He chucked it further down the hold onto one of the seats.

"If you're a drifter, how did you end up with a cloak of invisibility? Present from your abusive sith along with the amulet?" Xin shook his head tails and waved away with the question with one hand.

"What's Kathol space like?"

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#14
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

 

Similar circumstances?

 

Dark-brows rose along her grease-spattered face.  She cast a glance his way before her attention refocused on the second coupling.  Clamper went around the piece and she tugged but it didn't budge. Starburst-blues scrunched up as one boot went up against the wall in the small space and she heaved back.

 

"Karker," there went that mouth of hers again.  Scowling face tipped up to Xin at the jab.  "That sith lord isn't my anything.  Got it?"  Seemed like he didn't expect an answer about the cloak which was good because she certainly wasn't going to give him one after that.

 

With one final tug and twist, the second coupling was yanked free with a loud screech.  

 

She tossed it up to Xin along with the clamper, then hauled herself out of the hold.  Back of her hand ran along her moist brow.  "It's wild.  Less crowded.  Dangerous.  Heard stories about Aing-tii monks time traveling and creating wormholes with their minds.  Had a few friend's folks go mad when they broke off from the Dawn Treader.  Stories of people becoming younger through hypserspace too."

 

She grinned, happily playing up the tales she grew up with.  Face sobered though and she went to pluck the second coupling from Xin's hands.  "So what.  You didn't grow up on a water planet or something?"


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#15
Xin Boa

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Kinsey Starchaser

Xin's immediate reaction to finding a sore spot was to poke at it more. Her first expletive was met by an amused grin. This was likely something he could amuse himself with for a while, he thought. The expression on her face and following statement wiped the thought from her head. This didn't seem to be an amusing anecdote, but a story of genuine abuse. Xin turned his head and the amusement left his expression.

He listened carefully to her description of Kathol space. He'd heard as much. Or at least about the wilderness and danger, not about the time travel. Might be worth a visit in ten years time, he thought. She pushed herself up out of the grating without asking for help. Another thoroughly independent drifter it seemed. Xin stepped back with a brief wince when his shirt tugged at the shoulder wound. He sat back onto one of the chairs and stretched out as if he owned the ship.

“For a few years,” he said. “Have mostly been in space since I was young.” Other than the two years in prison of course. Without anything to do with his hands he tidied away a few of the tools he’d arrange on the deck to find those required. “Odd ship this,” he said to change the subject quickly. “Sort of large enough for a squad, but no real comfort for any long term travel despite the range.”


Edited by Xin Boa, 23 August 2017 - 11:38 AM.

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#16
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa
Grabbing her side-bag, she scooped the couplings up and tossed them inside. Blues turned to Xin all sprawled out. "You seem pretty comfortable right now," she quipped. There was a panel near the cockpit, kneeling down she began working on the bolts to get it opened.

Still had to check the wiring on that navcomputer. "Still," she glanced over her shoulder. "Could use a few hammocks. Or I'll just sell her for something else as soon as I get to a good enough port. Bet the Alliance uses a lot of these."

Thoughts drifted to her uncle as a bolt clinked to the floor.

She noticed his wince earlier but not the touchiness to the subject on his home world. The Starchaser blundered ahead with her own line of questioning. "You miss it? Your water world or whatever?" Shoulders shivered slightly. A world of water? That was her nightmare. Probably what happened when she never bothered to learn how to swim.

Ugh. Yuck.

"Hand me that torx driver?"

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#17
Xin Boa

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"Ah I can sit and sleep most anywhere. Nothing is as comfortable as floating through the night," he said with a shrug. A lack of eyebrows meant he didn't convey expression in the same way as a human. Nor could a human tell quite where he was looking. Which was fortunate. Even slightly tatty, loose pants that had seen better days could provide a view when one knelt over like that.

"Sleeping is so much more peaceful in water," he added. That seemed like enough of an answer. He made a show of standing back up with an emphatic sigh.

"Just tidied those away," he pretended to grumble. He took the driver and spam it one eighty through the air before holding it out towards her. The cockpit was slightly elevated above to hold below so he remained at around eye level.

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#18
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

"Sleeping in the water?" She cringed, face intentionally turned away from Xin and missing wandering eyes that she wouldn't be able to catch anyways. "If you say so." She'd leave it at that. Kinsey knew if Xin found out she couldn't swim? She'd never hear the end of it. Best keep that a secret. Besides? Chances were she'd only be seeing him for the next hour or so before she shoved off. Right. Meeting this Brak guy. Trading. And heading out. Then the hunt for the amulet.

"So wait a minute," she couldn't help the curiosity as she took the driver from his hand, fingertips brushing against his own for a second. "Do you have a tank of water on your ship? Do you have to get your skin wet...you know, more than a refresher sonic to survive? And the jewelry on your headtails...tentacles? Is that....a family thing or your own style?"

Kinsey was anything but shy and certainly not apologetic about questions.

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#19
Xin Boa

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Kinsey Starchaser

 

 

"By the stars do you want to ask those questions more slowly?" he exclaimed. He chuckled and continued into trying to answer them. "No I don't have a tank of water on my ship. There are ships that are entirely filled with water, but never very large because...well its heavy. My skin is just fine thank you. Some ships the air conditioning can make it a little dry and that can get a little uncomfortable. Not a fan of arid climates in general. My headtails get decorated however I feel."

 

Xin looked up with the consoles above them with a smile on his face. "Yes, that was all I think? Yes." He turned his gaze back towards Kinsey, not that she was paying attention. There was a ship to be fixed and the girl seemed quite determined to go after this amulet it seemed. 

 

"How quickly can your skin be fully submerged then?" he'd never asked the question. "Sleeping underwater is much better. Many things are better whilst in the water. Was this amulet decorative or sentimental then?" He asked his own questions in quick succession to mirror her own, mostly to see if he could spark a reaction.


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#20
Kinsey Starchaser

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Xin Boa

"Well, try to keep up Xin Boa," the Starchaser girl fired right off with a smirk on her face as she pried another bolt free and before he could answer her string of questions. Head turned, swirling starburst blue orbs (orbs orbs orbs) catching that smile on his green face when he finished. Huh. Interesting. He decorated based on his mood? She wondered what today's pattern meant.

But the thought of ships entirely filled with water made her chest clench with anxiety. As did the question about submersion. Head turned again, and with the last two bolts off, she slid the panel to the side and stuck her fingerless-gloved hands into the circuitry and wiring.

"Uh," she stalled. "I dunno. Until I stop breathing." Shoulders shrugged as she happily rushed into the next topic leaving the water discussion far in her wake. "It's neither. More like an unwanted pet. If you touch it without the casing on it'll...," a jolt ran up her finger and she swore, quickly pulling that hand out.

"Feth. Forgot to shut off the breaker. As for the amulet," she turned to Xin again, nursing her singed fingertips. "You probably wouldn't believe me if I told you. Why? Interested in seeing for yourself?"

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