View Full Version : The Quasar Fantastic

Acheli San Maronea
Jun 3rd, 2018, 02:00:46 PM
It was difficult to get a read on stormtroopers. They probably facially emoted, but who could tell beneath those helmets? Not much in the way of olfactory cues, so the only thing you had going was to get a look at their body language or to have them actually tell you what was on their minds. And while these stormtroopers weren't saying much, their body language definitely hinted that they'd rather be doing something else.

"I've already told you, you can search my ship twice, three times, four times even!"

Acheli San Maronea (or Maron, to aliens) spread her gloved paws wide in exasperation.

"There is no contraband on my ship. I'm not a smuggler!"

"You're piloting a YT-2400. Those are popular enough with smugglers to be suspect."

The Selonian rolled her eyes, her whiskers bouncing up and down in exasperation.

"We're on Corellia. Open your eyes! How many YT-2400's do you see? Are you this thorough with all of them? And another thing, don't most smugglers try to blend in to escape notice? Does anything about my ship blend in to you?"

The troopers glanced in unison to Maron's freighter. Unlike the neutral liveries typical to most ships of the class, Maron's YT-2400 was a rainbow of color, patterned in brilliant purples and greens and golds. It looked like a strutting peacock.

"Now that you mention it, its a very conspicuous ship."

"Of course its conspicuous, it's the Quasar Fantastic!"

Maron paused, looking for more tells in body language. She felt slightly crestfallen when she saw none.

"None of you are racing fans, I take it?"

"It's a racing ship?"

Maron nodded "It's a racing ship. My racing ship."

The lead trooper (the one with the orange pauldron) stepped forward. "Lets see your scan docs."

The Selonian produced them with an irritated sigh, thumping her tail testily on the ground.

"What are you doing on Corellia, Acheli San Mar...o"

"Maron." She cut him off. "Captain Maron. And as you've already noticed, I fly a Corellian ship. Need parts? Go to Corellia. I didn't think it was complicated."

"Watch your mouth." the stormtrooper cautioned, causing the Selonian to turn up her paws in deference.

"Alright, easy. I'm just frustrated. I'm sure you all have something you'd rather be doing, since obviously you aren't here for autographs."

Aug 26th, 2018, 11:13:32 PM
It was a pretty good day to be Staff Sergeant Rayfe Avery. He'd negotiated a new contract with a man on Ubrikkia. They were feeling a little nervous about the Hutts lately with how some of their diplomacy had been going. Rayfe had been contacted about putting a team together and hitting the Hutts in a way that they couldn't enact retribution but would make them think twice about doing anything funny. The Mercenary mentioned that the Hutts would be angry and were stupid when they were angry.
This injection of common sense had the Contact second guessing the whole thing immediately but Sergeant Avery was ready with an idea. Instead of hiring multiple mercenaries, they'd only hire Rayfe. He could recruit his team from the Ubrikkian forces, train them up and train with them for the raid, and once he was done they'd be left with highly trained operators who could train other soldiers and defend Ubrikkia from the Hutts or anyone else that might try something.
The man smiled to himself as he made his way through the spaceport. He was looking for a cheap ride to Ubrikkia, he was also looking for a somewhat leisurely trip. Rayfe had a lot of preliminary information that had been sent to him by courier early in the negotiations that he needed time to look it over. So a ride in exchange for security work or something similar would be best, then he could just his down time on 'homework'.

A few dozen meters away he saw a Selonian trying to explain herself to some Troopers. The Helmets were clearly not bright as she'd said she wasn't doing anything wrong, he only knew that because the frustrated woman was starting to shout, and if they knew anything they'd known that as a people Selonians don't lie. They look upon it as an extreme taboo, like murder. Rayfe considered just walking past when he saw her ship, The Quasar Fantastic. He couldn't remember the name of the female that piloted it but a few jobs ago one of his comrades had been a huge racing fan. The man would prattle on and on about the flamboyant vessel and its Selonian pilot. In an instant Rayfe formulated a plan. Help the girl, get a tour of the racing circuit, use the time to read his files and plan, and he'd get as close as he could get to Ubrikkia then he would charter a ride to his contracted job.

Putting a smile on his face he shouted to the group, "Boss! Boss! The Spaceport foreman said we were clear to take off! So stop talking with your.. fans..." he acted like he was surprised when he got close enough to see the way they were questioning her. "I guess you fellas aren't fans." he said as matter of fact. Pretending to listen as they tried to justify their attempt to search her, again apparently, he waited until they were done. The whole time the Troopers spoke he slowly shifted his posture and facial expression to his Staff Sergeant self, he was counting on his experience with grunts to allow him to talk them into giving up. It helped that at 1.93 meters tall, he was towering over the mooks clad in white armor.
He made sure he was facing the Trooper with the pauldron, the mark of a Commander, and started his tirade.
"So you are saying you've personally been on the Quasar Fantastic multiple times and found nothing but you want to go on again? Are you wasting time until your break or do you have a crush on the Selonian pilot? Because that is the only reason I can think you'd keep doing the same damn thing expecting a different result." He paused for a moment to let it sink in, but before they could counter him he launched back in to it, "Also, it seems you didn't read your standard issue information packet on the system you've been assigned to because if you had you'd know that, A, Selonia is orbiting the same sun, the Corell star so they can be found on every planet in the Corellian System, and B, Selonians don't lie. It's taboo in their culture. Like killing is in most human societies." The Troopers shared a look that spoke in volumes that they didn't know that.

Now if you intend to check the ship again I'll report you to the local Stormtrooper garrison. The one we happily 'donate' credits to because we want to support the Empire. I'm sure the garrison Commander won't take to kindly to two subordinates accosting loyal and giving Imperial citizens. So, are you going to leave us alone or does your Commander hear about this?" he finished, by this time the two Troopers had taken steps back away from him as he leaned down to look them right in the eyes through their helmets. The no nonsense look he wore made it clear that he wouldn't take no for an answer. Not to mention the known but oft ignored fact that Imperials in positions of power were as corrupt as hell and often took bribes. They wouldn't want to be the men that denied their boss his kick backs.

The sufficiently frustrated Imperial goons didn't have the will or the argument to throwback at the Selonian or her (supposed) employee. "You're clear, now make sure your dog knows his place." The Stormtrooper Commander barked and turned on his heel to stomp away, probably to give someone else hell.
As the pair of them started to get further away you could hear them arguing about who's responsibility it was to read the manual on Corellian information.

Rayfe turned around and smiled down at the Selonian female. "Hey Boss, the names Rayfe, and I'll like to come with you."

Fredal Rabeak
Aug 27th, 2018, 04:06:02 PM
Corellia. It was the farthest Freddie had ever been from home, and his first time in Imperial space, so as with most new things in life, the teenager met it with nervous reluctance and hiding behind self-given tasks. His fingers rubbed over the plasteel case of his work tablet as he chewed his bottom lip, staring at the glow of sunlight down the hall from the boarding ramp. He knew he was welcome to go out, but the shock of being interrupted in his inventory, and then practically interrogated by stormtroopers, still ran high in his system.

You can do this, Freddie. You haven't done anything wrong, and neither has Captain Maron, and you need to get used to being new places, he told himself. The fidgeting scuffle of a footpaw, and the flick of his tail said otherwise, but at last he bucked up the courage to press forward, and descend the ramp.

Still barefoot, the gray-furred Nehantite looked much as he did when he'd first met Captain Maron, though he now sported a colorful long-sleeved tee shirt bearing the name of the Quasar Fantastic, and the word "STAFF" written on the back in paint. There hadn't been a proper males' staff shirt available in his size, and the youth was still technically on his trial probation as an engine tech, so it seemed fitting to bear a temporary shirt as well. His pace slowed, however, as he saw a strange, tall man speaking to his captain as if he knew her well, and so he hung back. At least until he saw Maron's tail twitch and thump the ground, a sure sign that she was upset.

Swallowing, Freddie stepped forward and extended his tablet to her. "Captain," he nodded. "I've finished the inventory. This should be everything we need." A glance was spared to the stranger, though he wasn't sure if he was supposed to greet him or not, so he stood there awkwardly, half-smiling in order to appear polite.

Acheli San Maronea
Aug 27th, 2018, 09:10:56 PM
Well, this was new. And Maron honestly wasn't sure how she felt about the sudden change. An ambivalent expression crossed her features, which didn't really tack with the humanoid equivalent. It registered as a slight quavering of whiskers, with her small ears skewing from one perked to one flush. On one hand, she'd gotten help from an unexpected source. On the other hand, help had arrived in the form of a free-lying human. Not to fall to stereotypes, but that's usually the only sort of human she knew.

"Not boss, just Captain" she said, ripping and re-applying the velcro straps on her pilot's gloves, "and while I appreciate the help, I think, I'm not exactly running a passenger charter."

Before she could say more, young Freddie Rabeak approached, pushing a data tablet into her hand. Maron dipped her bullet-shaped head slightly.

"Thank you Freddie."

She thumbed through the logs, giving everything a cursory look-over, though she was fairly certain everything would be in its place. It at least gave her time to weigh the newcomer and his arrival.

"Rayfe. Is that Mr. Rayfe, or just Rayfe? If I were taking boarders, where are you going?"

Aug 27th, 2018, 09:59:39 PM
Before he could say anything more to her another being came out of the ship with a datapad, the inventory apparently. Rayfe gave the little furred individual a quick look before returning his attention to the Captain. Her ship and it's route from race to race was just what he was looking for in travel.
"If we're being formal, it's Staff Sergeant Rayfe Avery, Captain. I apologize for butting in. I need to find my way to the Mid Rim and I'm not in too much of a hurry. I thought I could work in return for the ride, perhaps keep issues like that one I resolved from happening again." he said plainly.

He looked back at the youth known as 'Freddy'. The being was still standing there waiting to be dismissed or given orders while looking uncomfortable about it but trying to mask it with a half-smile.

Even though he'd met many and even been friends with a few Selonians growing up, he never learned to read them, so the Captain's silence while she thought about it was troublesome. After waiting for her deliberation the Soldier decided to clear the air, make it clear that he normally didn't lie like he'd done to get rid of the Troopers.
Just so you know, outside of what I said when I approached, I didn't lie to those Imps. It really was a waste of everyone's time for them to keep checking your ship and I'd suspect they were trying to look busy or one of them liked you. And I do make bribes to a few different Imperial officers both on Corellia and the surrounding system. It makes it easier to come and go as I please with my work taking me all over the Galaxy regardless of my lack of a ship." he confessed in the hope of building a better reputation with the Selonian Captain.

Fredal Rabeak
Aug 27th, 2018, 10:18:46 PM
The side-eye Freddie gave the newcomer was impossible to miss, accented heavily by teenage skepticism. While he'd clearly missed the first half of whatever was going on, he couldn't help but feel the sensation of his fur becoming as oily as Maron's simply from standing near this guy. He was slick, that was for sure, and he apparently knew it, and neither quality endeared itself much to the lad.

Admitting to bribes? Clearing a situation which would have been solved in another five minutes of paperwork? Freddie fought back the urge to snark and call BS on any sort of help this man could give them, knowing that he shouldn't speak out of place, especially in front of his boss. Even more-so while on probation. So he stayed still, keeping his mouth shut as his tail flicked with annoyance, and wondered just what service of value this... whoever he was, could offer to a professional race crew. And Freddie was going to be damned if some human was going to take over his cramped little bunk in what he's sure used to be a storage closet!

Acheli San Maronea
Aug 27th, 2018, 10:33:54 PM
"So when you called me Boss in front of the troopers and pretended to know me, you were just predicting the future in which I gave you a job?"

Maron's pink tongue flicked briefly beneath her flews. She crossed her arms in a slow, contemplative way, as if taking extra time to let Rayfe dangle on the hook.

"Alright. Fine. I'll keep you honest. Here's the terms. You work for passage, no credits. I set the travel itinerary. If you don't like the direction we're going, you're free to part ways at the next port. You do what I tell you. You do what Freddie here tells you. Under no circumstances do you touch any of my ship's systems - they're worth more than whatever second-rate transport you'd have to settle for instead of me. Our next port of call is Malastare, for the Sarrkaul Invitational. You stay close to Freddie and make sure nobody goes near the Quasar without my say so. Those are your terms Rayfe. Good enough?"

Aug 27th, 2018, 11:08:34 PM
He couldn't help smiling at her snarky remark, he liked the attitude. She read him the law and though he didn't like the idea of having to listen to the kid, everything else with her deal was completely reasonable and he was happy to be a part of it. "Yes, that is good enough. Permission to come aboard, Captain?"

Once he was given permission he entered the ship and looked around until he found a dead end at the end of a hallway. Dropping his two duffle bags, he looked through one until he pulled out two rolls of cargo strapping. He busied himself weaving the straps together to make a hammock. Once done he pulled magnetic fasteners out of the same bag and then attached them to the oppose walls with a 'thunk'. Finally, he attached his hammock to the fasteners and slowly eased himself on to it to see if it could take his weight. A few moments pasted and he wasn't on his ass so it passed muster. The finishing touches were a bed roll placed on the hammock and a small tarp he used as a blanket on that. The Experienced Mercenary took a step back to look at his set up and found it satisfactory.

With one last thing to do before he was sure the Kid would come to check on him, he quickly pulled a bundle out of his other duffel. He unrolled it to reveal an assortment of parts. With practiced still he put the parts together into a Clone Wars era DC-15A rifle. The whole set up took less than 30 seconds. Pocketing the weapon's power pack for safe keeping, he placed the rifle in his hammock to hold his spot. Happy that everything he needed to do was done for now he took a seat on the floor with his back to the wall and started to read a datapad while he awaited summons from one of the ships two furry inhabitance.

Fredal Rabeak
Aug 28th, 2018, 08:09:26 AM
"There is another cabin, you know," Freddie said, after watching Rayfe set things up. He hadn't watched the whole process, but enough in passing to allow the human to waste his time. Though he might have grown up in a trailer park, and hadn't graduated high school, Freddie at least knew that when you were a guest, you should ask before doing something. Fortunately for Rayfe, Freddie had missed the rifle altogether.

In his head, the young man could scarcely believe that Maron had allowed this at all. It had been immensely difficult to prove himself to her chief mechanic, and he knew he was still being judged while he made minimum wage in his trial period, yet Maron let this human, whoever he was, on just because he asked? Nothing about it sat right with him. At the very least, Captain Maron had given Freddie some authority over their new... passenger? So it wasn't all bad.

"So," he clapped his paws together, "You heard the Captain. Our next stop is Malastare, and as you may have noticed, the Quasar Fantastic is no hangar queen, so we've gotta get there under our own power. This, being a racing ship, clearly needs to run a different setup and tune for commuting vs. racing. That means I have to go refresh the current tune and build on the engines for this next leg of the journey, and you get to be my assistant."

Freddie's grin was a bit too wide about that part, but he didn't care. If he had to work, this guy was going to have to work as well.

Aug 28th, 2018, 02:15:18 PM
Looking up from the datapad when he heard the pup address him, Rayfe listened as it was explained that they'd be re-configuring the engine from a setup conducive to racing to something more suited for getting them to Malastrare. Made sense that the Dug homeworld would be one of their stops. Dug loved racing almost as much as Corellians. He hadn't been to Malastare in a while and wondered if he'd have time to see old acquaintances. This line of thinking was brought to a stop when st looked at the datapad in his hands. He'd be too busy preparing for the Ubrikkia job to take time off if he was allowed to wander off.
With a sigh he dropped the datapad on top of one of his duffel bags and stood up. Dusting himself off, he nodded to Freddie. "Understood, lead the way."

He followed the young man to the engine and did his best to hand him the right tools when they were asked for, normally he'd have to have the tool described to him to provide the right one. He heard the muffled sound of the mechanic saying "Watch out." from within the engine that surrounded them, before he could see what to watch out for a heavy piece of engine came loose and landed on his foot. "Son of a bitch!" he exclaimed before falling on to his ass.
Rayfe groaned in frustration before looking to where he was sure he could hear Freddie laughing at him.
"So, how long you known your Captain?"

Fredal Rabeak
Aug 28th, 2018, 04:35:32 PM
Reconfiguring the engines for standard travel was a simple process, but tedious due to the sheer amount of engines which made up the thruster array. It was also necessary if they were going to avoid a larger rebuild once they arrived on Malastare, as race configuration would wear things out unnecessarily prior to an actual race. While the Quasar Fantastic was technically the first YT-2400 Freddie had worked on, he seemed a natural at it, instantly familiar with its layout and build components - likely from studying manuals.

For the most part, he worked in silence, calling down from his stepladder when he needed a tool, though each part he replaced, he selected himself from his parts cart, instead of letting Rayfe handle them. The possibility that he was actually working for some other race team, or a race handicapper, to sabotage the Quasar Fantastic had not escaped the boy's mind, and while his attention remained on the ship and his work, he kept an eye on his new assistant. To his credit, though, this human didn't appear competent enough to be a saboteur. Still, a little test of his awareness was in order.

Among the parts being replaced was a thermocoupler about the size of a large fizzy-drink can, and one was well and truly shot. Typically Freddie could rebuild them, but when the casing itself was cracked and bulging the insulation from inside, it was trash. Easing it out with a paw and a pry bar, Freddie then pretended to let it slip from his grasp, allowing it to fall below. "Heads up!" he called out, though it was no accident. The satisfying thud and yelp from the man below brought a smile to his hidden face, though it was gone, hidden by a mask of concern by the time he peered down to see Rayfe on his butt.

"Sorry, slippery little bugger," the Nehantite shrugged, keeping his giggles inside his head.

Hopping down from the stepladder, he fetched a new thermocoupler from a fresh box, then scampered back up to pop it into place. Head up in the engine bay once more, he shrugged, "Know of her for years. But professionally? I've worked for her a little while, now." It wasn't a lie, and it sounded better than saying he was in just his second week of her employment.

Acheli San Maronea
Sep 4th, 2018, 11:59:20 PM
Maron watched the exchange take place from afar in real time, thanks to a discrete security monitor system she'd installed years ago. It allowed her to keep tabs on key systems and sections of her ship - even when she wasn't aboard. That level of soft security helped in a world where the competition didn't always play by the rules as stated. While she hadn't seen Rayfe's hammock setup, she settled into the cockpit in time to catch him bantering with her mechanic's assistant. Innocent enough - even Freddie's little kick-down moment. The kid wore his heart on his sleeve, and the Selonian captain didn't need to be a Jedi to get the feeling that he was almost as proud and protective of the Quasar as she was.

"Freddie, gimme a heads up when that coupler's in. We gotta pump and dump the residual bleed before the injectors go online."

Not exactly hyperscience, but it was at least enough busywork to delegate to allow Captain Maron to deal with other matters. She opened up her comm system, trailing through the latest bits of electronic messages in her inbox. Most of it was a crush of fan mail. There was a bit from her agent, a few dialogue trees between sponsors, an apology from the Corellian port master, and...something else. Maron's paw paused over the unexpected item in the list. She glanced over her shoulder before opening it, to make sure it was done in privacy. A few lines in, and her whiskers drooped slightly.


A minute later, Maron rejoined her crew and her guest. She kept her distance as Freddie worked, and gave Rayfe an even glance.

"Plan's changed. We're adding an indirect stop before Malastare."

Fredal Rabeak
Sep 5th, 2018, 07:25:53 AM
Halfway up into the engine bay, Freddie froze at the announcement, then wriggled himself out of the tight space he'd managed to get himself into. Dropping down enough to duck his head to see his captain directly, the boy's ears were down with worry.

"Another stop?" he asked. "Am I going to need to reconfigure things again? I just finished the build for normal commuting." There was a bit more of a whine to his voice than he had intended, and it had all spilled out before he realized he was questioning his captain. Rule number one, never question your captain. Well, unless you're on a sandwich run, and you need to know what they want. In that case, it's expected to question your captain and -

You're rambling. Focus, Freddie, his higher reasoning told him, and the youth calmed himself with a deep breath and a nod.

There was at least one sensible question, though. "Where we're stopping: is it planetside, or a spaceport? Want to make sure I get the dampers set correctly."

A glance was spared at Rayfe, whom he still wasn't so keen on, wondering if this had anything to do with him, or if he knew anything about it.

Sep 5th, 2018, 11:31:40 AM
Overhearing what the captain had to say about the injectors, he at least knew that he might get dirty as he imagined some unknown fluid dumping out of the engine he was standing beneath and on to his head. Rayfe wondered if he should move before that happened but shrugged it off. A cursory glance at the engine bay showed that it was immaculately clean, like it was still in the show room, any spills were probably rare.
Rayfe waited for more requests for tools while he heard the sound of things being ratcheted and screwed, he heard the soft padding sound of paws on deck plating and looked up just in time to see Captain Maron come into the engine bay and announce they were stopping somewhere before Malastare. The Soldier accepted it in silence, he was just along for the ride, but he did get a chuckle when Freddie whined about the change while asking questions about it.

He was impressed with the lad, though. The Pup had enough sense to stop whining and stop asking questions he'd likely get the answers to anyway. The next question was more apt and something Rayfe might have asked himself but for different reasons.
The Mercenary could feel Freddie's eyes on him but didn't spare him any attention, he was currently looking at the Captain and waiting to see if she felt it worth explaining the unscheduled detour or leaving them in the dark.
Honestly, he couldn't care either way. This was just a trip from the Core out to the Mid Rim for him, and he doubted a simple race team could attact the kind of trouble he was use to seeing when on the clock.

Acheli San Maronea
Sep 5th, 2018, 07:58:47 PM
All of the expected questions came from Freddie, while Rayfe remained tight-lipped over the change. So much the better. Maron smoothed the fur on her forehead with a sweep of a paw.

"We'll be landing on a planet. Don't worry about the configuration. We're still lane-legal. Our schedule is padded enough to handle a small detour without messing us up too badly on Malastare. It shouldn't be a problem."

Her instinct was to leave it at that and be curt, but Maron was also trying to consider the contingencies.

"It'll be a short jump. When we land, I want you both to stay with the ship. If there's anything either of you need, I will take care of it. But don't leave the ship, okay?"

Sep 5th, 2018, 10:18:31 PM
"Understood, Captain Maron. I have nowhere to go anyway, Ma'am" he said as he snapped a textbook salute to the Selonian female. He stood by waiting for Freddie to ask for another tool and then have to describe it to him, if it was anything he hadn't handled yet today. The Captain was seemingly surprised by this change to their schedule, otherwise she wouldn't have called it a detour or tried to calm the Pup by pointing out their padded schedule. Probably something related to the business of being a racing ship, like meeting up with a sponsor or a part supplier.

Something nagged at Rayfe, though. Selonians, as a rule, didn't lie, but he'd seen them avoid talking about something so they wouldn't lie. And Maron hadn't said much about this detour. Maybe it was personal business and she didn't feel inclined to inform them about it. Rayfe was letting his thoughts get away from him, maybe he'd been reading too many romance novels lately and he should pick up one of his war almanacs.
Maybe brush up on the Alsakan Conflicts, the Mando Crusades were always a fun reminder that Mandos weren't as hot shit as everyone thought they were, The Great Galatic War or even The Great Hyperspace War.
All these wars, battles, and conflicts had lessons that were still useful today, and might be useful for his upcoming job kicking some Hutts around. Of course, he could just read the dossiers he had and keep his focus where it belonged. With a sign he realized both of the things he enjoyed reading for leisure would have to wait. This trip was about using his free time for studying for his next assignment, not for pleasure.

Fredal Rabeak
Sep 5th, 2018, 11:16:52 PM
Many possibilities rushed to Freddie's mind, though his lack of experience on a professional racing team meant he did not possess the wisdom to know what might be a valid stop, vs. a personal errand. Perhaps they had to meet a sponsor. Maybe there was some contractual obligation Captain Maron needed to fulfill. Maybe it was filming an advertising spot. Could be some secret drug-running scheme, or maybe the whole life as a pro racer was just a cover for being a galactic hitman for hire.

The options unfolded fast, and soon began to resemble the colorful, yet ludicrous contents of the comic books he used to read when he was a kid. Well, when he was younger, at least. Okay, he still liked to read them, but it was hard to get the good ones off-world.

Through it all, the Nehantite managed to keep a straight face, simply nodding as things were told, rather than explained, and as an employee, doing what the captain said went double for him than it would for Rayfe. "Yes, Captain," he replied, now out of the engine bay fully. At the option to have something picked up for him, Freddie nearly asked if there was some more soda available, but he held off, keeping things professional. "I've got the last of the thermocouplers in. We can pump and dump, then get on our way any time. Well, after I get this stowed, that is," he said, nodding to his floating tool and parts cart.

The thought of being stuck on the ship with Rayfe wasn't exactly his idea of a good time, but at least he'd have someone to talk to, which beat doing nothing, or re-running diagnostics the whole time. Glancing over to their guest, Freddie then looked back to Maron. "I'm guessing the parts we're here for are gonna go to Malastare with the support team, then? Or are we waiting for them to be delivered?" It hadn't crossed his mind that they had been delivered already while he was working, and he simply hadn't noticed. One might begin to suspect that the "chief engineer" of Sandblast Racing used to work alone.

Acheli San Maronea
Sep 9th, 2018, 08:58:02 PM
Maron's lingering attention hung on Rayfe and his crisp salute. There was being called Captain, and then there was feeling like she was in an army she didn't sign up for. Her whiskers shook as she switched to Freddie and his question.

"We're fully stowed and secured, kid. No worries. Just strap in and get ready to pump and dump once we clear the atmosphere. And show Rayfe to his seat while you're at it."

The Selonian slinked back to four feet, padding back to the cockpit. She curled into her seat, hooking her crash webbing as she primed the warmups. The reactor growled softly, as if it were a big snarling nexxu that had been trained to act polite in public at the last minute. It was a sound that hinted at potential deep enough to not see bottom. Maron coolly flicked switches, checking and double-checking her sequences in a call and repeat checklist. She paused, making certain that her clearances with Corellian portmaster were finally airtight, then eased the yoke back. The Quasar feathered skyward, then pushed ahead with silky sublight thrust. The stick didn't judder, and the decking didn't shake. She was wired tight.

"Setting atmospheric escape vector now. Ready on the release."

Fredal Rabeak
Sep 12th, 2018, 05:06:24 PM
Stowing his tool kit, cart, and parts both new and trash, Freddie worked quickly as to always keep Rayfe in sight. Doing so on a YT-2400 wasn't difficult, as it only really had two hallways, and one was a circle, but still, the young man had previous experiences with hot-shots which didn't end all that well for him, and he didn't feel like revisiting those days.

After being in the tight confines of the areas surrounding the engines, the cockpit felt voluminous to the extreme, and Freddie dropped into the co-pilot's seat, before nodding to one of the fold-down seats against the back wall for Rayfe, as he felt the rumble of the engines resonate through the entire ship. A brief touch of his blunt claws to the control panel acted like a stethoscope, channeling the vibrations through him as he closed his eyes. Engine three wasn't quite in sync, but was close enough for now. He could fix it at their next stop, he told himself, then pulled on his headset before looking at his controls, echoing back each instruction he was given to prepare for liftoff. Unlike most YT-2400's, the co-pilot's seat lacked a yoke and throttle controls, instead having additional monitor panels and gauges where those used to be, and they had Freddie's full attention. Fingers flicking switches, or moving sliders as needed, he kept the thrust smooth, while pressurizing the lines to blast residual, possibly volatile fuel, out of the system so they wouldn't damage the injectors. Though this time around things were a bit different, as he was going to get to test his shield cone modifications to see if boost could be achieved in the form of a short-burst afterburner.

"Pressure is set, Captain, shields formed... now," he replied, then glanced up to watch as the blue of the sky was rapidly fading into black, and stars emerged into their newfound night. "Dumping!" he nodded, pressing down the glowing red button which was practically begging to be hit. Though in preparation, he pushed his head back against his headrest - a testament to caution in an engineer so young.

Sep 13th, 2018, 01:21:42 AM
Without anything to do he watched Freddie scurry around while the Pup put away spare parts and the parts he'd already replaced. It was humorous that the Mechanic felt a need to watch him constantly, if he only knew more about the Sergeant, he might understand how unwarranted it was.
Rayfe was herded into the cockpit where the standard third cockpit chair had been removed and the co-pilot console was also extensively modified, probably to help with the ships primary job of racing.
A jump seat was lowered for him from the wall of the cockpit and he settled into it before strapping in. A sigh left his lips as he realized that with Freddie watching him he hadn't grabbed any of his datapads so this take off was a large example of wasting what time he had, not doing what he'd intended.

It was the most seamless transition from stationary to take off to flight he'd ever felt, or not felt as the case was this time. The only thing that let him know they'd in fact moved at all was the pitch of the ship as it climbed the atmosphere into space. Once the ship was far enough from Corellia's gravity well the feeling subsided and he again could believe they were still.
He heard Freddie say something about the shields before he pressed a button on the co-pilot console and the ship started to shutter and shake. This was more what Rayfe was familiar with. After years of being a Mercenary, the Sergeant was use to bumpy rides from old and beat up transport vessels, probably having clocked more time in those than Maron had in her own ship. The rattling of the ship as it accelerated made Rayfe drowsy and within a minute he was already dozing in his seat.

Acheli San Maronea
Sep 13th, 2018, 12:29:54 PM
When Rayfe awoke again, the cockpit clinked and thumped with the sounds of occupants in motion. Maron stowed her crash webbing and slinked out of her chair. She went through the uniquely Selonian ritual of a snout-to-tail stretch, finding the rear threshold of the cockpit to have just enough room to do so. The cockpit in front of her was filled with a landscape of adobe-colored arid hills, dotted with scraggly scrub brush, and set against a cloudless blue sky. They'd touched down somewhere with apparently no sign of civilization in sight. Hot, dry and empty.

"Ah, you're awake." Maron perked, rising back to two feet, mindful to stoop so that she didn't scrape the roof with her head.

"There's foodstuffs in the galley if you're hungry. It's galactic standard, don't know if you have any dietary requirements."

The Captain shuffled to a cubby locker, pulling out a few small effects, which she stuffed into the pockets of her flight suit.

"I'll be heading out now."

Fredal Rabeak
Sep 14th, 2018, 03:39:25 PM
Just as Rayfe had nodded off, Freddie's new invention kicked to life, providing him with excellent proof of concept as the volatile fuel burned intensely, captured in pressurized cones of small force fields, acting like jet afterburners to deliver additional thrust to the Quasar Fantastic, with no detriment. For the next twenty minutes, he simply sat back and studied data, updating settings, and logging notes about how to improve the system, so that he could present further upgrade plans to Maron, when she had time to review them.

Beyond that, the trip was dull, yet Freddie remained awake for it, as he was technically working, and it wasn't wise to sleep on the job.

That said, after a while of watching hyperspace, it was becoming difficult to keep his eyes open, and it came as welcome relief as they dropped back into real-space. Glancing down to check their coordinates, Freddie crimped his brow as his monitors were deactivated. A sidelong glance was thrown at his captain, but he didn't protest. If Maron didn't want him to know where they were, there must be a reason. Clearly it wasn't to get rid of him, as he wasn't the type of person whom anyone would even notice went missing, so he simply went along with things, assisting with landing controls, and unfastening his harness once the engines powered down - one should never remove them beforehand, just in case there's enough residual charge to force some movement, as you could get tossed around.

As Maron headed to the door, Freddie piped up, "Any idea when we should expect you back?" She didn't owe him an answer, but he wanted to know so that he could decide what to work on next. A glance out the cockpit windows revealed a landscape not too unlike the one he'd escaped from, minus a trailer park, and he had little intention of going sightseeing. The unasked question remained, "What am I supposed to do with this guy?"

It wasn't so much that Freddie had a personal problem with Rayfe - they hadn't interacted enough for a proper opinion to have been formed - it was that he was still unsure who, or what Rayfe was. That unsurity, along with Freddie's often crippling social anxiety, did not make for a good combination when it came to trusting someone new. But he would try. If Captain Maron trusted Rayfe, Freddie would do his best to as well.