His wife, who had finally fallen into a state of blissful sleep with her head tucked beneath his chin after their earlier activities, stirred at the sound of the communicator chirping, initially rolling over to face him and throwing an arm and a leg around his torso in an attempt to keep him from rolling away, muttering a groggy protest. “Stop movinggggg, baby, pillows aren't s’pose to move around!”
The infernal communicator would not be silenced, however, and after a few moments of trying in vain to ignore it and go back to sleep, she was forced to release him so he could answer it. The Champion sat up slowly, bunching the covers around her shoulders with one hand as she wiped the sleep from her eyes with the other and listened, with a raised eyebrow, to Yerbol’s side of the conversation. Though she couldn't hear what Ethan had said, it wasn't difficult to infer both who was on the other end of the line, and the situation that had unfolded.
There were a few minutes of silence as Yerbol’s apprentice fumbled to send the coordinates through, during which it became Aria's turn to guffaw with laughter.
“Oh come on, Bol, like you've never had to do the walk of shame before in your life!” the look on his face told her that he probably hadn't (or refused to admit to it), and instead Aria shook her head and pulled a hand through her well-mussed (which she maintained was entirely her partner's fault) hair, “He's still just a kid, what is he…19? 20? Only a couple years shy of me, that’s almost certain. Pretty sure this is what ‘normal’ people our age, their age, do. How bad can it be?” An unimpressed snort, followed by an angry huff of breath as the Champions received the coordinates. “....Where is he?” Aria asked slowly, unsure if she truly wanted to know the answer. Yerbol declined to provide one, instead swallowing down his own anger and beginning to look for his discarded attire, his wife peered over at the comm unit and groaned as she registered the location in her own mind.
“Ahhh, frack.” she muttered, glaring up at the ceiling as she rubbed both hands over her face in exasperation. “This is bad.”
Yerbol grunted in affirmation, leaning down to kiss her cheek and mumble something about breakfast before he disappeared from the hotel room.
“Go easy on him!”
She must have drifted off for another forty five minutes or so, because the next thing Aria was aware of was her own communicator chirping loudly from somewhere across the room (had she really thrown it that far? Apparently so!). Grumbling unintelligibly about where she would rather the device went, the Champion rolled onto her back and sat up, sticking her hand out to float the communicator back over and allow her to place the earpiece into her ear to mutter groggily:
“Somebody better be dying, or they're GOING to be when I'm finished with them.”
“Well, hello to you too, Darth Grumpy.” smirked the overly-jubilant voice of the Qyaari Lorekeeper. “Please tell me you two weren't…busy, or this is about to be extremely awkward.”
All Aria could muster was a muffled snort as she threw the covers aside and began searching for her discarded attire and redressing herself.
“No, but I WAS sleeping. Whaddyagot?” the last two words merged into one continuous syllable as she yanked her shirt back over her head and worked on straightening it while she waited for an answer.
“Ash and I finally pinned down some coordinates for you.” Vano continued, “We're patching them through to the Commodore’s navigation unit now, and you should get a copy to your personal frequencies too.” A pause, then, “I tried to tell you yesterday evening, but you didn't pick up.” she could practically hear the shit-eating grin in the Mirialan’s voice.
Now Aria remembered why she had thrown the unit across the room.
“I have a bad feel-”
“DON'T say it!” Aria cut her friend off with a vehement protest before she could finish, leaning back against the headboard with a groan. “You'll jinx it.”
She had just signed off from the call, falling back onto her stomach as she brought up the coordinates and tried to make sense of them, when the door opened and Yerbol reappeared. The Champion’s nose crinkled at the familiar, mouth-watering smell wafting from the bag he carried and she quickly sat up again, peering at him in an expression of near disbelief.
“... Is that REAL bacon?” When was the last time they had actual, real bacon? She couldn't recall. “Okay, I love you even more now.”
She was starving at any rate and would've eaten whatever the offering had been, even if it was more space rations.
An hour or so later, they had reconvened at the Commodore (though Neta had not yet arrived), and the Champions and their apprentices crowded around the galaxy map as Aria and Kytra tried to input the coordinates. At first, it appeared as if they were a dud (“But Vano wouldn't have sent us botched coordinates! She's not that cruel! “) as every attempt was met with a loud bleep of protest from the tannoy on the console, a mechanical voice announcing that it was an “unrecognised set of coordinates, please input a valid astrogation position and try again”. She had just surrendered to their fate, stepping back to throw her arms in defeat, when Ethan shuffled up to join Kytra at the console and (despite his bloodshot eyes and the fact he had spent the past half hour clutching his head and complaining about the brightness of the Commodore’s interior lighting) managed to reroute the programme onto a different set of astrogation charts that finally spat out a viable planet.
It looked deceptively peaceful, at least eighty percent blue ocean, with the other twenty percent being made up of vast swathes of green.
“Hmm.” Aria muttered, scowling at the projection uneasily. “That's VERY unhelpful.”
Kytra’s nose twitched, perhaps sensing her Master’s unease, and asked.
“Do you think it's dangerous? Doesn't… LOOK like it is?”
“Looks are deceiving many times.” the Champion pointed out, gesturing to the green parts of the planet as the group heard the loading ramp engage, indicating that Neta had most likely returned. “We don't know what all this green is. It could be forest, jungle, or more swampland like Nuncata. There's no way to tell,” she paused, glancing towards the door as if waiting for the former spec ops to enter the CIC before she continued, “unless we try and run some kind of surface scan before we leave its orbit.”
“If that even works,” muttered another voice, “this place could be like Malachor, in which case all that machinery will get us nowhere.”