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Kotze accepted the prescription from Varrus, a small bottle of pills, and studied it over for a brief moment. He hid the disappointment in his face, though not his thoughts. Kotze hoped for some med tech more sexy, more exciting; the little white capsules reminded him of hoary grey-haired women. He doubt he'd even take them, afraid they'd interact negatively with the Alpharotec constantly coursing through his veins. It was a hell of a lot more important to keep his synthetic organs from shutting down than stitch a shoulder back together, but damn did it hurt. Kotze stashed the plastic bottle into his jacket, just in case, and smiled. "Thanks, doctor. Those'll come in handy."

The Illithid brought up the damn potato scooper again. Kotze wondered if the Varrus could tell he was more metal than man just by looking at him, or if the good doctor would be caught off-guard by the spliced nerves and microbionics as his artificial eyes were pried out. No, he probably knew, but hopefully Varrus would practice good doctor-patient confidentiality. "Well, I don't mind being poked and prodded," Kotze said as he headed for the door. Perhaps a double entendre, perhaps not. "I'm sure I'll be back around soon." Kotze shut the door of the medical bay behind him just as he felt the ship shift underneath his feet for a brief moment, the ship's artificial gravity quickly compensating for the acceleration. A change of direction. Guess this ship's used to picking up transients, Kotze thought as the captain made his announcement. The Island of Misfit Toys. He made his way through the narrow ship to the kitchen, where a few of his new crewmates were floating about the room. Kotze smiled and played nice, but avoided talking whenever possible; the interaction with the doctor pushed him to his limit, and he knew any more interaction might make him snap. Instead, he simply filled a plate and took a table to himself. Kotze was simultaneously thankful for the brief isolation and crushed by loneliness. As he stared at the food, it dawned upon him that he could never go back. He'd been at the top of his game, one of the best in the field, and now he'd never work again. Not even a backwater planet third-rate corporation like Gengrove Group could take him on without his former employers breathing down their neck. Maybe I should've let the suits on Helios finish their job.

He missed the voice in his ear.

Kotze ate his food quickly and deliberately, like an automaton. He didn't taste a morsel of it, though not for lack of trying; Kotze's taste receptors had been fried to cinders years ago, so that he only picked up the texture of bacon and dry toast. It was just fuel to him.

Another announcement over the ship's coms, a briefing on the next job. It was a good chance to learn more about the ship and its crew, certainly, but Kotze was far from up for the task. He passed the War Room on his way to the kitchen, and the thought of cramming in there with every person on the ship was physically repulsive. Still, Kotze was a member of the crew, and like it or not, he'd have to act like it. The agent finished up his meal and slipped out of the kitchen, climbing his way through airlocks until he reached the War Room, which to his surprise, was empty, save for Stryker. He gave the man a quick nod and a smile. "First one here, huh?" he said to the empty chairs before taking a seat. "I guess punctuality isn't in the crew contract."
Kotze couldn’t tell if the doctor was joking or not, but he chuckled regardless. With most species, the agent saw right through them; that skill went out the window when the subject had a mass of tentacles for a face and spoke directly into your mind. No, he couldn’t gather enough from body language alone either, so Varrus remained an enigma for now. That made him nervous. “What makes you think I ha-“ Kotze started with a raised eyebrow, but was cut off by his own harsh grunt as the shoulder returned to its socket. As far as pain went, he’d had worse. When the limb slid back into place, he felt a sort of grim satisfaction, like a missing piece returned to the puzzle. If that were the case, though, Kotze was missing more than a few pieces.

“Thank you, doctor. If I tried that myself, I’d be needing another one of these,” he said, nodding to his prosthetic. Kotze rotated his shoulder gingerly, the arm still significantly limited in mobility. He relied heavily on his cybernetic, born with the curse of left-handedness, but going without the flesh wouldn’t do. Varrus displayed his collection of experimental drugs, arousing Kotze’s curiosity. This ship certainly didn’t skimp when it came to personnel, especially on a so-called suicide mission.

“You don’t have to convince me to be your guinea pig, Doctor Varrus,” he said with an easy smile, standing up lazily. “But I might take you up on the lessons. First one’s free of charge, though.” Kotze despised the thought of spending any more time in the medbay than he had to, but he couldn’t spend the next two weeks with the arm dangling limply by his side. A telepath poking around in his head was somehow even more unappealing, a trained interrogator no less, but learning to block psychic attacks would be invaluable. Then again, maybe he could just find a back-alley surgeon to splice some new tech into him, something that would mask his mental presence to telepaths. One more implant wouldn't hurt. Kotze wondered if the Illtihid could see the cracks spreading in his mind, or if the internal façade was as effective as his external one. No, he couldn’t trust the doctor yet. Hell, Kotze felt he'd spend the rest of his time aboard the ship avoiding him. “And I hate to rush you doctor, but I’m in a bit of a hurry. I think we’re missing breakfast,” he added, yet another smirk punctuating his sharp features. The mask never faded, even when he knew the telepath could see through it. Perhaps he'd worn it too long, and it was simply part of him now. Fused on, like so many other bits and pieces of his body. He couldn't give a damn about breakfast, only escaping the small white room.

The medbay door slid open to reveal a purple Illithid seated in the sterile white room. Kotze involuntarily shivered, but not from the tentacle-faced humanoid's appearance; he'd dealt with them before, and much stranger creatures. It was the room itself, the medical tools, the patient's cold slab where they were expected to lay during an examination. Or autopsy. Even though he'd been under, Kotze still half-remembered the scalpels pressing on his skin, sinking in. A fabricated memory, but still vivid.

Kotze heard a voice in the room, though he knew it was only in his mind. He wasn't too fond of sharing his already-cramped head with a stranger, but there wasn't much he could do save for listen. The Agency had taught him a few countermeasures to avoid... intruders to his thoughts, simple techniques like mindfulness exercises to clear his mind of any sensitive information. The mental firewall was obvious to anyone probing around, but it was better than nothing. Kotze wondered how much of the tech in his brain, all ones and zeroes, interfered with any mind reading. Not much, probably.

"Name's Kotze. Good to meet you Varrus, though I hope I won't be seeing you much," Kotze quipped with a grin as he took a seat, leaning back comfortably. Some psychics he'd met preferred you to speak through your thoughts, but he liked to give them as little excuse as possible to spend time in his head. Still, he'd feel a little silly if someone walked by and heard the one-sided conversation. It seemed as though the doctor was expecting a full physical, some memo Kotze had missed out on, and he felt a twinge of panic. "Woah there doctor, you can put away the rib spreaders and hacksaw, I'm just here to get this shoulder checked out," he said, gesturing to his right arm as he shot upright. It slumped noticeably compared to the other, and a considerable amount of pain was emanating from the socket. His introduction to the crew was uncomfortable enough, and he didn't want to follow that up with a prostate exam. Besides, the last thing he wanted was some stranger poking and prodding all the sensitive tech in him. The thought alone made him glaze over the suicide mission comment. "But if it makes you feel any better, you can do whatever you want if I die. Just make sure to check my pulse first," he added, sipping the water Varrus gave him. He couldn't help but think fucking creep, which he regretted only a little. The doctor's bedside manner was certainly interesting, and Kotze couldn't help but admit he found the alien amusing.


Kotze hadn’t slept this well in years. Sure, he was stuffed into a metal coffin filled to the brim with supplies, and poor ventilation to boot, but when he shut his eyes, euphoria washed over him like a blanket. Was it freedom? If so, the emotion was unwarranted; the Agency would hunt him until the heat death of the universe. Corporations didn’t like loose ends. Maybe it was just the adrenaline wearing off that sent him crashing. Either way, the blanket was ripped off him when the cargo box’s door swung open. The agent took pride in making every step count, moving with purpose and grace like a tiger stalking its prey, which made it even more embarrassing when he fell out of the container, flopping on the ground like a fish. Kotze’s gun slipped from his pocket and skidded across the ship’s floor with a harsh rasp; he scrambled for it, but felt himself lifted up by a strong, cold hand. Kotze’s eyes met his captor’s, if you could call them that. A robot, combat model judging from the shotgun muzzle attached to Kotze’s throat. The agent always found robots unnerving, even when they didn’t have guns jammed in his face. The hulking steel figure told him to stay still, and he almost laughed. “Didn’t plan on it, big guy,” Kotze replied mirthlessly.

Stryker was halfway through his coffee when SAL's ping came through, he used the datapad to patch in, his earpiece left back in his room.
"Yeah, what is it? OK"

Stryker silently slipped out of his seat and walked out. He took the elevator down to the cargo bay and as soon as he emerged, he saw why SAL had asked him to come down. Sipping from the mug as he walked across, Stryker observed the stowaway. Early-mid 30's, unassuming enough. Despite that, he signaled to SAL to keep the gun up, at least for the time being.

"So" he said "Who have we here?"

“Newest member of your crew, I think. Kotze. You know, we really need to improve the ship’s security when in dry dock, captain,” the agent replied with a wry smirk. He spoke with the unplaceable accent common among the second generation of space farers, an amalgam of both Terra-based and alien languages. Kotze didn’t really care if the robot pulled the trigger and blasted a fist-sized hole into his throat; he was a marked man, and all the better if the Agency didn’t get the satisfaction. But pirates were known to shanghai stowaways and drunkards all the time. With a little luck, Kotze's ploy might work.

"Oh is that right? Now, I did have a bit to drink last night.... not as much as some others on board. And I did make some new hires, but you, I don't remember, so I'm not so sure. Maybe you're just some station hopper looking for a free ride, a former vent rat trying to finally get away in hope of a better life out among the stars."
He glanced over the stowaway again, his eyes drawn down to Kotze's left hand, a black carbon prosthetic, not something just anyone would have.

"Well, by the look of that prosthetic there, I'm gonna go with option 'C' ex-military at least, maybe a merc or a spook. So, talk fast, who sent you, and why should I hold back from shoving you out the airlock once we breach the station's atmo?"

Kotze’s calm demeanor faltered at the scarred man’s last sentence, but only for a moment. A flash of primal, animalistic fear in dark eyes, though he regained his composure quickly. Kotze threw up his arms in a sort of mock surrender. “You’re close. Listen, I’m just another wanted man trying to get off this station without paying fare for a cab. You know what it’s like.” Kotze had a feeling the mercenary was familiar with the sensation of being hunted. Most people on Helios Station were. Then again, maybe he was the hunter. “Don’t bother trying to collect the reward. The people after me, my former employers, they don’t exactly play nice,” he continued, wondering just how fast this robot could pull the trigger. If he could get the muzzle away from his neck, Kotze might be able to turn the barrel towards his coffee-carrying compatriot. “Besides, judging from your ship’s files, you could use an extra crewman. I can clean, I can cook, I can infiltrate level 4 security clearance militarized zones. You name it, I’ll do it,” Kotze finished with an easy smile, his posture shifting into a more relaxed pose with arms crossed. The simple movement caused the synthetic pain receptors in his shoulder to fire off rapidly, and he winced slightly. Hopefully this piece of shit has a doctor on board.

Considering the only files saved locally were complete bullshit (save for the Alliance-encrypted stuff on closed systems like Stryker's datapad, private terminal and the requisition terminal) it was safe to say this guy didn't know what was really going on. Stryker decided to take a flyer on him.
"Here's what I'm thinking," he began before taking the final sip from his mug. "Tell me your story, the whole thing, truthfully. If it checks out, we'll bring you wherever you're going in exchange for a little bit of work. I'll even throw in a room for you to sleep in and full access to the kitchen."

Pirates usually weren’t this interrogative with new recruits; they just wanted to know your name and what you could do. Something was off about this ship, Kotze just hadn’t put his finger on it. He decided to give the scarred man something akin to the truth. It’d been so long since he said anything like it, the words felt strange on his tongue. “Alright, alright. Kotze Wylk. I’m from Artemis, little backwater colony on the edge of Alliance space, but I wasn’t there long,” he said, taking a shallow breath before continuing. “Illitid slavers raided the terraformer’s base. Killed a lot of people I knew. Guess I was lucky, just getting shackled, but it didn’t feel lucky.” The facade cracked momentarily, the pain of recalling the memory evident in winced eyes. “Worked on their ship for a while, but they got taken out by an Alliance cruiser; the soldiers found me in the wreckage, and of course I signed up to be one of them. Didn’t have what it took to be Alliance, so they gave me the boot, but Zaibatsu Risks Group found me… Intriguing, I guess,” Kotze chuckled. He didn’t bother explaining who or what the Zaibatsu Risks Group was, the name alone apparently enough of a description. The corporation was a well-known private intelligence agency, one of the best (albeit shadiest), with contracts from both Alliance and Federation actors. “So yeah, I worked with them until they terminated my contract about a month ago. Zaibatsu, they like things nice and tidy, so they’re after my ass. I’m just trying to get off the station before their spooks find me,” Kotze finished, shifting uncomfortably, obviously not comfortable with this divulgence of information. His least favorite topic of conversation had always been himself. “Don’t bother checking for a file on me. Zaibatsu made sure I’m a ghost, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Now would you get this gun out of my face?”

Stryker could see it in his eyes, he was telling the truth. Or at least, something close enough to it. He nodded at his robotic companion, but SAL didn't move.

"SAL, you can put it down."
"Captain, I don't think your judgement is sound. The man said it himself, he's a spy, could be up to anything."
"Trust me SAL, it's fine. There's over a dozen of us and one of him. If he tries to stab us in the back, we'll just space him."
"Sorry about him, deep-seated trust issues." he said, looking back at Kotze, noticing for the first time the empty crate SAL had found him in.
"Cargo bay's been closed up all night, you must be starving. How about some breakfast?"

Reluctantly, the robot pulled the shotgun out of Kotze's face and re-holstered it. Stryker extended a hand to both shake Kotze's and help him to his feet.
"Oh, and I'm Stryker, welcome aboard the Revenant."

Kotze smiled at the Stryker, ignoring SAL's comments; he didn't hold much stock in robot's opinions. "Trust issues huh? Sounds like I'll fit right in, captain," he replied, accepting the helping hand with his prosthetic. The black, grooved metal was warm to the touch. "Breakfast sounds great, haven't had a decent meal in weeks," Kotze said as he picked up the duffel bag and pistol. "Just lead the way."

Stryker nodded, and headed over towards the elevator. SAL didn't follow, instead wandering off back towards the engine room. On the way up Stryker wondered if he should just tell the guy all about Project Revenant. If the guy was telling the truth about being excommunicated from the agency, he had lucked into the best possible crew to disappear with. No, he decided, not yet. He'll learn in time.

When the elevator arrived, they stepped out and took a few steps over so Kotze could see the whole common area. He pointed down to the crew quarters hallway on his left.
"I think room 8 is free, 4th door on the right. Restrooms at the very end of the hall. And the kitchen's just here on our right." He headed on in and mentioned to Harrison that they had picked up a passenger, leaving Kotze to decide between getting settled away, or eating first.

Kotze was impressed with how... lived-in the ship seemed. Most space-faring vessels he’d been aboard were either sterile and cold or filthy pirate hovels. It seemed like the crew had been living out of the ship for a while. Must be on a long haul. Kotze was further impressed when Stryker led him to his own room, complete with two bunks; it’d been a while since he had anything of semi-permanence. Hotel rooms and cheap dockside coffins were the best he’d had. Still, he found it unsettling. Surely a ship of this size needed a full crew, yet they weren’t all crammed together like sardines, sharing mattresses in shifts. His wild guess they were desperate for crew might very well be accurate, and he wondered what happened to the last person who occupied the room.

With a grin and almost playful half-salute, Kotze saw the ship’s captain off. The gleeful expression lasted about as long as it took for him to shut his cabin’s door, when he felt an all-too-familiar darkness nipping at his heels like hounds. Kotze tossed the duffel bag onto the simple bunk and sat next to it. He’d operated almost constantly for a month on the edge of anxiety, blood filled to the brim with adrenaline, that he didn’t have time to see the change coming. Kotze’s prosthetic arm fumbled dumbly in his bag for a bottle of Alpharotec when he felt the famine grip of his .45. Kotze delicately pulled the weapon out of his bag and inspected it. Loaded, with one in the chamber. He wondered what would happen if he pressed the gun against his temple and pulled the trigger. Would he die? Or would his implants keep him alive, shuffling his lobotomized body along like a puppet on strings? Kotze threw the gun across the room and left without the Alpharotec. He passed through the kitchen wordlessly, heading up the stairs towards the medbay to mend his dislocated shoulder, barely noticing his surroundings. Maybe you should be looking for a mechanic instead of a doctor. Kotze idly wondered if they’d change their mind and cast him off at the next outpost as he arrived outside the medbay door.
The din of Helios Station’s docking bay was the sound of a thousand radios tuned to static. A keen ear could pick up a phrase or two here and there in alien tongues, but nothing real, nothing tangible. Kotze hardly contributed to the static as he strode quickly on light feet through the crowd, never even so much as brushing a shoulder. “-out, not sucked into...” Kotze overheard. Fucking spacers. He’d dealt with them for most of his life, which is why he was so tired of them. No matter where you went in the universe, spacers all had the same tired jokes, the same old stories. Like sailors.

The agent didn't need to look behind him to know there were two spooks mirroring his every move. He'd picked them up just when he finished his last assignment, just barely having been debriefed by his handler. Even then, he knew something was up. "Return to Center immediately." Agents worked for months, if not years, in the field, and recalling an operative from the Deadzone after only a month was unheard of. So he ran.

The time came for almost every agent. They all knew it. Burn a little too slow or a little too fast, you're gone. Kotze was almost surprised he'd made it as long as he had, burning the candle at both ends for so long. For two years, the spook worked with cold intensity, a terminal overdrive that made it painfully obvious to other agents his time was almost up. In a way, Kotze almost revelled in the self-destructive arc. It made him feel invincible, running the loosest and most dangerous ops no fresh-faced agent would dream of. Not the two punks trailing him, anyway. The seasoned operative was almost insulted they sent these amateurs after him, who were burned probably just hours after starting their tail. He thumbed the .45's grip in his coat pocket aggressively, the anger boiling in his chest with the desire to use it.

The crowd reeked of cheap liquor and unwashed bodies, out in space too long. Deadzone, dead end. Helios Station's shipyard was a haze of exhaust smoke that almost made it difficult to breathe, old-school local cruisers mixed in with the modern FTL-equipped behemoths. Kotze wasn't sure what his endgame was. Only a matter of time before the Agency brought him in, dead or alive, though didn't make much of a difference. Still, the agent wanted one last challenge. One last hunt. As the ships grew larger, Kotze's gaze fell onto an old man in a threadbare jumpsuit leaning against the railing with an outdated prosthetic arm, one of the ancient pneumatic ones. Old salt, probably in the first wave of human FTL. What caught his attention more than anything was the man's skin; patchy, scarred, and rough, it looked like the he'd been simultaneously burned, frozen, and stretched out in a vat of bourbon and left to dry. Spaced. Not for long, but long enough. Kotze wondered what his body would look like after 85 years of life. As the walkway ran out, he doubted he'd find out.

A third agent closed in. Then a fourth. Guess the Agency sent more after all, a nice little parting gesture. Kotze kicked himself mentally for not making them sooner, and now, his back against the cool metallic railing with a 25 foot drop behind him, he had a feeling he was losing his edge, but then again, he'd been on the run for over a week now with scarce few hours of sleep. Still, maybe they were right to can him. Two of the spooks were human, the others Jakmoz. They were all dressed like him, inconspicuously, a little clean cut for the location, but otherwise almost invisible. A human stepped forward, and Kotze recognized him as Nolan.

"Been a long time Kotze. How ya been?" He had an easy smile, a smile that didn't betray the gun in his coat pocket trained on Kotze's chest. It was almost a professional courtesy for intelligence operatives.

"Not too bad, Nolan," he replied, flashing a tired grin, tendons in every muscle tight as piano wire. Kotze knew if he drew now, he could knock out two of them, maybe three on a good day, but there was no winning here.

"Hey, we miss you back at Center. Why don'tcha come back with us, share a ride?"

Kotze shrugged. "Maybe, maybe. Hey, how's Colby doing? He's what, about five now?" Crawling skin was just an expression, but Kotze was sure he saw ants wriggling beneath Nolan’s flesh as the smirk faded. He saw a fist tighten in the coat around the gun. Leaked personnel file, a little parting gift. Nolan would soon be on the opposite end of where he stood now. Before he had a chance to fire, a primed Smart Mine detonated just as it left Kotze's hand. Flash. The massive bay went white for the five as the sensory pigments in the retinas fired on all cylinders. Kotze heard a shot ring out as he fell over the whining in his ears, and he wondered if his chest would sting once the adrenaline wore off, or if the round missed its mark.

The spook relaxed his body for the impact when he jumped off the ledge, and the duffel bag softened the fall, but the landing was still a bitch. The .45 jabbed into his ribs, and his meat arm took most of the damage, maybe a dislocated shoulder. Fucking mechanics should have just replaced everything, at the rate they worked, he bemoaned. His vision partially returned, Kotze jumped to his feet and scrambled to the lower decks of the docking bay, where maintenance on the ship's underbelly took place. He didn't have much time, his hearing coming back enough to hear four pairs of boots stomping down the stairwell. The underbelly was a disorientating swirl of red lights and hissing steam, low pipes and shuffling repairmen. Cargo shifted between hands, some legitimate deals, others under the table. The keel of an older frigate caught Kotze's eye. Pirate ship, judging from the lack of markings and age, perfect for him. Pirates might be rough, but they wouldn't be turning him in anytime soon. The Agency didn't put out bounties, instead preforming all their wetwork in house. No, he could deal with the pirates, as he had before. Kotze quickly retrieved his deck from the duffel bag and set to work on penetrating the ship's security system to learn more about the vessel. The intrusion countermeasures were surprisingly robust, military grade, way beyond anything a ship of this age would come equipped with. Tech-savvy pirates, who knew. A bead of sweat ran down his cheek as he punched away on the pad with his prosthetic arm at a mile a minute, crouched behind an empty box, but still not even a crack in the defenses. No name, no registry, nothing. If Kotze didn't know any better, he'd assume it belonged to the four agents now sprinting down the hallway after him. The adrenaline kicked back in, fight or flight. The hunted man darted up the cargo bay ramp, soft leather boots dead silent against the steel.

Kotze didn't have time to take in the ship's interior ambiance or check for occupants, opting to slip directly into the dimly-lit cargo bay and cram himself into a relatively-spacious metal crate. If he weren't so gassed, the image would be laughable; Kotze'd been in tight spaces before, but nothing like this. The thought occurred to him to check if the security system had an intruder detection program, but hell, he couldn't even penetrate the second layer of defenses. No, he'd just roll the dice, like he always did. Kotze's eyelids felt like lead, and fell like it too despite the ringing in his ears.

Figured I'd throw my character into the mix :D


There but for the grace of God go I. Good posts everyone!
Wes Arrel

“And lemme tell ya boys and girls, when you’re sittin’ at a sabacc table in a cantina on Tatooine, surrounded by pirates lookin’ to collect their credits, you know what ol’ Wes Arrel does?” The spacer paused for dramatic effect. He could just imagine millions tuning in around the galaxy, on the edge of their seats, waiting for every next syllable. In reality, just a handful of scoundrels and some curious kids were tuned in to his audio holonet show, but that didn’t stop the smuggler from taking a moment to revel in his brilliant storytelling. “Your pal Wes Arrel calls.” He could practically hear the collective cries of amazement and disbelief at his bold move from every citizen of the universe. “Well ladies and gents, as much as I’d like to hang around and let you know what happens next, looks like Wes has gotta run. Tune in next time, whenever that might be.” With that, Wes flipped a switch on the dashboard of his cockpit, sending the Wes Arrel show to its infamous music segment, composed of about five numbers on loop until his next “broadcast”. The smuggler leaned back in his chair as the emptiness beyond his viewport slowly filled up with the sprawling planet of Gamorria, his next stop. Though hopefully not his last.

Wes scooped the rest of the grey matter that passed for food on Republic freighters into his mouth before tossing the empty container aside and returned to the controls of his VCX-650 light freighter. Well, technically it wasn’t his, more like Republic property, but no captain worth their salt would admit that. Still, it was a ship that Wes found hard to love, especially when compared to The Lucky Loth. Sure, the VCX served its purpose, but didn’t look too elegant doing it. Three massive engines sat at the back of the ship like a spoiler with a Class 1 hyperdrive rating, ample cargo storage, military-grade shield generators and its fair share of weaponry for a transport ship. But it lacked the character and aesthetic appeal of The Lucky Loth; The VCX looked like a giant flying brick with guns and thrusters attached. Wes hated the ship so much, in fact, that he hadn’t bothered to name it. The flying brick slowly entered Gamorria’s atmosphere, and Wes went to the coms to reach out to his new Republic… Comrades.




The VCX touched down in the docking area of the Republic’s base on Gamorria, its new construction and cleanliness sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of the worn-down city. Typical Republic. Wes lowered the boarding ramp and powered the ship down, grabbing the necessities before heading towards the door. Here, the rugged smuggler was met by something of a welcoming committee, though they were armed and storming his ship. “Hey now, just what the hell is this?” Wes cried out as the men pushed him aside and began sweeping the ship. The leader of the Republic troops marched up to him, blaster practically trained on the smuggler, who lazily put his hands halfway into the air.

“Identification. Now.”

“Hey hey hey, easy there buckethead, I’m with you. Unfortunately,” Wes groaned, drawing a Republic ID from his jacket. “Name’s Wes. Wes Arrel. Republic pilot. You mighta heard of me.” The officer’s eyes shifted between the card and the man, probably in disbelief the military would recruit this scruffy smuggler. The pilot looked like he just walked in from the streets of Gamorria. Eventually, the officer let him go and recalled his men, though not before they’d thoroughly trashed his ship looking for contraband. Glad they didn’t think to check the floors, Wes thought grinning. With his ship secure, the pilot scanned the base; armed guards stood in towers around the perimeter, while others shuffled back and forth setting up new fortifications and buildings. It was obvious the base was fresh, though none of the grizzled soldiers looked it. He spotted an eclectic group of individuals, mostly out of uniform, gathered in a courtyard before a high-ranking officer. Looks like my people. Wes strode up to the motley crew just as the commander left, and he took a moment to look over what he assumed to be his new crew. Bounty hunters, mercenaries, with a couple of robed Jedi and Republic soldiers mixed in. Nothing too out-of-the-ordinary for a bog-standard Republic suicide mission. However, Wes was much more focused on how many beautiful women happened to be among the group rather than his quite possibly impending doom. Humans, Twi'leks, and a couple others he didn’t recognize. His favorite. In Wes’ experience, suicide missions were the best place to make new friends, and he decided to get a head start, starting with the exotic-looking Jedi girl. Too young for him, but he'd never met a Jedi before, so the pilot was a little curious to say the least.

“Sorry, your friends at the door held me up. Just couldn’t wait to meet Wes Arrel, I guess. What’d I miss?”

@Piercing Light
I like how we're all just lurking on the page waiting for the IC to pop up >:)
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