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IC: STARFINDER: HEROES FOR HIRE - EPISODE ONE "YOU MEET IN A TAVERN..."

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Evie's stance shifted on a pair of heels that screamed 'to-rich-to-care-that-you're-judging-me' or 'out-of-your-paygrade-escort' to glrare at Atuz.  The guy was so... so... non-threatening that he must have seriously messed up.  She exhaled and rolled her eyes, plucking a glass of champagne from one of the waitstaff walking by and swiftly dashed the contents into Atuz's face.  She huffed.  "I should have trusted my instincs, you looked like a loser, I should have guessed you were.  'But no, Evie', I said, 'first time here' I said,  he's a polite guy... take a chance...', Sunny, please get this... deviant, as far from me as possible.  Please and thank you."

She gave Sunshine a look, hoping she knew what was happening.

She focused her attention back to the ebony furred Felinoid.  There was something she remembered about Felinoids that she really liked.  Tongue baths?  No.  Well, yes... but it wasn't relevant to the moment.  Ah, yes... pride.  She smiled that dazzling smile.  "Well," she practically purred herself.  "I suppose I owe you a thank you.  It's my first time here and he seemed decent enough.  I spared me from what could have become a terrible series of unfortunate events.  I'm Evie Van Haylin, shame you're uh, on the clock."

Her shoulders slumped.  "Well, pooh," she gave a glance to Sunshine who was coming back in from casting Atuz out into the street.  It wasn't pleasant business, but if that's what it took to sell it.  Evana was eternally grateful that quick thinking in a cockpit had turned into quick thinking as one of her meritiable skills.  She kept her voice down, but just loud enough for the bouncers to hear.  Intentionally trying to keep her conversation as secret as some naive rich girl could.  "Miss Boh'noe, what are we supposed to do now?  He said he knew where the 'not so legitimate' parties were.  Daddy's supposed to be wrapped on business for four more days and I'm already sick of gambling... and these night clubs... ugh, so vanilla.  You're my chaperone... do something!"  She clenched her fists and hunkered down to meet the ysoki's eyes.  Her act was so genuine, she was borderline freaking poor Sunshine out, after all, they really didn't know each other all that well to begin with.  She growled with spoiled rich-bitch authority.  "Entertain me, or you'll be in the mail room by week's end."

Spoiler

Using Bluff to sell the 'rich girl looking for a not so legal party' gimmick.  She knows that Sunshine is not the 'con' type, so with her freaking out on poor Sunshine and not really knowing how to handle the situation, she's hoping that will help sell the act of Sunny not having any clue how to deal with and make a spoiled rich-bitch happy.  Sometimes the truth is the best con of all. :)

Bluff - Roll(1d20)+0: 14,+10 Total:24

'Evie Van Halen' and 'Sunny Bono'... I'm not apologizing Sunshine... not one bit. :D

 

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AT THE CASINO

While working out a way to lure an casino employee to a remote location to grab her uniform Echo notices two maintenance me coming out of the service area wearing coveralls. The kind of coveralls you put on over your street clothes. She also recognized the logo on the back, the same Logo she had seen on the side of a large work van parked outside when they had arrived.

Echo smiled as an idea formed.

"Well you come along with me miss," the Felinoid smiled at Evie and her party, "Let's get you some drinks and convert some currency and i'll even give a comp meal at the all star buffet." As he led Evana, Gorunta, and Sunshine (Ninura Had gone with Sunshine and Atuz and stayed with Atuz to watch after him and get him back to the ship), the Half-orc security faded back into the crowd.

As Evana and company strolled deeper into the Casino proper a coverall clad Echo, now also wearing a work cap on her head pulled low, winkedas she passed  by on her way to the Service area.

The service area was a bustle of activity. Echo passed by Kitchens, store rooms, and  offices before she found one that would suit her purpose. Slipping intot the office which was also aperently used to store things that didn't go anywhere else, Echo closed and locked the door before turning her attention to the data terminal.

 

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On 11/3/2017 at 11:41 AM, STARFINDER GM said:

The man stiffens. “Umm.. we don't deal in Poolphin's or any sort of canine derived animals. So sorry.”

It was the same answer he and Jexa had gotten four times before. But there was something in the lavender-hued clerk's manner that struck Jordayn as being more affronted or concerned by the request. Jordayn gave him an easy shrug, trying to put him at ease. "There's nothing to apologize for, my man. Seems to be the way of things, here on Achio. We're new to the Raviss system. Is there some cultural prohibition again canines in Tarantis or on Achio?"

Among a surprising number of peoples, it was believed that felines and canines shared a particular enmity, though really it was a matter of ecology and places in the food chain rather than direct competition. Whatever the case, felines seemed to be much favored here, whereas canines were exceedingly rare, if not unknown, by name at least.

Jordayn leaned over the counter a bit, dropping his voice conspiratorially. "If you could direct us to where we might find such items, it would be worth a few credits to us. Our client is quite particular about his pet."

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AT THE PET STORE

The man started and looked around to see if anyone had hear Jordayn's whisper. "You...you have a dog?" he asked in a whisper of his own as he bent closer to Jordayn. "I can tell by your clothes you are not from here. If you value your animals life you should flee while you can, before the Bastetites discover it. Get your pet off the planet while you can"

 

 

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Sunshine grumbled as she was put through security, given a tag on her laser pistol, but she relented. She kept a holdout switchblade in her cheek pouch, and hoped that they didn't think to inspect them.

Thus having been cleared to enter the casino, Sunshine rounded the corner and was confronted with Evana and her act. She was stunned for a long moment, but the ysoki were famed for being able to think on their feet.

"The mailroom? Come on, I have a cousin who lost an arm in the mailroom - " She paused at the phrase "all-star buffet. "Well hold on, all-star buffet sounds good to me. Do you have..." She paused, her mind endeavoring an internal search for 'rich and classy junk food.' "... shirren yipi-stix?"

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Gorunta simply emitted a terse grunt, following Evana's rich-bitch lead as the bodyguard with folded arms whom Daddy had to keep an eye on his dear little daughter. And giving the Felinoid the stink eye that said the boss did not approve of such things like smarmy cat-men trying to get fresh with his offspring. And that foolish offenders got their asses literally torn off.

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AT THE CASINO

Echo shut the door quietly and moved past the boxes to the Data terminal. In moment she had found references to Atuz consisting of winnings and losses from several Time sections back. He had accrued quite a large debt but the debt seems to have been wiped, although there was no corresponding entry to show any payments or deposits. There was no mention of the poolphin nothing when she searched for the name Queensie.

She did find the list of banned persons which was a very large list.

Echo was very disappointed at not finding anything really useful and began to wonder if Atuz was not being honest about all of this. She got up to make her way back to the others and bumped into the stack of boxes one of them fell but she caught it and set it back on the stack. In the process the top had come open and she saw that the box contained multiple packages of Blue Luna Kipple a very popular dog food throughout the galaxy.

She checked another box and found the same food. In fact after checking all the boxes she found that they all contained dog food of various brands. She had seen a lot of boxes of the same type in the other rooms she had passed. and it took only a few minute to check a couple of them and discover even more dog food.  What in the name of the gods of space do they have so much dog food for.

Echo quickly snuck back out onto the casino floor an after ditching the costume went to find Evana.

Spoiler

Dave consider that echo has found you and relayed what she found.

 

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She briefly considered nicking a box of dogfood, but decided against it. First, it was dog food. Second, she didn't really have a good place to hide it. Third...it was dog food. She had assumed a 'poolphin' would probably eat fish since they seemed like they were still aquatic, but that's because she'd neglected to factor in perversity. Poolphins weren't naturally evolved creatures that occupied an ecological niche. They were engineered to be pets. Who wanted to keep smelly, yucky fish around?

Still. Something was off. Sure, the casino might not keep RECORDS of illegally possessing this thing, but there should be some mention of it. Emails or memos or some kind of internal communications. But if they didn't have it, why the dog food?

Not to mention Atuz' debt had been wiped out, which threw the whole thing into doubt. If he'd sold the poolphin to cover his debt, now wanted the team to kidnap her back, that was a very different kind of job.

On the casino floor, Echo found Evana...it was easy, just follow the hair...and said, "We need to talk. Outside. Asap."

Then she turned and started heading for the door.

Too many cameras in there. Too many servers, dealers, and other ears.

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That... was not what I was expecting, Jordayn mused. He nodded his head in thanks. "I'm grateful for the advice, sir." Surreptitiously, he slid over a credstick with 50 credits on in across the counter under his hand. "And I'll inform our client right away. If you would be so kind and forget we were here - I wouldn't want to start our visit with such a gaff - it would be most appreciated."

He gave the clerk a friendly grin, rapped the counter once and then turned and strode over to Jexa. He brushed her shoulder to establish a mystic mindlink - not as facile as the Lashuntas' natural telepathy, but it would serve.

<Seems like there may be cults - actual cults - involved after all.> He sent to her. <There seems to be a sect called the Bastetites who appear to find anything canine to be anathema. I think we should see if there is a temple or cathedral dedicated to Arshea in Tarantis and if they can shed some light on these Bastetites.>

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<Yeah, and we have attracted attention too> Jexa thought in return, as she reached in and scratched the VisCat.

<Goblin watching the shop and two half-orcs watching the street. They have been following us for a bit, so Id' wager they are either some of these Bastetites, their goons, the casino's goons, or they just -really- have a thing for light meat.>

She then added, <And for the record, these things are fucking ADORABLE!>

<Anyways, how do you wanna play it? Let them follow and be prepared for the ambush? Or I can give you holoskin and I can Disguse Self and we try to ditch them? Fuck these guys up (NOT fuck them) in the street or some back alley? I might even be able to skim their thoughts from here. Suggestions?>

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<If you can get a read on them without them being aware of it, go for it, Jexa. It'll be good to know if we're just targets of opportunity or if there's something more sinister afoot,> Jordayn replied after a moment of pondering. <The holoskin and your spell are a great back-up - get them ready. I'm going to see if there's another way out of here. Better to keep the havoc down to a minimum for now I think.>

When Jexa turned to focus on their potential stalkers, Jordayn spun around to speak with the clerk once more. But his eyes fell on the enclosure containing the frolicking VisCat kittens and he grinned with a moment of whimsy. A quick consideration then in passing, he plucked up one of the kittens, a shy one with particularly vivid colouring scrunched under one of the pet structures. Hanging limp under his grip on the back of its neck, the VisCat gave Jordayn what seemed a reproachful look. Jordayn's grin widened as he tickled it under the chin and then carried it to the counter.

"On second consideration, I think our client would find one of these adorable little creatures very endearing," Jordayn informed the clerk with an engaging tone of voice, watching the kitten play on the counter. "If the purchase, along with the necessary accessories and toys, can be finalized swiftly, it would be much appreciated." Jordayn casually glanced out the front window and the bustle flowing by than back to the clerk. "As would be allowing us to leave by the back, if possible. Wouldn't want the kitten to get too excited in the press of bodies while on the way to a new home."

 

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"Dog food?"  Evana said softly, not wanting to alert anyone who might be listening, "Gods of Space... why can't anything ever be easy.  I like easy.  I'm easy and it's worked for me."  She took a bite of her complimentary meal and what she said dawned on her.  "That came out wrong..."

"Alright, something here is definitely not right.  Sunshine and I will say here and play this out for a while longer so it doesn't look suspicious.  The rest of you shake down Atuz for answers.  Sunny and I will see if anything here come out suspicious and meet up with you later."  She picked up her comm device and shot a few texts out, looking bored and uninterested at everything Echo was relaying to her.  "If we leave now, my story will lose credibility."

"Besides, I think the Felinoid likes me,"  she smiled like a school girl with a crush.

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"Of course he likes you." Gorunta snorted dismissively. "After all, you're easy."

"Well, come up with some nonsense about Daddy needing me back or whatever. I can shake him alright." Gorunta seemed eager actually, to terrorize the prince whom had dragged them through this farce.

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"Yeff - " Sunshine pauses, pulling a yipi-stick out of her mouth, and beginning again. "Yes, I vote we stay and finish the good meal. Plus, I already won a pair of fuzzy dice!"

She held up the fruits of her complimentary spin at the kids' table.

"And that felinoid is definitely into you, which is... not a shock because they're like that. They scratch, so be careful."

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Echo and Gorunta made a fairly swift exit and didn't seem to draw any untoward attention doing so. Meanwhile Evana and Sunshine finished their meal and made their own way to the gaming tables. While Sunshine was more drawn to the flashing lights of the mechanical slot games, Evana's cover made the tables a more convincing play. Both settled at a table where a game common across the galaxy was being dealt. A couple of hands in and Sunshine was frowning ,she had lost both hands while Evana had won on both occasions. She muttered something under breath when she noticed the Felinod coming up behind them. He made her twitch. It was an instinct thing. Her frown deepened as the cat man approached, she perked up her ears raising as she looked around the casino. She hadn't noticed before but now she did. He was the only one. She couldn't see any more felinoids, not even guests. She nudged Evana who was placing a bet. When the human looked her way she gestured with her head at the Catman who was almost upon them.

Sunshine leaned close and whispered. "There aren't any other Cats in here."

 

At the Pet Store

The clerk was busy for several minutes but still managed to get them set up and billed in record amount of time. The kitten was nestled in a nice carrier and Jordayn had a large bag of the necessities in hand when the clerk led them behind the counter to a service exit. He put his hand on Jordayn's arm as they passed out into the loading dock.

"They know your here, that your asking questions." He looks up and down the open alley. "If you can, leave the planet and don't come back. I would if I could. It will be happening soon." With a swift movement he steps back and slams the door in Jordayn's face.

The Space Port

As Gorunta and Echo arrived at the space port and made their way through the terminal suddenly Echo stopped and placed a hand on the Vesk's arm.

Gorunta looked down in annoyance at the small android touching him.

"That's one of the Half Orcs from the Casino." Echo said softly nodding toward a service counter where a burly Female Half Orc was talking to a Lavender skinned near human port employee. Nearby two more Half orcs and a Lashunta stood trying to look inconspicuous and failing. As Echo and Gorunta watch the female Half Orc passed what looked like a credit chip to the port employee who proceeded to look something up on a data terminal then turned and pointed out the wide window right at their ship!

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"So, not to get, you know, racist or anything, but - you notice that your new boyfriend's the only felinoid around here? In a port this size? Now that I'm complaining since, you know: felinoids and ysoki, haha. But that's odd, right?"

She looked at her cards, her whiskers twitching, knowing full well that there was no maintaining a poker face. "Eh, it's an overrated game anyways..."

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Jexa stood beside the window, just to the side of it and out of sight of passersby, and the goons shadowing her and Jordayn, and focused. Her right antenna twitched once as she relaxed her mind and began to listen for thoughts around her. She could sense each thinking mind around her; Jordayn, the clerk, the goons, the foot traffic outside and slowly, over several seconds, the thoughts of each mind came into focus, allowing her to mentally 'hear' what they were thinking.

Most beings were mentally undisciplined, casting their thoughts out into the world without any concern, but the Lashunta were a race of telepaths, and learned long ago just how free most beings were with their thoughts, like the shopkeep and the goons shadowing them. She mentally listened to their thoughts as she looked down slightly, her gaze focused on nothing in particular, though the motion of a couple of VisCats caught her eye. She smiled faintly at the cats and nodded to herself, mostly satisfied with what information she had gathered.

Jexa followed Jordayn and the shopkeep out the back door and nodded to him.

"Thanks." she said with sincerity to the man as she turned her thoughts to Jordayn.

< Well, that was productive. > she thought to her friend (or at least the closest thing she had to one here).

< What did you learn? > the half-elf thought back.

< So, according to the clerk, "those asshole bastetites" rounded up all the canine pets in all of Tarantis in whats now known as "the Night of the Cats Claw" and some evil priest, some big, robed, cat person, declared a ban on all canines. And it seemed there is a ban on even talking about it that is punishable by death. He doesn't know who the priest is though. That mental image what all I got. >

< As far as those goons, they were sent by some suave cat man in a posh velvet suit named Clevus, and told to shadow us. The gobbo just wants to kills us and dispose of the bodies, figuring that Clevus will have it do it at some point anyways. And the two half-orcs? Well they just cannot wait to beat the hell out of us and then rape the both of us. There were some truly impressive mental images of that scenario too. >

< Is Mental Bleach a thing? It really needs to be a thing. >

< So anyways, it will not take them long to notice we are gone. We need to figure out where to go. Casino or back to the ship? >

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In the Casino

As Sunshine threw down her cards the cat arrived.

With a soft purr he stepped up and leaned down between the two guests. Giving the Ysoki a glance and a toothfull smirk before turning his undivided attention to the sexy human at the table. "I hope your enjoying your self and that the House has been kind to you. I failed to introduce myself earlier My name is Clevus," He raises his hand and snaps clawed fingers a nearby waiter literally jumps to his side. "and it is my extreme pleasure to be your host tonight. Bring this lovely lady and her...friend what ever they want to drink." the waiter seems about to ask what Evana and Sunshine are drinking but Clevus continues talking.

"So is there anything I can do for you... Miss...Van Haylin?" Clevus gives her a big grin showing needle sharp teeth.

Spoiler

anthro_stock___cool_cat_by_thisguy125-d5ks2yf.jpg   CLEVUS

 

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"Actually," Evana offered a wry, flirtatious smile.  A part of her hoped that all those superstitions about black cats crossing ones path were just that.  Her rational mind told she was not, nor would she ever be, that lucky.  "Hold that drink.  I've been sitting quite sometime, perhaps you could indulge me in a bit of tour?  Let me stretch my legs?  Besides, there must be other things going on besides run-of-the-mill cards."

Se didn't make a big score at the tables, but it was a decent amount, enough to treat herself to a new outfit or some equal measure guiltless pleasure.  It was hard to tell from the way she acted, but Evana cared little for money.  She knew that with hard work and the right contacts and opportunities, money would come to her.  She did have a show to put on right now, however, so she waved her hand for 'Sunny' to collect her winnings and follow when she had the chance.  She lifted chip from the table and tossed it to the dealer, a handsome man too scared to look up at the menacing Felinoid.  It was a very generous tip.

"However, if your duties have you pulled elsewhere I certainly understand," she practically purred.  Sunny practically vomited.  She gently stroked her hand down across the smooth black velvet of his jacket.  Ugh, the things I do for other people's pets... "I love this jacket, so soft and it looks stunning on you.  I tend to lighter colors but I'd love to dabble in something 'darker'.  After all..., she allowed her eyes to meet his and that predatory grin returned marking as a possible minx in disguise.  "Once you go black, as they say."

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Right, like that wasn't blaring alarm signs all over. Gorunta stared at the casino group briefly before making up his mind. Whatever they were planning to that involved the ship - assassinating Atuz, planting explosives or listening devices on the ship, well, it would be best to preempt them. "You best get to the ship and keep an eye out." Gorunta told Echo.

"And what are you doing?" Echo questioned, having a bad feeling at the smile on the Vesk's face. "This." Gorunta said, before walking out, very composed towards the counter. The female half-orc nearly jumped, as undoubtedly did her companions, at the loud grinding sound of Gorunta Hemok clearing his throat. "How can I help you four?"

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"Uh huh," Echo lied, nodding her head. "I'll totally do that. You go have fun."

She ducked behind the corner to make it look at least nominally like she intended to be a good little android and do what she was told, then stopped and lifted her left arm. Holographic controls appeared in mid-air, courtesy of the heavily customized computer system implanted in that arm. Echo quickly brought up a list of available devices in the room and selected one, brushing the other icons away.

Yeah. Gorunta was probably tough, but there was no harm in giving him an edge now. Vesk hide made shitty luggage anyway.

Going to do an Amplified Glitch when/if combat breaks out. Readied action.

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<So it seems there is a cult involved after all,> Jordayn mused, apparently not really concerned about the threat to his life and body. He looked  each way down the narrow back-alley they found themselves in. <Curious that the Bastetites rounded up the canines rather than killing them outright. Priest or cult, they might mean to use them for some dark ritual.>

He glanced back at Jexa, flashing her a quick grin. <We might have a chance to recover Queensie at least. But you're right on our watchers missing us soon. I think your spell and the holoskin would be useful right about now. I suggest we head to the ship - most likely place to find everyone without chasing them around the city - and update them on what we discovered. We should be careful - if Clevus knew enough to send out watchers on us after we asked the wrong questions, he might have sent minions to watch our ship too.>

Jexa fished out the holoskin and Jordayn nodded his thanks as he affixed to his arm by the strap. He thumbed the settings to see what was available and pondered what would past muster as a decent disguise. "And after that, I think my original idea about seeking out the temple district might bear us some fruit, if the Bastetites haven't gotten to them already."

Jordayn activated the holoskin and a penumbra of vary coloured light that offered no illumination appeared around him before if collapsed and covered him in a holographic disguise. Where the pale-haired half-elf had stood was now a raven-haired human, pale-skinned and of equal height. And female, sleek of figure and well endowed, wearing a dress, his priestly robes now appearing as a mahogany leather long coat. The cat carrier was looped over her forearm.

"They were watching a man and a woman. We'll leave as two women then and hopefully they'll pay less attention to us." The woman's voice was low for a woman, and Jexa could easily recognize it as Jordayn's pitched higher, but he seemed to have the movements and mannerisms down pat.

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At The Casino

If possible Clevus' grin gets even bigger. "Would be my pleasure to give you the tour Miss Van Haylin." He pulled her chair out and offered her his arm and led Evana away, then as if remembering the Ysoki, called back over his shoulder. "You coming Sunshine?"

Spoiler

Sunshine notices the use of her name, and while Evana did call her sunny earlier, her full name has not been spoken since they have been in the casino.

At The Space Port

As soon as Gorunta had started moving their way the Lashunta had looked in his direction. Gorunta noticed the lashunta slipped a hand into a pocket but she also had a puzzled look on her face.

17 hours ago, Gorunta Hemok said:

The female half-orc nearly jumped, as undoubtedly did her companions, at the loud grinding sound of Gorunta Hemok clearing his throat. "How can I help you four?"

The lashunta's eyes go wide and she yanks her hand from her pocket holding a nasty looking snub nosed blaster. "Lurpish!" she curses as she raises the weapon toward Gorunta.

At that very moment at the entrance to the Terminal some 20 yards away, the doors slide open and Jexa and Jordayn enter the port just in time to see all hell break loose.

Spoiler

Lupish! = Shit! in some alien tongue

three of the thugs are surprised the Lahunta was wary so gets to roll initiative. Gorunta rolls initive with a +5 bonus since he was ready and expecting trouble. Everyone else roll initive just to see where they fall in order of combat.

echo you may set off your glitch at your convenience regardless of initiative DC is 16 plus however many of the 4 you are targeting (your choice) you can describe the results and what not in your post.

 I will make a combat thread where you can post your inititive rolls.

 

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Evana sauntered off, her arm entwined in the cat man's own.  Her heels made a muted clack  as the transitioned from polished floors to carpeted ones.  She wasn't lying about his jacket, she absolutely adored the black velvet and had to admit Clevus looked as sexy as a pole dancing succubus in it.  "I adore confidence, especially in my men.  It's a very attractive quality that has lured me into the arms of men that I would not normally be attracted to.  Strength, also.  But, most of all, integrity.  Nothing turns me on faster than a man with integrity."

She stopped and turned Clevus to face her.  Resting her hands on the soft lapels of his jacket she looked up into his eyes.  "So let's stop with the games, Clevus.  It's obvious you know who my friend is so I'm assuming you know who I am.  So here I am, unarmed and not in a position to put up a fight.  You already have me.  So tell me, what's going on around here that you consider me and mine such a threat?"

Spoiler

Attempting a Diplomacy check.  Logical argument, non threatening, he has the upper hand at the moment.  Trying to get some answers.

Roll(1d20)+12: 14,+12 Total:26

 

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At The Space Port

Echo twisted the icon and attempted to dive into the holography unit in the starport lounge...only to encounter an unexpectedly strong firewall! It was the sort of thing that could be bypassed, but not without spending a little time on decryption. Time they didn't have in a fight! Shit!

She grimaced and the armor over her right arm slid open, revealing guide rails that ejected her arc pistol from its concealed compartment into her hand.

"Old fashioned way it is." She drew a bead and waited for her target to get in the clear....

That figured. Gorunta thought, At least the drawing of the gun made anything afterward self-defense. But still, this being a very public place, he knew it wouldn't hurt to refrain from killing blows. In case of biased law enforcement, which he'd seen enough times. So he didn't touch his sword but just charged for the lashunta, being the one most on the ball and thus dangerous.

The Veskarium had a good many martial arts styles, and Gorunta had mastered a number of them. His most preferred was Ferra Mur, a hard style which prioritized defense over offense, and physical resilience along with solid powerful strikes. The downside was that initial strikes like the haymaker he started with were somewhat telegraphed when taking the initiative, and thus easily evaded.

The Lasunta had been caught off guard by the Vesk's fast move and that he hadn't gone for his sword as he had expected, still he was quick enough to at least lean away from the hammer handed blow that the giant lizard had thrown his way.

A little off balance he felt the rush of air as the clawed fist passed within millimeters of his face. With a snal of his own he raised his snub blaster and pointed it right at the Vesk's face.

 

Jexa walks in with Jordayn, pleased at their escape from the trio that had been shadowing them, only to see a Lashunta pull a pistol on Gorunta.

< Shit! Get some cover! > she thought to Jordayn as she moved to acquire cover as well. With a swing of her arm Jexa's trusty arc pistol slide from the hidden storage compartment and into her hand with the capacitor humming to life. She watched as the Vesk swung at the lashunta, noting the reaction of the half-orcs who were obviously up to no good. And today half-orcs were working a nerve with Jexa. 

< Fuck'em up! We got your back. > she thought to Gorunta as she took aim at one of the half-orcs and squeezed the trigger. The capacitor released the stored up charge and the two-pronged crackled with electricity for a spit second before sending a small, crackling ball electricity across the bay and right at the half-orc.

The bolt of electricity shot between Gorunta and the Lasunta about to blow his head off. The bolt struck the closer Halforc male, his body stiffening as electricity sheathed his body.

Startled the Lashunta switched targets and fired in the direction the bolt had comefrom on instinct a mistake on his part as his energy bolt flashes well wide of the two newcomers to the fray, striking and shattering the plexglass door they had just come through. Gorunta took fulla advantage of this mistake.

<This day is going sideways very fast,> Jordayn replied as he unholstered his arc pistol and dashed forward for cover behind some cargo crates. <Must mean we're on the right track.>

Jordayn peeked around the edge of the crates, judging the distance to Gorunta and his attackers (or was it his victims?). It was near the limit of the range of his mystic blessings, but he believed he could reach them. He and Jexa seemed to have arrived just as hostilities started. Gorunta looked to be in a fine fettle for a fight, but it wouldn't hurt to give him a bit of an edge.

Jordayn sang a quick prayer to Arshea to lend him a bit of her divine light and pointed at the Lashunta woman. A ball of gold and blue light appeared around the Lashunta's head, the will'o'wisp darting about, harrying and distracting her.

"Anyway we can talk about this before things devolve any further?" Jordayn called out, peering over the edge of the crates so only his eyes were visible?

The female Halforc stepped back a half step flicked her wrist and a baton appeared in her hand emitting a reddish glow and sizzling sparks as she swung at Gorunta. But Gorunta was trained soldier even though his focus was on the Lashunta he was fully aware of his surrounding and the threats he faced. He twisted as his fist missed the Lashunta nd brought that arm up and back into the forearm of the Halforc to catch and deflect the the blow of the energy-baton aimed at him.

The wounded Halforc danced in the electric field and as it faded staggered back reaching into his vest pocket to draw out a small laser of his own.

The last thug ducked turned and vaulted over the counter pushing the wide eyed port employee away as he also drew a small laser and looked for a target.

An Alarm begines to wail as the plexglass crashes to the floor. The few employees and customers so far are just standing wide eyed and stunned not quite aware of what they are witnessing. The pnaic has yet to take hold.

Spoiler

One Thug is wounded with 5 points of damage. Gorunta has advantage and a +2 to hit the lashunta this next  round.  continue with round two

At The Casino

Clevus licks his lips letting his tongue brush his fangs as he takes Evana's hands in his own removes them from his lapels and tucks her arm back into his. "Let's find someplace... a little more private."

 They walk through the casino both Evana and Sunshine notice that there are security thugs shadowing them but they seem to be keeping their distance. Clevus takes the two mercenaries through a concealed door which opens on to an office. A very posh looking office. Lot of 3-D plaques showing a baldin Lavender skinned Human shaking the hands of celebrities and other assumed important people. Family pictures of more lavender skinned near humans and the man in the showoff pictures. a fully equipped and supplied bar, two or three computer terminals an couch the both know will fold out inot a very comfortable bed not used for sleeping.. oh and a white haired drow in a skimpy outfit with a shock collar around her neck sitting chained to a table laying some sort of card out in a pattern.

"Now we can talk." Clevus says pointing the two women to chairs as he takes a seat behind the big fancy desk. "Atuz, was an idiot showing up here again. But then maybe I was an idiot for letting the skreeshid to ever leave here alive in the first place." he sighs. "So  Kind of a motley band he put together here, gotta admit didn't think he had that kind of Moxey.  The Lizard and the Android, even you Sunshine, I get. But you, Evana, a singer," he shrugs,"what are you doing here?"

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Evana chuckled.  "Oh, sweetie," her accent was melodious and only added to her appeal.  "I wish I could say something appropriately epic, like orcs descended from upon high and razed my planet to ashes forcing me into a life of adventure and revenge."

"Hmph," Clevus chuckled.  "I think I've seen that holo."

"Indeed, Gonad: Interstellar Barbarian, I think they're running season four on Getflix." she grinned up at him.  "The truth is, I'm along for the fun.  Gives me something to do in between shows, make some extra credits on the side," she tossed her hair back over her shoulder.  "I'm so high maintenance, hon, you have no idea.  It takes a lot of product and money to look this good.  Hair care, spas, make-up, nails... ugh, it's a nightmare being me."

She sighed, crossing her arms and elevating her to finest assets apart from her eyes... and everything else.  "Clevus, if you're involved with any of this, please, just get us his... whatever the hell it is... so we can be on our way.  Atuz won't be a bother to anyone, especially anyone here.  Seriously, it's like picking on a retarded kid.  Someone's here stole his mud pie, and he's going to keep drooling and beating on the door crying until someone either kills him, or gives it back.  It's not even diabolical at this point, it's just sad and pathetic."

Her expression grew more sincere and sympathetic.  "He hired us to get his dog-thingie back, that's all.  It's all he wants, it's all we want.  The man is a harmless idiot, but all he has left in the 'verse is love for his companion, his friend.  Creepy though it may be, he's a fool of a man who just wants his happiness returned to him.  There comes a time in every ones life when gold loses its luster, gems loose their sparkle... and all that's left is a persons love for someone else, or something in this case."

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Sunshine frowned, pacing in the office and sizing up all of the personnel, especially Clevus, who set off every negative instinct she had. She contemplated swiping something valuable and stuffing it in a cheek pouch, but she kept focused on the job at hand, letting temptation slide. She frowned even deeper upon seeing the drow, with no love lost between her and them but still not at ease with what could very well be slavery.

Curiosity overwhelmed her, her willpower worn down by being around a predator and having barely gotten anywhere with cards, she she nodded towards the drow. "What's their story?"

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On 11/19/2017 at 11:53 AM, Evana said:

Evana's expression grew more sincere and sympathetic.  "He hired us to get his dog-thingie back, that's all.  It's all he wants, it's all we want.  The man is a harmless idiot, but all he has left in the 'verse is love for his companion, his friend.  Creepy though it may be, he's a fool of a man who just wants his happiness returned to him.  There comes a time in every ones life when gold loses its luster, gems loose their sparkle... and all that's left is a persons love for someone else, or something in this case."

Clevus stroked his whiskers as Evana spoke.

She could tell, that even though she had attempted to fool him as to their identity, that the very male cat man was attracted to her and she figured that she could use that to further her advantage.

“Atuz is an idiot... or plays one very convincingly.” The feline sat straighter and dropped his hands to the arms of his chair. "Still It's only one damned dog. If I trust you...” He began.

Sunshine's pacing had ended with her by the Drow's table and her eyes were drawn to the cards. These were no playing cards like out on the gambling floor. The were covered in strange paintings of inhuman figures and unholy (they looked scary so she immediately thinks they are evil in her mind) symbols. Some she swears seem to move

Curiosity overwhelmed her, her willpower worn down by being around a predator and having barely gotten anywhere with cards, she she nodded towards the drow. "What's their story?"

Clevus stopped in mid sentence and glanced at the Ysoki across the room. The drow stopped laying her pattern her hand frozen in mid air the card held in her fingers unrevealed. Neither the cat nor the witch were sure who the Scrappy pilot was speaking to.

Evana closed her eyes tightly for a second as she clamped her teeth shut to keep from screaming at Sunshine. He was gonna let us have the animal!

The drow whose glowing red eyes stared through the Ysoki before her table, shifted her gaze to Clevus. Clevus whose train of thought had completely derailed sat back and rested his glorious chin on steepled fingers. “Ah yes Yseult, she is how we discovered your names. A reader of fortunes and futures, skilled in strange and ancient arts, mystical and otherwise.” His purr filled the room. “Go on Yseult, Tell our little friend here what story your cards a whispering to you now.”

Yseult who had been holding the card in mid play, looked back down at the spread of plaques before her as she flipped the one to it's position. Without a word she continued in a slow and measured manner to continue laying cards. The silence grew heavy, Clevus' amusement grew to annoyance.

“Yseult...” his purr replace by a growl.

The drow placed the last car and spread her hands across the Patten they formed on the table, her lips moving as she whispered in an unknown tongue. Then she leaned forward, Sunshine saw a smirk twist the witches lips . “It is a story full of action and heroics.”she said in the common tongue her unusual accent lending an exotic air to the ambiance of the setting. She smiled at Sunshine and gave her a wink. “I see Odav and her Kirpiry boys getting their asses handed to them by these two's friends at the port.”

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"No!" Gorunta interjected in answer to Jordayn's call. Really, the moment the Lashunta pulled the pistol when he approached, that was too late for words. At least Jexa and Jordayn were around to help. Not that he needed it, but it was a sign of good character all the same.

Echo fiddled with the holograms hovering over her left arm, and the gleaming blue image formed into a kind of 'socket' type interface. She lined that up with her arc pistol, and there was a sudden flare of light as the holograms brightened, and the indicators on the pistol simultaneously lit up. A little warning buzzer on the weapon started to sound. Echo grinned.

This time, with the lashunta thug distracted, Gorunta had his opening, grabbing the shooter by the arm and hauling in for one very painful headbutt. The confused lashunta had swung his pistol back at the vesk who was still coming, drawing his arms up to block the Giant soldiers next swing he was totally off guard when gorunta grabbed his arm, pulled into the Lizard and at the lunging in and slaming his spiked brow into the unfortunate Lashunta's face. Cartilage shattered and blood spattered as the Lashunta reeled backwards his blaster flying from his hand as his arms windmilled and he crumpled to the floor.

Echo leaned out from behind the wall and her exocortex kicked in, highlighting the four hostiles and feeding targeting information back as she focused on the Lashunta that everyone seemed to have a hate-on for. Yeah, no brain-fuckery today, thanks. Just then Gorunt's head obscured the target, that and a spray of blood from the Lashuntas pulped nose. Without even a blink her exocortex switched targets to the baton wielder She squeezed the trigger and her weapon started humming....

Jexa , with the intention of covering Gorunta's back, squeezed off another shot from her arc pistol, this time at the baton wielding half-orc 'woman' that was already attempting to engage the Vesk, sending another tiny ball of lightning through the air, leaving a faint scent of ozone in it's wake.

The sound of the arc pistol charging for its shot was much louder than normal, and little sparks and twists of electrical discharge spun off the weapon and grounded in various objects near Echo. When it finally went off; the guided laser burning an ionized path through the atmosphere for a bolt of lightning to follow, it was like standing in the middle of a thunderstorm. A blinding flash of light. A thunderous clap. The smell of sizzling ozone.

A whole lotta pain for whoever got hit.

"Arshea's sigh, that's going to hurt," Jordayn commented to nobody as Gorunta hauled the Lashunta in for a headbutt. A healer and Priest-Companion of Arshea, Jordayn himself was no pacifist, though he did prefer that everyone was able to get back up afterward. Life was change and death was so very final... most of the time.

Following Jexa's lead, Jordayn had steadied his own arc pistol and aimed a shot at the female half-orc and fired a millisecond after Jexa and Echo, trying to level the field for Gorunta's tussle with the Lashunta.

Jexa's bolt flew true striking the Halforcs Baton in mid swing the electricity shot down the sparking weapon and into the halforc who stiffened at the jolt. Almost at the exact same time Echo's Bolt slammed into the woman the vortex of electricity lifting her off her feet when the third bolt, Jordayn's hit causing the electricity sheathed halforc to spin flying off into the wall to slide down leaving a trail of blue sparks.

The two remaining half orcs had been lining up their own shots at Jexa and Jordayn their lasers, twin beams of Green light, saild past the two humaniods to to leave small burns in the plexglass behind them. Seeing their fellow go down and being out numbered both decided to run. Gorunta caught the one closest to him and repeated his head butting technique to great effect the Halforc be hind the counter ducked and dodged but was brought down by the fire from the girls as he cleared then end of the counter and made hist dash across the lobby floor.

Lights and alarms were now clamoring but so far no security had arrived.


 

Spoiler

Female half orc took 28 damage, Lashunta 12. the two remaining would have been a massacre. none of you were hit. security will most likely be here with in a  minute or so combat is over for the moment

 

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Evana sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose.  "Lovely.  Just bloody lovely."  Clevus looked back towards her with the predatory glare of a someone who expected an explanation.

"What?"  She shrugged.  "Don't look at me like this is some unexpected revelation, Clevus.  Let's be real: we're here to do a job, as are you.  You have mooks, I have mooks, and trust me sweetie, I'm swimming in mooks... and how often do your mooks do something stupid when you're not around to supervise them?  Hmm?"

The logic pacified him enough for her to continue.  "In our line of work, this is par for the course."  She approached the table where Yseult was reading the Harrow and leaned against it.  She relaxed, giving her 'enemy' the advantage.  Her shimming dress glimmered reflections of light on the table's surface.  "Nothing I've said since I've dropped the ruse has been a lie, Clevus.  The man's a fool and just wants happiness, of that I'm sure.  What our hench-people have gotten themselves into, has little to do with us, but lets deal with the elephant in the room-"  Her head swiveled as something caught her eye.  She bent over the table and thumbed at something on the Drow's wrist.  "Oh, honey, I love this bracelet.  Did you get this from around here?  I've an outfit that this would compliment-"

"Evana."  Clevus said once in his elegant yet burly tone.  He cleared his throat.  "Business."

"Sorry," she smiled.  She winked at the Drow, and tried to power on.  "It's gorgeous sweetie, I love it.  So, I'm going to call my people and we'll see what exactly happened?  We certainly didn't come here to hurt your business, just the dog."Evie paused for a moment, looking out the corner of her eye.  "To get the dog, not hurt the dog... you know what I mean."  She opened her clutch and slid her hand inside.  Clevus tensed but the Drow showed no signs of concern.  "Just my comm, darling.  I assure you, I'm the most honest woman in the 'verse, until someone gives me a reason to end them."

"This is Evie, guys," she put the com on speaker.  "You're on speaker.  I'm chilling with the boss of those guys your shooting up, his name is Clevus and I'm currently madly in love with his suit."  she smiled and winked at him.  "He'd like to know why we're waging war in the streets, as would I.  Anyone car to field this?"

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Clevus glared one hand resting on the desk a few inches from the casino's coms and a few seconds from having security in the room. He tensed when the human leaned over the Harrow table.

19 minutes ago, Evana said:

Her head swiveled as something caught her eye.  She bent over the table and thumbed at something on the Drow's wrist.  "Oh, honey, I love this bracelet.  Did you get this from around here?  I've an outfit that this would compliment-"

"Evana."  Clevus said once in his elegant yet burly tone.  He cleared his throat.  "Business."

"Sorry," she smiled.  She winked at the Drow, and tried to power on.  "It's gorgeous sweetie, I love it.  So, I'm going to call my people and we'll see what exactly happened?  We certainly didn't come here to hurt your business, just the dog." Evie paused for a moment, looking out the corner of her eye. 

Yseult had spoke barely a whisper but only Evana could hear, no one saw her lips move.

"the collar"

Spoiler

the collar appears to be a standard shock collar often used to control slave, however with Evana being so close she can see finely etched symbols in the metal of the collar. she doesnt't know what they mean but they do not look decorative.

 

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"Well, it seems one of these morons had the bright idea of pulling a gun on Gorunta, and then, one thing led to another and, well, we all know how that goes." she said with a shrug.

"Clevus you say? Hey, thank him for his concern and the.. uh.. 'escorts' he sent to follow us, but we can handle ourselves. We ditched that muderhobo gobbo and his two rapey half-orc goons a while ago, so they should be fine at least. It's the thought that counts though. Thanks a million!  

Anyways... tell him not to worry, we just stunned the shit outta these idiots. And judging by that smell, that might be literal. Gross. Though that Lashunta is gonna have one heck of a headache after this." Jexa said as concealed her arc pistols once more in the hidden compartment.

"We'll make sure they do not try something even more stupid, so he can have his goons back when we leave or whatever. Next time tell them to not be so trigger happy if they can;t finish shit they start." she added as she moved over to the stunned goons as she muted her comm.

"So tie them up and stuff them in the hold for now?" she suggested to the others, seeing if they had any better ideas.

She then unmuted her comm and asked, "So how's things goin with you?"

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"Oh, you know," Evie smiled.  "Same ol', same ol'.  In the future though sweetie, could do me a solid and not verbally antagonize the seedy villainous sorts I'm standing in front of with little means of defending myself?  A little decorum goes a long way, honey."

She looked to Clevus, holding out her comm in presentation as if to say 'this is what I deal with'.  "See?  Like I said.  Swimming in mooks."

She clicked off her comm, but left in stand by, hopefully Echo could trace it wen Clevus and his goons murdered of slave collared Evana.  "So, there you have it, dear.  Your boys are alive, and I'll see to it they are returned to you unharmed, of course.  We don't take hostages.  Nor did we come here to do battle in the streets.  Although that would be pretty cool, like in the spy holos."  She flicked an excited smirk in his direction.

"So, why don't you take some time to consider it?  Hmm?"  She proposed.  Slave collars, kidnapping dogs, something here wasn't right but it was time to leave and regroup.  "If you decide it's a good idea then we can meet up later, I'll pick up Queensie, hand her off then you and I can go and enjoy a nice dinner and... desert, possibly."

"And if I choose not to?"  He asked, purring with confidence.

"Me and mine were hired to do a job, darling."  Evana shook her head with a mournful look.  "You'll do what you have to, and so will we.  The fact that this is all over a pet is still completely ludicrous to me.  Once he gets this pet back I may just shoot him on general principal.  Just in the knee or something, but let's face it, he has it coming, and who dresses in gold lamé, I mean seriosuly?  Ugh."

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Jordayn sighed at the warning klaxons. He holstered his arc pistol and frowned down at the downed goons as he checked on them, to make sure none had been critically injured, then nodded at Jexa. "Disarm them at least then secure them in the hold. Let's do this quick before the authorities show themselves."

Jordayn knelt down to get a shoulder under the Lashunta woman's arm. "We don't want any trouble with the authorities, nor likely do they," he said, giving the huge Vesk a doubtful glance. "Once we have them on board and secured, I'll tend their injuries and propose they agree with the fiction that it was just an unfortunate accident - accidental discharge or mistaken identity or the like - if any questions arise. It was just a small scuffle, nothing to get too worked up about."

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Sunshine took a step back from the drow, whiskers twitching with irritation. Leaving a slave behind rubbed every inch of fur on her head the wrong way, but this was far from the only lawless port she'd been through. Now that she had a bead on the felinoid, and a reason to shoot him so full of holes he whistled in a stiff breeze, she could come back.

The situation still felt tense, however, and Sunshine carefully tapped the side of her cheek, carefully clicking the safety off of the laser pistol she had stored in one. If things went sideways, she didn't want to waste any time fiddling with it after she spat it out.

Spoiler

Right now it doesn't seem like things have come to blows, but Sunshine is readying an action to spit out her pistol and start shooting should that change.

 

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Gorunta grabbed up the female Halforc and the Lashunta , Echo and the others wrestled the remaining orcs out to the ship and stashed them in the hold. The port employee had been found hiding and a few words and a second credit chip (from the halforcs pocket) had kept him quiet, at least for now. He even showed echo which panel controlled the alarms so she could shut them down.

Even as the adventerers boarded the ship to wait several ground vehicles with flashing lights could be seen approaching the port...

At The Casino

Clevus stared at Evana his demeanor had changed he was much tenser but Sunshine didn't think an attack was coming cause the cats tal wasn't twitching much.

"Hmm, well it's not my call."said Clevus as he pulled a communicator from his pocket. He pushed a couple of buttons. "You there, Fleng?"

"Yaeh what ya want?" came a curt reply the voice kind of squeaky.

"Ovav ran into some trouble at the port. Your marks made it back there and stuff went sideways. Get over there, smooth things with the cops and the port authority and then see how Odav and the others are. The marks have them."

"Okay Clevus what ever you say." the cynicism couldn't be missed.

""Fleng, no more trouble there. I will handle this from here." without waiting for a reply Clevus cut the com and slipped it back into his pocket. "Alright Evana, if you will come with me we can go find that Poolphin."

At The Port

Ten minutes passed, no one had bothered them on the ship although they could see several beings in uniforms, police they assumed, milling around the scene of the fight. At this time Echo who was on the bridge saw a Goblin and two more Halforc's walking toward the ship...

At the Casino

Clevus led them into an area of new construction, no one was in this area and it looked like it had been weeks or months since and work had been done. They came to an open elevator and descended several hundred feet. when the elevator cleared the shaft it was still a couple of hundred feet up in the air and now descending into what appeared to be a large cavern underneath the casino...no, make that underneath the city. The Cavern wasn't Large it was huge and as Sunshine and Evana adjusted to the dim light they could make ruins of what could be houses or other types of squat building and in the distance what looked a multi-stepped pyramid rising almost to the stone roof above.

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Sunshine had flicked the safety back on on her laser pistol, not wanting to blow a hole in her cheek, but she was keenly aware of where it was in her mouth. She arched one fuzzy eyebrow at the underground display - her ancestors were used to the dark, so she took in more detail than most.

"All right, so: I have to ask. Why build a casino on top of all... this? And what's with the pyramid in the center? Doesn't look like new architecture to me."

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On the ship, Echo took up a spot on the bridge, leaning back in one of the chairs and bracing her feet up on the control panel in a lazy kind of laid back posture that was better suited to a hammock on a tropical beach than a starship in a potentially hostile starport. On spotting the incoming greenskins she reaches out to flick the intercom on.

"Hey, our friends in the hold have friends coming over. Pistonhips, you wanna go talk to them? I'd do it, but apparently we're not supposed to get into firefights for some reason."

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Under the Casino...

Clevus glanced sideways at the Ysoki, wondering if she were being facetious. "They didn't know these were here when they built the casino or the city for that matter. They found these caverns when the were adding on to the casino and a portion of the floor gave way.

These ruins are several thousand years old, belonging to a civilization that existed here long before the current occupiers, the Near Humans above crawled down from their trees."

The elevator stops and the sounds of barking and whimpering can be heard.

Lots of barking and whimpering.

"This place a sacred land that temple was built to worship the god, Bastet. It was built in a canyon. Some cataclysm caused the canyon to collapse and created this cavern, wiped out that civilization and paved the war for the purple monkey's above."

 

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The half-elf laughed at the descriptor and added some extraneous hip action for Echo's benefit as he sauntered over to the intercom, in case she was watching on the internal monitors. "I'll see what I can do, Echo. Keep a watch out up there." He straightened his vestments and nodded over to Gorunta. "If you could, my good Vesk, please make sure our friends in the hold aren't hiding any surprises on their person. We may be handing them over and their toys will be the penalty they'll pay for getting caught."

Heading towards the docking ramp, Jordayn scritched the adorable VisCat kittenunder the chin where it was standing up in its carrier and peering around. "No worries, fuzzball, everything is going fine." He smiled at Jexa and nodded for her to follow him. "Be on standby, Jexa, if you would and be ready to secure the ship in case they try rush the ship instead of just talk. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."

Jordayn sauntered down the ramp, a friendly grin on his face as he bowed his head towards the goblin and the half-orcs behind him. "Good day, gents. What can I do for you? I may have seen some colleagues of yours, if you're interested."

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