Starfinder: The Jade Regent Pt. 08

byDragonCobolt©

"A Johnson!" Xata said, her voice bright. Her eyes literally lit up.

Hana nodded, "So, we find another bar, then you can tell us where we can meet Asvig in exchange for enough drinks to calm.. you.. damn it.." She grumbled. "So, you don't know how to find him?"

Korra grinned. "I didn't say that..." She reached into her pockets, then fliped up...a PDA. Her eyes sparkled. "Totally worth getting my finger broken, huh?" She asked, cheerily.

"Why did you try and get back in then?" Ami asked, snickering.

"Well...cause I was winning the fist fight!" Korra said, as if that explained everything.

Nora finally broke out snickering, "Lets just take her along and get her a drink. She's great."

Sam laughed at that comment, amused. "Well if you were winning and they backed off, then you won."

"Not saying we couldn't adopt her, Nora." Hana smirked, "Just saying I wanted to focus on getting info first. But since she might have it. Korra, you give Nora the PDA, she'll hack it while we take you somewhere to celebrate your victory." She patted the woman's arm.

Korra nodded, grinning. "So, you a...Recker?" she asked as they walked along the corridor - heading towards a different bar.

Ami snickered. "Close enough!" she said, grinning at Nora, then murmured. "Though, uh, maybe Wrecked is a better word for her..." She stuck her tongue out at Nora.

Rakain nudged Ami. "Or Zai. Or Xata."

Korra looked completely confused as she looked at the three of them.

"I have definitely been Recked," Xata averred proudly.

"Ehh, Better than dogged." Nora shot back, leaning over to give Ami a playful shove.

"Oh, speaking of which. I'm Hana Song." She held her hand out to the brown skinned woman.

Ami snickered - and then they came to the HAPPY DAZE, the next dive bar that was willing to let them in. As they walked towards it, a balding human staggered back and away from the door, laughing, waving his hand. "This...should be on ALL the tourist locations...come...see...the REAL Kalsgard Station!" He giggled, then wobbled drunkenly past them.

Korra smiled, shaking HAna's hand. "What song?" She asked, curiously.

"First name Hana. Second name Song." Hana said, sighing slightly.

"The Song of Constant Bad Jokes," Xata put in Playfully.

Korra blushed. "No, uh, sorry...I was trying..." She shook her head, blushing harder. "Come on!" She said, ducking into the bar - which had dozens of tables under low, dim lights, the lamps hanging from somewhat frayed cables. The faint smell of burning rubber came from the back of the place, and the bartender was this huge alien none of them recognized with four arms, who was using all of them to clean multiple cups.

"I just go by Nora," The mechanic offered, waving her false hand. She watched Korra with a slight snicker as they stepped into the dive before pausing to look around. "That is a unique scent..."

Xata gave Hana a nudge and whispered: "I think she was Attempting to Flirt With You." Korra put her hand over her face, muttering something in her native language. Xata hadn't whispered it very softly.

Rakain tapped Korra's lower back with his tail. "Rakain. Nice to meet you."

Korra nodded to Rakain, taking his hand, then took her seat. "So, uh...do your...jacking off," She said, nodding to Nora. "That's how you get the files, right?"

Hana snickered, "So.. how about we go get some drinks and discuss how we're going to beat some Asvig?" She said, smiling.

Sam just gave Korra a pat on the should as she walked by on her wait to the bar. "Sam." She offered as an introduction before starting to talk with the bartender.

Xata blinked. "Jacking in?"

"I don't know the slang, I try to stay out of this fucking station," Korra said. "my life's out in the icesteroids, not among these..." She waved her hand. "Wage slaves and...shadowrunners." She made a face. "It seems like everyone here's stealing from everyone else."

"Data indicates that jacking off has a different terminological valence." Xata sense of the subtleties of Flirting had been exhausted. But she recovered: "Fortunately we are also here to steal from someone else. Though they have already stolen so it is Heroic."

"The more I hear about this place the more I can not wait to get the hells out of here.." Hana frowned slightly.

"You and me both," Ami and Korra said at the exact same time. Ami grinned at her. Korra snickered softly.

Rakain laughed and put an arm around Xata. "I love the way you think."

Nora coughed in an attempt to hide her laugh before smiling at Korra. "Something like that, yes." She moved to the bar as well, finding herself a seat and brought her wrist up to set about accessing the PDA. "Could you grant me access to your pad? "And you'd both be right. This place is a total thief haven."

"Well, it's not mine," Korra said, nodding, her voice soft. "I stole it from that Mr. Johnson."

"Oh!" Nora added with a brighter tone. She was grinning at that point, "Pull up a seat and order a drink. I think we've got plenty to cover the cost. This won't time me long. Probably has some two-bit firewall."

"I'd assume at LEAST a couple kilobytes, Nora." Hana said, smirking.

Xata looked around the bar as this happened. Rakain kept his head on a swivel, watching for potential danger. As Xata looked around, she saw quite a few people in their cups - but also, that Sam was in a quiet discussion with the massive, four armed, green skinned alien, who was showing her a photograph and then shrugging. It only took the mechanic a few minutes until she was in. She paged through a few files, mumbled 'Moron' to herself and then the group suddenly found their credit account balance inflated by an extra 5000 - which split five ways with a soft ding. "Well, done."

"Nice," Rakain said.

Ami blinked, looking as the credits appeared. "Uh, no location?" She asked - Korra looking nervous as she bit her lip.

"Just contact information," she said with a sigh. "No location. Ooone second." Nora nodded, reaching into her pockets. She fished out a small bud that she plugged into her ear and then keyed the pad a few times.

After being quite gabby with the bartender Sam just sauntered over like a cat that had drunk all the milk. She stole one of the open seats and gave Korra a look, suggestively wiggling her eyebrows.

Meanwhile, their comms beeped at receiving an information package.

Xata quietly vanished from the table as all this went on. Her violin was out and is if in obedience to some hidden instinct, she was wending her way among the tables, augmenting the minimal beats from the sound system with ethereal sounds from her strings. Hana checked her com curiously to see what Sam had sent out. Xata checked her comm-link as she played.

As Nora tapped a fes buttons, Korra blinked as she looked at Sam - but then Nora hit play and each of them heard a recording taken from the PDA.

The first voice was male: "You got a job?"

"Yes," the second voice, female, spoke. "A double run. First, hit an old wage slave. Steal an object - a sword, curved, Tian. Second run is right after. There's a man - Ulf Gormunder. The client wants him and the sword disposed of."

Korra gasped, quietly.

"Got it," the male voice said. "Like, we just shoot him or-"

"No," the female voice said. "The sword you can trash however you want, but the man goes to airlock C98-2. He'll be taken care of there."

Korra, who was holding one of the cups from the bar, clenched her fist so tight the plastic creaked. The audio played out a bit more as details were given of the sword and the man's location - with the female voice adding: "He's got a partner, some icehopper tribeswoman, but she's going to be out of town, so don't worry too much about her."

The payment for Asvig was...quite high, and the female voice added one last note: "Final note. The client told me to say...Odin's eye is on you."

There was a long pause and then Asvig silently hung up - ending the conversation and the recording. The info dump from Sam was also quite informative. She had been speaking to the bartender, and had recorded some of what he had said: "Oh, aye, Longthews and his bunch come around here sometimes. I had to find where they live to get the fucking credits they owe me sometimes...but last time they were around, I heard someone they knew - their Johnson or someone - had died and they were going to throw a big bash to honor 'em. Then, tomorrow, I hear they're going to do a big fuckin Ulfin funeral. The whole shebang, they have a shuttle, they have the dead bugger's body on it, and they're going to fire it into the sun."

Ami's eyes widened. "T-That will definitely destroy Suishen..." She whispered.

Sam, too, brought out a location of Asvig's hide out - but sadly, no information as to where the shuttle that would bear the Suishen to her death was located.

"Okay," Rakain said slowly. "As awesome as an Ulfin funeral sounds, we need to make sure that the sword's not on the shuttle when they launch that sucker."

"So.. should we go to their hang out or to airlock C98-2?" Hana said curiously. "Of course, that also depends on if one is on the way to the other from here. ..also, how long ago did they steal the sword?"

Nora keyed a few things on her wrist so that everyone had a message sent to them. Raven watching us == Odin's Eye. One in the same.

Xata had crept back to the table, her musical improv cutting off as the importance of the data came clear.

Sam's eyes didn't leave Korra, though her expression wasn't playful or purposely silly anymore.

Korra frowned, and Ami sighed. "Fynn said three weeks ago," she said.

"It'd have taken weeks to get a shuttle ready for that kind of funeral," Korra said. "But...but...they can't have just airlocked Ulf, could they?"

"Three weeks," Xata said. "About the time we found the Kami and... those visions..."

"Coincidence?" Rakain said. "I don't fuckin' think so."

Ami shot Xata a look, and Korra blinked. "What Kami?" She asked looking confused.

"Kami?" Xata belatedly engaged her Guile Subroutines. "Who said anything about a Kami? Not me, certainly."

Hana looked at Korra, "So.. you want to get involved in this hit and get heavy with it? If so, do you want to follow us off station, or go back to your normal life?"

Korra looked between Hana and Xata, then back to Hana. "WEll, these assholes kidnapped my best friend...so..." She grinned. "I'm in. This station isn't my normal life. I usually make a living guiding people through the Crown of the Galaxy."

Sam shrugged. "Also, though it wouldn't pay out anything worth while- some private eye is looking for a Tian runaway. Likely from a corporate home she is rebelling against." She said then offered a very basic description of Ami. "Keep an eye out. For the meantime we can crash a party."

"Assuming all goes well, we can talk about it on the ship then." Hana smiled at the other woman. "But right now, we need to focus on getting the sword back, or we're not heading anywhere. ..I mean.. okay, we'll go back home or probably back to Absalom, but.. you know.."

Ami nodded grimly to Sam as Korra rubbed her hands together. "Crashing a party...sounds kinda like we're going on a shadowrun of our very own, right?" She asked. "Like, we get maps and make a plan and stuff?"

Hana snickered, "That's the idea. ..doubt it'll end up like that, but still..."

"Shadowruns typically involve plans that go horribly wrong, according to cultural data," Xata put in. "But why not?"

"Usually our plans go out the window in about five seconds," Rakain laughed.

"Exactly! We are Ideally Suited!" Xata seemed quite cheered by this fact.

Korra nodded, then stood. "Come on, lets talk about this at my ship." She said, starting towards the door, looking around nervously.

Xata also looked around nervously, in moral support.

Rakain stood up. "Lead on, Korra. We got your back."

Hana nodded to the woman, following after her.

Sam nodded as well, getting up and following them as she tapped out a message on her tablet to everyone else: Just remember to be aware of what we talk about outloud. We are likely bugged.

###

Korra's ship was...well...it made them all rather grateful for the delights of the Sunwolf. IT was a kludged together mess of blue metal and white rock, welded and patched, and quite uncomfortable once they were inside. But it had a connection, and that was all Nora needed to bring up a schematic of the area that Asvig and his shadowrunners had staked out. The original blueprints were sure to be inaccurate - that part of the station had been unused for years...but the original designs were still there...

There were six entrances - two from service corridors, one from a "primary" corridor that was wider than any other. Three were via vents that were so small that only a halfling could fit easily inside them. Of the actual main rooms, there were only three in the complex. The primary and largest room had originally been used to process ice into drinkable water back when this had been a mining station. Who knew what it was now. The smaller adjoining room was a control room, where the original ice mining operators would have been situated. There was a final adjoining room that looked like it had been an equipment locker in the past.

"Well, the only one here who can get through the vents is Nora's drone," Rakain said, studying the map. "Unless we go back to the Sunwolf and get Brash."

"Whose this Brash you guys keep talking about?" Korra asked, frowning. "if I lived here, I'd have made this place..." She tapped the main room on the map. "The livable one and set up roost there."

"Well, he goes between adorable and sweet to hunky and sweet?" Nora offered, rubbing her chin after a moment. "Sweet and kind is a good one."

Korra looked deeply skeptical. "And he's male?" she asked, arching an eyebrow.

Rakain coughed, his nares coloring. "That's...flexible."

"Well, I've been kicking around a while," Korra said, cynically. "I've dated a few men, they tend to fall into similar patterns..."

"He's Brash," Xata said, matter of fact. "And remarkable. The rest doesn't matter."

Sam chuckled at them as she watched the map.

Nora stuck her tongue out at Rakain, "You can't turn into a Psudodragon. So you pretty much have that 'hunky' bit all the time."

"He goes with the kami in stuff we'll explain if you decide to hitch your wagon to our star, but is not important to the current conversation." Hana said, frowning. "I could crawl into the vents, summon up something opposite the entrance we want to enter so they'll all be distracted when you all come in."

Ami nodded. "And you can keep firing from the vent if it becomes a fight!" she said, excitedly.

Nora nodded, "Agreed. We'll let you know when you get on our ship later. I could control my drone along with you in those vents Hana."

Hana nodded, "I'd say it and I go in separate vents so we don't get in each other's way and we can split fire even more."

"So, you go for the northern vent..." Korra pointed. "And ferretdrone goes for the southern one, and we...go in through room five?" She asked.

"We go through room five." Xata said, her voice certain. Heroes have no use for Question Marks.

"Well, that's the main entrance, so..." Korra shrugged. "It might be a great way to get shot to shit."

"So, I'll summon something over here." Hana said, tapping the map near the southwestern corner.

"Ah, just let me lead," Rakain said to Korra. "I can take a couple hits."

Korra arched an eyebrow, then shrugged. "Fair..." She said, quietly. "Still...it's not a bad plan..." She glanced at Sam.

Nora nodded, "Paths. I can also get my drone to a place in the vents I might access their systems and cause havoc. Other fun things. Find nudes."

Xata summoned her Chant of Concealment and turned herself invisible. Hana blinked at where Xata had stood, "So.. we're heading out now then?"

"Well, Xata's ready to go!" Rakain laughed.

As Xata shimmered and vanished, Ami blinked, then snickered. "Even if we were, I don't think we'll get there before your spell wears off, Xata."

"I can take a main entrance or cut them off." Sam noted. "Very little is likely to be changed in terms of exterior walls, but the tunnels may be trapped or there may be false walls put up, or entrances blocked off."

"I am willing to take the risk," said Xata's disembodied voice.

"This ship is being suppressed from outside signals, we aren't being watched- right?" Sam asked the icehopper.

Korra nodded. "Yup!" She said, grinning. "Having rock armor may be slow and ugly, but it does stop pretty much every scanning device known to man or alien."

Sam nodded and relaxed a bit, "Alright. But raiding the party shouldn't be our own gamble. We should have a plan be for finding the shuttle. As much as I don't like the idea of letting the jerk continue breathing we do have an issue if this is something setup as automated. He isn't our goal right now, as much as he might deserve to be."

Korra bit her lip. "Well..." She said. "While you head to the party, I can...skim the shuttle bays, see any of the shuttles that look like they're getting prepped?" she asked.

"Well, is there a way they could send the shuttle out without someone in command knowing?" Hana said curiously. "I'm just saying if Nora can get in contact with local security, we could keep an eye on all the bays at once, right?"

Ami bit her lip. "You want to trust these corporate goons?" She asked, lookking skeptical.

"Odin's eye may be in command of those docking rings." Sam noted, sounding a touch paranoid over the matter.

"I was more thinking Nora do her hacking thing to be honest.." Hana said, smirking.

Korra grinned. "Yeah! Jack into them!"

"That I can do. Fuck talking with them," Nora said, rubbing her neck. "That depends on access though. I have to be close to a network. I can't just...leapfrog through a connection."

"OR we lie and tell them someone's planning on sending out a small shuttle with a bomb in a corpse that they plan to detonate," Hana said.

"Nora's Hacking is Mighty. Jack off to them, Nora!" said Xata's disembodied voice.

"I agree with Xata the ghost," Rakain cackled.

"Errr, into them," Xata corrected. "Jack off into them, Nora."

"Well, can you safely nullify these SIN bands here?" Sma asked, smiling at their comments. Rakain laughed so hard he started wheezing.

Ami snickered, quietly, shaking her head, while Korra started up. "Wait, you can amke us Sinless?" She asked, excitedly.

"Possibly?" Nora said. Nora blew out her breath and focused on her wrist.

"Just have them on long enough to get us back into the station. Able to turn off after." Sam added.

"Oh, there is way too much sin floating around between all of us to ever fully purge it," Rakain said, composing himself.

Korra arched her eyebrow. "Uh-huh..." She said.

"We are extremely sinful," Xata's disembodied voice explained helpfully. "Our orgies are Legendary."

Nora opened her mouth after a moment, keying a few things on her wrist. She took off the sin tag she was given and held it in her false hand while keying a few things. "...Oh stars they're dumb!" She shouted. "Okay! Tags off - I disengaged their locks. Hand them over. I'm going to have fun. Fucking put a garbage line of protection code in like that and expect me to not go nuts..."

Korra unstrapped the SIN collar she had on her wrist, holding it out, while Ami grinned and held out hers as well. As they set them down, Korra sighed quietly. "So, uh...you guys are pretty comfortable with each other, huh?"

Xata's SIN tag appeared from nowhere. It was tossed over to Nora.. Sam held out her wrist to Nora.

Hana snickered, "Let me guess. The SIN tag gave you access to security?" She said, offering up her tag.

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