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Black Hearts Ops: The Ganipres Affair

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  • Black Hearts Ops: The Ganipres Affair

    Posted by Fiana Norith on 11-17-2002 01:55 PM:
    Black Hearts Ops: The Ganipres Affair

    "Master Fiana! Master Fiana, you have a message!"

    The droid's nasal voice echoed through the empty corridor between the ship's comm center and the main hold where "Master" Fiana was sitting at that moment trying to enjoy her cup of stimcaf. And since that had been the 6th call in half that amount of time, she was not having much success with it.

    Fiana Norith was - no doubt about it - on the wrong side of 50 years old, human, and female. That much was apparent; she also possessed a head full of greying short hair, a high forehead with a not unbecoming full set of wrinkles, matching large and grey eyes with an equally matching set of crow's feet, and a very long and equally bent nose. What wasn't so apparent was that she was quite the expert slicer, and the technician of the ship she was sitting in, and quite generally a dab hand at just about anything one needed. She was the kind of person who'd always have another surprise for you in store...

    "Master Fiana! You have a message!"

    She groaned and rolled her eyes upwards, and brought down the cup she'd been sipping from onto the table with a discordant clang. The voice had been coming closer and was going to enter the hold shortly - it had also become annoyingly louder with each time it called. Another thing she'd need to look into.

    Tapping impatiently with her somewhat wrinkly and equally spotted fingers on the metal surface of the table, she looked up at the hold-door just as the protocol droid's bronze feet took the step inside, followed by the rest of its metal body. Just as soon as it was inside, the message was relayed once more, even louder than before.


    "Like I didn't hear you the last 6 times...," Fiana mumbled to herself, but the droid's audio recorder was good enough to pick up on that.

    "Why did you fail to respond then?" the droid asked, his artificial voice brimming with something that could have been interpreted as sulkiness.

    The concept of sarcasm was as lost on the droid as had been the various attempts of hers to fix that odd glitch about the titles. Maybe the next program upgrade would take care of that... still, maybe he'd just do her the favor and adjust in his programming all by himself if she was stubborn enough to explain again and again.

    "That was sarcasm, Emsig: now what's the message?"

    With a loud banging noise thoroughly sulky looking Emsig - his correct apellation being M-S1G - laid down the datachip he had been carrying, but then appeared to freeze on the spot. Fiana ignored that, and went for the chip greedily - she'd been waiting for a particular program to be transfered to her and was now sure that that was what the message was.

    Instead, it was the animated face of an especially ugly male Twi'lek which looked at her in miniature format. Somebody important with a company called the Ashur Trade Legislate which she had never heard of before; but they had to be pretty big if their execs could pay for exclusives like spinning headshots for their personal business cards. Fiana started scanning through the message, a frown still wrinkling her forehead further.

    Several time-units later, her facial expression had lit up to a toothy grin - the Hearts were back in business, it seemed. Time to go tell her comrades and get the ship turned around: there was a Hutt-infested mudball called Ganipres waiting for them at the other end of the galaxy...

    Emsig was still frozen to the spot when she got her creaking joints out of her seat and past him, but as she did so it finally came to her that he hadn't said a word for a while now. Taking a step back, she looked at his shiny metal face-plate for any sign of life, and, upon finding none, knocked against his torso. That got Emsig to right himself, but all she got from him was a very odd and squeaky "Shutting down." Then the head sagged down and the droid froze again.

    Shaking her head at this new puzzle, Fiana walked off to find the others.

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 11-17-2002 04:30 PM:

    *The Falleen: A reptilian humanoid species that occupy the Falleen star system. They are a handsome species exotic in appearence with scaled skin. One of the indicatives of their reptilian nature, is their ability to change skin color, great for camouflage*

    *Unlike most reptilian species, Fallen grow hair. This species is considered aesthetically pleasing by most humanoids. Although their psysique is perceived as well defined and attractive, the widespread acceptance they enjoy is not solely based upon appearence. They can exude pheromones at will, and these chemicals are used to control the perceptions of others, perceptions that the Falleen frequently manipulate to their advantage. Tge race is also a long-lived species, living 250 standard years on the average, though some healthy individuals have been known to live for more than 400 years.*

    *Falleen pheromones are so powerful that they can produce an almost hypnotic effect, and the manipulations often take on lustful overtones, though not always, mainly it's used to their advantage*

    *This advantage was well used by a perfect specimen of the species, Eachan Kavenaugh; a specialist infiltrator, pheromone thing, would explain a lot to it, as well as an expert in mele and hand to hand combat*

    *The reptilian humanoid found himself in the cockpit of the VOODOO HEART, the starship of the Black Heart Ops, team, playing with his knife, bored out of his mind, when Fiana made her way in



    Posted by P.J. Littien on 11-17-2002 06:28 PM:

    PJ was relaxing in the cockpit, seemingly asleep at the fire control station. His feet kicked up on the console, his short unkept black hair was sticking in all directions and his hands were interlaced behind his head. He was in a white undershirt and a pair of boxers, PJ wasn't one who was overly impressed with pants and onboard the ship he rarely walked around in anything but his jockey shorts and his white undershirt.

    Slowly his cold grey eyes opened as Fiana entered the cockpit and he heard the Faleen greet her. He nodded his head and grunted; "Unhh.." His own brand of greeting someone. PJ wasn't always the most talkative person.

    Kicking his feet down off the console he reached down under his chair and pulled out a small snuff container, taking a pinch of the ground Corellian dopeweed leaf he put a pinch inbetween his lips and his gums. The mild narcotic chemicals in the herb dulled his senses a bit, which helped when one was trained to be aware of everything and anything around him.

    Standing he ran his hands through his bushy hair and stretched a bit.

    "What's up?"

    Posted by Fiana Norith on 11-18-2002 08:30 AM:

    "Boys," she said, with that annoying way the elderly have of talking of anyone younger than themselves as of children, "Boys - turn this bucket around, cos we have just got ourselves a job!"

    That being said, she let herself fall into the co-pilot's seat (which was hers), and while she was there anway, she decided to get busy whilst waiting for her uncommunicative partners to voice their opinions; she let her fingers dance over the keyboard, calling up coordinates and information and whatever else there was about Ganipres.

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 11-18-2002 11:18 AM:

    "boys....boys...boys...boys...." A word not really liked by Kavenaugh, especially when it was used to refer to him or call upon him. However, Fiana would get away with it, every now and then.

    "What kind of job, F?" Said the Falleen as he was looking at Fiana, spinning his knife through his fingers, only to put it away.

    Posted by Fiana Norith on 11-18-2002 02:59 PM:

    Perfectly aware that Eachan liked being called a boy just about as much as she liked having her name cut short to a plain F, Fiana couldn't resist annoying him some more: she waited until he was about to put away the knife he had been playing with, and commented,

    "Well put that away - hasn't anyone ever told you it's dangerous to play with knives, boy?"

    She laughed throatily, as his face was distorting with rage, then decided to turn her attention towards more important matters. He'd get over it soon enough anyway.

    Just in case he had decided to take serious offense at her little jibe, she turned away from him and entered a short sequence of words to turn on the miniature onboard holoprojector, showing a smallscale model of Ganipres.

    "This is Ganipres. Hutt-world - or at least, the Hutts like to think they own the mudball. Most of the planet is swamp and a handful of natives. There's also a very lucrative sluice mine there which has recently stopped making profit - apparently the stuff just doesn't get processed or something. Anyway, turns out the Hutts sold the mine off to something called the Ashur Trade Legislate, and now they're getting mightily worried about their new purchase and want us to go check what's happening."

    After a moment's thought, she decided to add,

    "It's gonna be a well-paid job, boys, so don't knock this without considering it."

    Posted by P.J. Littien on 11-19-2002 07:40 AM:

    "I'll go put on some pants..." PJ replied nonchalantly it was his way of saying that he had no objections to the mission. He didn't care too much about what the job was as long as it paid well, which was amusing because he didn't care much about money either so long as he had enough to live on.

    Walking out of the cockpit he entered his quarters and began to dress, putting on black socks a body glove and a pair of black cargos. He then slipped into a pair of black jack boots and re-entered the cockpit.

    "So what's the job description?"

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 11-19-2002 10:52 AM:

    *Eachan just chuckled at the whole, BOYS, F. thingy. They were peers, comrades, mercenaries, and like mercs, they just loved to go back and forth at each other, just for the heck of it*

    "Yeah, P.J.'s right, what's this whole thing 'bout?"

    "And what or how much exactly does well-paid mean? 'cause I can sure as hell picture a lot of it"

    *Said the Falleen as he just laughed about it all and stood up from his sit, approaching his fellows*

    Posted by Fiana Norith on 11-19-2002 12:17 PM:

    The mottled grey globe was still spinning when P.J. returned to his seat. Fiana eyed his new outfit and couldn't hold back a comment.

    "I was beginning to wonder if you'd finally lost all your clothes playing sabbacc back in that dodgy club on Bazaare II..."

    Her grey eyes sparkled mischievously, before she remembered the actual issue at hand and turned back to the rotating planet model.

    "Well, as I said - it's recon. We go in, check out the locals, sniff out the trouble and, if there is any, we deal with it. Not like we were asked to, but no one said anything against it either, so... well, anyways, they're sending us there to a city called Gramch, where we'll meet a rep from the mine and get a lift to it. We'll look around the place, so I'd suggest at least one of us - " - she was eyeing PJ as she said that - " - finds out as much as he can about sluice mining, so we know if there's anything wrong. I got the impression our employers are thinking there's something dodgy about the people working at the mine, since there's been delivery delays recently and no end of other trouble I wasn't able to find anything on. We're given full authorisation, so no matter what those people there think, we get to look at anything we want."

    There was a little more than that she had managed to dig up about Ganipres, but she thought it better not to tell her partners until a more suitable opportunity - when they weren't likely to ditch this job because of it.

    "As for pay.... how's 500,000 credits sound? Plus an additional bonus if the mision is successful?"

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 11-20-2002 01:38 PM:

    "HAHAHAHAHA.....lost...lost your clothes, playing sarlaac??? HAHAHAHA "

    *Kavenaugh, just had to laugh at "F's" sarcastic comment. As stated earlier, these guys just loved to go back and forth at each other whenever the opportunity presented itself. After being in a ship for so long and so much time in space, it was a "sane" way to keep their lucidity*

    *The Falleen listened very closely as to what Fiana was saying, paying attention to every detail of the mission, it seemed way too easy, could Fiana be holding back something? A little too simple for them to achieve and to get all that money, though Eachan couldn't help but joke about the pay*

    "500,000 credits??? five f$%&in hundred damn thousand credits??? That's it??? That's what Bobba Fett would charge in his good ol'days, for a killing, a simple killing, and wouldn't have to split it in three, like us..."

    HAHAHAHAHA *Again, his laughter filled the cockpit, for a very strange reason, the Falleen seemed to be in a very good mood*

    Posted by P.J. Littien on 11-21-2002 06:44 PM:

    "You think everything is funny..." PJ grunted. Walking towards Fiana he looked her dead in the eye and reached his hand out. L

    "I wanna look over the mission myself."

    The dark haired man was a loner of sorts, Eachan and Fiana were just about the only two beings in the galaxy that he could stand to be around on such a continuous basis. He'd killed others in the same position, but for some reason he had a strange connection to these two. More than likely the Falleen's pheromones that kept him enamored to the group.

    "Seems too damn simple to me for 500k. There's a catch somewhere..." PJ wasn't an optimist in the least bit but he wasn't a pessimist either, rather he was a opurtunistic realist. A man willing to take calculated risks with his life for a high pay-off.

    "Do they have this type of money to be throwing around on such a simple recon mission?" PJ asked, if a company was nouveu riche, they often tossed money around for this sort of thing, but a company that counted their beans wouldn't dare offer this type of bounty for such a simple mission and be expected to pay off in full.

    Posted by Fiana Norith on 11-22-2002 01:27 PM:

    She shot Eachan a look meant to be mean and contemptuous but somehow it didn't quite hit the mark. So Fiana turned her attention back to PJ - to find herself agreeing with him.

    "If there's a catch, then they weren't as forthcoming as to actually tell me about it. I'd bet with you for my share of the payment that there's something foul about that other than the bucket-fulls of Hutt drool that we'll most likely have to wade through on our way to that mine - guess we'll just have to go and see for ourselves."

    The thing about the Hutts was an unpleasantness. Fiana loathed that species to a degree which only more one thing could surpass: doing business with Hutts. In this case they weren't going to have to do anything with either - at least not face to face - but that didn't mean that she was going to be one huge bit more careful of what she was going to do.

    "I don't think that company has much of a choice in this matter - it's losing money because of that mine, so they're willing to pay just about anything for it. 500 k was the highest I could push them too."

    The initial offer had been as ridiculously low as the current one was high. Monda Tal, the Twi'leki exec she'd been receiving the message from and dealing with afterwards, had been a hard nut to crack about that, but in the end she'd gotten 500 k out of it - plus an option on more if the mission turned into something other than just recon.

    Now she was getting decidedly impatient to go. Her fingers were already resting nervously on the co-ordinates keypad.

    "Now can we turn this bucket of bolts around and check it out? If there's anything fishy about it, we'll find out soon enough - and we really need the money."

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 11-23-2002 11:15 AM:

    "Well then just turned this damn bucket around..." *He just dropped himself into his seat and that was it. His good mood was over, he was now cranky, but that was Eachan moody as bloody hell*

    Posted by Fiana Norith on 11-25-2002 01:32 AM:

    Looking over PJ's shoulder back at the grumpy Eachan, Fiana rolled her eyes upward in exasperation. Sometimes the Falleen's mood swings got on her nerves, especially if they came out of nowhere.

    She turned her attention back to the keypad in front of her, and without waiting for confirmation from PJ, fed the co-ordinates to the ship's computer; then she mumbled at them both,

    "Well, you better strap in then... co-ordinates are set. Maybe if the pilot would stop sulking in his chair and throw this bucket into hyperdrive, we could get on."

    The corner of her mouth twitched in annoyance as she waited for Eachan to do his stuff, while PJ went to his seat.

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 12-01-2002 08:09 PM:

    "...Maybe if the pilot would stop sulking in his chair and throw this bucket into hyperdrive, we could get on..." *Was the mumble that could be heard coming out of Eachan's mouth*

    *Before Fiana could say something back to him he put his index finger and thumb in his mouth and took a louder than loudest, whistle*

    "VIRGIL!!!" *A loud scream filled the cockpit, just like his laughter had done it, moments earlier. Another whistle and then a footsteps could be heard. They were not actually footsteps, there were more like claws, and it was not a two legged being, but a four legged one. The quickness of the noises, could tell so*

    *As the noises were getting louder, howling could also be heard. Then all of a sudden Virgil, Kavenaugh's pet Howlrunner made his entrance*

    "Here boy!!!" *Another small whistle left the Falleen's mouth, and then Virgil, put his front paws on Eachan's lap, while licking his hands* "Here boy, ah, how's my boy? how's my boy?" *A paternal tone could be heard in Eachan's words*

    "Down boy, down. We gonna be travelling fast, so you gotta be ready, OK boy?" *Without further notice the Falleen, made the jump into hyperspace and The Black Hearts were on their way to Ganipres*

    Posted by P.J. Littien on 12-02-2002 09:32 AM:

    Not much shook up the sharpshooter known as PJ, he could sit for an hour on Hoth in his normal gear and still take out his target, he could camp in the dunes of Tattoine and not break a sweat, but hyperspace; hyperspace made him sick.

    Pushing back the urge to purge himself of his daily meal, he closed his eyes and sat back in his chair, he would be adjusted to it in a few minutes but until then his skin tone would be similar to that of his Falleen friend: Green.

    "Damn it Eachan I told you to give me a second before we make the jump to Hyperspeed..." He growled as his demeanor returned to normal. He'd be fine until the re-entered real space.

    Posted by Eachan Kavenaugh on 12-18-2002 07:24 AM:

    "Time is money my friend" Eachan said to his fellow merc with an evil smile on his face.

    "One second lost is one credit lost" The ship was steady now from the jump into hyperspace. The voodoo heart was a fine ship and it wasn't long before it stabilized and cruise swiftly through hyperspace.
    Last edited by Mara Halcyon; 03-07-2003, 03:43 PM.

  • #2
    "Yeah right.... P.J., feel free to gag him for the rest of the journey if he goes on like that - and someone take that damned slobbering thing out of here before it drools all over the place!!!"

    If there was one thing Fiana couldn't abide, then it was the presence of that beast following the Falleen everywhere. Just thinking of it made her itch in dozens of places all over her body. And its foul breath stinking up the air was more than she could take inside the narrow confines of the cockpit.

    Looking over at her fellow sufferer, she took notice of the still faintly nauseated hue of P.J.'s face and suppressed a grin. The sight of him reminded her of something, but she couldn't quite remember what it was. Wrinkling her forehead, she sat up straight and looked at her two partners.

    "I don't suppose any one of you could tell me now what it was I was wanting to do, no?"

    Not really expecting an answer, she got out of her seat anyway, and decided to return to the hold to get another cup of caf and go over the mission parameters again while the ship was in hyperspace. It was halfway on the way to there when she finally remembered what she had wanted to do: take a look at the malfunctioning droid again.


    View System information? Y/N
    System: Ganipres
    Location: Mid Rim
    Category: Swamp World
    Political Affiliation: Hutt
    Gravity: Standard
    Atmosphere: Oxygen based
    Hydrosphere: Wet
    Temperature: Standard
    Terrain: Mangrove Swamp / Shallow Sea's
    Government: Anarchy
    Population: 7 billion
    Major Exports: Industrial Chemicals
    Major Imports: Foods, Personal Weapons
    View additional information? Y/N
    Ganipres is a world of swamp, giant mangrove forests and warm shallow seas. Nested amongst the twisting giant mangroves are the stilt cities, great metal constructs usually perched atop five solidly constructed static columns that hold the city just out of reach of the feted swamp gasses that mix uncontrollably with industrial run offs.
    While the atmosphere of Ganipres is breathable a breath mask is recommended to overcome the stench of ammonia compounds that rise from the swamp forests, this is primarily why the cities are build on stilts. The second reason is that while Ganipres was always home to a number of naturally aggressive predators. Several species that were imported for sport, entrainment and pets have also found there way into the natural ecosystem. Worse still the industrial pollutants that are discarded from the factory complexes in the stilt cities are highly toxic and mutagenic, leading to a number of abortions that are rumoured to haunt the mangroves.
    Ganipres draws all types of scum to it, smugglers, criminals and pirates use the location to maximum advantage often preying on Republic worlds and starships before retreating to the relative safety and lawlessness of Hutt Space. Ganipres also has its own industries including mineral extraction though a complex process of sieving rare elements and compounds from the swamp lands. While tourism seems unlikely the number and aggressiveness of local predators makes Ganipres popular with big game hunters and those who enjoy blood sports.
    Ganipres is not without resistance to both environmental neglect, excesses of sport hunters and high-risk pod racing. Deep with the untamed swamplands small settlements of freedom fighters exist. In the past they have limited themselves to striking at targets that make themselves available, like the floating pleasure barges of the Hutts or hunting parties tracking exotic beasts. Recently they have become bolder in their actions including the bombing of a refinery in Gamch the murder of several technicians working on a sluice farm. These environmental freedom fighters said to be lead by an Ithorian ecologist; this rumour alone has caused racially motivated attacks by various parties upon Ithorians visiting the stilt cities.
    Search "Government Administration"
    View? Y/N
    The local government, called the Committee, is dominated by self-interested politicians, they supposedly provide services to the citizens of Gamch but in truth they take a cut of things and make a show of trying to maintain waning public confidence and interest. Law enforcement and legal issues also fall under the jurisdiction of the government, who will hold a trial on those rare occasions when the public or a suitably high payer wants a show to be made of something. Permits for blood sports, sluice faming or filter mining can be granted by these authorities and be sure that local law enforcement will take an interest if you don't have the right paper work, because that means more bribes.
    Search "Port Authority"
    View? Y/N
    The Port Authority has jurisdiction over all the landing faculties on the topside of the city, and consequently they levy a heavy tariff for landing privileges. Customs Inspectors are all individual businessmen, that is they buy the right to inspect specific landing pads and hangers and they in turn provide their own enforces to back them up. Corruption is rampant and nothing gets into Gamch without a hefty bribe, though nothing is technically illegal. The Port Authority has its own security for those occasions when the customs inspectors get out of hand.
    Search "Gamch", View
    The Stilt City of Gamch
    Erected in the centre of a small tropical lagoon, this would have been a location of immense natural beauty had a large polluting metal eyesore not have been placed in the middle of it. The mangrove jungle, warped and twisted by the nauseous chemicals the still in the lagoon from Camch, draw in around an about, growing to immense proportions, some almost a kilometre in height. The best description for Gamch is that it's a festering sore, poisoned by all manner of scum.
    Though the bottom perched upon its massive angled stilts is almost one hundred meters above the surface of the contaminated water, deadly stinking mists can still rise to a level where the poor on the lower levels or the factory technicians who work with minimal protection are often endangered. Gamch is has 76 different levels though ease of use these are zoned in to five major areas. As a general rule the higher up the structure and the further from the swamp the more expensive everything is.
    Law enforcement is something of a haphazard affair, each of the major zones has its own methods and jurisdiction is often negotiable, in some cases one group of enforces will battle another to ensure their jurisdiction over a lucrative individual who they will then take some place quiet a beat the snot out of until they receive a suitable payoff for their services.
    View additional information? Y/N

    Interesting place they were travelling to - that much seemed certain... as long as they didn't run into too many Hutts (especially not Orga, who was still sulking about the loss of his favorite ship and likely to take any opportunity to get it back), it wouldn't be much of a problem. Or at least so she hoped.

    Fiana switched off the interface and returned to her place at the table. Picking a tiny chip from her datareader, she bent over the droid spread out over the table and slotted the piece of metal back into its place. Reattaching a few wires, and then fastening the coverplate back onto the droid's torso, her fingers finally paused before they hit the activation button again. She hoped this had fixed whatever the problem seemed to be - there hadn't seemed to be anything specifically wrong when she'd run the diagnostic on the chip. But there was only one way to find out. She hit the button.

    "Good afternoon, mylady, how may I be of service?"

    Well that seemed to be okay then. She looked at her watch before replying to the droid who was jerkily getting off the table and standing straight in front of her - a few more minutes to the return to normal-space.

    "You can be of service by shutting down now again and waiting until there's something we need you for."

    The droid shut down, obediently. Pleasantly surprised, Fiana decided to head back to the cockpit.


    • #3
      When she entered the cockpit, her feet staggered forward, missing a step, as the ship reverted to normalspace. It made her lose her balance and she had to grab the nearest thing to steady herself - which happened to be Virgil, the Falleen's Howlrunner, who was still standing at attention there behind his master's seat.

      Fiana snatched her hand back as soon as she'd recovered her balance, and growled first at the beast then at its master.

      "Emperor's Black Bones --- why is that THING still in here?!?"

      She threw herself into her seat next to Kavenaugh and eyed the sight through the viewscreen with some interest.

      "Well, where are we? Anyone queried the System's DB yet?"


      • #4
        "Visitors, Ganipres Spaceport Authority welcomes you to Ganipres. Please transmit identification of of your vessel to receive instructions on entering Ganipres. Be ready to show your documentation to all officials of the planetary government..."

        Lorm Trot paused for a second, a broad grin lighting up his ruddy Gran face. He liked welcoming new visitors to the planet - he also liked what he would do to them once they were in his hands. In that light, his final words to the travellers in the ship entering the system were incredibly amusing to him.

        "... and enjoy your stay!"

        One of his men turned around in his seat at the console, and shared that grin with him. The day had just turned fun.