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The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:14 pm

Auren glacned quickly across at Jax as the Vong warrior asked what she was. In any other situation, she'd have turned around and given him a tongue ashing fierce enough to strip the scarred skin from his freakishly altered bones, but, as this wasn't her mission, she left the talking to Jax. Her job was not to challenge, but to just look threatening enough for the Vong not to attempt a double cross of any kind. If she was honest, she wasn't holding out much hope that they would be able to keep themselves honest.

She smirked a little, though, as he introduced her as an apprentice warrior. Was he trying to push her towards the Mandalorian way of life or something? Nope, it was just a ploy to make the Vong warrior realise that she was more dangerous than she looked.

Wasn't it?

Still, she stood there, gun slung comfortably over her shoulder, keeping an eye out for any sort of trouble. It certainly sounded as though the Vong had a low enough opinion of the Mandalorians for things not to be as straight forward as they could be.

And that was precisely why Auren had been hired. "Don't need a philosophy to have standards," she remarked lightly, shrugging. "And don't need standards to have a philosophy." She snorted derisively. "Just take a look at the Sith for that."
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:50 pm

"Apprentice system, good method. It's still used in my Clan as well. The results aren't uniform but I'm sure you know as well as I that can be a strength in its own right." The Vong warrior spoke while watching Auren closely, though his eyes carried a simple curiosity. Perhaps he thought he was getting a good look at the rare sight of a Mandalorian with no armor.

Jax merely nodded, using his HUD to keep an even closer watch on the activities of the Shapers. Activities he was recording as well. It was a fascinating look into a culture and technology that much of the galaxy only had the most cursory of information about. The Mandalorians having that information before and beyond all others could be nothing but an advantage at some point.

Then Auren added her two credits to the situation. Jax's eyes went to the part of his HUD that contained the much smaller Vong warrior. He'd be fast, would come in low and try to get in close to do some damage before Jax could react. Then, if he didn't make the kill, it would be a game of stick and move. Of course, that all depended on how the Vong reacted to Auren's confrontational and dismissive words.

With amusement, apparently. "You let them speak?" The Vong asked of Jax though he kept his eyes on Auren.

"There's a reason we wear helmets and it isn't to hide our good looks. A healthy irreverence makes us happy, keeps the kids from aspiring to outside influence and maintains the faith even when other Mando'ade are felled." He spoke as if absently paying attention to the scenario unfolding around him but he was completely focused on the inner ring of defense.

The Vong spoke to Auren next. "Yes, the faithless ones. Few were encountered during the war. They were reported to be cowards despite being capable of so much destruction, more overtly dangerous than the Jeedai and yet... the Jeedai turned out to be the more effective warriors. As shocking as you Mandalorians."
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:29 am

Auren wasn't used to keeping her own counsel, especially not when she was being so openly discussed, and almost as though she were a lower form of life to the Vong and the Mandalorian. If it wasn't so amusing, she'd have been quite insulted.

Seems like the male ego is the same, no matter where you go.

She just about resisted a smirk settling on her lips as the Vong remarked on her being allowed to speak, and she almost lost it then. A minute twitch of her fingers, though, was all that displayed Auren's displeasure at the Vong's apparent dismissal of her ability to do... well, just about anything, it would appear, and she cast a quick glance across at Jax as he replied. At least he didn't appear to have taken her comment in the wrong way, although it was hard to tell through that helmet.

Auren let that smirk slide into place, although it was far from an arrogant or cocky expression, as the Vong appeared to agree with her take on the Sith. "I'd rather take on a Sith than a Jedi," she agreed, smiling slightly, and twitching that finger away from her gun again, "You know you're getting a nasty sun of a Hutt when you take one on, an' they're only out for themselves. Makes them more vulnerable, in my opinion." Not that she'd taken on many Sith, but they'd certainly been easier foes than the Jedi, that was for sure.
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Sat Mar 15, 2014 12:48 pm

The Vong warrior looked askance at Auren for a moment, until she gave her reason for preferring to face the Sith. At that he nodded with grim agreement. "They are dangerous opponents but their weakness is known, their behavior predictable. I agree that they are the preferable opponent to encounter by happenstance. The Jedi are, perversely, more random and chaotic in their approache to stimuli, more likely to see something in a situation for which you haven't accounted and able to take advantage of it. The ones that have reached their majority are more apt to think before meeting us directly, to pick battlefields that favor them. In a few more generations, however, greater honor will be accorded for defeating Jedi. Then the prevailing attitude amongst the Warrior cast will shift with it."

It was about the time the warrior was done ruminating that the shaper returned to the trio. "What you found, the puddle of ooze in the images, was the remains of a creature. Or more likely, a group of creatures. They were genetically engineered without a doubt. The genetic information we were able to put back together was clear, concise, and lacked evolutionary garbage. This creature was created from scratch, imprinted on blank RNA and then developed from there. All test tubes, chemicals, minerals, and the such. Also, it's genetic code is huge, meaning that there is a lot of non-physical data contained within it. Not only is the creature created from scrap but when it comes into being it does so with all of its behavior pre-programmed. No training needed, no conditioning required. This is very advanced but would take a lot of trial and error to perfect. Decades of failures, perhaps centuries depending on how well they know the results of combining various control traits."

She almost snuck up on Jax, watching Auren's hands in his HUD as he was, his helmet moving a bit as the shaper had rejoined them. "So it's a directed weapon..."

"Without a doubt. We are 100% certain that neither this creature nor its like exists in nature, genetically speaking. It has ablative armor, mineral heavy and extremely dense, programmed into it. That would require a creature evolving to stop your blasters, amongst other things. We can design a creature to do this but that isn't a great enough stimulus to be found in the wild. Plus all the excess data." She held out the data chip that Jax had given her before.

Jax accepted it, slipping it back into his belt. "Very well, we thank you for your assistance. If you don't happen to know where we could find people who do such we'll leave you to your business."

The warrior glanced at the shaper, the shaper nodded, and the warrior looked back to Jax and Auren. "It would seem that we do happen to know."

"Yes," the shaper continued. "The Arkanians. They are a group that has approached us on more than one occasion, amongst many others, in the hopes of learning something of our techniques. That had the most to offer but didn't care for our method, withdrawing from the situation quickly. This smacks of their technique."

Jax looked to Auren, his helmet turning to indicate he was speaking to her directly. "It looks like we have a vector. Arkanian Micro-technologies."
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:55 pm

It would appear that Auren and the Vong warrior at least agreed on something, and she inclined her head just the once. He had seemed initially annoyed enough by her first interjection, and the last thing that she wanted to do was to anger him at all. The Vong's reputation was one of viciousness and snap judgments, and, good as she was at her job, if the Vong moved first, Auren didn't know whether she would be able to match him.

The shaper approached almost silently, insinuating herself into the small group with barely a whisper, making a place for herself as though she had been there all along. Auren afforded her little more than a quick glance, at least until she started to speak, when the Corellian let out a low whistle. "Looks like we might have stumbled across some serious druk, then," she said to Jax, her tone serious and thoughtful.

The fact that it appeared to be a completely new and manufactured species was enough to send a chill racing down Auren's spine. A totally unfamiliar enemy was a totally unpredictable enemy, and, as such, they were more dangerous than anything she would have come across in the galaxy so far.

"So... something unknown, something that can take out a whole colony, and something that's been programmed and designed solely for... well, slaughter, it looks like." She was musing out loud now, and it was probably nothing that Jax and the Vong hadn't already considered, but it helped her to just straighten everything out in her head.

That said, it looked as though their visit with the Vong was more or less over, and Auren nodded just the once as the shaper handed back the data chip. She let out a single long breath as the Vong warrior, though, admitted that they did know who was responsible, and her eyebrows shot upwards as Jax turned to her and informed her of their next destination. "Sounds like the kind of trip that a girl couldn't afford to miss out on, huh?"
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:38 pm

"Well, you know what the end result was having been to the site but we can't be conclusive on the end purpose of the design. The test might have been, in fact, a resounding and horrific failure. Or a complete success. Or anywhere in between. The mock up we are getting from the genetic map does indicate a predatory, protein hungry insectoid, despite its end shape resembling a bestial repto-mammal. Likely for the greater intelligence without risking sentience." The shaper passed the conjecture on in a tone of clinical curiosity. "Of course, all of that data is on your recording device."

Jax nodded. "Again, thank you. Your group will be remembered for dealing straight." The massive Mandalorian then turned to the warrior. "We need to get moving, swift action may well be the key to catching our foe unprepared."

The diminutive warrior nodded, turned and walked out through the dilating sphincter of a door, apparently expecting them to follow. Jax did so, moving at a brisk military pace that didn't betray how wary he was of the ease with which that had all played out. There was a distant nagging feeling that the Vong were making a move against the Arkanians. However, the trick was in whether that made the info bad or even more accurate than usual. Not that Jax was likely to have taken it at face value no matter how he'd gotten it. They still had lots of investigating to do.
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:25 pm

Auren's eyes narrowed as the Shaper made suppositions as to whether or not what Jax and Hettir had found on the colony had been the results of a success or failure on whatever experiment had been carried out. A shudder rippled through her at the prospect of it having been a success. She nodded as she processed the information: science wasn't her strong suit, but even she could figure out that what was being described was a particular kind of nasty bastard.

Jax made swift work of taking their leave, and Auren simply nodded once, and followed behind him and the warrior, listening to the slightly distasteful sucking noises as the doorways slurped open and closed to grant them passage back to the docking bay.

Taking a few fast steps, she caught up to Jax, casting him a sidelong glance. Something wasn't sitting right with her. The Vong had been helpful and forthcoming, which more or less went against their entire fearsome reputation. At that moment, what she wouldn't have done for the same armour as he was wearing, anything to allow them to communicate without the Vong hearing a word of it.

Maybe there was something to adopting the Mandalorian way of life after all.
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:47 pm

Jax kept moving as Auren fell in beside him, his voice coming in through her earpiece. "Yes, I know. It's too easy, too straight forward, no posturing..." He didn't turn his head, not even a twitch, but he watched everything around him through his HUD. Including the composition of the air itself. Everything was still reading normal. Or at least normal for a Vong ship, as recorded by several Mandalorians before him. Normal, across the board. Even the temperature was staying even.

"If I were on Nal Hutta I would be likely to suspect such a thing. At the very best... the Vong have a reason to send the Arkanian's up the river. This maze is too twisting, too convoluted... We'll go over all the information once we're away, see if we can spot anything, but I have a sinking feeling we'll have to call that Jedi who set up the deal in the first place." He practically grunted. "Jedi magic..."

The trip back to the Drunk Duck took no longer on the return than it did on the way in. Hettir nodded when the two came through the door and they got immediate clearance to leave, the Vong making it clear they were perfectly ready for the encounter to end as well. Jax took them up and out, making for jump coordinates immediately.
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Auren Donos » Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:03 pm

Auren played innocent as Jax's voice echoed in her ear, keeping her eyes forward, avoiding glancing across at him. She didn't even acknowledge his words, knowing full well that any indication that they were communicating, no matter how one-sided it might be, could well tip the balance of their tenuous working relationship with the Vong.

She kept her senses sharp as she and Jax were escorted back to the docking bay, and it was almost gratifying to know that Jax appeared to have similar reservations to those that Auren herself was having. It certrainly merited further discussion once they were back on board ship.

Fortunately, the trip took no more than a minute or two, and Auren had never felt more relieved to be back in an environment that she knew was under the control of someone that she could trust, no matter how small that grain of trust. Shrugging off the big gun, she tipped a cocky salute to Hettir as Jax was already readying himself in the cockpit. Making sure that she had stashed her weapons safely, Auren joined him a few moments later, slipping easily into the co-pilot's chair.

"So... what d'you make of that?"
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Re: The Voyager (TAG: Jax/Hettir)

PostAuthor: Jax Xefern » Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:22 am

Jax stared out the forward viewport for a very long moment before answering Auren's deceptively simple question. "I don't know. Too many variables, too many unknowns. I can't shake the feeling that the Vong are saddling the Arkanians with the blame for a reason, which doesn't tell us a thing about whether or not the accusation is accurate. The Arkanians could be completely innocent and just crossed the Vong the wrong way. They could be totally guilty and just crossed the Vong the wrong way. Or they could be innocent, have never crossed the Vong at all, and the Vong just need a scape goat to put us off their trail for a while."

Jax turned in his seat and called back through the cockpit's door. "Hettir, do a full bio scan on the ship. Everything. I mean everything."

The massive Mandalorian turned back to facing out the forward port. "That's why I want to talk to the Jedi. Given the new information on the matter I'm hoping he might be able to do that thing they do where they come up with answers they have no reasonable explination for being able to come up with. If the Vong really are the culprits that's going to be a different problem altogether. I'll have to tell the Clan elders, and they'll have to call in favors or see if the Mandalore will make an official call to square the debt. If the Arkanians really are the route we need to go then you and I will be headed for their space, at which point you can keep working the contract or find a ride elsewhere as you please."

While he was thinking about it, Jax went ahead and transferred the funds negotiated over to Auren's account. As soon as the signal had bounced off his comm he pushed the levers forward and the vessel lept into hyperspace. "You got any winning theories from your end?"
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