Getting into the ship yard would have been so much more difficult in the days of the Empire. Security in the current age was not as stringent, and access could be attained at a small price. No longer were the Emperor’s stormtroopers a constant presence throughout the Galaxy, the First Orders soldiery being fewer in number, and scattered further than their predecessors. Quo doubted that they weren’t trained as highly either, his few encounters with them showing them to be able, though nothing more. In the days of the Empire this place would have been crawling with white clad troopers, all with specific areas of authority, and a determination that could only be achieved from years of training, and the ability to choose only the best, which was established through the use of clones. Every one of them was exemplary. Every one servile to the Emperor.
He sat at the bar of a run down drinking establishment. Even with his Zabrak features he didn’t stand out here. Every patron in the subterranean dive was too busy looking after their own affairs to be interested in anyone else. In here he didn’t need to use stealth or subterfuge, in here nobody else was interested, and that was just how he needed it to be. Ordering another drink from the bar tender he waited. He had been waiting for three days. He well knew that there was a time restriction on this mission, but his opposition would be experiencing the same problems as he was gaining the proper paperwork and passes for the ship yard, but he had a couple of extra tricks he could use should the need arise.
Before he even arrived on this temperate, soft world he had put wheels in motion. Passing himself off as a Jedi escapee he had put the feelers out through the Corellian underground for somebody who could get him close to the ships. Someone who could get him inside the security wall and under the local security services radar. He knew that the real Jedi would be doing something similar to get to the CR90 Corvette that they so desperately needed. There weren’t many that fitted the bill, and only two that worked from Corellia, and the other one was on the opposite side of the planet, so the odds were in his favour that this one was doing the same for his quarry.
In between bouts of isolationist socialising he had rented a single room directly opposite the main entrance to the yard, above what was loosely termed an eatery. His evenings spent watching the entrance, and patrolling the perimeter fence, he had gathered the shift patterns of the workers, and even learned some of them by sight. He knew the patterns of the private security guards, and who were the weak links. The hours of study would pay off later he told himself secretly wishing for the chance to spread some death and destruction about. That would have to wait though, this was, after all, an Inquisitorious mission, he was meant to be subtle.
The communicator at his belt vibrated. Plucking it from his belt he held it to his ear, listening intently to the incoming message. He finished his drink, spinning from the bar whilst tossing a credit chip to the barman. “Keep the change,” he said as he made his way out to the city. Exitting the bar room door he glanced left and right along the street. It was raining hard, and the light was glinting from the pavement and puddles, reflections glinting in his eyes. Turning left he followed the other foot traffic up to the main thoroughfare through the suburb.
Capital Spaceport was teeming with life. The colours and sounds bombarded the senses though Quo made his way as though he knew where he was going. He was heading for the waterfront, it was time to meet his enabler. Passers by didn’t even cast a second glance at the horned man as he made his way towards his rendezvous. There were so many people of so many different races and species here that another oddity didn’t warrant any interest. Moving down the stair to the harbour he looked out to sea, over the top of the playboy accoutrements that were berthed at the moorings. The stocky Zabrak was down by the water in no time heading to the predetermined meeting point, a small bar set back from the water down a nondescript alley way. Disappearing into the gloom Quo entered, his senses seeking out any sign of danger as he entered, unconsciously his arm moving the fabric of his tunic away from his lightsaber on his belt.
Entering the bar by a small set of steps leading down into another dive. Quo glanced around before heading to the bar. “Ale,” he said as the bartender came by, throwing a credit chip across the bar top. A bubbling green liquid filled glass was slid back to him, connecting with the Sith’s right hand. Turning away he made his way to a small seating booth at the back of the room, deep in the shadows, away from prying eyes. As he sat a small, thin looking Rodian slid into the seat opposite. A sense of deja-vu swept over Quo, he had a bad feeling about this. Placing a small translator unit between them the Rodian keyed in a code on the upper surface of the module.
“Welcome stranger, funding do you bring?” The little machine approximated Zabraki, although the dialect was not one that Quo recognised. Reaching into his belt pouch he produced his data pad, turning it so the Rodian could see the screen. The green man opposite nodded his assent and Quo put his thumb to the screen followed by the Rodian, the screen confirmed that the funds had been transferred.
“Many you kind I helped, stopped never have they,” the translator warbled, ”Kungo called am I, happy to help I are.” His lips curved upwards in an approximation for a smile, his arms spreading to either side of his shoulders.
“For the right money you are,” replied Quo, then thinking better of it to maintain his cover as a Jedi, “but thank you for your assistance”
“Papers I have of you, very good, very good, tell them from real will nobody. Guarantee will I.”
Quo forced his face to soften, this trying to think like a Jedi was harder than he thought. It left a bitter taste inside his breather. Regardless, it seemed to satisfy Kungo as he sat back and chuckled, his large eyes glinting with the merriment. From beneath the table he produced a small folder. Sliding it across the table, glancing at the other patrons as he did so he theatrically bowed as Quo swept them into the shadows with his arm. Catching the folder in his left hand he flipped open the cover, taking out the identification card, ship yard pass, terminal pass, and a very official looking manifest check sheet. Looking them over Quo was genuinely surprised. This Kungo character was good, scrutinising the identification closely he revised his assessment. He was better than good, he couldn’t tell that this was a forgery. He would make a note in his database that this Rodian was a true artist. He would be a good contact to nurture.
“These are very good, I may well be contacting you for more of these for my, er, friends. I applaud you Kungo, you are an artist.” Again he gave the softened Quo look, nodding sagely as he spoke.
“Please am I, and welcome you are. Many things for friendship I can do, all is needed is asking,” Kungo was grinning from ear to ear, or as far as his undersized mouth would allow, “but now I am for leaving, and hoping you are coming back after over the troubles.” Standing his gave a short bow, in one movement he had wheeled away and disappeared into the gloom.
Quo finished his drink slowly, no reason to attract attention to himself, and no telling who was watching Kungo’s movements, either in here or out on the street.
The next morning Quo was awake early. The shift started at 0600 local time and he wanted to look around the ship yard. Joining the mass of workers he approached the security gate, his identification ready in his left hand. The security was waving through all the regulars, the ones he recognised by sight, checking around a tenth of the entrants to ensure their credentials were in order. Stepping in front of the Zabrak he waited, his right hand extended before him.
“Identification please.” He looked the Sith directly in the eye awaiting his card. Quo passed it to him, waiting patiently as he read it, scanning the image contained against the face that was before him. “No problems mate. First day?” A smile was affixed to the wide, generous mouth.
“Yeah, working on that old cargo runner, short term contract.” Quo looked over his shoulder at the throng of workers moving past.
“Right mate, over to the left, there’s a large green hangar, in there. Thanks,” handing the ID back to Quo he turned, seeking out his next target for checking. Moving off Quo headed where he had been guided, following the flow of people heading to their designated work areas. As he approached the hangar his eyes took in the layout. The entrances and exits, the staircases that climbed the outside of the building, leading to differing levels for access to the ship contained inside. It was a massive building, it would be very easy to lose yourself in a place like that, or get lost on purpose.
The throng had thinned as the other workers headed in different directions. As he approached the building there were only about thirty or so workers heading to the hangar. Hanging back slightly he let the others continue on their way, opening a gap between himself and them. This was not a high priority area, the CR90 was an old ship. It was an old ship thirty four years ago when they had been used at the battle of Yavin IV, and these days there were better ships available. That was probably why it had been selected by the scattering Jedi, nobody would be taking any notice of an old hunk of junk. Watching as the workers approached the hangar he could see no sign of security on this particular bay, but he watched for another minute or two as the workers dissipated to their various stations. Satisfied that there were no hidden security measures he made his way directly to the main hangar doors. Most of the workers were up on high, carrying out repairs to the main systems of the ship, down here there was nobody to be seen. Working his way across the floor he headed for the underside of the Corvette, taking in her shape looming above him.
Quo was at home in the shadows, and used them to his full advantage, ensuring that no-one saw his movements. Searching the underside of the vessel he was looking for something in particular. Just aft of the ventral docking port was an access hatch, only for use in emergencies where the engineers could leap to the safety of space wearing EVA suits in the event of emergency. It was hard to locate in he gloom, but Quo had studied the plans for this vessel in the briefing, studied hard and long, ensuring that he knew the ship inside and out. After a couple of minutes he located it.
Pressing the emergency access button a hiss of escaping gas, and a cloud of hydraulic steam marked the port acceding to his control. Reaching out with his senses he checked the other side of the hatch, sensing nothing there he climbed aboard, reactivating the control panel once he was ensconced inside. The hatch closed with a dull thud, and a breath of vapour. Looking up the access shaft he assessed the ledge above him to be some twenty two feet higher than his current level. His legs bunched thrusting himself upwards, his body becoming an arrow, easily making the distance. A couple of taps on the door control and he was inside the ship proper, his feet on solid bulkheads, the light soft but fully illuminating.
He needed to stop this thing getting away from here, and bringing explosives on boards through the gates was not an option, he would have to improvise. He was near the engineering compartment, but he had a feeling that there would be workmen in there. He had the correct clearance to enter there though thanks to Kungo. Working his way aft and upwards through the maze of corridors he was stood outside the engine bay within ten minutes. The door was open to the control room as well as the double doors to the engines themselves. Entering the control room he was surprised to find that there was nobody there. Quickly he made his way to the consoles beneath the viewing windows to the bay beyond.
His fingers danced over the controls, bringing up the schematics for the power control relays. If he could access them there was a chance that he could cause a feedback loop in the main power conduits and either destroy the ship, or delay it long enough for Brotherhood forces to pounce on her as she attempted to escape. Reading quickly he found two that could likely be made to do that. Turning he made towards the first of them. As he reached the door instinct made him stop, recoiling as a bright blue saber blade sliced millimetres from his face. Stepping back his own saber leapt from his belt, snapping into his mechanical hand with a reassuring ‘thwack’. Instantly it ignited, bathing the room in a crimson glow, the reflection flashing from the glass of the viewing area.
“A Sith,” came a voice from the corridor, “I haven’t seen one of your kind for many years.” Rounding the corner was a large human male, easily two and half meters in height, with a chest the size of an escape pod, or so it seemed to the young Zabrak. ‘How had he sneaked up on me?’ thought Quo, his body dropping into the relaxed stance, one foot slightly forwards of the other, shoulder width apart. Reaching with his left hand he drew his vibroblade from its scabbard, holding it in a reverse grip.
“Where have you come from young Darksider?” The Jedi before him strolling slowly and deliberately across the room towards the Dark Knight.
“I come from your nightmares, Light walker,” spat Quo, his eyes flashing gold and red, filled with venom, “I am the envoy of your demise.” Striding forwards towards his adversary he twirled the saber in his right hand, the left hand twirling the blade in his other providing a constantly moving target to the Jedi.
The Jedi set his stance, wide and low, his saber levelled at the Sith warrior, a gesture from his hand clearing the mobile consoles away to the sides of the control room, their movement seemingly of their own volition. “Your over confidence will be your downfall young warrior, the Force is to be caressed, not bludgeoned.” Quo wanted to wipe that benevolent smile from his face.
A leap covered the distance between them, Quo’s saber swinging downwards toward the head of the huge human. The smell of ozone, and crash of the impact almost deafening them both in this confined space. The Jedi was already moving to his right, his left hand extending, spread. The Zabrak felt the pressure of the push hit his chest, throwing him backwards across the room, his feet scrabbling for purchase. Stopping himself from hitting the wall behind him, a single bound brought him back into range of the Jedi. The blue blade was arcing around at waist height in a double handed grip, the Jedi adding power to it by leaning into it with both shoulders. Quo met it with his vibroblade, the blade whining as it deflected the blow, spinning across the room, knocked free from his grip by the power of the blow. The Zabrak’s own blade followed the fist that he threw, feinting the strike, a dummy which the Jedi succumbed to, attempting to block it with his own saber.
Quo’s left hand shot forwards, flashes of blue lightning tendrils reaching forward from his finger tips, enveloping the Jedi in a cloak of blue and white energy, his body pulsing with the power. The Sith’s eyes narrowed as he urged more and more power to surge through him. The Jedi groaned under the onslaught. Abruptly it stopped, Quo reaching backwards, hand open, summoning his vibroblade back to his hand. With a ‘zing’ it left the floor, flying true to his outstretched palm.
The Jedi rolled back onto his shoulders, flipping himself back to his feet, adopting the same wide stance, looking in pain, but sticking to his task. A roar marked the next attack from the young Dark Jedi, the twin whirling blades leaving gouge and scorch marks on the floor of the control room. Seeing the approach the old Jedi retreated step by step, drawing the Zabrak, in his frenzy forwards towards him. Sparks showered the room, the clanging and whirring noises deafening to both of the fighters. Quo stepped quickly, his attack frenzied and relentless, the Jedi fending off each alternate blow from the rising and falling blades. The lust for victory gleamed in the red and gold eyes of the Sith.
As he kept up the pressure his opponent gestured upwards and backwards with his free hand. Suddenly Quo was airborne, crashing through the glass of the control room. He felt himself tumbling as he fell, trying to right himself, balance his spinning so that he could attempt to land on his feet. The ground came up too soon, and with a crunch he hit the floor, his momentum sending him into an uncontrolled roll, his limbs flailing as he came to a stop.
Dazed, his brain reeling he tried to stand, finding his legs failing beneath him. He couldn’t focus, images zooming in and out uncontrolled. His breather didn’t sound right either, the valves seeming to stick, causing a wheezing noise and restricting his breath. Rolling onto his back he looked back to the control room, the old Jedi was stood at the broken window looking down. With a leap he landed on the engine room floor, a mere two meters away from him.
“I would like to say that you will learn, young one, but I’m afraid that I cannot allow you to live. Rest reassured that I take no pleasure from it.” He strode across the floor, raising his saber above his head, readying for the fatal strike.
Quo’s hand reached out, the prosthesis withstanding the impact better than his real left arm, bruised and battered at his side. Fingers outstretched he snapped the fingers shut. At the zenith of its swing the blue blade above his head paused, the Jedi looking down with compassion in his eyes. It made Quo feel sick inside. Gesturing a pull one of the huge shards of glass front he broken window leapt from its resting place, unseen to the ageing Jedi. Before he could begin his killing stroke the glass passed at shoulder height, severing both arms,. and more importantly, the head of the Light Side advocate. He was dead before his body hit the floor.
Exhausted and wounded Quo regained his feet. He had a job to do. Gesturing with his prosthetic he called first his saber, then his vibroblade back to him, replacing them into their places on his belt. Moving slowly he knew he had to rig the ship.
Within an hour he had set the power control conduits to overload once the ship was in orbit. It would either cripple her or destroy her, he wasn’t bothered which. He hurt, and he had to get out, and do it when it was quiet. Making his way down the to the hangar floor through the same network of corridors and hatchways he waited until night fell. Under its beneficial cover he made his way back to his rented accommodation, signalling the Inquisitorious that his mission was successful, filling them in with all the details. For now he needed to sleep, to recover. There would be no rescue from this one, he would have to make his own way back to Sepros. Later. When it didn’t hurt as much.