For anyone who knew ship races, this was considered the big one, or at least one that stirred the most amount and the prestige that accompanied the pilots if they were able to finish the race. Spectators came from around the galaxy to watch, the racers themselves preparing for years before entering the race, chancing to luck and skill as they tempted fate. The race itself was unusual, there was nothing like it in the galaxy and that was why it drew the attention of Tiamat. It was not the risk or the thrill of the race, but the gate where the pilots started; there was no clear understanding on how it worked but it worked and the race charters made sure to add obstacles when one exited from the other side of the gate. For Tiamat, she was more curious if this was a possible hypergate and the upcoming race offered an opportunity to test her hypothesis while using willing volunteers.
In this experiment, she had found another (@Vizim Atar) to accompany her as an extra pair of eyes. She wasn't sure of his interest in races, but his brooding made it easy to assume that nothing took his interest and therefore he would keep his attention on the task she would give him.
They would have arrived a few days before the race to get settled, snagging amenities on the station, the Dragon's Nest so if her theory was null, at least they would be comfortable in doing so. The Dragon's Nest overlooked the starting point, the gate itself and there was a fair share of spectators that had already arrived, making the place fairly busy with not only guests but security also. A challenge for certain, but Tiamat felt it was nothing she couldn't handle, but she would need to get started right away. She relaxed for a bit in one of the many lounges, snacking on pieces of melon while she waited for Vizim to join her; she scrolled through her holopad, reading on the latest statistics for the pilots who entered the race as well as taking note of their ships, feeling it might be useful to know for later.
Vizim was beyond skeptical. He'd spent enough time in the Outer Rim in the last few years to have heard of the race, but he'd never had much interest in it before now. In fact, he wasn't even sure he was interested in it now, but it sounded like there was something to be gained from this particular inquiry.
Or at least he hoped so. The Sith had plenty of stupid people, so he'd already considered that he might be getting himself involved in this for nothing, but his fingers were crossed that that wasn't the case.
Evidently they were here to watch the race with a very specific purpose, and Vizim had decided that sounded enough like reconnaissance to suit him fairly well.
The hunter had begrudgingly left his externally visible weapons behind for the lounge visit, knowing they would draw too much unwanted attention, and he made his way inside. He arrived in enough time to find his seat comfortably and get an idea of precisely what he was supposed to be watching out for, spotting his partner sitting in one of the best seats and chomping on a melon.
He made his way over and sat, looking out over the "starting line" that had been holographically projected against the window for the observers to see.
Tiamat looked from her holopad at the man standing before her, she grinned and gestured for him to take a seat, "You must be Vizim." she glanced back down at her tablet, flipping her finger against the screen to a new page and then set down the device on the table.
"So, this race is going to be exciting, this is the only one in the galaxy that does not need to utilize hyperspace to jump from system to system before coming back to the finish line." she started and pushed the holopad to Vizim to watch the ships disappear and reappear in realspace from previous races without activating their hyperdrive systems. "They're wormholes, and you may be thinking, yeah, so what..." she reached over and flicked her finger over the screen, "I have found similar," Vizim would be able to scroll through the data report of a device called a hypergate. "These also open wormholes on planetary surfaces, but as you can seen not nearly large enough to fit an armada."
Tiamat leaned forward, crossing her arms to rest against the table's surface, "So of course, I need to test my hypothesis, but I need a few things before the race is executed." She then leaned over swiping her finger along the screen again, bringing up some images of beings and slid closer to Vizim, "These are who we need to find first. They are the course engineers and they would have the access cards to the lower levels where I need get to." she said and paused, letting Vizim learn their faces before she clicked off the holopad.
"Then from there, I can draw the data and insert the code that is needed." she inhaled softly and sighed, "Questions?" she asked.
Vizim listened intently to what she said. He was passable, but travel wasn't exactly his strongest suit. But he was a quick learner and refused to be incompetent or drag someone else down. There were far too many people like that in the galaxy already.
But large enough to fit scouts through, he conjectured as she said that it wasn't large enough to fit an armada through. He could already see that being a huge advantage. Particularly given his own belief that single individuals could often accomplish as much as armies if they were smart.
I see the interest, he said genuinely with a nod. He looked at the datapad displayed to him and looked at the people who would be his targets. Or rather their targets. You're not working alone, Vizim, he reminded himself.
A Twi'lek man, a Nautolan, and a Feeorin. Lots of tentacles, he thought to himself as he looked at who made up the engineering team.
You need all of them? How intact do they need to be? he asked. Not that he planned to kill them, but if it happened, he preferred to know his mission parameters before diving into the chaos and being forced to guess.
He stood, preparing to head out and then paused. You coming as well or do you need to... he waved out at the viewport in uncertainty ...I don't know, do something here? he asked.
She was relieved he was able to grasp the importance of such a discovery. Generally anything that involved the mechanics of space travel, even in laymen's terms, seemed to cause most to glaze over and fail to understand the importance of such work. He studied the faces of their targets and asked if they would need all of them as well as how far he could go to ensure they got what they needed.
Tiamat tilted her head in thought, "I just need two, but as far as the engineers themselves, I'm indifferent of the condition after we get what we need from them." she explained. The security at the race was more concerned about those sabotaging the start-line or contestants rigging their ships to somehow get an unfair advantage in the race. One was more likely than the other; with very little understanding by the rest of the galaxy regarding how this race worked, it was near impossible to fix one's ship to gain any advantage in this race.
Vizim rose from his seat, seeming eager to get started and Tiamat rose also, grabbing her pack and holopad. He seemed a little hesitant to which Tiamat couldn't quite place her finger on as he asked her if she had anything else she needed to do here first. The redhead shook her head with a small smile forming, "No, lets get going, the faster we get done, the more time we can have indulge later." she said, tucking the holopad under her arm.
"The issue we're going to face is that there are hundreds of beings here already." she spoke softly to Vizim, "But...I can cut down that time to find them, I just need to set up access to a security terminal. I managed to borrow some software used by the Sector Rangers...helps find their criminals, it'll help find our engineers."
Vizim nodded his understanding. Her plans sounded like a good one. She had a plan, which was a huge plus over having to make one himself. He was already starting to like her.
Priority one then was to gain access to the security rooms. Preferably without leaving a blood trail. While he enjoyed operations that didn't care about casualties because they were easier, it was less professional and had a tendency to create a lot of unwanted attention.
There's access to the security room from the left side of the main entrance, he said. The fact that he knew that off the top his head spoke to the details he took in when passively entering an operation zone.
The guards out front were checking people's tickets. If I can draw them out, can you get inside and use that access? he asked, already starting to think of how best to draw the guards out of their booth or otherwise distracting them.
Perhaps simply forcing someone to lose consciousness right in front of them. Yes, that should work. In the chaos she could slip inside the security rooms and gain access to the holo terminal. @GABA
Her next dilemma would have been finding the security access terminal, but that would not be an issue as Vizim already informed he knew where it was located. Her eyebrows rose and the corner of lip turned upward into a coy smile, impressed he was able to recall such a detail. Tiamat nodded and continued to listen as he outlined a possible plan to lure out the guards from the security room. It would certainly give her enough to hook in what she needed.
Tiamat reached around into her pack and pulled out a small stick, "It doesn't need to be for very long, just long enough for me to plug this doo-dad in and we can be on our way while piggybacking off their holocam system." she informed as they entered the lift to take them to the entrance level. She leaned against the railing along the wall, her eyes glancing upward to the speaker playing some off-key variation of popular holo-pop songs in smooth jazz. A slow scowl begun to form on the girl's face before she let out a long sigh and as though on cue the chime of the lift alerted them to their floor.
The entrance area was ideally crowded, whatever diversion Vizim was thinking of to draw out security it would be fairly easy to keep spectators focused while security sorted out the crisis. Tiamat gave a glancing nod to Vizim, spotting the security door where he said it would be and went to get into position.
Good. You'll need to be quick and subtle, he said. Maybe he didn't need to say it, but even if he was making a distraction there was a risk that someone would spot her sneaking inside the security room. Hopefully not.
They arrived on their floor and he exited the elevator, weaving easily through the crowd until he was at the far side of the room. He peered through the heads of the people around to catch a glimpse of the fiery red hair. When it looked like she was in position, he gave a nod.
His attention turned to one of the civilians just in front of the security window and his fingers hyperextended at his side, focusing on the Force and on the mind of the man. His eyes rolled back into his head and the man collapsed to the ground unconscious.
There was an exclamation from the man's husband or girlfriend. And then for good measure, Vizim gripped the man's body in the Force and began to shake it a bit. It didn't look exactly like a seizure, but in the setting of panic it was causing, most people weren't thinking about that.
The security guards came out of their room and ran around to help the man, hopefully giving Tiamat her window to get inside. @GABA
"Quick and subtle, no problem." she nodded, reassuring him.
She moved with the flow of the crowd, stepping aside near the security office as though she were busy sending messages. Tiamat glanced up from her holopad, taking in the crowd that had seemed to come to a halt as they moved through the security check points to get and out of the station's main lobby. Her senses grounded her, able to feel where she was placed in her surroundings and the shift in the Force told her to be ready and then there was shrill of a scream.
Tiamat glanced over to the security window, seeing the man on the ground, who suddenly now started shaking. It took much willpower not to smirk at the situation since it just ridiculous. However, the diversion worked, the door opened and Tiamat fell into the role of the concerned spectator as she pointed the security guards to the fallen victim, begging them to hurry and help. The crisis left them to be more vulnerable to inattention blindness as Tiamat slipped inside the security room before the door shut. With the dongle at hand, she knew exactly what she was looking for as she ducked down under one of the desks and plugged the key stick into the back of a terminal.
The holopad chimed, notifying her an alert that it had a connection; she would be able to access what she needed away from the security office. She could see the guards gathered around where the victim was laying and on the wall next to door was the first aid kit. Grabbing the small box, she exited into the crowd, handing the kit to one of the bystanders, directing them to give it to the guards. Shuffling through the crowd that gathered, Tiamat squeezed through the bottle neck of "concerned" guests and back to Vizim. Her eyes focused on the holopad as the holocams started to blink in rotation on her screen.
The program system begun to process, "Just need a moment and we should be getting something here..." she said uploading the engineer's pictures. She tilted her head, indicating the direction she wanted to walk, "Tentacle trio...." she hummed, getting a hit.
Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake that random person's body. That pretty much summed up what Vizim was doing. The man continued to shake and spasm on the ground for several more seconds before he released him. He would probably be fine, but he certainly wouldn't be feeling great when he woke up.
He saw Tiamat reemerge only a short while later and was glad for it. This distraction was bound to fizzle out soon. He moved through the crowd, meeting up with her a few moments later as she handed off the kit and they started walking away.
He followed after her and the hit that she got on her datapad.
That's a neat trick. You'll have to show me how to do that sometime, he said. That would come in incredibly handy for many of the operations he undertook. Tracking people was more than half of his job and it could be dreadfully difficult even with the help of the Force.
It was no surprise that their path took them toward more restricted or semi-restricted areas. The engineering crews were primarily working on ships or simply passing the time with their fellow "grease monkeys" and that meant getting to them would be another job.
Thankfully, all it really took was a wave of a hand, a nudge with the Force, and a weak mind to get them past one of the guards at the door.
If we act like we belong they probably won't bother us. This doesn't seem to be an extremely high security area, he said. @GABA
Her eyebrows rose in surprise to see him impressed by the program and she gave him a small grin, "There's a lot of handy tricks out there, I am not sure why the Order doesn't utilize them...stuck in stubborn old ways I guess." she hummed, answering her own question. She pulled up the location of the holocam and begun running a code into the linked program, creating a visual loop to feed into the holocam until they were done with their task.
It wasn't difficult to get through the guard that stood at the door as Vizim utilized a subtle trick to get them pass the guard. She took in the area at the different ships and parts that littered the hanger. He suggested to look like they belong to not draw attention; his guess it was not extremely high security was correct, it seemed to be essentially self-managed in the area and she guessed anyone that got out of line was taken care of immediately by others in the vicinity.
She slid he holopad back into her pack as they walked further inside; old instincts returned as she kept vigilant, "Lets split up, if you can get one, I can get one and we can move to on to the next part." she suggested as she picked up a fusioncutter in passing. She glanced at Vizim before heading in the opposite direction, looking for one of the three.
Typical, Vizim commented as she said that the Sith were stuck in their old ways. It was time for them to grow beyond... become more. But they were simply stuck.
Slipping into the restricted area, Tiamat suggested they split up and each take one of the targets. he nodded his assent.
Agreed. Where do we meet when we're done? he asked. He wasn't sure where she was wanting to get to, but he figured waiting around in a restricted area for a prolonged period of time was pushing his luck.
So he was off to hunting. He walked past the various speeder bays, keeping his pace steady, his eyes open, and his ears alert to find his target.
It took him about five minutes to finally spot the Nautolan, but actually kidnapping him or getting what he needed out of the man was going to be more difficult. Pick pocketing was probably better than leaving a body behind. He'd prefer to avoid that kind of heat if possible, and he was sure Tiamat would as well. @GABA
They would need to work fast once they had the keycards before anyone realized they were missing. It didn't help that there seemed to be numerous Twi'lek's working in the bay, but not there was not as many blue toned ones she was looking for as she managed to find both the Twi'lek and the Feeorin. They were both working on one of the ships registered for the upcoming race and apparently now arguing with a bg-series astromech as it had pulled out the entire cooling system. The redhead inhaled and then approached, no clear idea of how she would distract them long enough to search for the keycard.
The droid started to angrily shake its tools at the tentacle duo as Tiamat approached, tools at hand as she eyed between the droid and the engineers. The Feeorin clearly had a temper as his green skin was slowly turning a light shade of yellow as he started yelling louder at the droid. The Twi'lek spotted the redhead and pointed to her, "What are you standing around for?! Get this thing back in place!" he said jutting his finger at her and then back at the series of tubing that poured out of the ship. The Feeorin threw up his arms and stormed off, clearly fed up with the lack of reliable help on some of the ships.
"I...yeah, c'mon droid." she said shrugging her shoulders as the Twi'lek directed them to follow him onto the ship. She picked up the tool sack and followed inside, meeting the Twi'lek as he pulled up the floor panels and climbed down below. He started to call out for his tools and Tiamat handed them to them, eyeing the astromech who rolled up beside her. Her gaze left the droid as she looked around the ship, ideas to a quick plan were forming. The Twi'lek called out again and Tiamat handed him another tool, but the droid, clearly salty about some organics questioning its work, rolled behind the tool bag and slowly rolled against it. Tiamat watched, eyebrows rose as it inched over the ledge, and the Sith did not say a word, instead a slow grin started to form before there was a sudden thud, a clatter of metal against metal and an Oomph.
Tiamat looked over the ledge to see the Twi'lek unconscious and she looked back at the droid while it whistled and beeped. "Yeah, I didn't like how he spoke to us either." she agreed and then looked back over the ledge, seeing the tools and supplies scattered along the floor. Tiamat then climbed down, searching the body and pulled out a card; the droid watching her whistled with curiosity and she pressed a finger to her lips, signaling for silence in a playful secret. Tucking it away, she pulled herself up, and headed out from the ship, droid following as she would make her way quickly to the rendezvous point.
As Tiamat dealt with the others, Vizim silently stalked his prey. The Nautolan was speaking to another group of engineers and rather than try to break it up, Vizim just... waited.
He was a patient hunter, and after a few minutes, the target began to move. He headed back to what appeared to be a work station of some sort, and Vizim followed at a distance. The man went into one of the recesses, an area under one of the ships and began to paw through his tools.
Vizim reached out to the Force, pawing through those nearby and letting his eyes sweep over the area for any hint of alarm, but there was none. There was no one to see the man fall.
He touched the Force again, this time to slow the man's heart. His blood pumped slowly and the man's head began to spin before he collapsed to the ground unconscious. Another quick visual sweep and the Sith moved smoothly over and let his hands slide over the man's pockets, pulling free his wallet and plucking the keycard free before replacing the wallet.
Sleep tight, he muttered before standing and heading on his way as if nothing had happened. One more step complete, now just time to find Tiamat. @GABA
Tiamat had no problems leaving the hanger as she carried along down the hall, her holopad back in hand with the keycard plugged into the side. Beside her was the droid who followed along, apparently finding the redheaded human curious enough to seek its company as well as gain her favor. The droid beeped.
"Checking out the encryption log." she replied as she downloaded a databug to the card. The droid beeped again, offering to do it for her and the Sith smiled, "You don't belong to me, aren't your masters going to miss your absence?" she asked the droid.
There was silence from it while Tiamat continued to observe the readout and upload on her device. It gave a chirp and a long series of whistles and beeping in which it told an extensive tale of misfortune and how it would like to resolve that issue. The woman raised her eyebrows, "I didn't know droids could just quit like that. As long as you like cause a little bit of trouble here and there, I could use a droid, plus I've been looking for a droid to help with my ship." The droid whirled in delight, but paused, just as Tiamat paused also when they saw the Feeorin coming straight at them.
The woman quickly tucked away the holopad as he jutted his finger at her and the droid, "What are you two doing out here?! Is the ship fixed? Why isn't Rul answering?!" he hollered and Tiamat quickly glanced over her shoulder, seeing the hall was momentarily empty. As he continued toward her the Force followed her command as she subtly brushed her fingers along her side and the six-foot-seven tentacle goon went face first into floor. Anyone looking would assume he tripped over his own feet and the droid whistled as it looked up with its hololens at Tiamat.
She walked up to him, boot gently pressing against his unconscious body, "Hmm...someone should get help." she said and then continued walking; the droid rolled behind, plucking something from the pocket of the engineer and caught up with Tiamat whistling in excitement.
"Someone will find him." she said as they entered the lift and she begun to alter the feed to the holocams where she would be meeting Vizim, looping the image for any curious eyes until they were finished. When Vizim would arrive, she would confirm he had a keycard.
"Any trouble?" she would ask him, taking the key card out from the holopad.
Vizim continued on to the meeting place, having little other trouble along the way. He arrived to a question about trouble he had had, but his attention was on the droid. He didn't like it. The droid could compromise the entire operation.
We don't have room for tourists on this, he grumbled. You never could tell with droids. What kinds of subtle programs were inside its head? You couldn't trust humans either, but at least they had emotions that could be sensed in the Force. They were a more understood variable.
He handed the keycard to Tiamat so that she could do her work, turning to look over his shoulder at anyone nearby.
Were you spotted? he asked, trying to sort out how much heat they might be bringing down on themselves. Bunches of people falling unconscious at the same time might cause some suspicion if anyone put the pieces together. @GABA