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Thread: Calamity Jesse & Wild Ben Merasska Presents: A Wild Night On Canto Bight

  1. #1

    xxx Calamity Jesse & Wild Ben Merasska Presents: A Wild Night On Canto Bight

    "Dusted another! Looks like the rest of turning 'round. Buncha yella bellied dogs. We're in the clear!"

    The clouds of fire and dust faded into the black velvet of space, like fireworks celebrating their victory. The proximity sensor wobbled softly until it stopped as the last of the pursuers dropped out of range. Just like that, they were alone in the stars. The only sound was the hum of engines and the cooling sizzle of the laser cannons on the other end of the turret. Satisfied, she let body untense and pulled herself free of the tiny seat and dropped straight down the chute to the decking below.

    "Those Scyk boys know they can't keep up with the Bette. They'd just get dusted like their friends."

    With a haughty laugh Jesse Buchanan grabbed her hat from the aft hatch lever where she'd left it before taking care of all that excitement up above and placed it back on top of her crown of white hair, pulling the brim down just right to get the fit just right. The spurs on her boots tinged loudly as she moved down the passage toward the cockpit, past the empty gunner and communications stations and through the small door and up to the singular pilot seat at the head of the mighty warship.

    "And you said we'd never outrun the Shinghalla Cartel without a full crew, and I told you we'd be fine without Turk and Bynn. Better off I reckon, were my exact words I think. A poor girl might think you don't trust her, huh Ben?"

    Draping her arms over the back of the pilot chair she tousled the red curly locks on the other side.
    Last edited by Jesse Lockhart; Feb 26th, 2021 at 10:36:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Ben slowly looked over to Jesse, his face gleaming with sweat, eyes wide, and his mouth a thin line.

    "We survived?"

    He looked around slowly, as if taking in that he and Jesse were in fact not space dust required every iota of his concentration, until Jesse's hand on his head gripped slightly.

    The pain quite literally yanked him back into focus.

    "Ahahaha," he said laughed nervously. "W-well, I was—I guess I was wrong, wasn't I?"

    The hand loosened, and Ben felt relieved, and alternately shocked that he could feel relief around a woman so blatantly dangerous as Jesse. His relief disappeared as she tousled his hair again.

    "What are we gonna do with the loot?" he asked. "If that's the last we see of the Scyks, I'll eat my jumpsuit."

  3. #3
    "And in one piece, no less."

    A quick glance over her shoulder through the portal gave her a good view of the co-pilot console. Hull integrity was green across the board. The shield emitters, on the other hand, were shades of yellow and red. Definitely going to need an overhaul to get all of them working again properly. Nothing they won't be able to afford once the job was done. Especially now that they were only splitting in two ways.

    "You're really something else, Ben Merasska. You really know how to use that yoke, dontcha?" She slipped in beside the chair, letting her lips get real close to his ear. So close. Almost touching. "You'll have to show me sometime... After we cash in this haul!" Jumping back up she stood back up and leaned against the wall beside the doorway, her arms crossed and a cocky smile on her face.

    "The Heart of Hapes will get handed off to our client for our big paycheck, and the rest of the haul we'll have to sell off on our own time. I never in all my years pictured myself a jewel thief, but I can't say that it doesn't suit us. There's a bit of mystery and romance to it. Jewel thief, sneaking through the night to steal hearts and diamonds. Ha! Pays a lot better than running nerfs that's for damn sure."

  4. #4
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    Ben froze and could have sworn he could feel Jesse's lips by his ear; he didn't move. He was pretty damn sure that his flightiness amused Jesse more than anything else, which accounted for the constant teasing and touches.

    "Now that our lives aren't in danger, Jesse, d'you mind telling me where we're supposed to drop off this Heart? If we take any longer to leave, when the Scyks come back, and they will come back, our jump point will be as bright as an engine flare, and probably just as useful."

    He risked a glance over to the young woman and caught her eye. She smirked widely, one corner of her mouth drifting up and stretching her lips. Ben was glad she was so fond of smirking; if she smiled, he thought the resemblance to a nexu would have been too much to bear.

  5. #5
    "Vicar Torgenstein gets the diamond. We're to make the exchange on Cantonica. We ain't talking rural, podunk Cantonica. We're going to the City That Never Sleeps; Canto Bight. City of Lights, Sin City, and a hundred other names. I've seen holos, but I reckon it's even better in person."

    It was impossible to hide the widening of her smile. The excitement in her voice threatened to blow out her teeth. Jesse liked to think this is what she'd always wanted since she was a little girl, but she knew that a was a lie. When she was a little girl all she wanted was to be rich and powerful, and settle down with a handsome man. Two out of three ain't bad.

    "Let's blaze trails, partner. I'll get the Nav Computer set for Cantonica. The sooner we get there the sooner we get paid."

    Sauntering from the doorway she slipped into the co-pilots seat. It felt a little alien to be here. Usually she was were Ben was sitting. She considered herself to be a good pilot, but Ben was something else. Jesse also didn't exactly trust him to handle the turret. She'd always felt that he was a big softy on the inside. That made it all the more fun to tease him. With the coordinates generated and set into the flight plan, she sent it up to the pilot's station.

  6. #6
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    "Canto Bight?" Ben whistled lowly.

    "Reckon there's no better place to transfer loot than a place whose business is transferrin' loot; kinda poetic too," he said, getting to work on warming up the hyperdrives and aligning their vector with the flight path recommended by the computer. "No better place to lose all that loot either, I guess."

    Jesse worked the nav-computer like a seasoned pilot, even executing some of the calculations herself, though it seemed less of a cerebral thing and more of experience and practice. A few switches, a couple dials and buttons, and the bright tunnel of hyperspace stretched into infinity in front of them. Ben leaned back in his seat and pondered what it meant that he was literally looking at forever just outside the viewport.

    "Torgenstein on the up-and-up? Seem to remember some talk about a Hutt and a promise of revenge." Ben cracked a smile when Jesse looked over at him with a hard edge in her eye. "Happens to everyone. It's how I got to workin' with you, after all."

  7. #7
    "What's the point of having all that money if ain't spendin' it, Benny-boy? I'm sure as death not gonna leave a place like Canto Bight without dropping some credits 'fore we leave."

    Leaning back in the co-pilot seat she was able to turn her head and look into the cockpit, with her arms bent back behind and bracing the back of her neck as to not disturb her wide brimmed hat. The hat was, after all, almost the entirety of her personality.

    "Torgenstein is an... old acquaintance of mine. Rich old man. A little funny, I reckon. Supposedly religious but I would never peg him for an actual god fearin' man. Owns a casino; The Stargazer. I have no doubts we will get our credits without a fuss. Might haggle on the final price but he was quite desperate to get the Heart back in his hands after he lost it. Shoulda seen the look on his face when he called me. Like he'd lost a child."

  8. #8
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    "Well, however he feels about it, that thing nearly caused us to die, several times. I counted. And it just made us both a lot of money."

    He thought about it for a second, his smile (that wry thing) still sealed on his face.

    "A lot of money. Did you see the cargo hold? It's like an Imperial vault down there. Maybe 'cause we did raid an Imperial vault. Or the Scyk boys did." He frowned thoughtfully. "If we raided the raiders, does that mean we essentially raided what the raiders raided?"

  9. #9
    "Raider is too kind a word for them. Shingalla are a bunch of Hutt lovers. I reckon they were headed back to Hutt Space 'fore we got 'em. Would have gotten a lot more if that blasted second Gozanti hadn't shown up. Probably there for a hand off. I'm going to squeeze Tongenstein dry for that crap intel."

    That had almost been the end of them. If it wasn't for some quick thinking, and dumping the slow baggage presented by her former crewmen, her and Ben would never have gotten out of there in time. Two more minutes and the Scyk's would have blown them up before they cleared the airlock. The Black Bette could handle one broken old Gozanti, but a second with a full starfighter compliment was a lot more than they signed on for. Hell, she almost dumped Ben along with the others, but she was the mind of forward thinking woman who knew it was a long flight back to Canto Bight and she was going to need the company.

    "It's a long trip to Canto Bight. What do you reckon we should do to pass the time?"

    She was out of her chair in a heartbeat and back behind the pilot's chair once again, leaning over it and looming above the ginger pilot.

    "Arm wrastlin'? Sabacc? Maybe a nap?"

  10. #10
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    As her shadow loomed over him, Ben could only think that perhaps even a nexu didn't have as many teeth in their smile as Jesse did.

    "How... how a game of sabacc?"

    Maybe he'd make it to Cantonica, or maybe Jesse'd get board and come up with an idea that required all the loot and so she'd space him in orbit.

    For a fleeting moment, he thought about Turk and Bynn, aboard that old Gozanti, and thought that perhaps, they might have gotten off lighter than he did.

  11. #11
    "Gamblin' our shares seems a little lackluster when we're both loaded. Gonna need to raise the stakes some other way."

    Stepping up beside the sitting Ben she planted a hand on his chest and pushed him back against the seat while she stretched over the top of his lap and pulled open a compartment beside the yoke and pulled from it's depths a pack of sabacc cards, using the hand on his chest for leverage and making every exaggerated motion she could to drag her body across his; especially as she pulled her body back.

    "Here. Shuffle it up gooood. I'll grab us a drink."

    Tossing the pack intentionally into Ben's delicate lap she sauntered back into the main cabin with the noisy clicking of her boot heels. The Black Bette lacked a lot of things, like adequate bed space and positive morale, but there was no way in tarnation it was ever going up into space without a full compliment of booze. She wouldn't be a proper Longwind gal if she didn't have something refreshin' to start the night off with. A little bourbon, some herbal aromatics, and a just a touch of mint. The labels on the bottles didn't particularly matter. It was all cheap stuff. She wasn't sending good stuff up a starship to get blown to smithereens. Although, now that she was thinking about it, now that she had the capital it was going to be time for some upgrades. There wasn't a lot of space in this compact weapon platform she called a ship, but maybe a full bar wouldn't be out of the question. It might help that morale problem.

    Closing the compartment with a knowing wink at the stronger stuff hiding in the back, she headed back to the front with two mismatched glasses and presented one to the pilot, who was fumbling with the cards and unprepared. Too bad, she was going to play her hand. What was he going to do, run out the door?

    "Strip Sabacc then?"

  12. #12
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    "Strip sabacc?!"

    Ben's voice rose a few octaves in pitch.

    "I, uh, why not some... other game? Like regular sabacc. What's wrong with regular sabacc? The sabacc we got plays pretty good, don't it?"
    Last edited by Ben Merasska; Feb 15th, 2021 at 10:01:17 AM.

  13. #13
    "Come on, Merasska, we are celebratin'!"

    Slamming the drink down on the console almost threatened to spill the viscous liquid all over the controls. The dried stains on the cast-plast dash told a story that many a spilled drink had come before it.

    "It ain't like it's nothing I haven't seen before. 'specially after that cold night on Kijimi when we lost the dang heat."

    By the Emperor's Black Bones this man was impossible! All that cake and he didn't want to play. The chase just made her want him more. Like a predator eyeing it's prey, she narrowed her eyes over the top of her glass for a prolonged and uncomfortable stare before finally taking a drink from the refreshing beverage. It was, of course, mostly straight liquor. Strong, but refreshing. Especially if you've grown used to shooting the unfiltered grain liquor found on backwater worlds like Longwind.

    Anything less was practically water.

  14. #14
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    "I'll have you know that Kijimi was not my fault!" Ben shot back, his expression a fluid mix of fear, consternation, and reverie. "I said the climate controls were faulty"

    He was cut off by the sound of Jesse shuffling the cards, a hungry, calculating look on her face. She looked like she was having fun. He glanced at the chronometer, and wondered if maybe he could actually stall long enough that they'd arrive before she'd really sink her teeth into him.

    He caught the first sabacc card she tossed his way deftly, a resigned feeling of impending doom rising up in him. Even if he won (and despite her personality, Jesse Buchanan was in fact fit), he wasn't sure it would be a real victory. Either way, he'd be playing into her hands. Literally.

    He glanced down at the card in his hand, and back up to Jesse, who leaned forward and kissed her teeth with a sound that had to be practiced.

    Yep. He was doomed.

  15. #15
    "Funny how finnicky and easily broken those controls were."

    Tossing a card at Ben she pulled one for herself and immediately flipped it up in her cupped hand for a peak. Low and behold it was a Mistress card. That was an excellent start for the first round and it was hard to keep that glee inside as he smiled over the top of the card at her opponent. Dealing the second cards out she hesitated a moment and willed the card to be what she wanted, staring at it's back for several seconds before finally flipping it over to reveal... not the card she wanted. Damn. It was a nine! So goddamn close. Still a good hand but not right on the money just yet. It might not be good enough for a professional Sabacc Den but since they weren't betting or bluffing here and the only winning was keeping yourself out the buff, it would do just fine.

    "Need another card there, Benny-boo? It won't do you any good."

  16. #16
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    He glanced up at her and gave a tremulous smile.

    "Ah, yeah. I need one."

    He'd gotten a Master of Coins and an Idiot. Not ideal, but it could have been far, far worse.

    'I am so boned,' he thought to himself.

  17. #17
    Grabbing another card from the deck she held it out for him to take, and nodded her chin toward the untouched glass on the dash when their eyes met over the top of the card. There was no way in the seven hells she was going to be the only one drinking today. It's a celebration, dammit!

    "Mistress and nine makes twenty-two." She exclaimed triumphantly as she flipped her cards over. The lack of a table took a lot of the fun out of slamming your cards down but she made due by aggressively flipping the cards over and holding them up for him to see. "Whatcha got?"

  18. #18
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    Ben almost reluctantly flipped his own cards.

    "Master and an Idiot and an Eight makes twenty two," he breathed, eyes wide. He glanced up at Jesse in disbelief, and absently took a swig from the bottle. "Uh, what's the rule for a tie? It's that clothes, uh, clothes stay on, right?"

  19. #19
    An angry pout took her face as she saw his hand played out. A tie! Goddamn tie! Turns out the little ginger pilot was lucky are more things than just flying. Fella had a penchant for always coming out on top of situations he shouldn't. Jesse was going to have to think quickly if she was going to win this game of Sabacc. Although, now that she thought about it, she would win either way but she'd like to get a few layers off of Ben before the end. Her frown morphed back into a smile as a solution hit.

    "A tie? I say, what are the chances? That means we both lose. Get it off, Merasska."

    After a series of zippers and buttons her vest came off and was tossed over the back of the co-pilots seat in the next room. It's a shame there wasn't a second chair in here; although if her plan was a success they would be sharing the pilots seat soon enough.

    "Your turn to deal."

  20. #20
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    She stared at him while taking off the vest, almost daring him to stare back. He was struck almost dumb, and only gathered himself when she turned to toss her vest into the other room. By the time she'd turned around, his own jacket was off.

    "Your turn to deal," she said, satisfaction oozing from her voice. As well it should be, as he was pretty much playing right into her hands. He dealt the first cards, his mind whirling around thoughts and ideas for getting out of this situation. At this rate, why, they might even...

    A Two of Staves.

    At this rate, they might even take off all their clothes... what was wrong with that again? Jesse looked at him and smirked. Oh. There it was. That hungry, hunting look.

    He dealt again. This time, he got a Four of Coins.

    Well, fuck.

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