New Beginnings – pt.V

Jundland Wastes & Western Dune Sea, Tatooine

Kaen-Wee directs them on a long and calculatedly meandering route deliberately broken into three stages, given Noxx one set of coordinates at a time. Interestingly he also insists on limiting their altitude to only a couple meters and their speed low enough to prevent a dust trail as they travel.
The first set of coordinates he gives Noxx are kilometers past Anchorhead near the Great Chott Salt Flats. This part of the trip is smooth and easy, giving Noxx plenty of time to get comfortable with the speeder truck's handling.
While still a few kilometers away from Ancorhead he gives Noxx another set of coordinates, this time for what seems to be a box canyon in the middle of the Jundland Wastes abutting to central mountain ridge. Travel through the Wastes is much more challenging terrain than the first leg of their journey. Noxx was enjoying every moment of it.
Kaen-Wee happily filled the silence of the ride by talking, constantly. Once underway he launched into a lively and fully entertaining story of how his younger brothers freighter had been set upon by remnants of the First Order and daringly escaped overwhelming odds. Mixed into the story are many side tails and anecdotes, most of them being pure comedy.
Noxx stopped trying to parse the truth of the tale early on as Kaen-Wee wove a truly fascinating fabric of truth and lie that had her and the others unwillingly caught up in it. As entertaining as the seemingly never-ending story was she was finding it surprisingly lacking in actually useful information. He hadn't yet gotten to the Star Galleon part of the story, but he was still talking as actively as when they had left Mos Eisley.
The old human seems to have dozed off hours ago but the Mirialan seemed as engrossed in the story as Noxx, sitting forward with her elbows propped on her thighs and shrouded chin resting on her hands as she listens. Although, considering how little she has moved, Noxx is starting to wonder if the woman has fallen asleep but can't see enough of her face to be sure.
They arrive at the second set coordinates as shadows start filling the narrow canyon they are in and Noxx happily brings the speeder truck to a halt as instructed. The canyon ending a few hundred meters ahead in a ragged rock slide with many large fissures looking large enough for them to pass through, although Noxx can't tell how deep any of them extend in the dim twilight.
No longer focused on piloting Noxx stretches out the many small kinks in her shoulders and arms then looks at a now silent Kaen-Wee.
“Stay inside.” He instructs simply. Climbing out of the speeder to walk past the swoops and their riders. He stops several meters past them, raising his arms as he barks something Noxx guesses is Tuskan, the sound echoing off the canyon walls. Four times he shouts the same thing before it is answered by a new voice barking back. Dozens of Tuskan Raiders abruptly take shape out of the shadows of the fissures. Four of them walk out to meet with Kaen-Wee, conferring for several minutes before Kaen-Wee claps his hands. Three Weequay quickly unload a large plasteel crate from a cargo panel of the truck. They struggle with the weight of the crate as they haul it over to the Tuskan's. After another exchange of words Kaen-Wee opens the crate briefly for their inspection. Satisfied, the Tuskan's pick up the crate and disappear back into the shadows. Once the four with the crate vanish the others slowly fade back into the dark as well.
Kaen-Wee climgs back in and settles himself back into his seat. “Short-cut. Follow the swoops through the cut and then head hear.” Tapping out another set of coordinates for somewhere past the edge of the Western Dune Sea.
Noxx nods and follows the swoops into one of the large fissures, actually an extremely narrow cut in the solid mountain. Kaen-Wee picks up his story again, finally getting to the interesting part as far as Noxx is concerned, finding the Star Galleon. Sadly he is still being subtly cagey, describing the moon but not giving any hint as to the actual location other than its in the Inner Rim Territories.
The cut runs in a rough and jagged that twists through the sheer stone sides stretching , for the most part, kilometers above them. Rather suddenly they take one last turn and find themselves in open space again. Up on the western side of the Wastes with more badlands stretching a few kilometers to the edge of the Western Dune Sea still lost in the darkness of night. Keeping to the slow speed and altitude as instructed Noxx makes for the last set of coordinates as Kaen-Wee's tale as it finally comes to it's rambling end with his younger brother finally limping his broken craft home.
By now they have reached the rolling dunes and started a winding course in the valleys, avoiding the high ground as much as possible. For Noxx it's a fun piloting game and keeps her hands and eyes busy but her mind is more focused on the actual facts she thinks she has teased out of the story. And now that Kaen-Wee is finally silent she has a chance to ask some questions. “You have a gift for story telling that's undeniable. But this is business so let's get some hard points settled. Kay?”
Kaen-Wee smiles at the compliment and makes an odd offering gesture with his hands that Noxx catches in her peripheral. “Thank you, In our tongue Kaen means one who speaks for those who follow. we were trained from very young to be our Clan's Kaen-Wee.” He responds with a depth of emotion and formality so far lacking in his cheerfully arrogant demeanor, which quickly resurfaces. “But please, we would like to know what you are taking from our words.”
Noxx smiles and opens her mouth to speak when the human, Oden Bol, answers first. His words are crisp and absolutely demeaning, as if he alone was capable of actual intelligence and was tired of explaining things to idiots. “The Star Galleon is parked in an abandoned Imperial Supply Depot on the fifth moon of a gas giant circling a type F star on the edge of the Inner and Middle Rim Territories. It will require considerable repairs to make it space-worthy. Your... relatives, stripped it's hyper-drive and a considerable amount of other components in order to repair their own vessel. There are potentially two former Imperial cruisers and one destroyer in the area, if not more. I would be surprised if they aren't looking for that outpost themselves.”
The tone alone left Noxx and the others silent for several uncomfortable seconds. Even Kaen-Wee's smile had vanished and the other Weequay was fully awake and openly glaring at Oden Bol for a few heartbeats then purposely ignores him. “You sir are correct in your own gloomy way. However, we are very confident they where not looking for that outpost. They where in that area for other reasons and we are assured they are no longer a concern.”
Noxx can hear Oden Bol sigh loudly behind her in preparation for some testy retort but is cut off as Kaen-Wee spins his chair to face him, speaking sharply. “We will not remind you again of our agreement Bol.”
Oden Bol sighs again but keeps his mouth shut and Kaen-Wee spins his chair forward again satisfied that was settled. Noxx, on the other hand, now had a new puzzle to figure out.
Those thoughts are shortly put aside as they come around another dune to reveal the Kaen-Wee's camp. In the middle is a slender spire of red stone looking like some strange lighthouse in the sandy sea. At it's base is the main camp consisting of massive tents shaped to mimic the dunes around them. There are four of these tents, one is completely open and could easily fit a few hundred people. The other three seem to be partitioned off into smaller rooms. Off from these are two even larger tent structures with siding, preventing a look at what might be under them. Both look large enough to easily cover a light freighter and then some. She can see dozens of Weequay under the tents but no other species.
Noxx is unabashedly impressed as she looks over the encampment and realizing it was designed to be invisible from orbital view. “God's, this is one slick set-up.” She mutters to herself in Devoranion but Kaen-Wee still hears it and responds in kind. “Yes, yes it is.”
Kaen-Wee directs them to the closest of the two covered structures and as they approach a cloth panel is lifted aside for them to enter. Inside sits a much patched YT-1400 light freighter surrounded by a dozen more swoops and speeders. In the back she can see what looks to be an extensive mechanical maintenance bay.
Noxx shuts down the speeder truck before hopping out and stretching the kinks out of her body and getting a better look at the freighter. The others slowly follow her out of the speeder truck as more Weequay's swarm the vehicles, emptying and dispersing the cargo at a brisk pace.

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