As the Blue Heron warped along to Orcus, Coor surveyed the haul from their latest bloody encounter. The bodies of the two abnormally large Lanmo Tet troopers were piled in one corner of the cargo hold across from the equally large repeater that filled another corner. He had plans for the blaster that would have to wait on further attention but the bodies, and more importantly the armor surrounding them, could be dealt with in the present. The suits had taken a fair amount of damage (his faithful so-called “light” repeater was not the most subtle weapon) but nothing he couldn’t work around. Separating the meat from the shell took some muscle, which took some time but was easy enough in the end. He sorted the pieces, tested the fit to see which were most suitable, and soon had a put together a set of armor that fit him well enough with a few pieces to spare. The helmet was a concern as it wasn’t designed for his muzzle. He had a plan for that too though, so he grabbed the pair of them and headed off to talk to Oabot. Coor found the Dug in his cabin as expected: digging through a pile of junk and spare parts, muttering to himself, lost in his mechanical schemes. A knock on the door jam caught his attention.
“Coor, you look at this. Hypersonic recombobulator,” The Dug waved a mass of wires and metal in his direction, a frenzied gleam in his eyes. “Recombobulation slow, so slow, but this faster. Big fast, much bobulations! You see now?”
“It would take the rest of the trip to Orcus for you to explain it to me Oabot. Maybe when we have a longer trip.” Oabot’s waving slowed and his eyes dimmed. “I have another problem I think you can help me with,” he said and produced the Lanmo Tet helmets.
“Ha ha heh ha. You so funny Coor. What problem you have?” Oabot dropped the device he had been working on, seemingly forgotten already, and scurried across the cabin. Even after all the time they’d spent together Coor was still amazed at how fast the little Dug could crab walk around. It seemed like a chaotic flailing of limbs but the speed and agility was impressive. Oabot grabbed one of the helmets with a…foot? Hand? Dug biology was confusing. “Look me like you solve problem already. See? No more Lanmo Tet head.” He upended the helmet and shook it for effect.
“True enough, that’s one problem solved. This is the one I’m working on now.” He put the other helmet on his head and pulled it down as far as it would go, halfway down his head until it hit against his muzzle. “The rest of it fits well enough but the helmet needs some help.” The helmet Oabot was holding fell to the floor and rolled to a stop next to the rehyperficationer while the Dug climbed up Coor like a tree. He grabbed the helmet and pulled down hard.
“You right. Big problem here.” Oabot grunted and pulled harder, swinging his whole body now, trying to make the helmet fit and drawing a yelp from Coor. He let go and poked at Coor’s face. “Maybe we trim this? Make it fit better. Need only cutter and spanner, they over here.” Oabot pushed off with his bottom feet, rocking Coor backwards, sending himself sailing across the room and into a pile of debris. He cackled as he rifled through the parts, sending the unwanted bits flying to ping off the hull. Coor had to step lively to dodge the missles while he pulled the helmet off.
“I have a different idea. What if we cut up the helmets instead of my face?” That caused the metal rain to stop and Oabot to reappear. “I think we could take the face mask off one helmet,” he said, tracing the proposed path along the helmet with a finger, “and use it to extend the other so it would fit better.” Oabot grabbed both helmets and juggled them between his hands while scratching his head and stroking his chin in thought. “These suits can be sealed tight for use in a vacuum, so the join would have to be solid. Think you can handle it?”
Oabot gave him a side eye for the ages. “Who you think you talk to? Some bantha poodoo sweeper? I make you best helmet you ever see. No smell get in to you big sniffy nose.” He snorted a few times for emphasis and raced off to dig in another pile, dragging the helmets along behind him.
“Never doubted you for a second,” Coor said and headed back to the cargo hold. They would be travelling to Orcus for a few more hours still and with some luck Oabot would be done by the time they arrived. Coor piled the Lanmo Tet bodies in a corner, stacked the armor next to them, and set his eye on the big repeater. It was larger than his but not so large that he couldn’t handle it with some effort. He found the release on the tripod and muscled the blaster off, grunting in appreciation at the weight of it. A few test sweeps told him that he could use it, barely, but he doubted the extra firepower would outweigh the lost maneuverability. He’d have to get used to the weight to be effective. A few hours of lifting, carrying, and running with the repeater wouldn’t be enough, but it would be a start. It would also be a fine way to kill time until they landed on Orcus.
“Alright, we’ll meet up there at midday. Be careful, there are eyes all over.” Cal stowed his commlink and turned back to face the crew. “Acif Ko is sending someone to lead us to his camp. We have approximately,” he said while checking his watch, “two hours until the rendezvous. Let’s split up until then so we draw less attention. Everyone keep a low profile until the meet. We know Aquin Masud has agents here. The less he knows about our movements the better, at least until we figure out what his angle is.”
The crew scattered and Coor set off to find some supplies. It seemed there were never enough credits to go around and they were short on most supplies as a result. They’d had a better than usual run lately though and Coor had some spending cash for a change, so he wandered through the central Orcus market to try and resupply as best possible. Stimpacks are common across the universe so he had no trouble finding them. He haggled for a while with a Twi’let set up in an alley trying to get a bulk discount, but the best he could do was get a promise that next time he would get a deal. With the amount of combat they’d been seeing lately he would have liked to get more but without a deal he settled for four. Hopefully that would carry him through until the next time they hit a market.
Next he found an old Corellian mercenary hawking military surplus. They bantered about the relative virtues of various makes of blasters while Coor looked through the wares. If he was going to use that monster blaster waiting in the cargo hold, and use it he would, he’d have to make sure his load was balanced properly so he could dodge incoming fire. He settled on a matching set of Imperial surplus: utility belt, combat webbing for grenades, and a pair of belt pouches for stimpacks. He wished the Corellian well and moved on to continue his search.
He found a Gamorrean “trader” with a suspiciously large pile of binders. Coor was skeptical of anyone who would need with so many restraints, but they were well constructed and the price was right. They snapped into place on his new belt easily as he headed across the market square towards a promising looking spread. The posture and attitude of the shopkeeper could belong to a former Imperial officer. Times were tough for everyone, so she made a token effort to hide her disdain for a non-human customer. Coor had endured worse. He found a commlink module that looked like it would slot into the helmet Oabot was working on. He hoped he did a better job of his emotions than the shopkeeper had when he spotted a laser sight that would fit the rails on his repeater. They bargained hard but Coor knew she was desperate. Worse, she knew that he knew. The sneer she gave him when she thanked him for his business was very satisfying.
Jawas were a surprising but welcome sight in the market. Their selection was impressive and Coor spent too much time examining their offerings. He coveted the set of armor seals and gaskets that would make his new suit stand up to even the vacuum of space, albeit for a short while, but his eye kept finding the military grade medpack on an adjacent table. They’d had a close call with the Lanmo Tet patrol where Leto had taken a nasty blaster shot. The Chiss had recovered but it had been close. Stimpacks could only do so much and were little help against the kind of wound that Leto had taken. They had no medic in the crew, but the medpack featured an extensive computer assistant that could walk them through common procedures Memories of his time with The Hound’s Tooth surfaced. Everyone knew it would serve them well to keep the squad medic happy, but Coor thought his bond with Ronto had been closer than most. He wasn’t the best nurse, but he’d pair attention when the medic had showed them some basic techniques and tried to lend a hand when he could. He’d shared a foxhole with Ronto when they were under siege on Viracon 6 when the blaster fire was so intense it lit the night up like day…
In a flash his recollections turned from pleasant to bitter as Coor remembered how his time with The Hound’s Tooth had ended. He flung down the scanner he’d been examining and spun on his heel, fists clenched and seething. When a Jawa came scurrying around to draw him back to their booth he nearly backhanded the creature in his rage but checked himself before the blow fell. It turned out to be an effective negotiating tactic. He bought the medpack and a backpack to carry it in for close enough to market price and the Jawa threw in a basic medical field guide as a show of good faith. Coor stowed his booty and checked his watch. Time had nearly gotten away from him, but he was lucky and his wanderings had taken him close to the rendezvous point. He spotted Cal Auda slouched against a speeder, trying to look inconspicuous, and jogged off the meet up with the crew.