5 BBY – Eshan – In short order, Tuk Tuk the Tooka “introduces” Arya to the crashed ship’s Iktochi pilot, Qardin Monoceros. She learns that his rather flashy Corellian Engineering Corporation KST-100 Light Executive Transport, The Kestrel, encountered a problem and was forced to make a hard landing on the low side of the ridge near her compound. Qardin, Arya and Tuk Tuk walk around the crashed vessel to assess the damage.
Aside from the obvious systems issues that brought the ship down in the first place, Arya notices that a number of the KST-100’s atmospheric maneuvering winglets are damaged. She surmises that The Kestrel is in no shape to make a jump into hyperspace, let alone fly safely into orbit. With no one else around and a keen interest in learning more about such a unique light freighter, Arya offers to lend a hand with repairs — besides, she has plenty of time to finish the armor commission. Qardin accepts her offer and hops the distressed starship the short distance to her barn.
The system repairs take a few days. Despite its striking outward appearance, Arya learns that the internals of a KST-100 is rather standard CEC. As a result, finding replacement parts in the nearby town proves relatively easy. The winglets and flight surfaces, however, present a different challenge.
A KST-100 is more fighter than freighter and while it does carry a load of cargo and passengers, it radically deviates from the simple CEC utilitarian freighter norm. Instead of a saucer bolted to a massive engine like a YT series, the KST is more like a large X-Wing with an assortment of precision-engineered winglets and flight surfaces to increase its agility. The ship’s wing design is optimized for generating high fighter-like maneuverability that can best nearly anything short of an A-Wing. Talking with Qardin, she learns that losing a winglet hasn’t been much of a problem, but losing a whole set — well, that could be bad. Unfortunately, upon close inspection The Kestrel has a bit more winglet damage than he originally thought.
Because The Kestrel is a rare CEC starship, fuselage parts are virtually non-existent. Arya studies the damaged pieces and applying her armorer’s skill, fashions some replacements using high-strength combat armor smithing techniques. While not strictly factory replacements, her new designs prove to be as good or better than the original CEC winglets. The flight test proves that they’re strong yet pliable, and are able to adapt to intricate and rather unique control systems of The Kestrel. With no background in flight control surfaces, she and Qardin are both surprised by her innate skill as a fabricator and engineer.
Conversations are light and cordial, but as repairs draw to a close Qardin turns serious and asks about Arya’s business. She shares that under the Empire her once steady trade has become very light with commissions for armor largely evaporating. Most of her work now focuses on repairs and even then, business is drying up; her ceremonial armor commission is very rare, even on Eshan. Echani seem to be stepping back from the old ways and are keeping a low profile under Imperial rule. She expects business to dry up and with it, the art of Echani armor crafting.
Recognizing Arya’s talent and understanding her situation, Qardin suggests that he join him on a trip to his intended port-of-call, Taanab, to introduce her to a potential volume armor buyer to return the favor for her aid. Having not been off-world in years and business prospects waning, she takes him up on his offer.
Arya packs up her traveling armor’s kit, gathers some supplies (including the commission she’s working on), locks up her home, and boards The Kestrel to market her skills off-world. In route to Taanab, she gets to know Qardin and Tuk Tuk. She prepares her armor samples, spends time working on her Echani light armor contract, and steps up as the ship’s temporary repair deckhand.
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