A Star Wars FanFic. Originally written in 2010.
In the cockpit of the Bright Specter, an old YT-2000 Corellian freighter, sat a green-skinned Rodian wringing his long-fingered hands uneasily. His usually purple-black eyes were glossed over, a sure sign of substance abuse. Next to the fidgety Rodian sat a male Shistavanen cleaning his blaster pistol. Holding the weapon up at arm distance the Shistavanen looked through the blaster’s aimer and with satisfaction holstered his weapon.
The Shistavanen stood up to stretch and grunted at his companion. “Going to check on prisoners; fall asleep again and I’ll knock you out so hard…”
The Rodian held up his hands to gesture his understanding, “Relax, I got everything under control.”
Snarling, the Shistavanen left the cabin and followed the Specter’s main passage to the hold. There, bound by their hands and feet, sat several Sullustans, and half a dozen Twi’leks all looking rather scrawny from malnutrition.
Baring his razor-sharp teeth in a smile the Shistavanen stooped down next to one of the Twi’leks and stroked her cheek with his hairy, clawed hand. “How you doing beautiful?”
The Twi’lek swatted away his hand and turned away from the aggressive wolf-man. The Shistavanen grabbed her shoulders with both hands and pulled her toward him. “I asked you a question worm-head!”
She struggled in his iron grip as he drew her closer. Gripping her tighter the Shistavanen started to laugh. Pulling her right arm free, the Twi’lek managed to claw at his face.
Blood dripping from his minor wounds he shoved the young Twi’lek down hard so that her head hit the metal floor knocking her out cold.
With a scowl on his face the Shistavanen glared at the collection of eyes that had gathered on him and he stormed out of the hold cursing every profanity that came to mind.
With his thumbs in his belt Draelin Wrao, a Zeltron Jedi apprentice, eyed the jizz-theme cantina’s many patrons. Extending his senses he searched the throng of dominantly Devaronian sentient beings for any possible threats. To his right, Arden Ruyta was sitting a booth wearing a hooded-cloak that of which shadowed his face in the sparely lit perimeter. Draelin gave a slight nod and continued his lookout task.
After several minutes had passed a cloaked figure, clearly a Devaronian by the two horns that protruded from his forehead wove his way to the booth where Arden Ruyta sat patiently. The figure sat opposite of Arden and then the two began to converse, which Draelin could have just easily listened in on had he had the desire. Although he knew how Arden felt about his privacy. When a good five minutes had gone by the mysterious Devaronian stood up and left in a hurry.
To the conclusion of the meeting Arden left the booth and swiftly left for the exit with Draelin at his side.
Once the sound of the cantina’s jizz band had faded into the distance Draelin turned to his master. “Well, what did you find out?”
Draelin, along with Jedi master Arden Ruyta had been investigating a slave ring developing around the neighboring planets of Kalarba, Falleen and Rodia. Further investigations had led them to the home world of the devilish-looking Devaronians.
The older man stroked his graying beard habitually before responding. “It seems their area of work has broadened; far out as Sluis Van and Sullust.”
“Is that all?” Questioned Draelin.
“No,” responded the man blankly and hesitantly continued, “I also have the names of several influential figures that are apparently benefiting from the slaving profits.”
As they continued to walk through the busy streets Draelin felt a tremor in the Force. He turned to Ruyta, “We’ve got followers.”
“I know.” Came the almost immediate response from the ornery old man. “They’ve been following us for about three blocks now; most likely they’ll plan on confronting us once we’ve left the mainstream.”
“We taking them?”
“Yes.” said Arden dryly. “Let’s lead them somewhere less populated.”
The two Jedi then preceded to direct their followers through the busy streets. After several minutes the Jedi turned into a grisly alleyway, and began searching for the best place to surprise their pursuers.
Less than a minute passed after Draelin and Arden were in position when their stalkers appeared. There was six of them, wielding an assortment of blasters and vibroblades; three Devaronians, a Twi’lek, and two Gamorreans. The group entered the alley cautiously, weapons bared.
Draelin looked to his master and Arden nodded. The Jedi dropped from their hiding place and ignited their lightsabers. The thugs recovered from their surprise quickly and rushed the Jedi blasters blazing. Draelin swung his blade to deflect a blaster bolt and then continued the swing to deflect two more shots back at the thugs. A Gamorrean came running at Draelin, his large vibroaxe raised above his head. He brought his lightsaber above his head to block the alien’s vibroaxe, but was knocked down from the shear force of the swing. He rolled to the side as the Gamorrean brought down his axe onto the duracrete. Draelin twisted up onto his feet and bought his blue-bladed lightsaber down cleaving the Gamorreans vibroaxe in half. The loss of his weapon seemed to have little affect on the Gamorrean, who ran at Draelin yelling. The Zeltron sidestepped quickly avoiding the alien, and neatly struck his temple, knocking him out.
Turning his attention to the others Draelin noticed that Master Ruyta had already taken down two of the Devaronians and the other Gamorrean. The two remaining thugs stood motionless as Arden held his blade indirectly at them. “I have some questions that need answering. Cooperate and I won’t have to kill you.” His words were harsh, but Draelin knew that Arden was only bluffing such brutality. The Devaronian leveled his blaster at the Master Jedi and pulled the trigger. Three of his shots were deflected away into the darkness, with the fourth shot directed back at him. The blaster bolt hit the horned Devaronian in the lower abdomen, knocking him clean over. Draelin turned his lightsaber off as Arden turned his gaze to the remaining Twi’lek. “Want to take a chance?”
The Twi’lek brute glared back at the aged Jedi unmoved. With Arden blocking his only escape route the thug knew he was trapped.
“So who hired you? Who are you working for?”
The thug spat at Arden’s feet. “Jedi scum!”
“Just give me the information I want and your free to leave.” came his reply.
The Twi’lek remained stubbornly silent and so Draelin stepped forward, “You do realize we could probe your mind for the information we want. Telling us willingly would be a whole lot less painful.”
Judging by his expression Draelin knew they had won the argument. The thug scowled in frustration, “Some female named Seiva has been hiring a bunch of us mercs to guard large shipments coming through the system.”
Arden glanced at Draelin briefly and then turned back toward the Twi’lek. “What kind of shipments?”
“We never saw what was in ‘em. She just said they’s very valuable.”
“Do you know where I can find this Seiva?”
“Bespin. At least that’s where the shipments were headed.” answered the thug.
“Is that all?”
“I don’t know anything else.”
Arden clipped his deactivated lightsaber to his belt as the Twi’lek ran past them. While Arden began to stroke his beard in thought, Draelin likewise put away his blade.
“What’s our next move?” asked Draelin, his red eyes glowing anxiously.
Arden Ruyta shifted his gaze to meet his apprentice’s. “Looks like we’re headed for Bespin.”
“Incoming vessel, please identify yourself.” came the voice over the ship’s comm. As Draelin guided the ship through the clouds of Bespin, Arden responded to traffic control. “Cloud City traffic control, this is the PromiseKeeper out of Devaron.”
The comm. cracked, “Devaron, huh? Alright Keeper, what’s your approach vector?” Arden read off some numbers and the comm. went silent.
A moment later the comm. came back to life, “Your vector is confirmed PromiseKeeper. Cloud City is your designation then?”
“Correct, traffic control.” Another moment of silence.
“Okay, PromiseKeeper you’re to land at level 17, Platform 39C. Repeat. Level 17, 39C. Do you copy?”
“We copy Control.”
“Your assigned landing vector is 5-33-67-22. That’s 5-33-67-22. Have a nice day Keeper.” Replied the traffic controller as he cut the transmission.
Arden switched off the comm. and sat back in his seat as Draelin punched the coordinates into the nav computer. The gargantuan form of Cloud City continued to grow, glistening in the midday sun as the nav computers guided the old Nubian space yacht to the assigned coordinates.
The PromiseKeeper settled with a thud on the landing pad and Draelin cut the ship’s power. He swiveled in the pilot’s seat toward the other Jedi. “Okay, ready to go?”
“Yes, just make sure you have everything. We’re not coming back until our business here is settled.” With that Arden pulled on his dark Jedi robe and headed for the ramp, Draelin a step behind him.
A cold gust of wind bit at Draelin’s face as he stepped off the ship’s boarding ramp, onto the open landing pad. Bringing his own robe tighter to his body Draelin hurried his pace to the pad’s entrance. His master came up beside him as the door off the ramp slid open and they strode inside.
As soon they’d walked through the door a human in a blue uniform looked up from a wall mounted consul, smiling. “Greetings, and welcome to Cloud City; the most exciting vacation spot in this entire sector of the galaxy! Can I be of service?”
“We’re just visiting,” replied Arden directly.
“Oh, but of course,” he sustained, “Planning to visit any of the fine resorts or casinos Cloud City has to offer? Or perhaps you’re interested in our Amusement parks and other attractions, sure to be an experience worth remembering.”
The Jedi Master waved his hand in front of the persistent man’s face. “We’re not interested.”
The man repeated, “You’re not interested.”
The two Jedi continued past the man as a confused expression crossed his face. Arden turned to Draelin in explanation. “I have little patience with salesmen.”