A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

[2015-01] Contract 002: Kordath Bleu - Undercover, S-Class


Aedile’s Office
Phantom Complex
Port Ol’val, Dajorra System
1930 Hours

Absentmindedly rubbing the bridge of his nose in frustration, Terran set aside yet another datapad filled with the world’s most boring statistics and reached for another pot of caf. A shortage of Whyren’s Reserve? Seriously? This is what qualifies as detrimental to operational efficiency around here? How exactly am I supposed to procure luxury foodstuffs - surreptitiously no less - when we can barely keep the local slavers in check?

Two quick beeps, half an octave apart, sounded in quick succession and broke the Kiffar from his reverie. Palming a button on the side of his desk, Terran slid his hand to the WESTAR-35 hidden beneath it, flicking the safety off just as the door whooshed open. A short, blue-gray Ryn stood in the doorway, grinning from ear to ear, his fur slightly mussed.

“Ah, Kordath Bleu isn’t it?” inquired the Aedile. “Come in. How can I help you?”

The Ryn shuffled forward, steps uncharacteristically heavy for his species, and Terran spotted a half-empty bottle of Whyren’s Reserve in one of his ink-stained hands.

“I heard that uh…” the Ryn trailed off momentarily, as if gathering his thoughts. When he continued, his words were slightly less slurred. “I heard you, eh, might have a job needs doin’.”

The Kiffar’s eyes fell from the Ryn’s face to the bottle in his hand, then to the discarded datapad on his desk. I should have known the Ryn was aboard. He considered - briefly - slagging the bottle, and his finger twitched ever-so-slightly on the blaster’s trigger. After a moment,he let go of the idea and the sidearm, standing instead and riffling through a half dozen neatly-stacked datapads on the far-left corner of his desk. Finding the one he sought, he stood up and plastered a smile on his face.

“You know, I have just the thing for a man of your… talents.”

Terran tossed the datapad to the Galerean and Kordath - despite his inebriated state - caught it handily. As his gray eyes scanned over the assignment, his disposition grew increasingly less jovial.

Power On

Analyzing Biometrics
Identity Confirmed

Loading Filesystem
Filesystem Loaded

Decrypting Files

Target: The Randy Rancor, Port Ol’val
Assignment: While a number of brothels and slavers operate out of Port Ol’val, the two industries intertwining is unacceptable. Rumors have linked the The Randy Rancor with the Kiruvian Raiders, a group of pirates and slavers who have recently migrated to the Dajorra System. Your mission is to go undercover as an employee of The Randy Rancor and ascertain the truth or falsehood of these rumors. Should they prove to be true, you’re charged to use any means at your disposal to bring down the brothel and the pirates with which they are affiliated. Given the particularly bloodthirsty reputation of the Raiders, you can expect heavy resistance should your identity or purpose be compromised.

Closing File
Unmounting Filesystem
Filesystem Unmounted
Erasure Complete

Kordath glared at the Kiffar and shook his head.

“You can’t be bloody serious.”

“After the terrific job you did with Mar Sûl, this should be right up your alley.”

With a nasal, whistling sound Terran took for a groan, Bleu shook his furry head and turned away from the Contract Bureau officer. He trudged towards the door with a resigned slump, raising the bottle in his hand for another swig.

As the office’s door slid open at his approach, Terran couldn’t resist calling after him.

“And next time you’re in port, don’t drink all my kriffing whiskey.”


With a stumble and near-trip, Kordath Bleu exited one of the many secreted-away doors that allowed entry to the Phantom Complex. For all the world looking like a drunken hobo who just emerged from the very wall, the Ryn righted himself and checked the bottle he had in hand. It was sorrowfully empty and the Krath’s shoulders slumped at this realization. In his other hand he still held a datapad, which he raised and squinted at in the poor lighting of the alleyway. Besides the initial information about the…Randy Rancor and pirates, it had an address listed for the brothel itself. With a sigh he tossed the empty bottle aside, hearing the glass clatter across the rocky surface as he headed towards the bright lights of the Besadii District.

The Ryn wouldn’t hesitate to admit he was sloshed, tipsy, buzzed, possibly even drunk, but it looked like it was time to work again. Dragging his feet as he took in the glowing signs of casinos and bars, the Ryn opened himself up to the Force as well. With a shudder he surveyed the emotions and surface thoughts being broadcast around him: hope from those headed to the casinos, despair from those leaving broke…fear from those who had gotten lines of credits from the Hutts and were just now realizing what that meant. Kordath liked Ol’val: it reminded him of a small Nar Shaddaa and thus felt a bit like…home.

Drunken and whistling to himself, the Ryn made the short trek towards the address listed. Despite his intentions of seeking out the brothel, his eyes kept being drawn to a food cart across the road from it. Taking this as a sign, the Krath stumbled again before making it to the poor droid running the mobile stand before mumbling something about a Nerf burger. A few minutes later Bleu was feeling more stable, sitting on the curb across from the brothel and letting the grease drip from his…dinner? Lunch? The Ryn couldn’t recall when he’d last eaten prior to that bottle of Reserve he’d laid his hands on.

From the outside, the Randy Rancor looked like just another shop. This was a shadowport, after all: no reason to hide the fact that it was a place of business. A simple glowing sign over a set of double doors in Aurebesh spelled out the name, while a crude outline of what appeared to be a Twi’lek girl and a Rancor in questionable congress accompanied it. As the Priest chewed on the supposed Nerf meat, he noted the image moved in a predictable manner as well. What did surprise him a bit was the amount of traffic going in and out of the place, the manner of clientele, and their attitude.

Brothels tended to be struck with the stigma of, ‘oh no, no decent being would go in there’ in most parts of the Galaxy. Port Ol’val wasn’t like most parts of the Galaxy, though. It was the kind of place pirates and smugglers could meet up, gangsters and thieves and brave or foolish merchants looking to make deals that would be frowned upon if made on more civilized worlds. Here people were walking up to the doors with heads high, not slouching or covering their faces as they went to deal with one of the pressing biological needs most sentient species suffered from.

Still, the place looked normal enough from the outside. Kordath was still taking in the emotions of those around him as well, and sensed nothing really out of the ordinary from the locale. Lust was a big one. Sadness, not surprising either…loneliness and a touch of despair weren’t that out of place either, considering the trade the place plied. Nothing to suggest the fear and pain of slavery but….he glanced at a nearby display that occasionally ticked over to show the local time. It was quite early in the day. Most of the workers would likely be sleeping still, so what he could sense from the building wasn’t complete. Crumpling up the greasy paper his burger had come in, the Ryn stood and tossed it over his shoulder.

The annoyed sounds of a vendor droid followed him for a while as he headed towards an entrance to the Ducts before it faded away in the distance. His steps were growing more certain as he traversed the twisted pathways hewn into the rock of the asteroid housing Ol’val. And his mind was starting to churn itself through the haze of whiskey to the beginnings of thought processes. Why’d Terran give him this assignment in particular? How much did the Kiffar know of his past? Not many in Arcona knew what had set him down the path that had lead here. It was doubtful the Aedile of Qel-Droma knew that the first men he’d ever killed were slavers…Humans who’d tried to take his little sisters.

Pondering as he walked, the Ryn felt a chill as he exited the Ducts and found himself in the Docks area. Another reason Kordath enjoyed Ol’val: the twisting tunnel that lead inside the asteroid meant he couldn’t actually see the outside from here. ’Small comforts,’ thought the Krath with a little grin as he looked about for anyone who looked as if they worked here. Dockworkers were easy enough to find either hauling small cargo or directing droids moving the bigger stuff. Spotting one with a datapad and a look of boredom counting crates on a pallet, the Ryn headed towards him. The worker was Human, and broad shoulders from days of moving cargo made him an imposing figure to approach from behind.

Kordath gestured slightly with one hand, causing a crate from the top of the stack to slide and start to fall.

“Oi! Look out mate!” he shouted, dashing the last meter to grab the dockworker by his arm and pulling him aside. The container smashed into the ground, sending canned goods rolling about.

The worker stared at the broken crate in dumbfounded shock, glancing from it to the top of the pallet. He turned towards Kordath, jaw trying to work but finding no words.

“You okay mate? That was close…coulda been bad, even with that bucket on yer head, eh?” said the Krath, reaching up to rap a fist against the man’s hard hat. This seemed to do the trick of unsticking the poor Human.

“Yeah, wow, thanks. One of the blasted droids must have stacked something wrong, I’ll have to get maintenance down to check on whichever one logged this pallet. You really saved my hide, pal,” he said, blinking as the words rushed out and he started to breathe more normally.

Kordath smiled at the man, patting him on the shoulder. “Hey mate, while I got ya for a second — why, don’t you sit down for a breather that was awful close,” he said, coaxing the still-shocked man to sit next to the pallet. “While I got ya for a sec,” he continued, “gotta be honest with ya mate, I was sent down here to deliver some messages to a ‘Captain Kiruvian’ and blasted if I can’t find the bloke.”

The Ryn nearly kicked himself as he saw the man go from shaken up to stone faced. “Don’t know nobody by that name, friend. Maybe you should be getting on.”

Glancing around to see if anyone was near, the Priest turned back to the man and made a slight gesture. “You’re going to tell me about Kiruvian,” the Krath’s voice crept out low and insistent, the words weighted with the power of the Force. “Who is he? Where is his ship berthed?”

“I…want…to…there is no ‘Captain Kiruvian’. Only people come asking are looking for the Raiders, and trouble. They…drop…cargo…sometimes, with a loader shuttle. Heard they got some kind…of…corvette…berthed outside the Port.” The dockworker was shaking his head, trying to dislodge the odd feeling in his mind. Kordath made another little gesture, and the Human calmed down.

“Where do they deliver?”

“Loading zone…fourteen…there ain’t no Kiruvian though…” the man muttered, staring ahead with confusion.

With a final wave of his hand, Bleu stood up. “Forget we spoke. You must have nodded off after the adrenaline wore off. Get back to work.”

’So there isn’t a ‘Captain Kiruvian’ eh? Rookie move, Bleu. Probably get the name from their homeworld…or…their ship? Wouldn’t be a bad idea, famous pirate ships are feared, famous pirate captains get hunted,’ he thought to himself as he went off in search of the loading zone.

Kordath grumbled at this setback. He’d hoped to simply find the pirate’s ship and quietly go aboard to rifle through their computers and see if they’d been stealing and selling people. Instead, he found a cargo container that had been brought in with their last shuttle. It was nondescript, just a big metal box no different then dozens of others that littered the Docks.

He walked the inside slowly, getting a feel for the tight space, thinking back to the number of times he’d hidden himself away in one of these with supplies to get from one world to another. Some of those trips had been very cold, and he shivered in recollection. Still, something about this crate was bugging him, tugging at the back of his mind. The hair on his neck was starting to twitch as well as standing on end. With a shake to calm himself the still-slightly inebriated Ryn kneeled in the center of the cargo container and closed his eyes. He slowed his breathing and reached out with the Force to gain a sensation of the space within the metal box.

Opening his eyes, the Krath took in the wraithlike forms of past images, impressions left by living beings upon the place. His gut tightened, as did his jaw as he saw ghostly figures being forced into the crate by men with blasters and force-pikes. Most of them looked like women, though one or two men could be seen in their number. And several children, he noted, realizing that what had looked like a pair of hunched over adults were in fact small beings wrapped in rags. The doors closed in his vision, leaving the beings in darkness with nothing but themselves and some tattered blankets that littered the floor of the container. Despair and fear were palpable, overwhelming the Ryn for a moment as he fell forward to the cold metal surface below him.

Kordath was coughing, and the foul taste on his tongue suggested he’d just wasted both his Nerf burger and the better part of a bottle of Whyren’s Reserve. His hands were clenching into fists so hard they radiated pain up his arms, but he couldn’t relax them. The Ryn would be the first to admit he was a sentient of rather loose morals: lying, cheating, stealing, the occasional bit of lechery and whoring even. He’d killed for various reasons…to protect others, to protect himself usually, but never for kicks. But one thing he could never comprehend was taking another person’s freedom away and forcing them into servitude. His self reflection caused him to relax a little bit as he chuckled to himself, thinking of how ludicrous it was that he bore the title of Dark Jedi.

Straightening, he tried to think rationally, past the anger and lingering sensations of despair and hopelessness. Slavers were tolerated on Port Ol’val because it was a shadowport…the kind of place you went to buy and sell things that you couldn’t elsewhere. But even the Hutts frowned on slaves being forced to sell themselves, even if they did keep slaves for themselves. ’The Besadii won’t going to be happy if the Rancor ends up being a brothel full of….sex slaves,’ thought the Ryn with a growl.

Getting to his feet, the Krath wiped his mouth and chin with the back of his sleeve and set off towards the Ducts again. He’d need further intelligence: he’d have to find a way into the Randy Rancor and see if the workers were slaves and not just people down on their luck.

Worst part of it was, he was sober now, and more than a little angry.

A credit chit dropped into the cup with a hollow thump, followed by a muffled and garbled sound of gratitude from the rag-swathed mass sitting behind it. People passed the beggar without a thought for the most part, the occasional credit thrown its way. Or half eaten food. Or garbage. A group of teenage humanoids had stopped to mock and kick it an hour past, but the beggar hadn’t budged. It just sat there, huddled against the wall on the sidewalk, across the road from the Randy Rancor brothel.

Kordath smelled awful. The ‘clothing’ he was covered in had been scavenged from the back of several of the seedier cantinas, either from the dumpsters or the passed out people he’d found wearing them. From head to toe he felt disgusting, having been maintaining his watch on the brothel for two days now. Repeat business was slim. The occasional person during what passed for ‘business lunch’ time on the Port popped up, but not many. The only people he spotted coming and going that didn’t look like customers were ones he suspected worked there. A Bith in a button down shirt and slacks looked like a bartender to the Ryn, and he felt a longing every time he spotted the bulbous-headed humanoid.

The other one though…the other one…Kordath wasn’t overly familiar with the blue-skinned man’s species. Pan…Pantoran? Yellow eyes and purple hair framed a face that was haggard and unshaven, and slumped shoulders hid the man’s impressive height. The Pantoran sucked down a cigarette every few hours, lingering outside of the brothel with a look of misery. He’d watched the man show up, dressed in stained and rumpled overalls and dirty boots first thing in the morning. At the end of the day the Pantoran slouched out with his head bowed and hands in his pockets. This one had potential, surmised the Krath as he watched the man leave work for the second day in a row.

As the apparent maintenance man shuffled off down the road, Kordath abandoned his spot. He grabbed up what was in his cup first, of course — no reason to waste free credits. Paralleling the Pantoran via alleyway, the Ryn shucked his rags and shuddered as he took his first clean breath in days. Coming to the end of the alley, he stuck his head out, looking around before spotting the man again while he stretched out the kinks in his legs. Two bloody days sitting in a meditative pose caused some cramps for the Priest.

Kordath watched as the Pantoran lifted his head and stared at the brightly lit sign of one of the smaller casinos, his hand coming out with a handful of credits and doing a visual inspection of them.

Bleu grinned as he saw the man walk up the short set of brightly-colored stairs and into the gambling den. When the Priest tried to follow him he found a force pike in his face, held by a very large and very angry looking Barabel.

“Doesss little Ryn have the fundsss to enter thisss place?”

Kordath craned his head as he tracked up to face the lizard man’s impressive array of teeth. Sharp. He swallowed. A Barabel served on the Nighthawk as his Security Officer but it didn’t make the imposing bouncer any less terrifying. The Ryn held a special place for sentient species that had evolved from cold-blooded reptiles. A special place in his hind brain that said, ‘Run little rodent, before they bloody eat you.’

“Eh? Come on mate, just let me through, huh? Just want to get a drink and maybe hit a slot machine. Nothing too pricey, see?”

The Barabel’s nostrils flared as he leaned in towards the Ryn. “Have a bath, little one. Maybe we let you in then.” With a deep chuckle the bouncer turned away, shaking his head and nearly taking the Ryn’s feet out from under him with his tail.

’Blast it all,’ thought the Priest with a silent glare towards the guard’s back. *’Have to wait for him to come out, then. Hopefully he doesn’t do too well in there.”

Spotting a tap cafe across the street, the Krath decided it was time for a drink. And a whore bath in the restroom, as the smell was becoming prevalent even to himself. Feeling a bit fresher, the Ryn sat out on the front patio of the cafe, sipping at a steaming mug of caf. He’d been up for two long and boring days now and even with the Force to invigorate him the Krath was feeling a bit worn out. Settling himself in for another wasted afternoon, Kordath leaned back in his seat and took another sip of the dark and energy-rich beverage, all the while staring at the casino across the road. Its garish lights fluctuated between purple, green and yellow, causing the Ryn to feel the first tinges of nausea and distress. It was owned by someone who didn’t understand business, to Kordath’s eye: the sign being in Huttese was a dead give away.

”Someone wants to impress the Besadii by being clever…the Hutts know they get more business when the patrons can read the bloody signs,’ he thought with a shake of his head.

Two hours and four cups of caf later, the Krath was trying to recall the first signs of cardiac arrest. People were giving the shaking Ryn strange looks as he clutched his mug with both hands, his eyes nearly as large as the saucer the caf should have been resting on. His tail was becoming a hazard to those around him. Kordath Bleu was bloody well wired up and ready to go running. Except he was worried his heart would explode. And the blasted Pantoran still hadn’t come out of the gambling den. The Ryn knew that if he closed his eyes now to take a power nap, the guy would walk out two minute later. That reminded Bleu of the physics of space and volume, as the caf seemed to make its way to the end of his digestive tract.

Cursing to himself in a barely audible voice, further worrying the other tap cafe patrons, Kordath clutched his midsection. As he contemplated his options, simply waiting out another day and following the guy tomorrow or just soiling himself in front of a dozen people, a commotion broke out across the road. Forcing himself to stand, clenching every muscle in his lower body as he did, Kordath looked on much as the other customers did. A Pantoran man in overalls was being carried by a very annoyed looking Barabel, who got a good wind up before tossing the blue-skinned man down the short set of stairs. He rolled and bounced all the way to the curb, where he lay still for several long moments.

Oh he bloody well better not be dead.’

Kordath hopped the railing of the patio, and immediately regretted it as he felt his insides make a ‘burble’ sound. Grunting and praying to whatever gods might be listening, he awkwardly jogged across the road. He nudged the Pantoran with his boot, watching the man shift and groan. Alive, then, that made things slightly less complicated. A growling sound caused him to turn his gaze upwards as a shadow fell across both he and the fallen man. The Barabel was glaring at him again.

“You a friend of Dessspin?” growled the bouncer.

Bleu stared at him for a few seconds as he processed the lisping enunciation of the big man. “Desss…I mean, Despin?”

Bared teeth seemed as close to an acknowledgement as the Ryn was going to get for now on that count. “He got drunk while on a losssing ssstreak. Kept sssmacking Marta on the rear. He’sss banned, hear? Tell him whenever the pathetic bag of poodoo wakesss up.”

The Ryn held his breath as the Barabel gave him a final glare before turning away. Letting out a sigh, Kordath reached down and shook the Pantoran. The man shifted and rolled onto his back, staring up at the sky. Purple eyes with heavy bags set under them seemed glazed and unfocused, likely from the gash on his forehead from hitting the ground and bouncing face first. Kordath patted the man on the cheek a few times, trying to garner more of a response from him.


“Oh good, yer awake. Come on then mate, on yer feet,” spoke the Ryn, reaching under the Pantoran’s shoulders and dragging him upwards. Despin’s head lolled back on to his shoulders for a moment before lethargically lifting back up and then dropping his chin to chest. “Come on mate, ya gotta tell me where we’re going, eh? Where do ya live?”

“M’in the Pride,” muttered the drunken and possibly concussed man.

“Right, of course, come on then mate,” muttered Kordath, dragging the man towards the central Plaza area.

Twenty minutes of half-supporting, half-dragging Despin later, they got to the Pride of Corellia. Slurred directions came from the Pantoran, getting the Ryn surprisingly lost in the bellows of the once impressive ship turned housing project. Finally they came to a grime-covered door that opened after Despin put a code in. It took the man four tries but it finally opened — Kordath wasn’t certain if it was due to Despin putting in the proper code or if the door just gave up. Lowering the Pantoran onto the narrow bunk running along one wall of the small apartment, Kordath looked around the place.

Dirty clothing was piled up in one corner. Kordath was almost certain if he jostled it something small, furry and slightly similar to himself would try and come out. A small kitchenette area was set in the wall next to the door, with a small refrigerator and a sink. Another door lead to a small and filthy refresher unit. And that was it. This was what a janitor with a gambling habit could afford on Port Ol’val, it seemed.

Despin was snoring already. Apparently the Pantoran was unconcerned with the strange Ryn in his home. Kordath weighed his options briefly before certain biological reminders sent a stabbing pain through his midsection and he made a dash for the ‘fresher.

Kordath woke with a start, pants around ankles and drool on his chin. His entire body was sore after finally getting some rest, and while everything hurt he did feel like a brand new Ryn. Shifting slightly on the seat caused pins and needles to shoot up both legs with such intensity that he nearly passed out. He took a shuddering breath to calm himself and gagged a bit, wondering what the hells had happened to cause the smell that was assaulting his senses. Flashbacks of having imbibed more caf in one sitting than he had in the past week caused him to let out a little ‘ooooh’ of realization. His stomach rumbled, hunger setting in. Flexing the muscles in his legs to get the blood flowing, Kordath idly wondered how long he’d been asleep.

He exited the bathroom quietly, closing the door behind him more to block out the smell than the noise the toilet was making. Despin was snoring on the bunk still, and the chrono on the wall suggested his power nap had been nearly four hours long. No wonder he felt empty, the Ryn mused as he opened the small fridge in search of sustenance. Options were slim, a few instant meals of the cheaper variety and a very cheap bottle of whiskey. Pulling one of the food cartons out, he popped it under the tap and eyed the bottle of whiskey. He’d drunk cheaper. Hells, he was pretty sure he’d drunk engine lubricant once when he’d gotten so drunk he couldn’t see straight.

He was on the clock though. Ethereal images of frightened children passed through his mind, causing him to tighten his grip on the bottle of whiskey. He didn’t recall picking it up. With a shaking hand he placed it on the small kitchen counter and retrieved his dinner. Or breakfast, he wasn’t sure. Finding a somewhat clean utensil, he leaned against the counter and ate his instant noodles, staring at the Patoran sleeping on his bunk. The man had turned over onto his stomach at some point and his injured forehead was now stuck to a pillow. Thoughts and ideas churned through the Ryn’s mind as he chewed on the rubbery bits of pasta. He’d not intended to do more than follow the Pantoran home; he certainly hadn’t meant to end up in his apartment eating his food.

Tossing the now empty carton aside — Bleu couldn’t see any discernable trash receptacle in the place — he turned and picked up the bottle of whiskey. Turning it in his hand as he watched the sleeping man, a plan formed in the Ryn’s mind. It was still hours before Despin would be shambling his depressed self into work, he noted from the chrono. Hefting the bottle once more and noting that it was about half full, he smirked. With a few shakes on the Pantoran’s shoulder he jostled the man awake.

“Wha? What? Who…wha…who’is’you?” muttered the man as he held a hand to his face, trying to block out the apartment’s meager lightning.

“Shh, shhh mate, you took a nasty blow to yer head ya did. Drink this. Make ya feel better,” stated the Ryn in a gentle tone, pushing the bottle into the man’s hands.

“M’smells funny…medicine huh?”

Kordath smiled as he watched the Pantoran cradled the bottle in a manner that sent a little pang through him. After he was done with this slaver business he was getting trashed out, shipboard regulations be damned. He was the Captain after all, if he let the Commander take charge for a day or two, well…

“That’s right mate, medicine to make ya feel better. Drink it all, that’s a good lad.”

The Ryn watched as Despin finished it off, taking the empty bottle away from him and placing it on the floor next to the bunk. Despin rolled over and passed back out, and Kordath found a clear patch of floor to sit down in and meditate for a few hours. The empty bottle was in the corner of his vision, almost mocking him as he tried to focus his mind and let go. Instead, wraithlike images from the container down in the Docks area kept seeping into his consciousness. Peace of mind eluded him, causing the Ryn to grit his teeth and squeeze his eyes shut in frustration.

Glancing at the chrono in anger and disgust sometime later, he recounted the past morning. It was still about two hours before Despin normally showed up for work. Good enough for the Ryn.

Standing up, he stretched, reaching up and bending in turn to work the kinks out before jogging in motion for a minute to get his blood up. He turned and scooped up the empty whiskey bottle and chucked it with all his strength at the small metal sink set in the wall. It shattered loudly, causing Despin to move a bit in his sleep but not quite awake. Kordath grabbed the Pantoran by the arm and forcibly pulled him out of the bunk and onto the floor.

“DESPIN! MATE YOU GOTTA GO!” he screamed, inches away from the confused man’s face.



“Wha? Who?”


“What? Stop shouting! Oh my head…why does my head hurt so much?” asked the Pantoran, struggling to stand. A look of alarm crossed his face, causing Kordath to step out of his way. He knew that look, as Despin sprinted with surprising dexterity to the ‘fresher door. A gagging sound and a follow up that the Ryn recognised a little too well caused Kordath to reach over and close the door. He sat down on the bunk and waited.

Despin opened the door, wiping at his chin, eyes bloodshot and breathing like he’d just run a marathon. He stared at the Ryn with an expression of confusion and fear, something Kordath was most unused to.

“Wha…what’s going on?”

“You KARKING moron, don’t you know what you did?”

“What’d I do?” he asked, swaying in place. Kordath cursed internally. He might have gotten the Pantoran a bit to snockered.

“The credit line? At the Besadaii place last night?”

Despin’s eyes grew wide as that sentence sunk in. “Wait what? What did I do?”

The Ryn almost felt bad about the sound of terror in the Pantoran’s voice. “You was on a winnin’ streak at Besadaii’s joint last night you were. You was buyin’ drinks and having a grand time, bet on something that was five to one cuz you said somebody gave ya a tip.”

“Five to bloody ONE?”

“Aye mate, aye. You…umm, you didn’t win.”

“Oh poodoo, how much, how much do I bloody owe the Hutts?” Despin’s eyes looked as if they would fall out of his skull. Kordath was impressed by his own ability to keep a straight face, serious and concerned looking all at the same time.

“Came up to about seventy thousand credits mate. You got a shuttle or somethin’ you’re plannin’ on selling to them or somethin’?”

“SEVENTY THOUSAND CREDITS!? I don’t have that kind of cash! I’ve never seen that kind of cash!”

Kordath shook his head and looked at the man with sympathy. “Well mate, they said ya got till noon today. So you might be right karked. Ya can probably get down to the Ducts and hide out for a spell, till you can hop a flight out of here, eh? Start somewhere new. Maybe someplace with a bloody sky, you seemed pretty miserable when I ran into ya last night.”

“Yeah, off Port, somewhere else, yeah,” mumbled the man as he began to flit back and forth through his apartment, grabbing things of apparent sentimental value. “Hide out till they quit looking for me. Yeah.”

“Great mate, great, you asked me last night to cover yer shift at work today, said you figured you’d be out of sorts. Got a clean set of overalls for a mate?”

“What? Umm, yeah check under the bed. I gotta go. I gotta get outta here. Oh man,” muttered the man, shoving things into a sack.

Kordath found a set of overalls under the bunk: it was musty and smelled odd but didn’t seem to be filthy. Putting them on over his own clothing, he sighed, sitting down to roll up the excess half a foot of material on his legs and arms. The Priest almost felt bad about doing this to Despin, but it was obvious the man needed a change in scenery. He’d likely off himself if he stayed on Ol’val for much longer — some planetary living would do him good. He waved as the Pantoran shouldered his bag and ran out the door.

Checking the chrono on the wall once more, he decided he had time for some proper food. And caf. Lots of caf. He twitched as he walked out of the apartment, realizing he needed to get some proper hydration before he tried to talk his way into a brothel serving as a front for a slaving operation.

’Breakfast. And caf. And some water, gods help me. Then we’ll deal with this.’


Rehydrated, fed, and feeling slightly itchy from whatever material the overalls were made of, Kordath Bleu stood before the Randy Rancor. He was still a good ten minutes early so he decided to duck around the corner for a smoke. Lighting a cigarette and leaning against the wall, he blew out a stream of smoke and assessed his situation. Passing himself off as Despin’s fill in wouldn’t be out of the question — he’d told grander lies for much more ignoble purposes. Uncovering a slaver run brothel operation was more than enough reason for him to give this a shot.

All he really knew so far was that the Kiruvian Raiders were named after a ship, and not a man. So, that meant finding out who was pulling the strings, who the Captain of the vessel was. And who they dealt with in the brothel itself…likely the Madame, if there was one. That only left the Triumvirate, the group that ran Port Ol’val, as far as the public was concerned. They didn’t condone this sort of operation, since it was the sort of thing that got security forces interested in your ‘freeport’. Which meant…which meant…

“Oh blast,” muttered the Ryn, closing his eyes and knocking the back of his head against the wall a few times as realization came.

Which meant somebody in the Triumvirate was working with them, or at least someone was getting paid off to turn a blind eye. He’d have to figure that one out before he approached the Hutts about this transgression, otherwise he would be committing suicide. Tossing the butt to the ground, he stepped on it and walked back to the entrance, taking one last deep breath to steel himself. Pushing the door open and shaking his head in a bemused manner at the bell that rang, he walked inside to find a very clean and well kept entry hall. A droid behind a podium stood and stared at him with glowing eyes just to the left of the opening.

“Do you have an appointment…sir?” it queried. Whoever had programmed the valet droid had been sure to give it a smug and condescending tone. Great.

“I’m here to work, mate,” he growled at the thing. Droids and the Ryn never really got along for some reason, though for the life of him he couldn’t figure out why. It was like the entire droid community had blacklisted the Priest at some point.

“Mmmhmm, your clothing is recognized, but you are not the one known as ‘Despin’. Explain please,” spoke the droid, and Kordath heard a low buzz sound from the podium. Large shadows fell over the short Krath, causing him to look up and see the two Barabels flanking him.

“Bloody hell, do you guys just snatch up all the security gigs or wot?”

“You are not Dessspin,” growled the one on his left. The other just glared.

Kordath shrank back in very real fear of the twin sets of teeth before him. Why did Port Ol’val have this many bloody Barabels on it?

“Despin took a nasty hit to the head yesterday, one of you lot tossed him a good dozen feet after he ran out of creds at one of the casinos, eh? Couldn’t make it in today, poor bugger been tossing up all mornin’, asked me to cover for him for a while.”

He held his breath as he stared at the two. The one on the right turned to his fellow and uttered something in a language the Krath didn’t understand, likely whatever Barabel spoke to one another. A cadence of hissing erupted from the pair that caused every hair on Bleu stand up on end, not to mention his tail trying to curl up to its base. The one who’d spoken to him in lisping Basic turned back, leaning forward to get eye level with the shaking Ryn.

“My brethren here heard about thisss. They sssaid a Ryn took little Dessspin away. Bossss will want to talk to you,” hissed out the Barabel before reaching out and grabbing the Krath by his shoulder and dragging him along. If Kordath didn’t want to go with them…well he didn’t really have a choice without revealing himself as an agent of Arcona.

A door was opened by one of the guards and the Ryn found himself propelled forward, hearing the door shut behind him. The room he found himself was obviously an office from its functional furnishings, but the decor was…lively.

Garish, colorful hangings and drapes covered the walls, made of some kind of nearly sheer material. Low lightning, tinted a deep red, and incense burning from a small tray on the desk set a very intimate mood. Behind the desk, sitting in a plush and extremely comfortable looking chair was a Falleen woman. She wore a flowing dress of pastel colors ranging from a light violet to a creamy orange tone. Kordath felt his tail twitch despite himself as he stared at the woman, and felt a tug from somewhere in his own mind. It was sending out signals of, Pay attention moron and, Falleen, that means pheromones! Something about the lines of her face didn’t play right to the Ryn, but he couldn’t place it yet.

“Ah,” spoke the woman in a rich voice that caused Bleu’s tail to twitch anew. “You’re pathetic little Despin’s ‘friend’ than? How adorable. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the receptionist allow a Ryn into my little establishment.”

Kordath stuck his hands into his pockets and rocked back and forth on his heels a little, attempting to appear nonchalant. “Well, umm, miss–”

“Madame,” she said curtly, cutting him off. She leaned forward, steepling her fingers and narrowing her gaze.

“Right, miss Madame–”

“Just Madame.”

“Umm, apologies, Madame. Umm, yeah, Despin asked me to fill in for him, since he couldn’t work. Didn’t get too much into details about it but that don’t really matter much. I know a little bit ‘bout everything, ma’am.”

A delicate eyebrow was raised at this. “So he never told you what it is you’d be doing here? Perhaps Despin is one of my little boys that the local Barabel community likes to come see, hmm? Would you be willing to ‘stand in’ for him then?”

Kordath felt a scream rising within his own mind yet endeavoured to keep a straight face. “Not to sound too disparagin’ of me mate and all, but I don’t think he’s pretty enough for the big lads.”

The Falleen stared at him with purple eyes of similar hue as her dress for a few long seconds. Bleu could feel a panic rising in him. If she didn’t buy this, if the Barabels came charging in…

He’d be dead in seconds. There was no way he could fight those two off and get out of the building alive. Instead a noise was heard from across the desk, and Kordath noted the Madame was starting to shake and had fallen back into her chair. A rich laugh erupted from the Falleen and the Ryn couldn’t help but pick out the shift in her tone.

’Madame’ my tail, but to each their own.

“Oh my, yes, Despin is not nearly delectable enough to work at my establishment. Though I do have a fair number of clients whose tastes run more towards the how do you say, ‘cuddly’? If you catch my meaning, little one.”

Kordath’s eyes went dead as he tried to force a smile onto his face. “Madame, I’m just lookin’ for enough work to get to the next port is all. I, umm, appreciate it but that’s not really my, uhh, thing.”

She shrugged. “Fair enough. If approached by a client tell them you aren’t on the menu. If they attempt to force the situation, get Gazbin or Gazbo.”

“That would be the big scary twins that I met out in the hall?”

“Yes, and be patient with Gazbin; he refuses to learn Basic. As for duties, that little wastrel you’re filling in for keeps the Rancor clean. Check the facilities every hour or so, be on call to clean up messes and keep an eye out for any lights that have gone out. Gazbo can show you where the custodial closet is.”

“Well alrighty then Madame, umm, thank ya for this ummm…thanks for the job, luv,” he said, with a shrug.

“Very good…also, I am Lady Xenzu. What am I calling you, my little ball of fluff?”

Kordath swallowed, he felt an itch under his collar and a heat rising throughout his body. His tail twitched sporadically, no longer listening to his conscious thoughts. The bloody Falleen was likely saturating the office with pheromones. Good way to cull out security force, he supposed.

“Me name’s Praylin, Madame Xenzu,” he said, doing a little bow and backing towards the door. “Ought to be gettin’ to work, I should, aye.”

Laughter followed him out the door.

Kordath leaned against the wall of the entry hall and breathed deep, trying to suck in clean air. One of the Barabels appeared alongside him, and the Ryn nearly soiled his overalls.

How are they so blasted quiet?

“Gaz…Gazbo right, mate? Tha Madame said to ask ya where the mop closet is.”

Gazbo nodded, gesturing towards a door that lead deeper into the building and waving at the Ryn to follow him. He heard the door at the front open with a jingle, heralding the coming of customers. Kordath glanced down the hall and almost tripped over his overalls. Standing before the podium was a tall and heavyset Kaleesh who looked nervous and out of place next to his companion, a muscular Hapan with dark hair who stood confidently and at apparent ease, quietly giving the droid instruction on what the two men wanted. His blue eyes tracked left as he felt the Ryn’s gaze upon him. They widened infinitesimally for but a moment before coming back under his control, noting the short shake of the head that Kordath gave him. The Human turned back to the task at hand, clapping the Kaleesh on the shoulder.

That’s Skar. Why is Skar here. And the Hapan? What the bloody hell is Marick doing here?

A touch of panic was bubbling through the Krath’s gut as he followed the hulking form of Gazbo. Three Arconans walk into a brothel. It was like the start of a bad dirty joke. Of course they were both of Qel Droma, so it made sense they’d be on Ol’val, but still it worried the Ryn. Marick he could trust to not reveal him, unless Kordath had slighted him in some way that he couldn’t recall. It was possible, with the amount the Priest hit the bottles — sometimes people yelled at him for things he couldn’t recall.

But Skar? Skar could blow the whole thing for him. A brothel was the last place he’d expect to see the blasted Kaleesh. As Gazbo took him into the back, Kordath sent up a silent prayer to whomever was listening that Skar wouldn’t get him killed. The usual lack of response was particularly chilling this time.

Kordath grumbled as he pushed the mop around, cleaning up a mess that had to be older than a few hours. It went without saying at this point to the Ryn that Despin did a horrible job as a janitor. He’d found this mess on his own, wandering about pushing the mop bucket, and nearly lost his boot when it got stuck. Not wondering what it was that he’d stepped in was now taking up quite a bit of his cognitive process. So far, this was getting him nowhere. He’d spotted a half dozen or so scantily-clad women moving from somewhere in the back of the Rancor to some stairs leading to an upper floor. Gazbo had firmly, in none too gentle of terms or manner, informed him that the second floor was off limits to him.

Shortly after this, a group of rough looking individuals came through from the back, heading towards the entry hall. Kordath stepped out of their way as they stomped across the floor he’d been cleaning, trying to casually take in their appearances. The one in the lead was massive, black-skinned and sporting white streaks on his thick-looking skin that ran from behind the head down his shoulders. An eye patch covered his left socket, which was sporting a nasty looking scar. Kordath wracked his brain before coming up with ‘Herglic’. He’d never seen one in person before; they were even bigger than any reference material he’d read had prepared him for.

A Duros with a dangerous looking prosthetic arm trailed him to one side, while on the other a dusky-colored Bothan with a sneer rounded out the trio. Despite trying to be the usual unnoticed custodian, Kordath winced as the Bothan turned his way and stopped with a grin. Several metallic teeth glinted in the light.

“Oi, Captain Blarnsto, when’d the Madame get herself a little ball of fluff like dis? We didn’t pick ‘im up I’m sure, I’d remember this one,” said the Bothan, leering at the Ryn and stepping in. Kordath felt the back against his wall and swallowed nervously. The Bothan was only a few inches taller than him, and was lightly built. Still, his demeanor and intent were freaking the Ryn out.

A deep and hollow voice came from the apparent Captain, “Chip, he’s holding a mop.”

“Eh? So he likes to work, ain’t that nice.”

“He’s a janitor, Chip, leave him be.”

Chip the Bothan leaned in towards Kordath, reaching up to pinch the Ryn’s cheek. “Maybe I’ll see you later, eh Fluffy?”

The Duros was shaking his head as the Bothan turned to follow the Herglic captain, laughing as he went along. Chip smacked the Duros on his shoulder, waving his hand after it rebounded off the metal arm. “Gotta live a lil’ Tanno, else wot’s tha point, eh?”

Kordath glanced towards the direction they’d come from, and wondered what else was back there. He wasn’t going as far away from Chip as he could because he wanted to be away from the Bothan. No, that wasn’t it at all.

Okay, maybe it was.

Working his way to the back of the building, he discovered another set of stairs going down. A rather cheap security panel was set into the wall next to a door that had been left open. Checking for prying eyes first, Kordath crept down the steps and found something that made his guts churn. Rows of beds lined the basement area, an open corner held a showerhead and a toilet. That was the extent of the amenities. Ratty sheets covered thin mattresses set on the floor, and piles of clothing could be found next to some of them. A cursory check of a few piles suggested the working girls lived down here.

Kordath pushed a pile apart with one of his feet and locked up. The clothes were too small: not even the most vain woman would run around in this stuff. Images of children crying and shackled shot through his mind, leaving trails of burning anger. Trying to focus on the task at hand wasn’t calming him down quickly enough; the Ryn felt the need to do something violent and foolish. His left eye twitched as he marched back up the steps, grabbing the mop and pushing it back towards the custodial closet.

Deep breaths lead to clearer thoughts, but rage was still burning inside the Krath. His brain was mulling over the information he’d managed to gather so far. The people from the container were not here of their own accord. It looked like they’d been locked up in the basement when not being put to work. And…and that bloody Bothan had unnerved him so much he’d not realized the import of the karking bastards words at the time.

“‘Oi, Captain Blarnsto, when’d the Madame get herself a little ball of fluff like dis? We didn’t pick ‘im up I’m sure, I’d remember this one,’” he recalled the Bothan saying.

That’s the pirates then, and the Herglic is the Captain of the Kiruvian? I still don’t know enough, blast it!

That’s when the door to the closet clicked shut behind him, causing Bleu to turn and find himself staring into the metal-filled smile of the Bothan.

“Found ya, Fluffy. I don’t care that you’re not on the ‘menu’ here, ya hear? I’ve not found one to my likin’ in a long, long time on our lil’ trips. And you’ve got me motivator runnin’,” Chip grinned at him. “So,” continued the Bothan, pulling a knife from his hip. “We gonna do dis thing the fun way, or the real fun way?”

“Ummmm,” started the Ryn, nearly tripping over his mop bucket as he backed away. Options, options were needed so he wouldn’t get gutted by this pirate. Or worse. Getting killed would be better than the alternative, he felt. Anger flared as he recalled the children’s clothing down in the basement, as he remembered Chip’s earlier words. These bastards were taking kids and putting them to work in a bloody brothel. Kordath glanced up at the shelves of the closet. The space was tight and he’d not have much room to work with. Nothing to drop on the Bothan’s head, nothing of weight, anyways. He cursed to himself.

“The real fun way den, eh?” Chip said with a grin, reaching out to grab the Ryn by his overalls with his left hand. Kordath let the Bothan get a hand on him before smiling at Chip, a smile that showed his own teeth and a feral gleam to his eyes. The Ryn stepped in towards the Bothan and drove a knee up and into the dusky alien’s groin before knocking the knife from Chip’s hand as he gasped in pain. Kordath brought his knee up again to knock the breath out of his assailant and followed it up with an elbow to the back of the Bothan’s head. A few more strikes to Chip’s skull followed this up for good measure — and because Kordath was ticked off.

When the Bothan went limp and hit the floor Kordath quit hitting him, leaned against the wall and started panting. Still, he was smiling now, and felt alive. Giving the Bothan a kick for good measure, he opened the door and found himself face to chest with the Herglic. Swallowing the lump in his throat, Kordath craned his neck as he slowly looked up to meet the Captain’s one good eye. It was as dark as his skin, a black orb that was sizing the Krath up. It shifted and took in the downed Bothan as well.

“There a problem here?” The Captain’s voice made Kordath’s chest vibrate from this close.

“He’s uhh…takin’ a nap. You know how Bothans are, it’s probably almost, umm, winter on Bothawui, right?”

The Captain looked at him again. “What?”

“You know, Bothans hibernate through winter, right? Or at least they used to, but still, they’re prone to falling asleep when this time of year rolls around. Old evolutionary habit, only really happens when they’re tired.” Kordath lied through his teeth, staring straight at the Herglic.

After a short pause of the Captain staring at him he got a chuckle as a response, “Right. Or when they pull a knife and get beaten. Told him to leave you be. What a moron.”

The Captain turned and wandered off, leaving Tanno the Duros shaking his head and glaring at the Krath.


Tannon shook his head once again and turned to follow his Captain.

That was bloody odd. Don’t mess with the Herglic if I can help it. Didn’t even care that I nearly killed one of his men after he disobeyed orders. Cold bastard.

Kordath wasn’t certain if the Captain picked up on Chip’s earlier slip up, or if he even cared. If the Kiruvian Raiders felt secure enough, in this, their place of business, they might let on more than they should. Still, he needed physical evidence if he was going to get the Triumvirate to shut them down. He’d have to get it today: the Ryn doubted ‘Madame’ Xenzu would let him back in after the incident with Chip. With a sigh he realized he’d have to get past Gazbo. Nothing on the ground level had given him what he needed, and while the basement’s conditions were deplorable they weren’t quite illegal. Just sickening.

Picking up a broom the Ryn went off to check on the Barabel standing guard at the upper staircase, wondering how he’d get past the big guy. A short hallway ran off the entry hall to the steps that Gazbo was sitting at the bottom of, and the Barabel looked bored. Kordath stepped into the hall, sweeping as he went, and felt the guard’s gaze settle on him. Bored? Yes. Still attentive? Oh, yes.

As the Ryn got closer, Gazbo straightened up and crossed his muscular arms across his chest. He swept his way all the way up to the Barabel and stopped, looking up at him.

“Oi, Gaz, who cleans upstairs then, if I’m not headin’ up?”

“Don’t clean while we’re open. Clientsss want privacy. And don’t call me Gaz, Tiny.”

“Oh, okay, but when does it get cleaned up? Despin says I’m out before closin’, so who does the spit and shine?”

Gazbo grunted at him, “Gazbin and me. What you getting at?”

Kordath gave him a winning smile. “Well mate, that’s gotta be borin’ work, way below you and your brother, eh? You toss a few creds my way, I’ll stick around and take care of it when me shift is over, yeah? That way you and Gaz can get out of here early and enjoy yourselves!”

“Don’t know the Madame will like that. And don’t call him Gaz either. He’ll bite your head off.”

That’s how it’s gonna be then, huh?

With a short wave of his hand, Kordath looked Gazbo in the eye. “You want to take a quick nap.”

“I…want…to…huh?” said the Barabel, confused and shaking his head, rubbing at his forehead. Kordath was halfway up the stairs before he realized this hadn’t worked and pushed himself against the wall and rail. Gazbo turned and looked up the stairs in confusion, scratching at his head before turning back to the hallway. Bleu held his breath, counting to ten in his head and dropping the Force cloak he’d used to hide himself, and crept the rest of the way up the stairs.

Too bloody close, Bleu. Karking idiot.

Upstairs was a different world from the ground floor. Corridors split off in three directions from the stairs, lined with doors. Most of these were shut, and Kordath could hear soothing music coming from more than a few of them. He also heard grunts, crying, laughter, and other noises he couldn’t quite place. And ones he didn’t want to identify. Picking a hallway at random, he strode purposefully forward.

Always act like you belong. Skulking will just get ya caught.

Glancing into doorways as he went along, the open ones anyways, resulted in spotting women in various states of undress. Also of varying species, shapes and sizes. Kordath tried not to stare, but it was difficult on more than one occasion. He paused after passing one door that had been left partially closed, going back to look inside from the edge of the opening. Skar was in there, head in the lap of a Human woman with dark hair and a severe yet tired look on her face. He looked as if he was crying.

Huh, she kinda looks like…oh. Oooh. Might be more to that story about Skar and Cortel than I thought, heh heh.

Kordath shook his head and moved on, not sure of what he was looking for. He felt another familiar presence nearby, behind another door. Pressing his ear against the door to listen, his brow furrowed in confusion as he heard nothing. A yelp escaped him as the door was flung open and he stumbled inside, hearing the door quickly shut behind him. Turning to find a knife in his face and a exasperated set of blue eyes glaring at him, he smiled. Marick held a finger up to his lips, the Ryn nodded and looked around the room. A Human woman wearing revealing clothing sat on a couch watching him with a wary eye.

On the floor next to her was a boy, no more than ten years of age if the Ryn had any hope of estimating for a Human. Kordath noticed the boy was wearing a golden choker, the same as the woman on the couch. He stared at it, feeling anger rising anew.

Marick was watching him, then looking at the child and woman, then back at Kordath. The Ryn pointed at his own neck, and then the child with a fire in his eyes. The Hapan nodded to him, and Kordath felt the left side of his face twitch again. The former Consul clapped him on the shoulder and reached into his jacket, pulling another one of the collars out, though still open. He handed it to the Krath, who turned it over in his hands a few times and snarled. It was a single piece with a clasp to join it into a circle, and the clasp had some kind of material over it right now.

Kneeling next to the child, he held his hands up and smiled at the boy, waving his tail about over his shoulders to distract him. The kid just stared at him, not cracking a smile or any real expression at all. Kordath couldn’t know what the boy had seen, or what had done to him, and felt stupid for trying. Instead he gestured for the kid to turn around, and checked the back of the boy’s collar. It was fused; likely if the clasp met without anything in between it, it had some kind of joining mechanism that would basically weld the two ends together. Holding it up on two fingers, he lifted it and lowered it, then looked at the Hapan.

Kordath mouthed the word ‘bomb’ at the Adept, who nodded again. He shoved the choker into his overalls and stood back up, jaw set with determination. Patting the child on the head, Bleu stood back up, awkwardly turning to bow to the woman before heading for the door. Marick stopped him with a hand on his shoulder once more and leaned in.

“I don’t know what you’re doing here, but don’t get caught on the way out with that thing.”

“This is too important for me to get caught,” hissed back the Ryn with a glare. His reputation for getting caught by the enemy was starting to become an annoyance. It seemed to be a repeating theme whenever Arcona went to battle with someone, Kordath would find his way into a cell.

Part of that was because the best way to get information was from an interrogator: the questions they asked could tell you a lot about what was going on. Also, a cell tended to be the safest place when your combat abilities were comparable to a child. But usually Kordath didn’t care about the fight, they were passing concerns that distracted him from research and reading. This…this was actually important to the Ryn. He wasn’t getting caught, he decided, as he headed back to the stair. Deep in thought, he walked right past Gazbo before the Barabel dropped a heavy hand on the back of his neck and picked him up.

“Eeep!” squeaked the Ryn.

“What were you doing up there!?”

“What? You told me to go check on the upstairs ‘fresher, mate!”

“What? When did I do that?”

“Bit ago, you looked a bit tired, Gaz. Put me down would ya?”

“I don’t remember doing that,” grumbled the Barabel, dropping the Ryn without even trying to lower him.

“Right, anyways, I get a break right? Grand, mate, grand. Gonna go have me a smoke. Ya need anything from the shop?”

Gazbo shook his head, still looking slightly confused. Madame Xenzu didn’t hire them for their brains, it seemed. Kordath waved at the droid at the door as he walked past, hearing it yell for “Praylin” as he did.

The Ryn was half a block away, headed towards the Ducts, when he realized that the droid had been referring to him. Glancing back, he saw the Duros, Tanno, step out of the Rancor, looking up and down the street before breaking into a run to catch up with the Ryn. Kordath looked around. It was ‘daytime’ on the station still and people were around. Would the Duros just try and drop him in the street?

“Gazbo said you were headed to the store, Fluffy,” said the Duros, holding up a metal hand with a few credits clutched in it. “Pick us up some cigs while you’re down there. And Chip wanted an ice pack, but that’s up to you. The Madame is pretty ticked off he tried to pull that off, he might lose his privileges, if you know what I mean.”

Kordath let out a breath as Tanno turned and walked back to the brothel. Pocketing the credits he turned the next corner and sprinted away, determined not to get stopped again.

The Ryn stared at the glass sitting before him. It was full of amber liquid, and it was mocking him. He sighed and pulled the choker out, placing it on the table before him. He’d stopped at one of the little dive bars built into the Ducts, and was waiting. Ordering the drink had been routine — he’d not even thought about it. His walk through the Ducts had been littered with little stops and pauses, asking none too subtle questions concerning electronic security and the like, asking barkeeps and tender droids about such a service.

His fishing paid off. As he stared at the choker and the glass of whiskey, a pale Twi’lek man slid into the seat opposite of him. Between the slouching manner he sat and the bags under the man’s eyes, Kordath was certain he’d attracted a member of Fly On The Wall.

“You looking for a security specialist, I hear,” muttered the man, waving a droid away after it set down a pint of beer.

Kordath looked at him for an uncomfortable amount of time, sorting his thoughts. The Twi’lek shifted in his seat.

“Let’s be honest,” spoke the Ryn, quietly, settling on a story to explain everything. “Hard as this will be for you to believe, I’m a private investigator, hired on from the Core worlds. Don’t ask who hired me, that’d be unprofessional of both of us if we discussed it. You’re a Fly I take it?”

The Twi’lek nodded, watching him warily. PI’s were the precursor to security forces if things got out of hand.

“I was hired to track down a band of pirates who’d taken my client’s daughter. You ever heard of a ship called the Kiruvian? No? It’s berthed outside of the Port.”

Sliding the choker across the table to the man, Kordath made eye contact again. “I tracked the crew down, and the people they took from my client’s ship. They were shipped on to Port Ol’val in a cargo container,” he growled, allowing emotions to slip in. “After that they were either sold or given to a brothel here on the station.”

Kordath watched as the Twi’lek’s eyes widened in shock. So this Fly wasn’t in on it, at least, that was good. “The Randy Rancor, ran by some Falleen woman…well, no. Ran by a Falleen, anyways. The women…and children,” his voice dropped to a growl again, “are fitted with those.” He gestured towards the choker the Twi’lek was turning over in his hands.

“I’m pretty sure they’re fitted with an explosive, so don’t close the clasp,” he stated, matter of fact like. The Fly dropped the choker in surprise.

“You said children?” he asked quietly. Kordath nodded, picking up the glass of whiskey and turning it in his hands, watching it swirl.

“They’re innocent people, being forced to service whoever can pay. From what I know about Ol’val, that isn’t gonna go over well.”

“No. No it won’t,” spoke the Twi’lek in a low voice, jaw tightening. “I need to make some comms. I don’t know how they got away with this.”

“They have to have someone in the Triumvirate. Somebody knows, and they’re either on the take or turning a blind eye. So be careful. Oh!” he stopped the Twi’lek as he got up, having picked the choker back up. “They keep them in the basement when the place is closed. Under lock. Tell whoever raids the place to take those people some clean clothes…please.”

The Twi’lek nodded. Kordath picked up the glass and drank it one go, sighing as he placed it on the table. He was still being haunted by what he’d seen, and would be for a while, but for now he could try and relax.

“What the hell do you mean the ship got away?” growled the Ryn. A certain Hapan had come calling on him in the morning, having tracked the Ryn down to a small room for rent in the Ducts.

“Somebody must have tipped off the crew. The Mal Compnay forces picked up all the slaves, as well as the Falleen and a Bothan they found tied up in the janitor’s closet with a concussion. But the Kiruvian got away.”

“Blast it,” snarled the Krath, nursing a hangover.

“You saved the women and children at least, Bleu. Get over it. The Dajorra Intelligence Agency has the Captain’s and his ship’s description. They’ll be on alert if they come back in-system. But they did have somebody helping them on station.”

“So I need to get off for a while, huh?”

“Most likely.”

“Kark it,” growled the Ryn. “Oh, before I forget…”

“What?” asked the Hapan.

“Marick, umm, my Lord Marick and all that…”

“What, Bleu?”

“Why were you in that whore house?” asked the Ryn, smiling.

“Get off the station, Bleu.”


“Off, before I drag you down to the Bunker and tell them to hold on to you for the next three months.”

“You’re no fun.”



Grade: Excellent (+3)
Point Modifier: S-Class = x1.50

Overall Score: 4.5

Right… since this is over ten thousand words of fiction, I’m jumping straight into the grading itself.

In his other hand he still held a datapad, which he raised and squinted at in the poor lighting of the alleyway. Besides the initial information about the…Randy Rancor and pirates, it had an address listed for the brothel itself.

The first thing I’ve noticed - you still don’t seem to understand comma usage. This is the only time I’ll mention this.

With a sigh he tossed the empty bottle aside, hearing the glass clatter across the rocky surface as he headed towards the bright lights of the Besadii District.

Ignore the lack of the first comma in this sentence after ‘sigh’.

Realism is high in priorities on an S-Class mission… I think the bottle would have shattered. But I’m not docking for this, since I’ve seen bottles not shatter when thrown. So, moving on.

Kordath liked Ol’val: it reminded him of a small Nar Shaddaa and thus felt a bit like…home.

There should be a space between the ellipses and ‘home’.

This was a shadowport, after all: no reason to hide the fact that it was a place of business.

Instead of a colon, this should either be a semicolon or a dash to separate the thoughts.

Crumpling up the greasy paper his burger had come in, the Ryn stood and tossed it over his shoulder.

Realism dock. Security on Ol’val would have arrested Kord for the two accounts of littering at some point in this story. :stuck_out_tongue:

*’Have to wait for him to come out, then. Hopefully he doesn’t do too well in there.”

Make sure to check your coding. The only other issue with this? This starts with a single quote and ends with a double quote. Not docking points for minor syntax issues such as this, just pointing it out as something to keep in mind for future reference.

”Someone wants to impress the Besadii by being clever…the Hutts know they get more business when the patrons can read the bloody signs,’ he thought with a shake of his head.

Same issue as the previous. This starts with a double quotation mark and ends with a single one. To help you with the coding issue of the quotation marks being backwards? Write out the sentence with the quotation marks, then add in the coding afterwards. I’ve had the same issues before. :slight_smile:

Two hours and four cups of caf later, the Krath was trying to recall the first signs of cardiac arrest. People were giving the shaking Ryn strange looks as he clutched his mug with both hands, his eyes nearly as large as the saucer the caf should have been resting on.

Considering he’s on a shadowport… Spiced Caf is a thing, both for just flavor and the narcotic variety. :wink:

The Human turned back to the task at hand, clapping the Kaleesh on the shoulder.

… Hapan and Human are two COMPLETELY different species

Bleu held his breath, counting to ten in his head and dropping the Force cloak he’d used to hide himself, and crept the rest of the way up the stairs.

Since it’s a Force power, the ‘Cloak’ bit should also be capitalized.

All in all? This is a very well-written story with minor syntax and realism errors. I loved the overall flow and how easily I could picture the entire scenario. This contract scores a Excellent grade. A little more polish on your writing and you could easily pull in a Superior.

Nice work, Kord. :slight_smile: