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–”
“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?”
“Kark it,” growled the Ryn. “Oh, before I forget…”
“What?” asked the Hapan.
“Marick, umm, my Lord Marick and all that…”
“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.”