A few quick pats on various pockets and holsters made sure he had his equipment on him. A ridiculously large Enforcer slugthrower rode on his right tigh, a vibroknife and his lightsaber were concealed on his person. Spare ammunition, a small first aid kit and painkillers were spread among his pockets. The combead in his ear transmitted the “Check!” calls of his team quietly but clearly.
Satisfied, Jorm grabbed his black leather swoopbiker jacket and donned it before he left the room. It was a fashion statement that it only had the left sleeve. Also a matter of subtlety; the sleeve and a glove Jorm just fished out of a pocket would cover up his tattoo. There would be a lot of security, scoundrels and shady people here; flying the shiny flag of a pirate fleet just wasn’t prudent. The other arm was completely bare. The Kiffar shot a quick look at his reflection in a tall window. Black asymmetric jacket, grey cargo pants, black boots, and his melee weapons didn’t print. As good as it gets he thought to himself as he untangled his braids from the collar.
A short turbolift ride brought them to the casino. It also gave Jorm a minute to draw his attention from the female player’s firm behind and seductive perfume and onto the task. They were here to make a fortune after all, so Jorm began thinking of that. His perpetual smile grew wider and colder. An agent had a look at him and quickly turned away with a shudder. The mundanes knew what they had to do, Jorm had no reason to speak to them much or guide their every move.
The moment they stepped from the lift and into the casino’s opulent foyer, Jorm started identifying the competition, sizing up their security details, and imagining the place stripped bare and sold to the highest bidder. The decorations alone could have paid for a medium freighter fresh off the yard. His new focus divided the world around him into friends, fortunes, and obstacles. And there were a lot of those here. Jorm felt his adrenaline rising.
Protecting his players wouldn’t be hard. The competition had brought their retinues, some meager, some large and impressive. Appearant family members, street gang members in suits and ex-military types, more exotic posses like four Wookiees and an all-female team which probably had not been chosen for combat skills alone judging by their tight and low-cut uniforms… but the casino’s own security force was also in place. Weapons were abundant. Only the actual players seemed to go without, they would be disarmed and rid of all technology anyway as soon as they got to the tables. Tournament policy. No matter how hard everybody tried to look, there would be no big fights today unless somebody screwed up on an astronomical scale. He left the physical protection duties to the other non-players of the team.
Jorm wandered between the ‘arena’ tables, purpose built for the annual tournament. Hanging over each of them was a calyx of polarized glass and scrambler antennae which would unfold and enclose the tables on each round - opaque from within, but transparent from the outside. The two players and the dealer on each table would be isolated for the duration of their game, a few minutes at a time, every twenty minutes. All around the ‘arena’ were more tables for the guests. They would see a lot of gambling too.
He left the tables alone and made a round through the audience. He had no interest in the matches himself. He only played Pazaak after Nar Shaddaa rules and with suitable company. If he wanted to gamble, Sabbacc was his chosen poison. This bunch however, dressed in several rainbow’s worth of color and in exotic and expensive tissues, was already giddy for the games to begin. Some dimwit with money for brains caught Jorm’s gaze, gulped, and went looking for an exit as the Knight dissected him with greedy eyes. Even counting all the guards, eighty percent of the people in this room where nothing but prey to him. Using the additional Sense the Force granted him, he felt around the hall and found nothing suspicious.
A discreet bell rang out. The Baron Administrator of Cloud City, the highest patron of the tournament, gave a short speech and officially opened the tournament. While all eyes were on him, Jorm pickpocketed a deck of Pazaak cards from one of the bystanders. Then he got himself a strong drink and a cigarra and settled down at a public table not too far from the restrooms and watched the first few rounds. Screens on the walls showed the next pairings. A few opponents of Jorm’s principals went to the restrooms during breaks; the Knight wasn’t shy to use his Telekinesis and smuggle a few extra Pazak Cards onto their persons as they went. Not being locked in a ferocious duel made it easy enough and greatly helped with his mental endurance. The sparingly used drink in his hand did too. During the next few rounds, several players were found with hidden cards and expulsed from the tournament. Jorm watched them and their retinues being escorted from the hall. Good start.
He played the card trick on a few more people. Then he pocketed the depleted deck and returned to strolling around. Checking the screens, he sought out the most cocksure prospective opponent and reached out through the Force. This time, he did not move anything, but reached for the Twi’lek’s mind and amplified his fears. The Terror application took few moments to kick in. Then the Twi’lek stopped telling jokes. His smile vanished seconds later. He started to look over his shoulder. Jorm didn’t have to wait for him to start fidgeting. Then came the sweat. He stammered something Jorm couldn’t hear over the room. His bodyguards tried to calm him and looked out for threts, but the now shaking and whining man had drawn a lot of attention onto himself. Seconds later he stormed out of the hall. He did not return for the next round and was disqualified. One of Jorm’s guys advanced a round uncontested. A few minutes later, another player had locked himself in the men’s restrooms and refused to come out. Another free win.
The tournament was down to eight players now. Jorm’s team was still in. Lucky bastards, and one lucky lady. Another subtle application of the Terror power made one of the other players bust out. These mundanes were seriously easy prey.
Semi-final round. Only one outsider still in, a Devaronian. He was playing against the lady. The two men of Jorm’s team were playing against each other and keeping up appearances. The outsider’s sidedeck contained one of those nifty cards which could change values. When they were in the third match of this round, Jorm mustered his Telekinesis one last time and flipped the card’s value as the Devaronian drew. Bust. Job done. The Devaronian lost his composure, screamed, gestured, argued, demanded a rematch, but to no avail. The cards had been played. The finalists were from Jorm’s team. The Devaronian left steaming, forfeiting the match for the third place.
Jorm hit himself with a stim from his First Aid Kit. He needed to be awake and aware for the celebration, which was thankfully short. It did not take long to collect the winnings and scaatter them into secure accounts, hooray for electronic money. He rejoined his team at the turbolift which carried them not back to the hotel suite, but directly to the hangar where a ship already awaited them, clered for take-off and engines running. As they walked up the ramp, the female player came up to him. “All this wasn’t dumb luck, was it?” Jorm wearily smiled down at her. “What is?”