“Drug dealers, huh, the worst sort.”
Turning away from the crowd, Aiden began to walk towards a well-known establishment to gain some information on his newest contract. Around the streets of Dragostae’s entertainment district, Aiden noticed the reconstructed buildings. No longer was this district the home of undesirable businesses. It had been rebuilt as industrial space, providing more jobs for its citizens, a fact that made Aiden smile with pride for his new home planet.
After a short time of walking, Aiden found the cantina he was looking for. Spanky’s Tavern was a newer, more respectable bar which catered to the factory workers that inhabited the many new places of work. Walking through the front doors, the smell of hard working men and women filled his nostrils, and he turned his head slightly, trying to escape the musky stench.
Aiden walked up to the bar and sat down next to the slumping figure of a Zeltron man. The bartender, a tall human male with shaggy blonde hair and deep green eyes, shifted his attention from the other patrons, to Lee.
“What can I get for you, sir?”
“A Corellian Brandy, if you would please.”
“You got it. Anything for a Taldryan,” the bartender proclaimed with a wink.
Drink in hand Aiden gazed over the crowd, looking for any signs of unusual behavior. Aside from the drunken patrons singing off-key in the corner, Aiden found naught.
“Looking for something in particular, sir? I know of a couple other good drinks. My personal favorites a Red Dwarf. Nothing like it out there,” the bartender prattled, clearly focused on keeping Aiden happy.
“Have you heard anything about, let’s say, illegal activities in these parts?”
“No sir, I keep my establishment clean. Very clean.”
Aiden searched the man’s eyes and they seemed to be truthful. Losing hope for this area, the Taldryan let out a deep sigh as he downed his drink. Wiping his mouth with his sleeve, Aiden placed the drink onto the countertop along with the money to pay for it. Feeling generous, because of the bartender’s willingness to help, Aiden left a nice tip for the man.
“Come back anytime sir. I’ll give you a free drink next, or my name isn’t Lyre Stromewell.”
At the sound of Lyre’s name the drunken crowd cheered throughout the bar. Aiden shook his head in disbelief and left the building. Stopping for a minute, Lee tried to think of his next move. He decided to go speak with some of the captured drug users, and he made his way over to visit the jail.
The jail was heavily guarded by Taldryan military personnel, and when they realized who was approaching they bowed in respect for the Knight. Aiden walked inside, and headed straight to the desk clerk. A Twi’lek woman stood at the counter, her eyes wide at the Gray Jedi.
“Hello, my name is Aiden Lee, Knight of Taldrya, and I was hoping I could speak with some of your inmates?”
“I apologize sir but what for,” she questioned.
“I am looking to gain some Intel pertaining to their possible drug use. I’m trying to find the dealers.”
“I’m not sure that I can do that, sir. Not without my superior’s direct authority,” she responded, clearly sorry for having to refuse.
Aiden knew what needed to be done, though he was hesitant. He hated to force his will upon innocent people. Aided looked the woman in the eyes and reached out to the Force. The Green skinned Twi’lek’s mind was easy to bend as he waved his right hand and spoke.
“You will let me speak to the inmates,” he spoke forcefully.
The woman, enthralled with Aiden, simply nodded her head in agreement.
“I will let you speak with the inmates.”
She led Aiden into a small room to question the incoming criminals.The Twi’lek woman spoke with a guard and, as the higher ranking officer, ordered him to assist Aiden. Lee took out a list of prisoners, who had been found under the influence of the drugs, that he had received earlier. The guard read through the list, nodded, and went to retrieve the first prisoner.
The first man was a short, portly figure with a bald head and a few missing teeth. He was twitching a bit, still feeling the effects of some of the drugs. Having no skill in interrogation, Aiden simply began to speak with the man. He figured, trying to get the man to trust him may have been the best option.
“Please tell me what you remember.”
“Why should I, Taldryan scum.”
“I’m only looking to help you out. The drugs that you took, they can be dangerous. I just want to know who gave them too you.”
“I’m not saying a word,” the man sneered.
Aiden rubbed his temple softly, relinquishing his morals again.
“You should tell me who gave you the drugs,” Aiden suggested while waving his hand.
“I will tell you. There was a woman, black hair yellow eyes. She had a bodyguard with her. Big hulking guy, with a black mask. Asked me to try out this new medicine that would help me kick my other addictions. She brought me to a run-down building near Spanky’s. That’s all I remember. I think she said her name was Catriona DeClaire.”
Aiden listened intently, while writing down notes he deemed necessary. The others had similar stories, all of which Aiden had coerced out of his subjects with the Force.
“This guy stopped me on the street, promising to cure me. Rolan Marciss, that was his name. Uhm, six feet tall, I think. Brown hair, blue eyes. Real nice smile. He had an assistant with him, bigger man, with a black mask on. They took me to the old Ravagers place, near that bar, uhm Spanky’s.”
“It was an old man. Really old, and bald. He told me that he would save my life. That’s what Chron Hartley said he’d do all right. Him and his buddy, this large guy, i think he had on a black mask, took me to this messed up looking place. I don’t know why i went with them. I remember walking past Spanky’s place though.”
Aiden found the similarities between the stories, but the doctor seemed to change every time.
It simply wasn’t possible, unless the doctor was a shapeshifter, which would only make things harder on him.
Leaving the interrogation room, Aiden thanked the Twi’lek officer and once again bent her mind, telling her to erase all evidence of him being there, to which she happily agreed. Walking out of the building, he made his way back towards Spanky’s Bar, stopping to look for any noticeable run-down buildings. He located one a block away, behind the bar, and walked towards it.
The doors were rusty and looked like they might just fall off. Aiden gently opened the door and snuck inside. He wanted to be quiet so that he might not be noticed by anyone inside. As he made his way down a nearby hall, Aiden heard a crashing sound from the upstairs. Smiling at the possibility of finding his marks, he walked gingerly up the steps.
As he reached the top floor, he listened to hear some voices coming from the right, just past the stairs. He began moving towards the noise, hearing what was said as he got closer.
“Tion, we need to get another volunteer, the formula is almost complete.”
“I will do as you need me too, Neuv. I am still in your services.”
“That’s good to hear. Now put your mask back on you stupid Pau’an. We don’t need anyone knowing, who you are.”
“What will you be this time, Neuv?”
“Not sure, a young lady perhaps. I saw this delectable Zelosian girl a few hours ago. She would be fun to play.”
Aiden could hear the laughter from behind the door in front of him. Drawing the curved hilt from his waist, he kicked the wooden door open. As the door swung open, Neuv, a Clawdite, grasped his blaster pistol and began firing at the intruder. Aiden stretched out his left hand and as each blast came closer it slowly dissolved into nothing.
“Get him you idiot!,” Neuv commanded, as Tion brought out and activated a red lightsaber, clearly to small for him.
From the way he held the lightsaber, Aiden knew Tion wasn’t trained to fight with it. From the hilts design, it looked like a pre-built weapon that Clans would keep on hand for their younger members. Clearly the lightsaber was stolen, either after killing a Force user, or by disarming them.
Tion rushed forward, as Neuv left out the back window, slashing across at Aiden. Activating his purple blade Aiden, using an elegant, precise slash parried the blow away. For a few moments the fight continued with Tion slashing randomly and aggressively at Aiden blocking the strikes with ease and riposting his own attacks. Seeing an opening Aiden grabbed Tions right wrist and slashed down on his shoulder, severing his arm, causing the Pau’an to yell out in agony.
“I’m sorry,” Aiden said softly as he put Tion out of his misery, removing his head with a quick flick of his wrist.
Aiden deactivated the lightsaber, and stretching out his hand, pulled the other one to him. He looked out the window Neuv jumped out of, and saw Spanky’s was right there. Figuring the Clawdite would try to hide in the busy bar, Aiden made his way there.
Entering the establishment, Aiden noticed Lyre speaking with another patron at the bar. Keeping an eye out, Aiden walked up to the bar and sat down. Lyre turned over to him.
“Hi, how are you this fine night?”
“What do you want?”
Aiden felt something was off. Lyre seemed different. He looked the same but his mannerisms, and the way he spoke seemed like a completely different person. Remembering a detail from earlier, Aiden smiled.
“I’ll have your favorite drink.”
“One Kri’gee ale coming right up.”
“Thanks,” Aiden turned his back on the clear imposter, and grabbed his lightsaber. Through the Force, Aiden could feel the danger behind him, and spinning around quickly he activated his purple lightsaber and sliced the blaster in two, then shoved the blade through Lyre’s chest. As Lyre choked out his labored breath, his face and hair morphed back into the Clawdite, Neuv.
Aiden jumped over the bar and heard a slight grunting noise from behind a nearby door. Opening the door he found the real Lyre tied up on the ground. After setting the bartender free he jumped back over the bar and sat down.
“I’d like a Corellian Brandy, and keep em coming.”
Lyre and the other patrons, the whole place now silent, simply stared at him in disbelief.