Before stumbling into the tavern, Jon checked his appearance in a window he passed. Just the right combination of scruffy and presentable, not unlike the establishment the young Mercenary had been casing for the better part of a day.
The goal was to lure the Force-worshipping local-yokels to their side, slowly through the use of spread rumors of the Brotherhood’s (well, specifically Scholae Palatinae’s) incredible power in the Force. While some of his teammates had decided the best way was to begin subverting powerful influentials, or the opposite, the city’s seedy underworld, Jon had made the choice to begin Scholae Palatinae’s usurpation of this city in the middle class. The ones on whom those in power relied, and those beneath fed.
The Sleeping Rancor was just that sort of place. Beneath the upper class to even consider, but not seedy enough to be frequented by the criminal element either. Excellent place to begin spreading the seeds of submission in a populace.
And with that pleasant thought, Jon stroad in, a spring in his step, confidently portraying his role of a man thrilled to be alive. It was all part of the cover story.
“Bartender!” he called, and a beleaguered looking rodian gentleman walked up, a scowl(?) upon his features. Probably. Jon could never tell with them.
“I’ll have a bottle of your strongest, if you’d be so kind!” Jon made sure to never drop the glimmering smile. The rodian simply mumbled a curse under his breath, but the man obliged nonetheless.
“No! I take it back, I’ll pay for a round for everyone!”
And that got a reaction from the bartender, and from those around him. The bar was absolutely packed tonight, and rounds for the entire place wouldn’t come cheap. The rodian just scoffed.
“Listen, off-worlder,” he hissed in garbled basic. “I’m trying to run a business here, so I don’t have time for your little jo-”
Jon interrupted him by dropping a pile of credit chips onto the bar. “I assume that should cover the cost, yes?”
“Ha!” bellowed one of the other patrons, a large human man, slapping Jon on the back. Jon pretended to be nearly knocked over by the push. “Wha’s th’matter off-worlder? Ya dyin’ or somethn’?”
“Quite the contrary! I’m simply thriled to still be alive.” Jon replied smoothly. “Had it not been for the intervention of the Empire-” the smiles turned to scowls in an instant.
“Th-those Meraxian thugs?” hissed a dark haired woman to Jon’s left. Jon caught the gleam of a knife in one of her coat sleeves. Perhaps this bar was a bit seedier than he’d anticipated, but luckily this was the reaction he’d expected. He’d garnered that there was a fair amount of ant-Meraxian sentiment in the local populace. Now he could play off it.
“No!” Jon exclaimed, faking a horrified grimace. “Meraxis was what near killed me! I’m referring to Scholae Palatinae!”
“Scholae-” the rodian questioned. “That weird fleet that showed up out of nowhere last year? Been negotiating with the Elayans?”
“The very same!” chirped Jon. “You see, my merchant vessel had been coming in to the atmosphere do some simple business, when a Meraxian ship popped up, and started demanding we hand over our cargo!” Jon made sure to accompany his story with the most empathic gestures he could manage. He wanted the whole bar’s attention, and slowly but surely he was getting it.
So he wove his tale, little by little, about how the vicious Meraxian raiders had swarmed his peaceful ship, crahsed into the surface, with only himself and a few others as survivors!
Oh yes, stranded on the ground, trapped in a burning ship, the cruel Meraxians closing in on all sides! When, lowe and behold, the forces of Scholae Palatinae arrived, led by a small group carrying brightly blazing lightsabers in their hands, and wielding the astonishing powers of the Force!
“Th-they were strong in the Force?” the dark haired woman from before questioned, her eyes wide. Jon scoffed in return.
“Strong in it? My dear, they were masters of it I tell you! It was like the stories you here, from the Old Republic? I swear, I though I was in the Clone Wars for a moment!” They were eating out of the palm of his hand. If the whole mission was like this, Jon would be looking at a promotion by the mission’s end.
He wondered how the others were doing?