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Do or Die: The Smuggler's Life

Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:30 pm
by Ryo Kasyk
Coronet, Corellia

Rain fell softly from the cloud-covered sky, gently splashing the duracrete sidewalks of the many streets of Coronet. Corellia was known for its sudden and violent thunderstorms, but this time, it was neither violent, nor sudden. Pedestrians hurried about along the sidewalks, trying to spend as little time as possible in the open. Speeders flew past in lines of traffic that weaved a path throughout the enormous city. With the coming of the Empire, Coronet saw little change, only now stormtroopers, as well as CorSec walked the streets.

Treasure Ship Row was known throughout the Corellian system, perhaps even the sector of the galaxy, as a haven for trouble. As such, members of CorSec were currently heavily patrolling it. One of the many taverns along Treasure Ship Row, the Faulty Hyperdrive, was filled with patrons of different races, and from all walks of life. Many of the patron’s sought shelter from the inclement weather, while others sat in dark booths, doing clandestine deals with other patrons. Two of these patrons happened to be of a strange pair.

One was a human, light-skinned, tall, and rather handsome for human standards. The other was perhaps at the exact opposite of the spectrum. With greenish-blue skin and plenty of headtails, the Nautolan was a strange sight outside of Glee Anselm, the Nautolan Homeworld. As tall as the human, the Nautolan carried an air of superiority about him.

The two sat huddled over their drinks, the human sipping casually in between trading words with his partner. The Nautolan, however, had his cup grasped between one of his webbed hands, while the other slowly flipped a coin repeatedly. At times, smiles were exchanged, but only briefly, as if some dark thought entered their minds at the same time.

‘I cannot believe that we managed to get off Corulag alive.” The human chuckled, then took a sip of his drink before continuing. “Those Imps really gave us a chase. I’m just glad your 'Force' was there to give us a heads-up.”

The Nautolan glared at the human, if a glare could even be noticed since the black orbs of the Nautolan were unblinking. His irises swirled of the brief anger that he felt toward his companion, but it soon passed. “Lower your voice if you speak of such things, Jake. If word got out that I…I am capable of doing the things that I do, I would be dead, and you with me.”

“Sheesh Tao, ease up a bit.” Jake joked. “We survived a close call, and now you think the Empire is out to attack you personally.”

“It would be wise for the subject to be dropped before our contact arrives. We need this job since we are low on funds.” Tao’s headtails twitched with the recent arrival of a pair of CorSec forces, one being the notorious Corran Horn, the other, his father, Hal. Having an uncle for a Jedi allowed Tao to benefit from the gift that his family carried, the gift of the ability to use the Force. Luckily, yet sadly, he and his family had suffered little compared to other families who had been wiped out by the Empire for having a Jedi in their family. Tao’s uncle had been the Jedi Master Kit Fisto, but to save themselves after hearing of the Jedi Purges, Tao’s family changed their names and moved to Nal Hutta to avoid being pursued by Jedi extermination squads.

Tao turned as his headtails twitched again, this time with another new arrival, which casually made his way to the table where the two partners sat. The contact, a blue-skinned Twi’lek, nodded to the two men as he sat down, and slid a datacard across the table to Tao. Placing his hand over the datacard as soon as he saw it on the table, Tao glanced at what it said quickly, and then pocketed it with a nod of his head, signaling that the two would take the job.

The job was for a local crime lord, but the cargo was not spice. While Jake may have been a little less caring about what cargo they smuggled, Tao was the exact opposite. While he still tried to live up to the ideals of the Jedi Order, he was forced to compromise some of his beliefs in order to survive. Spice was out of the question, as were slaves. This cargo, however, was neither of those two; it was stolen goods that apparently the crime lord wished to have in his possession. The pick-up location was on Coruscant, and the timeline was closing rapidly.

“Beware, these items are of extreme importance.” The Twi’lek warned. “It would be wise not to fail my employer.”

Tao nodded, his irises a swirl like a hurricane as the Twi’lek stood and left in a hurry, covering his head with the cowl of his cloak. As his eyes followed the contact out of the tavern, they came to rest upon the two CorSec troopers that were now looking directly at Tao and Jake. Sensing trouble was about to brew, Tao looked towards his partner.

“It is wise if we left this instant.” Tao warned, placing the coin on the table as payment for their drinks. “We must leave immediately if we are to avoid trouble with CorSec.”

“But I need to finish my drink.” Jake exclaimed, looking at the rest of his drink before downing it in a giant swig. He then shuffled from around the booth and stood, as he eyed up the CorSec troops. “I think you’re right, let’s go.”

Tao led the way, throwing his cowl over his head, much like his uncle used to do when he was alive. The memory came to him in a rush as he looked into the eyes of both the Horn’s, but a feeling that Tao had long forgotten re-emerged when his eyes locked with Hal Horn. He sensed the Force in the man! As both men left the tavern, Tao took a quick glance behind him and found that both men were trailing the pair.

Great. Another day in the life of a smuggler!

Posted: Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:43 pm
by Ryo Kasyk
Coronet, Corellia

Both men, Jake and Tao, continued to walk in silence, neither of them were taking the risk of glancing behind them to see if the two CorSec troopers were still trailing them. While the rain continued to pour down from the dark clouds, Tao began to feel more at home. Hailing from a water-strewn world, he coveted each drop of water that touched his exposed skin. The darkness of space and the dryness of many of the worlds that he and Jake were forced to land upon had caused in him a yearning for water, hoping that one day soon he would be able to ride the currents during the immense hurricanes that were commonplace on Glee Anselm.

As both men turned into a side street, momentarily out of sight of the two CorSec troopers, Tao reached behind him and grabbed Jake’s cloak, pushing him earnestly into the first door that the two came upon, which happened to be a tapcaf. At the moment, the tapcaf was filled with an assortment of alien’s from across the galaxy, so Tao was able to fit in perfectly, as well as Jake.

Tao seated himself at a small table near the rear of the establishment and pulled the cowl over his head, motioning for Jake to do the same. While he was no expert at remaining unnoticeable, Tao did pick up tips from those that he met along his many trips throughout the galaxy. Both men kept their eyes locked on the doorway to the tapcaf and watched enthusiastically as both the CorSec troopers passed by without looking inside. Tao smiled widely as his head turned to look at his partner, who looked like he had just seen a ghost.

“We are safe now, my friend.” Tao comforted Jake. “However, you must be going if we are to arrive on-time on Coruscant.”

Jake nodded, and then moved his head closer to Tao’s. “Who were those two?”

The smile on Tao’s face disappeared, replaced by a stoic look. “The Horn’s. It is said that they are possibly the best pair of CorSec agents…ever.”

Nodding, Jake looked back to the street, and then back to Tao. “Do you think they were there for a reason? It’s got to be a coincidence that they were there.”

“There is no such thing as coincidence.” Tao’s voice lowered several decibels so only Jake could hear him. “It was the will of the Force, nothing else.” He paused as his unblinking orbs looked outside as the rain continued to fall. “Come, we must leave.”

Jake fell in behind Tao as the pair left the tapcaf, then hurriedly wove a path through the many streets to shake any other possible pursuit that CorSec could have sent their way. When the two arrived at their ships hangar, Tao sighed heavily. This trip was already turning out to be rather eventful, despite the lack of overt police interference. As he thought back to stories that he had heard, he recalled the story of Han Solo and his first mate, Chewbacca. From what Tao had understood, the two had been trying to take a shipment of spice to Jabba the Hutt yet were forced to jettison the entire cargo at the sight of an Imperial customs vessel. Oddly enough, it was through that sighting that the Millennium Falcon did the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, a record. He just hoped that he and Jake would not run afoul of any Imperial, or his days would be short indeed.