When the Harmonia
touched down in the village, Moira throttled down the engines and began to make her way out of the ship. Her first order of business was to get the lay of the land from the locals, and to some extent she was successful when she found an old man who rented canoes and fishing gear.
She immediately shelled out the credits for a specific item she saw, a set of carved wooden bows and arrows for fishing as she got the history of the settlement. It turns out the area was invested in as a trial to see if Peppel’s swamp trees would be good harvesting for logging. The corporations had pulled out when funds for terraforming ran out, leaving behind a diehard set of locals who tried to make a living as best they could. Sometimes commercializing Peppel to wildlife and nature enthusiasts, other times they just shelled out for hydroponics bays for making the village’s food supply. But the entire enterprise went belly up during the large amounts of conflict which existed after the Empire’s downfall and have never gotten back on its feet.
Moira asked a few questions, buying a plastifilm map of the local geography as she asked about which swamp fish were good to eat, and other hazardous areas as she started to get a feel for the lay of the land.
She was cautioned most about the area which interested her. The area where the devaronian was rumored to be was a place, which had long inspired fear in the people of the Outside World for a time longer then the Devil had been rumored to be a hermit there. People went in, determined to unlock its mysteries, and emerged insane if they even returned at all, babbling about shadows killing them as their unhinged minds broke.
For such a dangerous place, Moira didn't think it looked like much on the flimsiplast map. Running north to south is a gentle yet deep and wide river arcing through the variable swamp, that forked a little ways downstream. Around this fork is a series of branching creeks, which eventually soaked into the mud, forming a wide hostile marshland, complete with mud, small pools of quick sand, muck, grime, goo, creepy big bugs, long hissing snakes etc etc etc etc....However, the northeast chunk of the marshland merged into a peaceful clearing of a rocky island shelf.
The old timer had said that pickings were light there but that she should watch out for the large reptiles that tended to eat the sawfish the villagers usually caught for eating. Other than isolated trees, most all of the flora had been cleared out for a stretch save many kinds of swamp grasses and weeds. Although the grass near the center of this clearing is short due to constant trampling, it is longer and less tamed toward the edges. Scattered about the clearing is also an asortment of logs, boulders, tree stumps, and other such debris left over from clearing out the area, and the north, east, and southeast edges of the clearing were bordered by lush forest.
Truth be told, it was one of the few bodies of clear water amidst the brackish soup of the wetlands. The problem would be getting to this oasis of solid ground amidst the scum of the swamps or the natural rock ledge that oversaw the island about twenty kilometers away.
She left shortly after her talk with the man, saying she was going bowfishing for a few days and paid him accordingly as she took one of his wooden kayasks and paddles. It took her a day and a half to reach the rocky ledge and climb up to the top before she took out her magnoculars and began to sight down where her target’s demesne was.
To get there, it would require canoeing through Mangrove tunnels, past cypress trees and other local wildlife all the while traipsing through the thick fog of the marshy swamp.
The climb within the midday sun seemed copacetic to her senses as she emerged from the mists of the swamp to climb higher and higher till she reached the top. The strain of the task only made the goal more worth it when the echani pulled herself up and over the edge.
From the top of the rocky outcropping she began to compare things to the maps, both the one from the village and the one she had gained from Rakshini. From her place of purchase, she could see that pacing the west edge of the island clearing was an almost completely circular crystal blue pond, that sparkled merrily in the sunlight. From the elevation map, she could see it started off shallow, though suddenly dropped off into a sort of pit to make the bulk of this pond about ten meters feet deep.
In her mind, this pond had to have been manmade as her magnoculars showed it connected with the river via a 5 meter wide, 3 meter foot deep canal consisting of three steps which ran into the lake on one side and out the other through a series of purifying artificial aquifer of sand rocks and levee. The shore around the island lake’s shallows showed a fine yellow sand, which was brought strait from the beach. Keeping this pool so sparklingly clean was a small pump on the north edge of the pool, and the south edge has a dock extending over the deep area, like a fishing dock.
Toggling the view, her binocs zoomed in to a much greater enhancement as she surveyed the main clearing of the target’s island home.
At the northeast edge of the clearing was a large, almost squalor-like hut, that appeared very well kept. A small grove of three large oak trees near the south edge of the clearing holds in its canopy a series of treeperches, mainly the type used for hunters rests as they were linked to each other by rope and plank bridges. Off to the east there was a small outdoor tanner’s rack with a stool in front of it as some bloody hide sat drying in the air. Vines seemed to have overgrown many of the areas that seemed prevalent in her mark’s camp, and the surfaces of the tree planks used were mildewed, dusty, and in desperate need of repair.
Liquor bottles still contain some slops of wine hung around a fire bed as her One of the larger boulders, next to it at the northwest side of the camp, served as the foundation for the outdoor privy, with tiny notches carved by one of the inhabitant of the island. The boulder itself still looks like a boulder, but a large chunk had been taken out to form a seat.
The stone seat has been finely chipped away to comfortably support a humanoid body. The seat is somewhat wide, though, and seems to have been designed to make room for a large individual, and above the seating of these grooves made comfortable armrests.
Off a little ways to the south of the clearing, in the marshland, is a crashed space ship. Although not overly large, it did have significant enough mass to pound a sizeable crater out of the ground where it had hit. Bits of the impact site showed the crater was black, lined with volcanic glass formed from the heat of impact. The ship jutted up out of the crater like a horrific sculpture. However, time has had its toll, and the crater has begun to be filled in with mud. The crater was still easily discernible from the rest of the island in the marsh, however, because no plant life grew within the filled rim of the crater. In the center of the mud-filled crater, one can still see the end of an MBRX Pacifier poking up out of the ground from a mound of more solid dirt that has built up and dried to a degree. This solid “bump” of soil seemed able to support life, and an assortment of knee-high weeds surrounded the moss covered craft.
To get to this ship one must step very lightly and carefully, however, as the perpetually wet mud easily turns to quicksand if too disturbed or stirred up too much. Theoretically, Moira believed it was possible to gain entry to the ship through one of the wing pylons still exposed to the outside air above the crater.
It could make a good hiding place. And she supposed the sensor net she had been told about was due to scavenged Pacifier’s systems.
‘But where was Malloc?’ She wondered. She began to draw a crude map of her observations, detailing proper points of interest before continuing her long range reconnaisance.
Running along the east side of this crater was another outlet of the clearing. Boardered on the west by the marshlands, and on the east by the picturesque woodlands, it offers a scenic walk. A short way down the path, and one may perhaps notice a slightly overgrown path breaking off to the east. This narrow path was exceedingly winding, and seemed more to her as if it was an animal path. Any island in a swamp had animal tracks criss crossing over it as it was relatively the safest place for the wildlife to walk. She presumed that was why Malloc was here. The game would be steady as long as he was careful. However it was an easy route were one to reach the small, hut on the clearing’s side. Halfway along, the forest she observed that the forest had claimed a section of the path, and she imagined it would be hard for her to find the other side if she was down upon the island right now. However, from the angle she could see she would need only walk a little further to come across a small clearing with three large stones, and a sight that chilled the blood in her veins.
The scavenged parts of a HAT-AA Heavy All Terrain vehicle was standing at her, it’s rockets mounted on a single base which allowed them to turn, next to a sensor dish.
At its base was a single mound. By the looks of it, as she zoomed in she could see it covered by smooth rocks, that seemed to have been planted to prevent animals from digging up whatever was under there. She had a sneaking suspicion that was where the crew of the Pacifier had been buried when they disappeared wherever they had disappeared to.
She shuddered and put away everything she had into her bag, and went over what she had discerned. She was told that the sensor net could detect heat, metals, or any non natural fibers. Which meant she had to do something she didn’t want to if she was going to even get close to the island, for some reason she shuddered and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up as an uneasy feeling came to her.
She’d have to ditch her clothes, her armor, her blaster pistol and knives. Chip away a flint one just in case and most of all cover herself in mud.
The echani hated the mud of the swamps but reminded herself that modesty had no place on the battlefield. Thinking she was about five kilometers till the edge of the net she began to walk towards the edge of the cliff for the climb down. Moira took another step forward to brace herself and then suddenly the ground gave way. For a moment she could only flail wildly until she hit a harder surfacebefore skidding down over an incline before she dropped.
She hit the ground and rolled, skidding through the mud and undergrowth. Her terminal velocity was curtailed by the passing of snapping branches until she came to a squelching halt, mired deep In the muck of the swamps.
She hated the mud, but it seemed she was getting rather friendly with it lately.
Her first thought was to hiss and try to block out the pain. Her second thought was that she was lucky this hadn't been one of the Devaronian's pit traps. She had already dodged two already. No, this seemed more like the ground had given way. Blinking away her daze, the echani forced herself to her elbows. She could see above from the distant light she had fallen through a natural sinkhole, at least by the non-concentric perforation in the swamps surface. The rocks here had lichen clinging to them, and she could hear in the distance swamp water rushing through various chink's in what was obviously a natural cave of sorts. or perhaps a large grown over shelf of rock covered on three sides by vegetation. It was too dark to tell. Reaching into a pocket of her utility belt she cracked one of her chemical based glow rods and used it to survey her surrounding area.
She really wished she hadn’t done so.
On the back wall , carved into the outcropping was a more mysterious structure. It seems to be a small temple, or shrine, as its architecture was quite exquisite. A series of steps leading up to a stone slab and at each of its four corners was a statue of a different dragonlike creature, each dragon statue having a stone symbol at its corners, imbedded in the ground. A strange mystic aura seems to tingle in the air around it. A Dark and foreboding... The sound of the silence was deafining.
But the cracking on of her glow bulb was the only sound that she heard. A tinkling sound off in the distance, well sort of like those hollow wooden wind chimes she heard was calling to her senses. Only to her dismay, she could see what was quickly making the wind chime sound was the hollowed-out bones fashioned out of a rather large creature’s corpse that with the wind through the roots turned it into a natural wind chime that obviously marked the death of the creature's territory.
There was some truth to the native’s old myths here.
How did she know? The giant skull of the rancor like beast was grinning at her, half a meter away from the rest of the skeletal remains on the steps up to the altar. One giant clawed bonehand striking deep into the rib cage of a humanoid skeleton and the stone below. The pair seemed to have died together.
She could see some form of a droid shell laying in multiple pieces about the rocky ground of the swamp cave's interior as well resting upon the weathered stonework that gave rise to the altar.
Oh yes, there was a reason for the locals fear of this place. She recognized it for the dead carcass of a sithspawn it was.
It was a Tarentatak’s corpse!
Holding her breath she looked up to the hole she fell through, and then back to the skeletons. Some tickling sensation in the back of her head made her want to examine the site more carefully. Even though a she had a bad feeling about this place, she knew she wanted to get a closer look before she ventured towards Malloc’s island. The symbolism here of a hunter meeting their end at the hands of dangerous prey did not escape her notice.
She wondered how long this had been here as the skeletons seemed to have become brittle and dried out over the passing time. The pair partially embalmed by the drier air of the watery cave compared to the soaking mass of the swamps outside. Moving towards fallen creature’s bones, she spotted a small glimmer of light from above, hitting an object within the dust.
She didn’t know why but her fingers reached out towards the object only to see it was in pieces, nothing more then metallic shards which lay about the site of the battle where the two dead had joined each other in fate’s icy grip. But under the dust, her hands came across two other things which she held up to the light of the glowbulb to examine as she blew the mire of the ages from them.
One was a crystal shaped lens, and the other was a type of crystal.
Such things strongly suggested the hunter who was felled by the beast was either a jedi or a sith. Thinking that perhaps Crystala might find a use for them both she placed the crystals in her belt pouch and made her way towards the droid parts she could see to at least try to guess a ballpark for how long these remains had been here. The shattered chassis, arms and head looked like the torso had been ripped apart. But she could see it for what it was, something she recognized from holologs and historical documentaries of the clone wars.
It was n FLTCH-series battle droid, and in its hand was something she wouldn’t normally have expected in a droid’s possession. A crystal of some sort, that seemed green. She took this too.
It wasn’t every day that she could the Director a good historical mystery to solve. She snapped a holo of the site before using her vibrosword as a fake machete to chop her way through the hanging vines where she swam to her canoe, stowed her muddied gear and began to make her way towards the island, making sure to tie her articles to a tree at the base of the ridgeline. Then, naked as the day she was born she began to use the sopping wet mud to its purpose, coating herself in the natural camoflauge before notching a bow and corded set of arrows across her back. Quietly she began paddling her way forwards towards her meeting with Malloc.
Moira had been forced to ditch her compass built into the chrono she usually wore on her wrist. But she didn’t need it to navigate her way to the island. The sun of Peppel rose in the east and set in the west, just like a good many other planets. It’s moons followed the same course, and it was them she used to guide herself now. Dawn was fast approaching, and she knew she needed to use her time as efficiently as possible.
Despite her training her mind whirled. Seeing the site behind her for the first time had briefly dislodged the single minded focus she had attuned to herself over the years. She knew she had to get her mind back on track.
Still though, that site was hard to forget, the sense of foreboding atmosphere which extruded from the bones, or that strange crystal she found with the droid. The place had spoken to her like shadows of a dark past that picked at her brain and wanted her to pay attention to it as she flipped the canoe and coasted to the shore of the island with it above her head in the water in order to disguise her profile. It was just a bump on the water, like any other creature’s back.
A buzzing insect crossed flitted across her sight, keening a buzzing cry as it passed. She tensed, and her mind snapped back into focus. One false step on the island would finish her. There could be mines, grenade traps, and vibrowire strung across trees that could tear her apart.
She froze in midstep as she heard movement to the side, footsteps coming close to the shore. She scrambled behind a tree trunk, just in time to avoid being spotted by a horned creature.
Though she counted herself lucky it was not a devaronian, but rather a local equivalent of an herbivore. At least she hoped it was a herbivore, long stilted legs, a nose sniffing the air for any sign of trouble, and a clear distinction of not having very sharp teeth seemed to make her think it was a grazing animal.
It moved away after a moment.
Breathing deep to get her bearing straight she called up the map she had worked the details of what she had seen, trusting her lack of natural fibers to be a boon against the massive sensor net she was inside, as the mud cooled her temperature down. All she had to do was remain unseen. Logic dictated Moira take out the enemy air capability, just in case Luciana had gotten her message in time to send down a few searchers, so she began to orient herself in that direction.
Slogging through the underbrush, ducking under branches , creepers, vines, and ferns Moira longed for a machete or a vibroblade of sorts, anything to make the journey easier. But such would be far too loud for a stealth mission. She did her best to stifle any grunting as she made her way north. Mud stood in depressions which filled as soon as she took a slopping step. Her bare feet finding purchase upon the harshness of the land.
The next kilometers were harrowing on her mind and body, and when she came to the first inkling grove of trees she slowed, pausing to rest behind a tall grey barked tree as missile chassis could be seen through the copse of trees. Ever alert for a sign of her quarry she began to scout the area, and then made her way forwards to take a lookat the scratch built system.
Her eyes hovered over a pair of wires, and then towards the direction the hut and the devaronian’s camp was in. She scanned the clotted trees, low palms and dense vegetation hanging from the branches before pausing to crouch. The light of the pre-dawn was coming up now.
In the distance, she could see her first glimpse of her quarry leaving the hut and heading in the opposite direction as her location.
‘Probably going out to hunt.’
As she watched his blurred form receding from her she began to make a survey of the area, darting forwards across a rope bridge that lead into the camp. It swayed as her weight was added to it, the wooden planks sagging underfoot. Many of them were rotting, and more than a few had fallen away two or three meters to the levied steps of what divided the lake and the camp.
She’d yank the power to the missiles later, for now she made her way into the camp, wrinkling her nose as she went first to look in the hut’s windows, spying a small workbench with a few parts upon it, including a ship’s key.
In the distance was a privy, outdoor, making her rationalize the hut had no outdoor plumbing.
A weakness in her target’s defense. She had been trained to exploit those well.
She didn’t dare attempt to enter the hut yet, already warned that it possessed its own security measures. Taken a look towards the freshwater pond, she saw the dock and wondered why there would be a dock on a freshwater lake if there were no boats into it. The skirted the shrubline, noting possible ambush sites and points of egress as she made her way to the dock.
In the back of her mind things were slowly coming together.
The dock was old and rickety, looking like it wanted nothing more than to finally collapse into the swamp's manmade lake and was waiting for the right opportunity to do so. Every step she took upon its wooden upon its wooden planks caused it to creak and sway lightly. Taking a peak over the water's edge her eyes lit up with a gleam at what she noted just below the water level. The shadowy depth she had seen from far away was an illusion, brought about by the presence of a ship hidden within.
The dock lead up to its topside maintenance hatch where the waterline gently covered up to just below the hull. She recognized the outline of the vessel. A Jumpmaster 5000. Interesting. It's presence was another interesting tidbit of informaton. The devaronian had landed it in the only freshwater lake around here.Judging by the hatchway, it was probably still used by Malloc for storage of his goods, and judging by the blood stains on the dock he might have put some perishables from his hunts inside. From above the water would fragment much of the vessel's reading from anyone searching for it from an altitude if they weren't skimming the tree tops.
And for any that were skimming the treetops, Moira was sure that was where the wreck of the MRBX Pacifier and missile launchers came in. For a moment, she was heartfeltly glad that she hadn't seen hide nor hair of Luciana's cavalry yet, as it would seem any shuttle they'd have had a rather large target on their backs as soon at it got near.
Yes, Indeed this Kardue'sai'Malloc was a crafty individual. As well as dangerous. He must have planned this hidey hole for years.
The only real problem she suspected of keeping a vessel below the waters so long was a matter of corrosion. Corrosion would open the way to a ton of microfractures in the craft's undersides. Not enough to prevent it from flying if it had fuel, but she certainly wouldn't risk riding in it out of the atmosphere as the hull might buckle an d collapse along those microfractures from the forces inherent from space travel. She imagined the man would take it to whatever spaceport he could and steal another ship. Or just try his luck to get to another planet whilst praying he didn't die from a catastrophic failure.
Thinking back to the datapad with the set of access codes she had seen through the window of the sentient's made shack, Moira smiled to herself as another bit of her plan came to fruition inside her mind. Just a bit of time before the Devaronian came back to his camp. She'd be waiting for him with a few surprises. Especially since he seemed to be dependent on those goggles and rifle she had seen him hunting with earlier. He must have a way into his own shack.
Then she remembered the dug outhouse she had seen.
Her grin widened, 'Yes, a trap was a perfect thing for Malloc indeed.'
As soon as Malloc was down, then she’d take the missiles offline to prevent him from noticing any sabotage. She went to douse herself in another layer of mud to keep her body temperature cooled from the infrared sensors, and moved to a better position as she began to do the most onerous tank that any former assassin knew too well.
She would bide her time. She began to wait.
Just after sunset, in the murky darkness she lay at an opportune point, still slathered in mud, as she watched her prey come back to camp, her fingers on her bow and arrow. The echani’s hawk like eyes watched him dawdle around the fire, cooking his meat from his hunt, and then return what he wanted to save inside the hut.
When it was dark, she got what she was counting on. Malloc snuck outside and made his way to the dug-out latrine.
It was time, the prey was in her grasp. All she had to do was catch him.
It had been a long day for Malloc, he had successfully brought back some game at sundown, skinned it’s hide and fleshed out the meat from impurities as he cleaned it. Then it was cooking by the fire, and retiring to his hut to drink until nature called.
Like the paranoid man he was, he had fished his goggles on and grabbed his trusty E-11 and made his way to his outhouse to let out a sigh of relief upon releasing his bowels. His diet of alchohol and game wasn’t the best, but it was a living. A life he had to live if Fett was after him. Thinking he might have taken a little too long he dried himself with a small scrap of leather he kept from his castoff piles and began to believe it was time to go back inside where it was warm. Finishing his business the Devaronian hiked up his pants and tied his belt. His eyes looking around through his goggles at the scenery before hefting his rifle back up to make his way towards his hut. Fett was coming for him. He knew that, so he’d take him first.
But maybe he wasn’t here tonight.
After about ten steps, his thoughts were broken by a sense of impact that spun him around coupled with a sharp pain in his thigh. Looking down he saw he’d taken an arrow through his right thigh. A guttural yell tore from his lips as he raised his blaster and fired randomly in a direction he thought the attack was coming from.
His thermals showed him nothing. Ripping off his goggles he stared out into the darkness as his constantly depressed the trigger of his E-11. He thought he could espy a bit of movement, but his chances of sighting down on his attacker ended quickly as a second arrow embedded itself in his right arm.
His rifle dropped from numb hands as he turned around and hobbled towards his wood pile to wrench his hatchet from the stump. He could hear the pounding of footsteps behind him as he turned and threw it only to see the shadow skid to the halt and dodge under the spinning blade.
He then grabbed the nearest weapon he could, a branch from the fuel pile only to grunt as the hatchet came flying out of the darkness to hit him in the shoulder. Silver blood began to coat his trousers as he was borne to a knee. Malloc ripped the hatchet out of his forearm and threw it at the shadow he saw flitting behind a tree, the hatchet embedding itself in the pulpy flesh as he stumbled grabbing at the branch with his left hand.
The pounding footsteps came closer at a run, and with a wild backswing he felt the impact of hidden whatever was after him as the dark figure rolled quickly to its feet before it sprang back at him, a roundhouse.blow coming to his temple took him to the ground as a foot kicked the branch aside and jumped back out of his reach. He was breathing hard and whimpering in pain. A whine of a rifle charging made him stop and mutter. “Alright I give. Dammit Fett, it must be you… How the hell did you find me?”
There was no reply as he tried to keep from doing anything that would make him become even more injured. Keeping his eyes down just to where he could see his attacker’s ankles. His mind pressed him some new information. The ankle he could see looked rather dainty for a mandalorian.
He looked up, seeing mud covered skin with curves until his sight ran up to the barrel of the rifle held by a waif of a girl slathered in mud. Cold blue eyes looked into his.
“By the Cold, I can’t believe I got caught by a wench like you. What are you? Aren’t you freezing?”
“Modesty has no place on the battlefield. I’m also an Echani. Goodnight while I tend your wounds as you’re worthless to me dead.”
“Fracking Schutta. I wish it was the Mandalorian.”
The discharge of the rifle’s stun round was the last thing he saw as blissful unconsciousness took him away from his pain.
When Malloc awoke he was in a familiar area of his jumpmaster 5000, his hands and feet bound with metal wire, bandages on his wounds. He tugged at one, only to find they would not come undone. Cursing, he sighed as a shadow slapped his cheeks lightly.
“It’s time to wake up now. I need a few questions answered.”
“I need a drink. Nothing from me till I get a drink.”
Malloc said blearily.
“Maybe, if your good. From what I saw in bottles around your camp, I guess you like Merenzane Gold.”
“You’re right, I don’t want to die sober.”
“Is your name, Kardue'sai'Malloc?”
“Yes. Just kill me.”
He uttered, blinking rapidly to clear his vision as the world seemed a blaring white. "Otherwise I'll still be alive when the quarra eat me. Able to sense it all."
His captor gave him a cold stare. “No, the bounty’s only good if you’re alive, that’s why I patched you up. Are you the one they refer to as the butcher of Montellian Serat?
“That’s what they call me, but that’s not what I am. I was only following orders.”
“Oh, Enlighten me then.”
"The Empire ordered us to move on. To reinforce loyal troops, fighting just south of us. We were not to leave any troops behind as guards for the prisoners—and certainly we were not to leave any of them living."
His voice was hoarse, he tried to explain himself. Chaos, he had tried to explain himself to himself many a time. It didn’t make it any better each time.
"They didn't tell you to execute the prisoners."
"They didn't have to. It took almost five minutes, girl. We put them in a holding pen and started shooting at them. They screamed and screamed and screamed. We just kept shooting until the screaming had stopped. I was following orders. Now where’s my drink?"
“Patience, just tell me a little about it: why?”
"Our orders came just after noon. The Rebels were believed to be moving north; I was to take my forces and intercept them. I was not to leave any of my forces behind as guards for the captured Rebels. The orders were no more specific than that…but they could not be misunderstood."
"Some would call that rather impersonal, the act of a monster."
his captor said, arching an eyebrow at him. "Have you no guilt at all?"
“My people believe that to kill something, you must cherish it and love it as it dies. There is no barrier between you and the thing you are killing, and you die as you kill. Music is the only thing I know that feels the same way. The music surrounds me until I cease to exist. I die as I kill. It's what I live for. I'm glad my fathers are dead.” He pleaded, “At least unbury my collection of music. Share it with the galaxy. I have a friend in the University who could. The cache is buried in the yard two meters between the front door’s edge, and the fire pit. I have a shovel in the hut, you must have been there to get the keys to the ship.”
“You’re right on that count. I think that’s enough answers save one. I’ll get your music for you, and your alcohol. But then you should consign yourself to your fate. We’ll be reaching devaron in about seven hours.”
Before she exited she turned around to ask a question, “By the way, I’ll be there at your execution by the quarra. So don’t think I won’t see this through till the end, but I have to know something first.”
“What is it?”
“Your friend, Calloc'Rashkani. , did he help you kill those civilians and sell a pair of echani into slavery?”
The devaronian had a puzzled gleam in his eye. “Why do you want to know? Is that what this is about? Some old echani wenches which disappeared years ago?”
“First, I am an echani and we always get our revenge for family members. I want to know, because if he did, he’ll die next to you with the quarra so tell me the truth.”
Malloc looked at her, an finally relented. “Yeah, he brokered the deal for the echani girls to sell them to Thyrusus. Got a pretty good set of credits for them, Though I don’t think you’ll ever find him. I doubt even Fett could find him if you found me first.”
“Oh don’t worry about that, I already have Rakshini in my hands. In fact you’ll be seeing him soon.”
With those words the Echani walked almost out of his sight, “Oh I almost forgot. Nighty Night.”
“You devaronian males say the sweetest things to a lady.”
"Your no lady, just a scrawny little ru-"
Another stun blast came his way and he once more descended into darkness.
Less than a half hour later, the echani had dug up the stash of musical datachits, shut down the missile launchers and sensor net. Then she piloted the jumpmaster the thirty five kilometers back to the town where the Harmonia
lay before cycling down the vessel’s reactor. She ordered the maintenance droid and the Verpine to attach some tow cables to vessel knowing full well if there was any chance of Fett trying to crash the party then she would have to leave no trace of her involvement behind. She had even taken the time to bring back her magnoculars and other equipment too, including her gift to Crystala, leaving nothing but prints in the mud as she left the swampy world behind.
Malloc was installed right in the medbay next to the armless Rakshini and she dispassionately told the forced parapalegic what his fate would become before venturing to check on the child Elli, who was now sleeping in the passenger cabin after a dip in the rejuvenation tank. Twenty minutes later, the craft was lifted off by the asteroid belt of the Peppel system the Harmonia and the towed jumpmaster were ushered into the berth’s of Endivain’s modified cc-9600. A few minutes laterr, the ship winked into hyperspace headed for Devaraon but not before an encoded message had been sent to Ciel to begin her negotiations.
Regardless if Ciel's actions to arrange a meeting to discuss things for Laret Doravon were successful, Moira would be arriving on the Devaronian homeworld in six hours to hand over Malloc after the transfer of five million credits to her accounts.
Personally she thought politics would rather block it, as the devaronians were likely to want to execute a large group of prisoners with Malloc as a show of strength to the galaxy. Especially with the NIF conducting negotiations there. But that was neither here nor there as Ciel was more then welcome to make the attempt.
During the wait, Moira instructed S.I.N.’s crew to begin searching the Harmonia for any smuggler’s quarters while she took a show as well as to pass a message that she would be talking to Luciana in about thirty minutes if she would have time. Anything they found, she explaines should be copied to be sold to ISIS in order to ascertain any data about the crimelord's networks in the sector he operated in.
Anything else useful was her property to claim and she'd be negotiating with Luciana for the fee for their services if anything was found. All under the watchful eye of 'Five' and the Verpine of course. She told Meer to watch S.I.N's behavior as they were the security of the company she would hopefully be negotiating to get him an interview with.
The girl on the other hand was still asleep.
An hour into transit she had been informed the crew of the CC-9600 found some paperwork in a small cache and brought it to Moira’s attention after she had the droid watch them for a bit. Paperwork she’d soon be addressing with Luciana as it raised an opportunity for many more credits. Onboard the Harmonia, still strapped in at the medical bay, Malloc had woken up to find several bottles of his favorite drink hooked up to a bib and a bit of plastic tubing he could suck on to imbibe the liquor.
He didn’t spend a minute of the hyperspace journey sober… Neither did Rakshani as they blearily talked to one another while drunk. Discussing old times, and what a bitch their lives had turned out to be.
Four hours after they would have already reached Devaron, an anomaly would occur in the Peppel system with a blast of Cherenkov radiation. The tell tale signature of a ship dropping out of hyperspace. It’s engine’s corresponded with a AIAT/i gunship which soon descended into the atmosphere, a blaze of heat marking its passage. Though the occupant wouldn’t find anything about Malloc’s whereabouts, he or she might find out that the next day the bounty had been turned in, and the bounty hunter kept anonymous.
Suffice to say, it wasn’t a good day for whomever that passenger was. But our story continues with the meeting between one Luciana Endivain, and Moira Drakengard, discussing an interesting possibility which had been found on the way to Devaron.