Get Off My Lawn!
Jorgan and Prudii had just returned from the Old Galactic Market when Senate Security captain Dak Alteka called them to a meeting in the Senate plaza’s cantina, just below the tower.
“Better not keep a captain waiting,” Jorgan said.
Prudii and Jorgan walked into the cantina and Jorgan was surprised to see Corso Riggs leaning on the bar, alongside the Mirialan.
“Dankin,” Prudii said. “What’s going on?”
Jorgan tilted his head. “You know him?”
Prudii nodded. “Yeah, a guy I knew back in the Academy. It’s his brother.”
Jorgan nodded to Dankin.
“What’s going on?” Dankin asked.
“We were asked to meet someone here,” Prudii replied.
“Me too,” Dankin said.
Captain Alteka walked in, his Senate security armor perfectly polished and his rifle slung over his shoulder.
“Gentlemen,” he said. “We’re facing a problem and we figured the heroes of the Esseles would be the ones to fix it.”
“What about the Jedi?” Dankin asked.
“They’re busy,” Alteka replied. “One is helping with a kidnapping at the spaceport and the other is dealing with a very sick Jedi Master.”
“What’s the op?” Prudii asked.
“War protestors, a group calling themselves the ‘True Republic,’ are mounting a very large protest in the Senate plaza.”
Jorgan shifted his feet awkwardly. Prudii had “helped” one of the True Republic’s members, a girl named Spirakris Zarem; acquire a parcel of Senate documents. Respectful of freedom of speech, Prudii had given her agricultural documents, instead.
“What are they doing?” Dankin asked.
“Nothing much,” replied Alteka. “But Chancellor Janarus is passing through, and we think they may get to him. Our guards are busy preparing his escort, so we want you four to clear out the plaza.”
“We can’t exactly shoot ‘em with heavy blasters, sir,” Prudii noted.
“Of course,” Alteka agreed. “Which is why you will be supplied with riot blasters. Push the group back to at least the speeder pad, if not loading them onto taxis away from the plaza, then give me the signal it’s all clear on the comlink.”
Prudii nodded. “Will do, sir.”
* * *
Jorgan finished charging his riot rifle and looked out of the Senate tower’s doors. Prudii and Corso loaded their own rifles, but Dankin armed himself with only a small stun pistol.
“Let’s go,” Prudii said.
Jorgan followed him out, and as the people saw the familiar white armor of Republic soldiers, roars of cheering and booing simultaneously rose from the crowd.
“Senatorial lackeys!” some said.
“Heroes!” others called. “Our true patriots!”
It almost made Jorgan feel bad about what was going to happen. Prudii hadn’t been able to convince the armory to give them full helmets yet, so he was forced to yell rather than project his voice with a helmet’s speaker.
“Listen up!” he said. “We understand your concerns and will gladly take time to listen to them in time! But now is not that time! There is more than one crisis at hand right now, and having the Republic’s own people dissenting is not helpful!”
Some people began to leave the crown, and Jorgan gave them a silent salute. They were the ones who truly had the Republic’s best interests at heart.
Others surged forward. Prudii nodded, and Jorgan and Corso each fired at a single person, intentionally missing. That sent several more people running, but others only got madder.
Prudii opened up his rifle on the ground in front of them. That made them surge forward, so they had to begin stunning people. Jorgan winced as his bolts found target after target. Prudii had a look of equal discomfort on his face, and Corso looked a little queasy. Only Dankin kept his face a mask of neutrality.
Finally, the people began to realize that Prudii was not kidding. Slowly, the crowds dispersed, and a few medics ran from the tower to help with the stunned.
“Captain Alteka,” Prudii said into his comlink. “Mission accomplished.”
“Good job,” Alteka replied.
“We’d better report to Garza,” Jorgan said. “She’ll be piping mad we made her wait this long, but hopefully she’ll understand. Let’s hurry.”