Please upgrade your browser for the best possible experience.

Chrome Firefox Internet Explorer
×

Exponent

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
06.22.2012 , 01:28 AM | #1
Exponent



Prologue

“The Empire has taken control of the eastern airbase. We’ve yet to receive any communications from within since the takeover. Initial surveillance shows hangars ‘Aurek’ through ‘Grek’ have been infiltrated. No confirmed intel regarding hangar ‘Hesh’. Reports suggest that any fighters, bombers, or shuttles that were being held within those hangars are now assumed to be under Imperial command. The airbase possessed significant automated defenses, mostly light surface-to-air batteries with some outlying turbolaser emplacements for heavier targets. The Imperial ground team assaulted the base managed to take control of said defenses and turn them against us. Any aerial transports we send into the area would be handedly terminated.”

“What of a tactical strike? We could sweep the area with a series of stealth bombers, or perhaps order an orbital bombardment.”

“Ignoring for a moment the base’s superior defensive capabilities, you realize we’d be bombarding our own facilities and assets.”

“Better than allowing them to fall completely into the hands of the Empire.”

“And what of the personnel possibly still within?”

“You said yourself that we’ve received no internal communications since the Imperial takeover. And we both know the Empire’s policy for taking prisoners is…”

“Highly dependent on who the commanding officer is.”

“And who might it be that is leading the Imperial forces currently fortifying themselves in our airbase?”

“Moff Oryk still controls the forces in the main theatre, but the detachment that assaulted our airbase was headed by one Derro Kaven. Reports show a company of soldiers under his sovereign command, bolstered by a couple of support squads from the Moff’s forces.”

“Bolstered even more by the airbase’s captured defenses. The Moff intends for us to divide our attention between the main battlefield and retaking the airbase.”

“Giving him the chance he needs to push through to the Republic command center. But we can’t let them keep their hands on the airbase. If they start using our own munitions against our forces, it will not matter how focused we remain on the primary front.”

“Then what do we do? With their fortifications, it would take hundreds of soldiers to retake the airbase.”

“Not exactly. I’m fairly sure it could be done with exactly one hundred.”

“You mean…”

“Yes. We send in Advent Company.”

----------

We were nearing the war’s end, though no one in the Republic could have told you that. It was almost a year before the Treaty of Coruscant. Before the event that forever changed the dynamics of what it meant to be a soldier. A patriot. The war didn’t seem to be progressing in anyone’s favor. The Republic and Empire would engage in galactic war for almost three decades. Practically half my life. But I dutifully offered those years to the Republic. Joined the army. Served to the best of my ability. Rose through the ranks until I had finally settled upon Captain. Was given control of my own company. Unique in its makeup. In its purpose. We were solitary. We were initiators. We were fast and focused. First contact, ice breakers, alpha strikes, aurek-grade procedures; that’s who we were. We were Advent Company. And I was its Captain. Vesk Korden.

A human male hastily walked through the halls of the makeshift command center that had been erected in the southern vestiges of a bustling cityscape. Republic territory. Civilian populace, but outlying military bases provided a reminder that all was not peaceful. An unneeded reminder, as the Imperial invasion force that was making its way through the city was the only evidence of war one needed. The capital of one of the Republic’s colonial worlds in the Mid Rim, the area was urbanized, but possessed nothing too sufficiently advanced.

The human was adorned up to his neck in military-grade battle armor. The once pristinely white plates that armored his body had been beaten and battered, scuffs and scrapes visibly present throughout the suit. Fading blue highlights graced the armor’s chest and pauldrons in the form of decorative stripes and insignias. The company’s logo remained in its entirety over the soldier’s heart: a rotated ‘aurek’ character with an eight-pointed star situated in the letter’s crevice, encompassed with a circular flair. Passing through a room’s barrier that amounted to little more than a hanging sheet of cloth, the trooper entered what appeared to be an armory.

The company was preparing for deployment. Everyone was suiting up. Taking blasters from the racks. Piling into armored ground transports. There were ninety-four of us on the ground. Six officers tasks with providing logistics, intel, and everything else we needed back in the command center. Advent Company was composed of three platoons. Forward. Left. And Right. Forward Platoon would charge up the center, with the others providing flank support, able to collapse inward should the need arise. Each platoon was comprised of three squads, ten soldiers strong. One designed for offense. One for defense. And one to bridge the two. We didn’t need colors or symbols to distinguish one another. Everyone knew their role. Their place in the family.

The captain made his way to the weapons racks that lined the walls of the armory. He stared at the selection with a discerning gaze. His eyes narrowed and his face scrunched as the soldier looked over the armament. The trooper had seen more than two decades worth of live combat firsthand and his face sufficiently told the tale. Hardened, grizzled features populated the man’s visage, his face only slightly less beat up than his armor. A scar stretched from his left cheek and into the receding hairline of soldier’s military cut brown fibers atop his head.

I took my gear from the racks. Blaster rifle. RDC-12. Sidearm. RDC-14p. Combat knife, sheathed in my bandolier. Three grenades lining my belt. Comm in my ear. Didn’t wear a helmet. Never did. The company had Twi’leks, Duros, Mon Cal’s, and Nautolans amongst it ranks, none of which got the personalized helm needed to accommodate their biology. If I was going to fight by their side, and them by mine, I would operate by their circumstances. Damned things just impair my eyesight anyway.

Captain Korden stepped away from the armory supplies with his gear sufficiently secured to his person. Surveying his surroundings, the trooper saw the hustle of the surrounding personnel dying down. Few soldiers walked the area, the majority of those under his command had already loaded onto nine troop transports, each holding a squad within its innards. The armored personnel carriers stood upon a series of reinforced wheels capable of traversing the rough, urbanized terrain the company would be encountering.

“Platoons check in,” Korden steadfastly stated into his comm.

“Lieutenant Karviss with Forward Platoon. Assault, Voyager, and Bastion squads loaded and ready,” a female voice chatted back.

“Lieutenant Ki’drahn with Left Platoon. Barrage, Flux, and Vigil squads loaded and ready,” a male voice stated.

“Lieutenant Rayna with Right Platoon. Venture, Inertia, and Bulwark squads loaded and ready,” another female voice informed.

“Officer Sonrik, are we clear to proceed?” Korden inquired into his comm.

“Advent Company is good to go, sir,” Sonrik quickly replied from his position in the command center.

I piled in alongside Karviss and Sergeant Jowens of Assault Squad. We’d be storming the occupied airbase head on whilst the side platoons provided support. It would prove to be one hell of a ride, and I… you’re not even listening are you?

----------

Vesk Korden turned his head to the degenerate occupant of the stool adjacent his. Present day. Four years since the war came to an official close. The former Captain found himself not on the battlefield, not amongst military personnel, but sitting at the bar of a luminescent saloon located in Nar Shaddaa’s Promenade. A place for glamorous lowlifes to waste away their lives and credits under the watchful gaze of Hutt Cartel enforcers. No place for a soldier. Then again, he wasn’t a soldier anymore. At least, not like before.

Seeing as to how his ‘new friend’ had drunk himself into a sluggish stupor, ‘softly’ laying his head upon the cold surface of the bar, Korden stood from his stool and pulled a singular credit chit from his officer’s uniform. Gone were the days of battle armor and tactical outfitting, in its place the clothes of a military advisor. Dark gray trousers and officer’s jacket. Blue trim. Standard sidearm in a shoulder holster. Placing the credit chit on the counter, Korden offered an abrupt nod toward the bartender before calmly walking out of the saloon.

Nar Shaddaa. A wretched hive of miscreants, criminals, and murderers. And they’re juuust the people the Republic wants on its side. Well, I suppose they’d rather they just weren’t allied with the Sith instead. Just a lot of credits and business know-how at their disposal and they’re capable retaining their neutrality throughout constant galactic confrontations. And the Republic wants my help convincing certain parties to break that neutrality.

Walking from the confines of the glamorous saloon, the officer was greeted with a conforming vantage as he gazed into the Promenade’s plaza from the second tier walkway that wrapped around it. Golden statues, luminescent trees, market stalls selling everything from the extravagant to mundane-yet-overly-priced. Transients walking to and from the menagerie of outlets for their gluttony and lust. Paying little mind to his surroundings, Korden calmly continued his journey toward an unassuming recess a short distance away from the saloon.

The Republic Embassy. Preliminary diplomatic connections with the local Hutts being carried out within its walls. Not much to show for it so far. Likely many more years before we’re able to secure an alliance with any of the more influential members of the Hutt Cartel. But still, every little bit helps. At least, that’s what I’ve always believed. Always wanted to believe. Imperials are doing the same as us. Trying to kiss up to the Hutts. Attain their favor. Betray them sometime down the line, I’m assuming. Imperial pride doesn’t allow for much long-term alliances. Then again, I doubt we’d treat them much better. Republic isn’t keen on amnesty for their kind. Still, anything to give us an edge over the Empire.

Outside the entrance of the non-descript embassy operated by the Galactic Republic, the vestiges of what sounded like a commotion stemmed from the opposite side of the promenade. Subtle crashes. Shouting. Looking over the ledge of the walkway, Korden saw the subtle blur of colors suggesting a chase in progress. Blue in the front. Red in the back. A young, rutian Twi’lek nearly slipped to the ground as she rounded a sharp corner at full sprint. Recovering instantly, the girl continued to evade a pair of black sentinels. Two armored soldiers attempted to keep up with the lithe target as she made her way across the Promenade. Leaping over the tall ledge that overlooked the plaza below, the Twi’lek caught herself on one of the banisters that hung over the gathered market stalls. Frustrated, the troopers communicated for but a moment before descending the ramp that led to the lower level a short distance away. The Republic officer watched from his overlooking position, studying the events that unfolded below.

Imperials. Bold to be acting so brazenly in such a public district. Bold or stupid. They’re obviously interested in catching the girl. No visible weapons. On the Twi’lek or the Imperials. No reason for the cartel enforcers to interfere…

As the Imperials closed in on the Twi’lek, she knocked over the stacked produce of a nearby market stall. Spreading out on the floor behind her, the Imperial troopers fell to the ground as they stepped and slipped on the assortment of slick fruits.

Maybe a little reason…

Watching as the two Imperials struggled to steady themselves, Korden noticed the Twi’lek was ascending the ramp near his position. As she graced the second level of the promenade, she quickly directed her motion towards the Republic officer. She stopped only when she was right in his face, or would have been if she weren’t bending over exhausted, trying to catch her breath. After only a brief moment of respite, she raised herself and gazed into Korden’s eyes.

Tw’lek. Female. Late teens. Civilian. Unarmed. Distressed, but unusually positive.

“Hi. This is the Republic Embassy right? Yes? Well, I’d like to enlist. Thank you. Goodbye,” the girl hastily stated, words and sentences meshing into one congruous line of almost incomprehensible dialogue.

Before Korden could even respond, the Twi’lek had resumed her motion, dashing beyond the threshold of the Republic embassy. Rounding the corner of the entrance hall, the officer had already lost track of the mysterious fugitive. Taking a step forward, Korden found himself standing in the entrance of the embassy when the sound of a man barking commands resonated behind him. Slowly turning, the former Captain found himself staring down the two Imperial pursuers. Armored and helmed, the faceless grunts of the Sith Empire approached the threshold of the Republic embassy.

Korden stood resolute, impeding their path.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
06.24.2012 , 09:28 AM | #2
Chapter One

“Out of the way, Republic scum, we’re chasing a criminal to the Empire,” the lead Imperial barked.

“You’re on Nar Shaddaa. I’d think half the population were criminals to the Empire,” Korden stated. Stoic, with the usual gravel in his tone.

“We’ve no time for this. Step aside, or you will be dealt with,” the Imperial threatened.

Imperials. Adamant in their zeal. Dedicated. Often to the point of fault. Soldiers. Troopers. Little more than low-level enforcers here. Out of their element. Little to no jurisdiction. Won’t stop them from making threats. Won’t stop them from taking action. The girl is a criminal. To them, anyway. Young Twi’lek. Most likely local. Most likely causing local troubles. What could her crime be?

“Tell me the charges laid upon the criminal,” Korden softly commanded.

“That’s not for you to know, or for us to tell. She has stolen from the Empire and must be punished,” the lead trooper explained.

Theft. What does the Empire have on Nar Shaddaa that someone could want? A criminal could want. Tech? Data? Obviously something capable of being hidden on someone’s person, as she wasn’t carrying anything. Unless they’ve already recovered what was stolen, and they’re just out for ‘justice’. She knows what she’s in for. She knows that she has relative safety from the Empire in our embassy. That suggests a knowledge of both factions’ presence on Nar Shaddaa, and the dynamics that come with it. Trying to evade punishment from within the embassy could strain diplomatic relations. Could impact our continued presence. If they press us hard enough, they could force us out of the Promenade.

“Stay out here. No reason to needlessly charge into an embassy,” Korden attempted to assuage. “Let me head inside, get a grasp on the situation, and see if we can help you from there.”

“I’m afraid not ‘pub,” the other trooper spoke up. “For all we know, you could be helping the fugitive flee. We’re coming in.”

“Don’t do anything you’re going to regret,” Korden slowly advised.

“We’re well within our right to pursue a fugitive into Republic territory,” the lead Imperial combated.

“The Neutrality clause of Interplanetary Embassy Regulations take precedence,” Korden dutifully informed. “We have an hour to investigate your claims before you are allowed to enter of your own accord. Until that time, I would suggest ceasing any further threats or hostilities.”

In all honesty, the law was actually on our side. Then again, these were Imperials we were dealing with. Law is very, very malleable to these sorts. Our laws, at least. I could tell the troopers weren’t responding well to my continued objections. Didn’t need to see their faces. Their posture subtly shifted. Hand motion suggested impatience. Weighted steps suggested an unstoppable insistence. The Imperials were ready to proceed, whether I liked it or not.

“We’re heading in that embassy,” the lead Imperial proclaimed, taking a step toward the officer. “If you plan to stop us, you’ll have to do it yourself.”

“I'll have you know that you are dealing with an ex-Captain of the Army of Galactic Republic. My name is Vesk Korden. I do not wish to incite trouble, but I am only going to ask you one final time to cease and desist. If you intend to invade Republic territory, I will not hesitate to defend it.”

“Look old man,” the lead trooper uttered as he attempted to pass the Republic officer, “there’s nothing you can…”

The Imperial was interrupted when Korden took ahold of his armored wrist. With a measured twist, the ex-Captain wrung the Imperial’s arm high behind his back, eliciting a sharp howl as the trooper felt an immense pain in his elbow. Not a moment later, Korden swept his leg against the intruder’s, kicking it out from under him and sending him plummeting to the floor. There was a resounding crash as the armored hide of the trooper impacted against the cold surface of the Promenade walkway.

The lead Imperial’s companion looked on with momentary shock, before charging down upon the aged human. Korden dodged the hefty swing of the trooper’s gloved fist. Rising from his ducking motion, the officer found himself slightly behind the attacking Imperial. With a kick, he collapsed the second trooper’s knee, forcing him to kneel. Grasping the lowered foe’s facemask, Korden forcefully slammed the Imperial’s head and back against the ground.

Turning, Korden saw the first Imperial rising to his feet. Reaching behind his back, the trooper brandished a small combat knife from his belt. Lunging forward, the Imperial supplied a swift swipe of his blade toward the Republic officer’s face. The knife managed to sink the slightest amount of its tip into his flesh, raking across his right cheek. As blood hesitantly poured from the thin wound, the Imperial readied another strike. Raising his hand, the trooper brought the knife down with a powerful stabbing motion. Korden halted the cascading arm with his left wrist, the blade stopping only a short distance away from his face.

With his right hand, Korden grasped the pistol currently residing in his shoulder holster. Blaster firmly gripped, the officer fired a couple of bolts under the Imperial’s raised limb, sending two orange bolts into the gap in the trooper’s armor plating beneath his arm. The Imperial released his grip on the combat knife as he crumbled lifelessly to the ground. The Republic officer turned his attention toward the other trooper who still laid upon his back. Walking over to the Imperial attempting to shuffle away, Korden directed his blaster toward his foe’s chest and fire a trio of bolts. The fallen Imperial’s movement ceased

Returning his blaster to its holster, Korden studied his surroundings. Little activity on the second level. No civilians. A short distance away however, one of the Hutt Cartel’s enforcers looked upon him with his arms crossed. The officer offered a nod and a subtle wave, the enforcer reciprocating before turning his back on the scene of death. Korden looked around a few more times, before turning his discerning gaze toward the fallen Imperials laying at the threshold of the Republic embassy. The officer was breathing heavily , exhausted yet pumping with adrenaline. He touched a hand to his wounded cheek before wincing from the sharp pain. Korden let out one final sigh as he wiped the spot of blood from his hand.

Imperials dealt with. Tired. Damn, it’s been five years since active combat and yet I feel like I’ve aged more than a decade. Was able to take down two Imperials, but now we’ve got two corpses laying in front of the Republic embassy. Not exactly an unexpected sight on Nar Shaddaa, but none the less it could have negative implications on our neutrality. Can’t have the Empire pressing us more than they already are. Can’t have the Empire using this confrontation to their advantage. Damn it.

“Korden, we heard shots fired,” a male voice rang out in his ear. “Is everything okay?” The officer steadied himself before putting a finger to his comm.

“I’m okay. The two Imperials won’t be a problem. Can’t say the same for any more that might show up,” Korden proclaimed. “Is the girl still inside the embassy?”

“Yes, she’s patiently sitting in the waiting room. Vesk, you’re going to want to talk to her…”

“In a moment. Tell me, do we still have that cache of confiscated Imperial weaponry?” Korden inquired.

“Yes, I believe we do.”

“Fetch me two rifles. Our intruders need a raised threat level,” Korden stated.

“Right away, sir,” the voice shot back before communications ceased. The officer ran a hand over his head, eventually starting to scratch the back of his neck. Then, another sigh.

What happened? To the galaxy? To the Republic? To me? This is what we’re forced to put up with. Tolerate. A peaceful charade. This… this isn’t peace. Then again… this definitely isn’t war. Or maybe I’ve just seen too much war to think it could possibly change.
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------

Osetto's Avatar


Osetto
10.17.2012 , 06:37 PM | #3
Chapter Two

The promenade’s abuzz with activity. The unusual type. The type you get when there are corpses about and no one knows who to blame. And that’s what everyone wants. Someone to blame. Not justice. Not retribution. Just the simple matter of fault. That’s not to say those other things won’t follow. But first and foremost… blame.

Korden leaned against the exterior of the embassy, arms crossed, eyes closed, patiently waiting. The two bodies that lay in front of him required inspection before they could be moved and disposed of proper. A number of cartel enforcers were closely examining the fallen Imperials.

The Hutts hold the rule of law here. They decide what’s right and what’s wrong. The death of two Imperial soldiers can fall either way. Cartel doesn’t like these kinds of events in the ‘public’ districts. Two parties involved, we’ll be lucky if one of them gets to walk away without consequence. We’ll be even luckier if it’s us… ah, damn it.

Korden opened his eyes when his ears detected the distant howling of an irate Imperial closing in on his position. Leaning to get a better view beyond the kneeling examiners, the officer let out a gruff sigh when he laid his eyes upon the figure flailing his limbs as he stomped up toward the second level of the Promenade. Tall. Thin. Middle-aged. Officer’s uniform topped with an all-too-tight cap. Korden’s Imperial facsimile.

“What’s going on here?!” the Imperial shouted, fast and irate. “Are you responsible for this?!”

Korden calmly focused on the Imperial’s jutting finger as he closed in on the scene. “They’re responsible for this,” the former captain politely detailed, nodding his head toward the fallen soldiers. “They were two steps away from an aggressive trespass on the Republic embassy. Which, if I recall correctly, would be classified as an invasion. I saved you and your people a lot of trouble.”

“These men were in pursuit of a fugitive in possession of stolen sensitive materials…”

“Yes, yes. And they believed the fugitive to be seeking shelter within our embassy. Believe me, they adequately explained their intentions.”

“You do know, however, that treaties signed by your Republic grant us the sovereignty to access embassies within neutral territory if we believe someone in possession of Imperial secrets to be seeking shelter within.”

“You do know, however, that we are to be given an hour to investigate any charges of the kind should we happen to believe there to be a third party involved. In this case, we happened to believe that. Your boys did respect the rules, so they had to be deterred. When they presented themselves as lethal combatants, they had to terminated as standard security risk prevention protocol dictates.”

Looking over the fallen soldiers, the Imperial officer furiously rubbed his chin. “The two security personnel dispatched weren’t this heavily armed!”

“Their actions have proven themselves to be unruly. They most likely picked up heavier arms when they couldn’t adequately deal with your… fugitive. You’re free to check the weapons, Imperial standards and codes are written all of over them.”

The Imperial stormed forward, stopping directly in front of Korden’s face, which remained utterly calm and collected. “I don’t know what it is that you’re hoping to accomplish, but all you’re doing is stalling the inevitable. We know you’re hiding her. And you know you’re hours almost up…”

“Yeah… I’m not too worried about that. You see, we had an hour to investigate before letting you in… but that was before our security levels raised as a result of the attack on our doorstep. Now we’re under a secure lockdown for the next rotational period… which, if I recall correctly, is eighty seven hours. Until THAT time has passed, only appointed Republic personnel are allowed in or out of the embassy. But you’re in luck. Since only governmental personnel are permitted, we couldn’t possibly be housing your… fugitive.”

The Imperial offered one final scoff and contortion of the face before storming off from the scene.

Like I said, the Hutts dictate what’s right and wrong here. Lying, cheating, murdering. Do it by their rules, and no one bats an eye. Hell, they might even reward you… one of the reasons I hate it here. Nar Shaddaa has one of the highest murder, kidnapping, and disappearance rates in the galaxy. You’re only punished when you don’t do it on cartel terms. Involving the Republic and the Empire in any popular setting happens not to be one of their terms. It disrupts business. Unsettles the ‘legitimate’ buyers and sellers that populate the moon. Unfortunately, there are more pressing matters.

Korden offered a nod of respect to the cartel enforcers still pouring over the scene. Whether it was genuine or not wasn’t important enough for either party to question the intent. Korden ducked into the embassy without another word. Firms steps signaled an intensity in his gait. He had just killed two Imperial soldiers, hopefully preventing a diplomatic relations nightmare, and knew the source of it all was sitting in the next room.

Passing into the main chamber of the embassy, Korden saw the girl from before, sitting in a visitor’s chair being tended to by the only other member of the embassy staff. The voice ringing in his ear earlier belonged to him. Not an ambassador, but he nonetheless handled most of the diplomacy issues sent their way that didn’t require the proper handling of a blaster. He and Korden were the Republic’s public face on Nar Shaddaa. Agents of the Republic, but not its military, and especially not the Strategic Information Service.

“Korden. Everything clear out front?” the attendant asked, looking up.

“For now. In a day’s time they'll be swarming all of this place,” Korden explained. The officer eyed the Twi’lek who kept her gaze planted firmly on the floor. “You’ve caused us a lot of trouble.” The girl squirmed in her seat, growing more uncomfortable by the second. Korden let out a sigh.

The attendant move closer to assuage the young fugitive. “Listen, I know you’re scared. We’re not going to let them hurt you. But we need to know what we’re dealing with. We can protect you, but only if you tell us exactly what’s going on here. First of all, what did you take from the Imperials?”

She remained silent.

“Look, we can be friends,” the attendant continued. “We’re in the business of making things fall apart for the Empire. Discreetly of course. While we cannot officially condone your actions we might be able to work out an arrangement… maybe strike out a deal…”

The Twi’lek immediately perked up. “A deal you say?” Whatever hesitance or awkwardness present in the girl was immediately flushed. In its place was a warm confidence.

Korden let out a sigh as he rubbed his brow. “She not a child, Berrin. You don’t last long on Nar Shaddaa without being able to take care of yourself. One way you can do that is playing the victim for the nice, upstanding folks at the Republic embassy. Isn’t that right?”

The girl let out an innocent giggle. “He’s good. You sure he shouldn’t have your job?”

The attendant stood from his empathetic kneel to take a more casual stance leaning against his desk a few steps away. “I’ve known the Captain long enough to know he’d never want this job.”

“Oh he’s a captain?” the Twi’lek spoke up, eyes wide with intrigue.

“Former captain,” Korden corrected.

“Then we have two things in common,” the girl confessed. “Had me a nice ship. Got grounded here a couple months back.”

“What’s a teenager doing losing a starship on Nar Shaddaa?” Berrin wondered.

“I’d say privateer or smuggler. And given her recent activities, I’d say she not is the business of hunting pirates and criminals,” Korden explained.

“Smuggler is such a loaded term,” the Twi’lek teased. “I was a transporter of goods. Medicine and tech mostly.”

“What about now?” Korden asked.

“I’m in the business of bartering and trading information,” the girl emphatically informed.

“Very well… let’s do business,” Korden proposed.

“Whoa, whoa… hold on Vesk,” the attendant interrupted. “We can’t be this direct with Imperial fugitives. Think about this from the embassy’s standpoint.”

“I’m sorry Barrin, but I don’t think the embassy’s long for this world,” Korden admitted.

“What?! I thought you handled everything pretty well out there,” Barrin stated.

“By our standards… Hell, even by the Empire’s. But this is Nar Shaddaa. Cartel standards are the only ones worth following, and cartel standards have a startlingly low opinion of violence within the Promenade. The Republic will likely shut down the embassy, officially withdraw from Nar Shaddaa, keep diplomacy isolated to lone agents and off-world arrangements until they are ready to reestablish official channels again. If we’re lucky, they may be able to set up shop again in a little as a couple of years. But don’t worry, there’s probably twenty other worlds that could make use of your talents.”

“What about you?” Barrin inquired.

“The Republic always needs someone to protect its assets… and I have a hunch we’ve just acquired a new asset.”

The Twi’lek offered a quick grin and a knowing tilt of her head.

Out of a job, endangered important diplomatic relations, and stuck with a teenage fugitive holding on to information that I have no idea how much it’s worth. Well, there are worse ways to leave Nar Shaddaa…
-------------------- The Fan Fiction Index --------------------