The Search for Oricon
LOG FILE: XR7783459098224-AFR-R
ACCESS LEVEL: 27V Restricted
OPERATIVE: BALKAR, J
The poor kid actually pulled it off. Oricon.
We had an army of slicers working back-to-back shifts for months, fired probe droids at every Outer Rim rock big enough to seat six, and tried to question every nutjob the Dread Masters ever left behind on an op. Didn’t even get a hint. But throw some grinning recruit into the deepest end of the most psychotic pool in the galaxy, and sure enough, jackpot!
When they brought him in, I thought they’d lost their minds. I think I even asked if they had a permission doc from his mom, which somehow seemed more inappropriate to them than hiring a child to infiltrate the Dread Host. They swore he’d seen a full tour on Corellia and run cover on some Belsavis supply runs. He’d passed all the psych tests, resisted every mind-altering device and chemical they could find. Plenty of qualifications. And what’s more, they said he was a little bit Force-sensitive. The perfect candidate, apparently.
I asked how they could even tell something like that. They said they had people. News to me.
I ran the kid through the usual field tests, just like they asked. Had him bug someone at the Imp embassy on Nar Shaddaa, got him to fake his way in with the Justicars for a week, no problems. Kid even got a Senator to give him his signature, security key, and week’s schedule without even flashing a fake ID.
When it was done, and they asked how he did, I thought about lying. It still didn’t sit right with me, but he’d aced everything I threw at him, so that’s what I told them. I’m sure I made another crack about his age, too, but I don’t remember it so it must not have been that great. I know they didn’t laugh, but they never do, so that was that and I moved on to the next job.
I ran another couple of candidates through the field tests. Spent a few weeks charming an heiress on Kuat who’d been making a lot of undocumented flights, but there was nothing there. Checked up on someone in SpecForce, took care of some other personal stuff. I don’t even remember what I was doing when they called me back in, but whatever it was, it didn’t get done.
The kid had made it. They wouldn’t tell me where he’d gone to get “recruited”, or how long he’d been running with those messed up freaks before he came back. He’d hijacked a Dread Host ship and flown it back, just like they planned, but he’d also lost his blasted mind, which for some reason they hadn’t planned. He was sitting alone in their hangar with a big nasty blade and a smile on his face and not a single word for anyone, so they were hoping I might be able to get him to open up. Says right there in my profile how charming I am, and we’d been week-long friends a few months back, so what could go wrong?
I never got to ask them how things went from bad to nightmarish; he’d spread pieces of them all over the place by the time I got there. The guards were dead, too, but just the normal, murdered kind of dead. I guess they didn’t merit the special treatment, even though they must’ve shot the kid five times apiece. He was just standing there, full of holes, smiling that same shiny kid smile he had when they first brought him in. It didn’t look like he had more than five minutes left to breathe, but since it didn’t look like it would take him more than five milliseconds to cut me to shreds, I kept my weapon on him all the same.
It took him a while to even notice me. When he did, he asked if I was proud of him. I told him I’d seen cleaner knife work from broken cooking droids.
I don’t always say the right thing.
The fight wasn’t much of one. After about two shots I was too busy running and firing over my shoulder to do anything particularly heroic. When the kid finally went down, I checked my chrono; five minutes had been a pretty good estimate. Once I made sure he was really, definitely out of the game, I went back to the hangar.
The navicomputer was no help, but the ship wasn’t exactly the latest and greatest when it comes to stealth tech, so I took a few scans and met with a friend of mine, Niall. I had him cross-check the scans with observation logs from all of those probes we’d launched, and after a few hours and a lot of math I didn’t care to understand, he traced the ship’s trail back to the start and handed me the coordinates for Oricon. “Jackpot!” he said.
Right. Tell that to the people we’re going to have to send there next.