Zandro sat at the desk he was borrowing in the Arcona Contract Bureau's office and leaned back in his seat, the surface before him covered in datapads which held information on dozens of potential contracts.
So much work, so little time. Ah the joys of an office job.
A request for a contract had come through minutes earlier and the Battlelord knew which contract would be fitting for the individual who he now felt approaching through the Force. Pushing himself forwards in his chair, Zandro plucked a particular datapad up and watched as the man walk through his door and into the office.
“Welcome to Arcona Dralin, I've got a nice little contract for you to sink your teeth into.”
Passing the datapad over, Zandro waited until the Obelisk before him began to read before speaking again.
“In a nutshell, we've got a political activist who is raising merry hell in Estle City. For some reason, he seems to vehemently dislike the Government we have in place and is trying to, in simple terms, start a rebellion. This obviously can't be allowed to continue, so we need you to silence him. However, it's not quite as simple as just popping up and then shooting him in the face; we need to be sure that this cannot be traced back to us. I'll leave the specifics up to you, but try not to piss people off too much by making them think the Government is offing anyone who opposes us. It's true, but it doesn't look good. Have fun and happy hunting.”
Name: Cofgar Bellik
Physical Stats: None to speak of, weak and frail and, as far as we know, never fired a weapon in his life.
Mental Stats: This man can speak very very well. He is persuasive and charismatic and people will follow him to hell and back if he asked.
Other Intel: He is guarded almost all the time in some way or another, although intel reports that on occasion he has been known to try to slip away from his security detail to procure some...less than reputable services in some of the seedier areas of the City.
Putting his orderly mind to good use, Dralin formulated his plan as he left Zandros’ temporary office, reviewing his target’s dossier on his bracer datapad.
What are these ‘less than reputable services’ this guy goes after? That’s my way to pin his death on something else, he thought to himself. Looking up, he saw Talos Omerta, his associate-turned-friend, leaning against the wall of the hallway.
“Hey Dralin,” he said in greeting, his arms crossed as he postured in his armor. The navy-and-black surface gleamed, as if it were recently polished. No doubt he thinks his armor impressive, the assassin thought to himself. Dralin wore armor on the battlefield himself, but to rely on armor seemed a bit ridiculous to him. He absently noted the weak points, under the armpits and where the thigh connected to the groin, out of habit as he approached Talos.
“Good evening, Talos. Stalking me, are we?” he greeted in return, his Coruscanti accent lending his question a slight mocking tone.
Talos laughed as he fell into step with the new Arconan. “Of course, I have to look out for my Oblivion comrades. I wanted to see how you were settling in, but it looks like you’ve already taken on your first contract.”
Dralin went back to reviewing the dossier as they walked. “Of course; I need to show my worth to my new home, and there’s no time like the present.”
“Well, I’m sure you’ve heard,” Talos replied, “but Oblivion Brigade members are supposed to go out on contracts in pairs. This is your contract, but I can provide a little backup if you’d like.”
Dralin looked up, a rare grin blooming on his face, lighting up his face in a way his cybernetically-enhanced eyes did not. “Talos, you’ve given me a great idea. Come with me.” With that, the assassin turned and led the way, a somewhat confused Talos trailing behind him.
Capac Ring, Estle City, Selen
“You know, being your chauffeur is not what I had in mind,” Talos muttered behind the wheel of the limousine speeder that Dralin had rented under one of his many false IDs.
Dralin chuckled from the back seat. “You offered to help, Talos. Next time, you should be more specific. I needed a trusted driver for this; I couldn’t have the person carting me around being a security risk.”
The limo was powered down and parked in a dark section of street outside of the apartment complex in which Cofgar Bellik lived. The two dark Jedi had already been waiting for an hour, but waiting was something Dralin did well; Talos wasn’t accustomed to patience in his contracts.
“We could have brought something to snack on, at least,” the senior Arconan muttered two hours later.
“Quiet,” Dralin said as he sat up at attention. “There’s someone coming out.”
Pushing up the sleeve of his suit, Dralin consulted his bracer computer again, his enhanced eyes comparing the man he saw emerging from the building with the image in the dossier Zandros had provided. It was indeed Bellik, out for his late-night stroll.
“Once he gets further down the street,” Dralin began, “power up the speeder, but keep the lights off. We’ll follow him at a distance.” He watched as Bellik looked around, seeming to suspect someone was following him. He hadn’t noticed the limo, however, and kept walking; he was obviously far better at being a public speaker than a career skulker.
Talos drove the speeder, following Bellik as he led them into a worse part of town, known for its drug trade. Ah, he’s probably taking something on the sly. I haven’t met a politician who isn’t doing that, or worse, Dralin thought to himself. He watched as Bellik approached a street corner, the only one lit by a streetlamp for blocks in any direction. A balosar was already waiting there, and they greeted each other; the two were obviously regular contacts. Dralin watched as Bellik handed the balosar a cred-chip, and in return, was given something wrapped in paper—Dralin’s suspicions were correct. Once Bellik walked away, Talos turned the wheel, ready to follow him.
“Wait,” Dralin said. “Let’s follow the dealer instead.” Against his usual instincts, Dralin decided to do something he always said never to do—wing it.
Dralin put up the barrier between Talos and the passenger compartment, enhancing the appearance that Dralin someone important, possibly a crime lord; crime lords are always cut off from their employers. He delved into the power of the Force within himself, subtly bending what the dealer would see and smell when the door opened. As the limousine drew level with the balosar, the assassin opened the door to his compartment.
“Get in,” was all Dralin had to say, the illusory cigarra smoke creating a slight haze within the limousine, and Dralin knew that the cybernetics in his eyes glowed a dim green in the dark. The dealer’s eyes widened and he knew that this was either his lucky break or his worst nightmare. Tentatively, he got into the speeder, and Dralin tapped on the glass between the compartments, signaling for Talos to start driving.
“Uh, so, what do you want to talk about?” the balosar asked with a nervous tremor in his voice, his antennapalps twitching anxiously. “I haven’t been stepping on any toes, and I paid the-“
“I recommend you stop talking,” Dralin interrupted with a slight sneer as he reached into his jacket pocket, pulling out a smooth, silver container. He opened it, taking out a cigarra and offering it to the dealer. He accepted, and then Dralin took out one for himself, lighting it and taking a drag off of it. He didn’t normally smoke, but it suited his old role as Kaiman Sal, and it would suit this role as well.
“Now, on to business,” Dralin continued, smoke curling out of his mouth as he spoke. “You have a client that interests me. Bellik. What do you sell him?”
“Um, j-just glitterstim,” the balosar stammered, the cigarra doing little to calm his nerves. “He’s a regular c-customer, gets the same thing every time.”
Ah, glitterstim, Dralin thought to himself. That makes sense. The minor telepathic abilities that the narcotic grants helps him tell people what they want to hear, and the paranoia that comes with the addiction is what pointed him at the People in Charge.
Dralin pulled a loose string on the inside of his jacket sleeve, opening a nearly-unnoticeable pocket. He pulled a paper packet from inside and handed it to the dealer.
“When is the next time he’ll buy, Mr…?”
“Uh, Bar’jaraka, sir. Bellik should be back the day after tomorrow; he always comes in every other day. He goes through that stuff like crazy,” the balosar replied.
“Well, Mr. Bar’jaraka, when he comes to buy more glitterstim, you’re going to give him some that you cut with that,” Dralin continued in between drags from his cigarra.
Bar’jaraka smelled the paper, then his eyes widened further. “Is this s-sennari?” he exclaimed, the cigarra nearly falling from his mouth in surprise. “This is Assassins Guild stuff! Bellik is one of my best customers, I-“
“Do this,” Dralin interjected before the balosar could work himself up further, “and you could make someone important very, very happy.” He slid a cred-chip out of his pocket and next to Bar’jaraka, and he could see the gears turning in the dealer’s head. To take a risk for higher pay, or to keep a steady customer? Most criminals will always choose the latter, Dralin mused to himself. After a few moments, the dealer took the cred-chip and put it into his pocket.
“I’m glad you could see reason, Mr. Bar’jaraka,” Dralin said with a satisfied half-smile. “I’m sure we’ll be great business partners in the future. Tell the driver where you live, and we’ll be more than happy to take you home; there’s no sense in making you walk all that way.”
Bar’jaraka could see he had no choice, and his voice wavered as he told Talos the address through the opaque glass between the compartments. They rode in silence for a few minutes, and they both smoked what remained of their respective cigarras until the speeder slowed to a halt. Dralin opened the door and gestured for the balosar to leave.
“Remember,” Dralin said with a predatory smile, “we know where you live, Mr. Bar’jaraka. It would be most unwise to go against our agreement.” The dealer nodded frantically, his eyes wide as he contemplated the results of turning against who he assumed was a powerful crime lord. Dralin watched as his new ‘friend’ ran up to his hovel and practically threw himself inside before closing the door.
“Well, that was certainly entertaining,” Talos said with a chuckle after rolling down the divider. “You just about had me convinced you were some sort of big shot criminal.”
Dralin leaned back with a grin toward his friend before pouring himself some of the complimentary drinks that the rental company had supplied the limousine with. And I even got some good gin out this, he thought as he took a sip. “Driver, take me home!” he said with flourish, and he could almost hear Talos roll his eyes in annoyance.
“You’re not going to let me forget about this, are you?” he asked as he sped off into the night.
“Of course not, Talos,” he replied with a chuckle.
“So, why poison him that way?” Talos asked. “That kind of seems like something obvious. Didn’t Zandros say not to make it obvious?”
“It won’t matter,” Dralin said as he watched the city lights speed by, nursing his drink. “Once the body is discovered and authorities are called in, the first thing they will see is the glitterstim. No one looks into drug overdoses, especially for glitterstim, since it’s so easy to overdose on. No one wants to waste time and money on a case like that when, after a cursory examination of the body for foul play, the cause of death is obvious.”
Talos nodded, seeing where Dralin was going with this. “And when his followers find out what kind of man they were throwing themselves in with, they’ll disband pretty quickly to escape the fallout, right?”
“It’s nice to see that you haven’t replaced your brain with more armor to match your suit.” Dralin said with a wry grin. “I knew there was hope for you yet.”
Talos groaned in exasperation, knowing that he was obviously the new target of teasing now that Dralin no longer had Ronovi around to pick on.
Comments: Dralin, you are pretty awesome. I found the story engaging, well written and containing very few errors (main one of note being my name - Zandro without the s) but apart from that little detail, this contract was exceptional. I'd recommend more in the future, and just keep plugging away until you feel confident doing an S class, which i reckon you could do not that far into the future. Excellent work.