Contract Bureau Offices
Celevon walked in and stopped short. In Talos’s place, sat behind his desk smoking a cigarra was Sashar Erinos.
“Uh, Master-“ Celevon began, wondering if he’d walked into the wrong office.
“No no, you’re right. I’m just covering for Tal’ika for a few days. I suppose you’re looking for work? Just so happens I have something perfect for you. Recruitment. Here.” He handed his squadmate a datapad and took another thick drag of the smouldering cigarra clenched between his lips, watching the youth’s expression intently.
:: Contract 034 ::
*Target: Dustin Benner
*Location: Port Ol’val.
*Restrictions: Target must be taken alive
*Assets Available: None
A nice, easy one. There is a slicer operating out of a small ‘tech shop’ in Port Ol’val. He’s actually made progress cracking Celahir’s encryptions on the DIA network. Normally, I’d kill him and be done with it, but he’s actually too talented to waste. Find him, buy him, and watch out for the locals. Port Ol’val can get a little rough. Dustin is reputed to be a teenager with red hair, of slight build, and his skills with a computer are substantial, but he isn’t reckoned to have much in the way of martial ability. Do this quietly, please.
“This seems too easy. Why don’t you send the mundanes?” Celevon asked, frowning.
Sashar grimaced slightly, but nodded. He’d clearly been expecting the question. “Dustin Benner used to work as a Findsman for Dash Kuatir, who was incredibly dangerous in his own right. I doubt Dustin is associated with any of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild anymore since he’s in Port Ol’val, but we need to send in a Force Sensitive in the small chance that there might be some less-than-savoury hunters of force sensitives there. Be on your guard.
“And if I encounter Dash Kuatir? What if it’s a trap?”
Sashar’s expression glowered. “You have flee on sight orders if a red-skinned bounty hunter with a spear-tipped tail comes at you waving his Westars around. You’re no match for him. If you do see Dash, run, contact me, and I’ll glass the entire shabla city. Clear?”
“Good. Get going.
Celevon walked out of the Contract Bureau offices, still slightly stunned at finding his Master seated in the place where he usually expected to see the Commissioner of Galeres practically buried beneath a pile of holo-files, muttering to himself. As he walked to his quarters, he idly wondered how he could pull this off without attracting undue attention. Especially this person named (Here, Celevon checked his copy of the holo-file) Dash Kuatir. After several moments of thought, Celevon decided against disguising himself. Pretending to be someone else attracted the kind of attention he didn’t want for this type of mission. The kid he was being sent to recruit may be a teenager but would likely notice if any part of his story changed and have Port Ol’val security on him faster than he could blink. Then he’d be red flagged like a [Expletive Deleted].
The Jedi Hunter had just finished pulling on his Dar’Verd when an idea suddenly hit him. What if I took a page out of both Talos and Apophis’ books? A smirk appeared as he opened a drawer where he kept his mundane clothes. A spared look at the boots of his Soulfire armour had him nodding to himself. These will just have to do, as I don’t really have time to buy a pair of shoes to fit over these. His varied weapons were stashed all along the Dar’Verd armour. Moments later, Celevon cut precise lines in a pair of black slacks which were tucked under the straps of his tactical thigh holster. Another moment of thought had Celevon nodding as he grabbed a button-up black shirt and placed it aside. He muttered to himself as he shifted aside numerous shirts, “Why the hell did Jacen have to be so bloody flamboyant? Better yet, why did he leave almost all of his clothes to me in his will? Ah, this will do nicely.”
He had chosen a dark grey silk shirt, which was pulled over the Dar’Verd armour. He shook his head and snorted at the numerous pairs of shades that he had yet to trash. Shades do nothing more than attract attention. I wouldn’t even wear half of them to a club. Maybe I’ll give them to… Celevon abruptly cut off that line of thought to focus on his mission. A sheath that held a pair of push daggers was attached at the back of his belt before he hastily grabbed the button-up shirt and headed out of his quarters to catch a shuttle to take him to Port Ol’val.
Celevon ignored the people aboard the shuttle who gave him glances from time to time. Some he recognized absently as members of the Clan that he had run into previously. He couldn’t help himself as he felt slightly uncomfortable in this clothing, despite the fact that he wore armour beneath these clothes. He was, however, pleased that they wouldn’t last long if the situation went FUBAR. Just as he was leaving the shuttle, Celevon noticed and snatched a black coat hanging on a rack nearby the exit. He held it over his shoulder as he walked. While he walked though the various checkpoints throughout Port Ol’val, his view was distracted as he focused inward. Using a technique he learned from Jacen, Celevon masked his force signature as much as he could. Unfortunately, as he rarely practiced this skill, it didn’t do too much. But he made it look as though he were untrained and not to be considered a threat. Satisfied with this, Celevon took a look around for the tech shop Sashar had spoken of while he kept an eye out for the red-skinned bounty hunter his Master had warned him of.
After several minutes in which Celevon walked around (apparently taking in the sights), he finally discovered the place the Elder had mentioned. He purposely let his expressionless façade fall as he strode into the shop. He noticed his target behind the desk. The teenager looked bored, as he idly fiddled with something in front of him. Celevon walked around the shop, taking a look at some of the things for sale within the shop to make it seem as though he were merely curious while he waited for someone. He was eyeing an improvement on the comlinks when the teen called out, “Can I help you with something, sir?”
Celevon let his eyes go from distracted to clear as he turned to face the slight red-haired teen. He cleared his throat before speaking in a smooth baritone, “Yes. My name is Alexander Morrison. I’m here looking for a young man named…” Celevon looked at a small card he pulled out, before speaking again. “Dustin Benner. Could you point me in his direction?”
The teen’s eyes narrowed slightly. He stared appreciatively at Celevon’s clothing as he asked, “Why do you want him?”
Celevon let a smile cross his face. He approved of the precaution. “As I said, my name is Alexander Morrison. I represent a few companies that are looking to hire. His name came up as being exceptional with his computer skills. So, we would like to see if we can acquire his services.”
The teen’s eyes showed relief for whatever reason. “Oh, well. I’m sorry for the deception, Mr. Morrison. Some thugs have been trying to frame me for something or other. That, and, you don’t exactly look like a business man. I can see a strong build under your clothes. Not to mention that you walk like a predator.”
Celevon nodded, understanding. “I sometimes work in security. But I like to keep in the best shape possible, so your misconception doesn’t surprise me. As to the way I move, it tends to happen when one has been practicing the martial arts for as long as I have. It started as a hobby of mine, but soon became an obsession as time went on. Would you like to hear our…?”
The red-haired teen cut him off. “Security? You mean security.. like .. protecting people from harm. That kind of thing?”
Celevon nodded again. “Yes. From time to time. Why do you ask?”
“As I mentioned earlier, some thugs have been trying to frame me. And when I was walking home a few days ago, they tried to rough me up. I don’t know why, but I’ve been keeping myself here. I haven’t been home since. Judging by your clothing, I can tell the pay is good. If you can guarantee that I’ll have the job and safe transport, I can be ready to leave soon.” The teen explained quickly.
Celevon paused as he thought up an angle. “I’d have to call up my boss and see what he says, but I’m quite sure that you’ll get the position. As I said, you came highly recommended. Tell you what: You pack whatever you need while I call my boss; If you aren’t given the job, I’ll give you five thousand credits to improve the communications and computer systems on my ship. They are about seven to ten years out of date.”
The teen didn’t say anything beyond running and flipping the sign on the store from ‘open’ to ‘closed’ and quickly started packing a rucksack. Once he started towards the sign, Celevon faked a call on his comlink. After telling whoever he was pretending to call that he understood and to expect them soon, he hung up and turned towards the teen who had the bag ready. “Ready to go?”
The teen nodded and held the bag tighter to himself. Celevon continued, now speaking intently and seriously. “Here’s the deal: You need to stick close to me and act like were going to meet up with some friends. Don’t make it seem as though you are in any hurry to get out of here. Understand?”
The teen nodded. “Yes, Mr. Morrison.”
Celevon let a genuine smile cross his face as he replied, “Call me Alex. Mr. Morrison makes me feel old.”
Dustin laughed softly. “Alright, Alex. Let’s make this place a distant memory.”
‘Alex’ smirked. “Your wish is my command. Keep an eye out and be sure to let me know if you spot these thugs who have been harassing you.” And proceeded to lead the way towards the shuttle that would take them to the Citadel after the teen gave ‘Alex’ a nod.
Celevon kept walking until he felt a pulse within the force at the same time as he physically felt Dustin tap his forearm. He paused and turned towards the direction where Dustin discreetly pointed. He couldn’t help the smirk that spread across his face as he watched the three thugs approaching. One had a malevolently gleeful expression on his face as he went to grab Dustin. With a quick move, Celevon grabbed the thug by the pressure point on the center of the hand. He stiffened and begun to shed tears as ‘Alex’ squeezed harder. “Why do you torment this child? Are you a coward?”
Celevon saw the fear transform into rage in the thug’s eyes at the word ‘Coward’. He gasped out the words to his followers, “Forget the geek. Get this idiot who dared to [Expletive Deleted] with the leader of the Ol’val Snakes.”
Celevon let his smirk widen when he saw that Dustin had backed away to watch the ‘show’. He threw the leader aside just in time to miss the punch the other thug threw at him. Using the thugs’ momentum against him, Celevon pulled the arm by the wrist over his shoulder to flip the thug onto his back on the hard floor. He saw Dustin’s eyes widen as the force gave a sharp warning. He turned (mentally thanking Sashar for the hand-to-hand training against multiple opponents as he did so) and slapped away the other thug’s punch before giving the thug a vicious forearm to the throat to knock him out. He turned again, this time to see the so-called leader who held a knife, which was pointed at Celevon.
The Journeyman took a relaxed stance, causing the leader of the thugs to rush at him with a scream of rage. Celevon leaned away from the stabbing motion, caught the thug by the wrist and drove his left forearm into the area just above the elbow while pulling the elbow taut. He heard multiple snaps and cracks as the thug screamed and dropped the knife. Celevon released the thug, who dropped to his knees cradling his injured arm to himself. The Jedi Hunter grabbed the knife, closed it and waved it in front of the thug leader’s face while saying, “You shouldn’t play with knives, kiddo. You could get hurt.”
He gently placed his hand on Dustin’s shoulder and led him away while saying, “Let’s get out of here, Dustin.”
Once aboard the shuttle, Celevon tossed the knife and coat onto the boy’s lap with a grin. “Consider it a bonus, kid. Keep it for the memories.”
‘Alex’ activated his comlink once the teen was distracted, “Sarge, it’s done. But the kid may be a bit shocked by the reception.”
Contract Status: Completed
Contract Grade: "S" Satisfactory.
Target was successfully recruited to Arcona's needs.
Not a bad contract at all Cele. Technically it's well written, easy to read. From a storytelling perspective, though, I felt it lacked in terms of flushing out the target's character. It just seemed too much like a walk in the park. Even if it's an A-Class mission, doesn't mean you can't give the target a back story, throw in an obstacle that actually challenges your character to overcome. I would have loved to see Dustin flushed out more. I would reccomend reading up on a few of your master's contracts, and watch how he tells a story through the characters he interacts with or describes. You want to let your reader "hear", and "smell" what it's like down on Port Ol'val.
In summary, your writing is technically brilliant. Good combat description, easy to read. In the future I just want to see more development of character and of the story. Keep up the great work, Celevon.