The wheels of his mind were turning even before Marick finished the briefing. He knew exactly what to do and how to get it done, and once he was finished, not only would the threat be contained, but both of those criminal groups would be destroyed and no longer able to pose a problem for Shadow Gate in the future. The Blue Bloods and the Red Sons had actually each made his list of possible targets for the next influence expansion, so being able to solve two problems with one action is the sort of efficiency that not only appealed to the Dark Jedi Knight, but also was the sort of thing that got you noticed by those who mattered.
He wasted no time gathering the scanners that he would need for the first phase of his operation, which would be to gain the intel on both groups that he would then use to turn them against each other. The idea was simple…instead of having to make a large push of force to neutralize each group individually, he would be subtle, manipulating both groups into destroying each other. This would allow him to accomplish his goal with minimal use of resources, thus adding to that efficiency that he so dearly loved. He quickly changed into the guise of Tyros Rahl, and was on the streets within minutes, the tails of his trench coat streaming along behind him in the breeze. His reports already had given him the location of the areas that both gangs controlled and he decided to start with the Blue Bloods.
While it was no more than fifteen minute’s walk to the location of a warehouse that was serving as the front for the gang, it seemed like much longer. The combination of adrenaline from being in the field again coupled with the humidity produced an effect that made every minute seem like an hour. When he finally arrived he felt the same sense of relief that a man in the desert must feel when he finally spots the oasis. His destination was a nondescript building, which made sense for its purpose…but it had the flaw of being surrounded by other nondescript buildings with plenty of roof space to be used as an observation nest. Tyros picked one of said roofs, with a tarred surface and numerous ventilation pipes sticking up out of it to provide plenty of cover, along with a nice view of the entrance to enemy headquarters. He made his way up to it quickly, only having to avoid one half-asleep thug on security patrol in the process.
“If this is the best they have to offer, this will be twice as easy as I expected,” he mused to himself as he continued his trek. However, he knew that he could not afford any complacency, and forced himself to maintain focus. The only time to relax was when the operation was complete and he had made it safely back to the Gilded Credit.
Setting up the sensor suite was no issue for the experienced agent, and soon he had eyes and ears on the target building. The most difficult part now was to find something that he could use and turn to his advantage. He didn’t have any particular target in mind, and had to trust that patience and the Dark Side would supply what he needed. Settling down to be there for the long haul, he booted up the recording devices and kept his senses peeled for any useful information.
This was always the most difficult part of any mission, never knowing how long you were going to have to wait, meanwhile having to fight off boredom, distractions, sleep, and a myriad of other issues that sought to sap his will and his focus while he was forced to spend countless minutes in the same position. The overhead sun wasn’t helping anything at all as it assaulted him both from above and below, radiating off the tarred roof. He began to sweat profusely, and when night came with its cool breeze, he welcomed it like a long-lost lover.
After twelve hours of observation, the juiciest piece of intel that he had gleaned was that the Blue Bloods were lying low after pulling off a big heist from the customs office at the spaceport. While this might prove to be useful, he wasn’t going to bank all his hopes on it. He decided to head out and see if the Red Sons would be any more forthcoming with information that could be used against the two gangs.
Using the cover of darkness, the Gate Warden was able to shave off ten minutes from the trip to the Red Sons’ territory, so he was in position and ready to spy again within three quarters of an hour. He spent the rest of the night at his new location. In comparison to his previous surveillance job that day, this one seemed to fly by as most of the noxious distractions had disappeared with the heat of the day. In fact, he was surprised when the first light of dawn crested over the port. With the information gathering complete, he packed up his gear and exited back to the Gilded Credit for processing.
Having compiled all of the recorded audio and video data, Scelestus was able to find exactly what he was looking for. It appears that the Red Sons had a stash of weapons that they were hiding on the outskirts of the port, and were planning on moving in two days time to a more central location. The amount of chatter and excitement over this stash indicated that it was an important part of the gang’s plans for the future. It was also the keystone for the Knight’s operation. If he could plan it just right, the Blue Bloods would think the Sons were planning to attack them, and retaliate by destroying the cache. Then the Red Sons would have to answer this crime by attacking the Bloods…and with him to fan the flames this confusion would turn into the inferno that would cleanse them both from the port for good.
With this new plan in hand, the warden’s next step was to edit the surveillance tracks to intimate that the Red Sons were planning on using the hidden weapons to clear out the Blue Bloods and move in on their turf. A few words in the right places, with video of the cache itself were just the ticket to work on the paranoia that was inherent in all criminals. This natural mistrust of everyone around them was going to be their undoing. With the edited video in hand, Tyros hit the streets again for what seemed like the hundredth time in the past two days, heading back for the headquarters of the Blue Bloods gang.
Posing as a spice junkie, he was able to gain audience with a gang underboss, as he claimed he had information that he was willing to trade for credits or spice. Once before the large Devaronian (a strange example of the species with his one broken horn and overly loud voice...not to mention very sweaty body), Tyros began to spin his tale of tragedy. He was a news reporter who got hooked on the drug during a story and has lost almost everything to the habit since then. Knowing that a good key to gaining trustworthiness in a hurry is to make your audience feel superior to you, he continued his tale of woe, leading up to last night when he overheard his dealer talk about taking care of the upstart Bloods once and for all. He used the cover of being a reporter to explain having the recording equipment and to lend credence to his story of treachery and betrayal. A few more minutes of laying it on thick rewards Rahl with the beginning of distrust and fear in the eyes of the underboss—feelings which quickly blossom into the aforementioned fertile soil of paranoia. He soon exited the room with a terse command to pay the bum, thrown over his shoulder as he headed to find his superior in the gang.
Money in hand, Rahl left the base and snuck through the back alleys until he had reached the location that was housing the weapons cache on the edge of the city. Soon he had his equipment set up again to record anything that might happen. He settled in to wait and see if the seed that he had planted earlier would take fruit. He had faith in his ability and the power of paranoia, but nothing was certain until the minute after it was done. Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait long this time before the hum of speeders reached his ears.
Five vehicles came tearing down the street, each loaded down with five gang members bristling more weapons than a cactus had spines. The twenty-five member posse jumped out as the vehicles screeched to a halt and quickly gunned down the handful of guards. They then broke into the building, set it on fire and hauled tail back the way they came.
Tyros gathered his equipment together and moved in to survey the damage and get some footage of the destroyed stash. At this point he had a stroke of luck as he discovered that one of the guards was still alive. He helped the gravely injured guard to his feet and delivered him and the footage to the Sons, thus cementing his plan. The testimony of their man combined with the evidence from the video had the desired effect, and soon a hit squad from the gang was on its way to avenge themselves on the Bloods.
With the sound of blasters and explosions in his ears, the Gate Warden escaped back to his safe house, pleased with another accomplished operation and ready to report his success to Marick.
Grade: "Satisfactory" [2 pts]
Comments: A very good contract. While there are no glaring errors or things to fault, it lacked anything that made me say, "wow", or really engaged my attention. It was simple, which is often good, and told a fluent story that was cohesive and accomplished the task that was set before your character. Some of the imagery is perfect, like welcoming the darkness like a lover. There is flashes of it in your writing that is truly brilliant, and I think you will continue to grow and develop with more and more practice. I would also work on being a bit more descriptive with events that happen; I understand it's hard because we have a few different styles here, and your club of origin was also different, which is why this isn't faulting, this is merely offering ways that I think can get you to that next level/tier with your writing.
Don't just say, "Scelestus did this, then this happened, and then he walked out and that happened." I want to know what's going through his head as he walks up to the base and poses as a spice runner. SHOW me how he does it, not TELL me. It's something we preach in filmmaking and storytelling in my industry, and I see it translate into books and things that I read as well. Enhance all 5 senses (you do touch on them, which like I said, this is all just advice that I feel will help, not knocking anything you did or did not do.) and make me feel connected to Scelestus. I should be rooting for him the whole time. Don't be afraid to throw a monkey wrench for yourself in as well. You dont have to have a classic 3-Act structure, rising, climax, and falling action, but there should be some drama, suspense, something that helps the reader feel something for what's going on.
Overall, though, a very solid contract, and I'm excited to see you continue to develop as a writer