Fiction: Arden's Eleven

Arden Karn

14-05-2013 12:38:18

(As submitted to IG Comp: "One Last Job"

I'm still not sure exactly what I'm doing here with this bunch of scum. And not even the smart kind of scum, the bumbling kind of scum I arrested daily when I was an Espo. The ship wasn't the nastiest I've been in but it's definitely in the top 5. These guys claimed to be first rate smugglers and privateers but from the state of repair of their beat up late model CEC transport, they were either lying their collective asses off or didn't put their money into maintenance. I'd bet my lightsaber on the former. Mesh tape was holding most of the interior panels together and loose wires were everywhere. And then there was the smell that I couldn't quite place. It was either a dead Ithorian, Wookie cologne, or 3 week old muja fruit. Or maybe it was all three, didn't matter, it was beyond nasty.

I first ran into them in a cantina on Nal Hutta, the same one I had that night I don't want to remember with Ronovi. They were talking about some big score they thought they could make on Nar Shadda. Something about a corporate logistics facility from which they could access their credit accounts. They could make millions, no billions of credits if they just had someone who could slice the systems. Since I had skills along those lines, and since Plagueis could use the hard currency, I signed on. These idiots would never know I dumped far more than my share into our accounts. And if they did, well, I don't think I'd have any problem killing them.
All in all there were ten of them and they were an odd and diverse bunch. The leader of the bunch was a tall skinny human named Kardo Besk. He had oily black hair and a goatee that made him look like a B-Holovid villain. He had all the charisma in the galaxy but the brains of a retarded Bantha. He had the smell of one too most of the time since he claimed to have an allergy to bathing. I really didn't believe him about that, nor about most anything else.

His right hand man was the shortest Wookie I've ever seen, which still brought him in a hair under two meters tall and a solid hundred and twenty kilos. You'd expect the Wookie in a criminal organization to be the muscle, but in this bunch he was the brains. When he mentioned his name, Rywhirr, I instantly recognized it, but not from criminal dossiers or the merc circuit. I knew him as a hot shot corporate lawyer that had an amazing success rate. I guess most of his opponents knew what Wookies do when they lose. His career had come to an abrupt halt after an incident after a trial on Ralltiir in which his Gungan opponent ended up in a bacta tank with a partially severed ear and his armed snapped in half. He still had a grudge against the corp that screwed him and apparently had gathered the access code necessary to get the credits out.
The muscle was actually a pair of female Chadra-Fan, Shek and Tek, or as they were more popularly known, the Chibit Sisters. One would wonder how a Chadra-Fan could intimidate anything bigger than an Ewok, but these two were pretty nasty. Or at least they were as a tag team on the Transgalactic Wrestling Association holo programs. The remainder of the team was made up of 6 almost indistinguishable Verpine. Kardo just called them "The Bugs" and they didn't seem upset at the term. They didn't talk much, preferring to keep to their own little insect radio chatter. Hadn't even seen much of them except when I had to go use the fresher and found them trying to fix it.

Yeah, didn't go back there again.

As we landed on Nar Shadda, Kardo pulled us all into the one compartment we could all kind of fit in. The Chibit Sisters sat on Rywhirr's knees, much to the Wookie's delight. The rest of us found room where we could. Kardo looked over the gang and then started speaking is his usual smarmy tone.

"Allright blokes, listen up. I know you all probably weren't paying attention so here's the plan again. Place a corp shipping and receiving facility adjacent to the spaceport.
They have a direct line to their bank accounts, but is lightly guarded. Plan is pretty simple, Bugs!"

The Verpine simultaneously shot their heads in Kardo's direction and chittered in response. Having gained their attention, Kardo continued.

"You're going to jam their communications, or at least send so many confusing signals the local authorities don't get any calls for help."

Rywhirr smiled. "Aoacworo churcwo rarcwo aoraanorraaoahhowo wowhoohurrac. "
Translation:"They sure are talkative enough."

I couldn't help but chuckle at that as Kardo continued. "Yes, they certainly can be chatty. The Chibits will take care of subduing the guards."

I had to ask something at this point. "I know I'm the new guy, but we do have a Wookie right? Why isn't he subduing the guards? "

Rywhirr casually answered, "Rhrawa rhraoaor. "
("Bad back")
quirked an eyebrow as Kardo continued. "That and he's going to be helping you get to the computer systems so you can slice into the accounts. How long you think that's going to take Karn?"

I shrugged. "Depends on the encryption levels and if you can get someone there who has access to cooperate. "

Kardo gave me a clueless look. "What do you mean?"

What kind of criminal was this guy? Oh, right, a really really bad one. "Gun to the bosses head, torture, cutting off a hand so I could use his thumbprint, mind control if you just happened to have a Sith around."

The Chibits glanced up at me, Shek speaking in her usually squeaky, hyper tone. "We'd be awesome if we had a Sith around. Don't they like choke people with their mind and stuff!"

I thought about demonstrating that particular maneuver on the diminutive creature, but decided to maintain my cover. It was difficult to resist though. "So I've heard. Anyway, if Rywhirr's codes work and they're not using anything fancy, ten, possibly fifteen minutes. And I can make the transfer invisible, but , well, I'm almost afraid to ask. You do have ways of disguising your identities or am I the only one here that wears a mask."

The other members of the gang looked around confused for a moment and then at me as if I had no idea what I was talking about. Well, Rhywirr didn't and finally showed a bit of alleged intelligence.

"Ohwo rarcwo aoooaoraananro coarcwoohwowa. "
("We are totally screwed")
Kardo deadpanned for a moment and then stammered on. "No, no we're fine, we can do this. We'll just, um, do something about the surveillance. Bugs, you can do that right?"

"Sure!" The Verpine all chirped in unison.

While this could be a potentially lucrative venture, there was only one appropriate reaction. I fidgeted with the emergency transmitter in my pocket and activated it. I'd set this up with Xathia in the highly likely event I needed to bail on these morons and needed extraction. Once that was done, I stood up and started to move towards the exit.

"I'm out."

Everyone else looked at me funny though Rywhirr finally began to realize who he'd signed up with. "Ah rasc oohuao aooooo rooohu ohoorcaoacanwocc rhhuwhoaac ooww rhrawhaoacra akoooowaoooo. "
("I am out too you worthless bunch of bantha poodoo")

Kardo started to look nervous, like I'd finally pointed out the first ever flaw he'd ever noticed in his plans. "Now, don't be hasty. This could make us all rich! Like Hutt rich. Like we could get a ship that we don't have to kick to get it to go into hyperspace and with more than one fresher rich."

I shook my head. "Or more likely you'll end up as goo on the bottom of some merc's boot or a slave in some Hutt's palace. Probably the former since you're too dumb even for the mines.

Kardo waved at me and Rywhirr dismissively. "Fine then, go, we'll do this without you! I'll make them give us the credits! And that's more for us, right guys."

The Bugs all chirped something that must have been an affirmative and the Chibits jumped up and cheered. I just turned and walked out. "Come on Rywhirr, I'll give you a ride. And I know just the spot to wait for it."

Two Hours Later

Rhywhirr and I found us a nice perch at a cantina with a good view of the gang's intended target. While we were sipping on Corellian brandy, I spotted a bunch of speeders tearing through the streets towards the target. I noticed the insignia on them and smiled at the Wookie.

"I know those guys, Jade Dragons. Top flight corporate enforcers and some really tough characters. Used to work for them you know. So, want to place an over under as to how many come out alive?"

The former attorney rubbed the fur around his chin a moment and then nodded. "Wwoohurc. "
"Hundred credits on the over then. Those bugs can't be THAT dumb can they?"

Rhywhirr laughed as the sound of blaster fire rang out down the street. There was a good five minutes of plasma being exchanged before it was all over. A few minutes later I saw several figures being led out in binders and slave collars. The first two were the Chibbits,who were trying to bite and claw the mercs they whole way out to the speeders. They were followed a moment later by one of the Verpine. After another few minutes, two medical droids carried out the shot up body of Kardo, though and threw him into another speeder, cuffed to a litter. It wasn't clear if he was alive or dead, so the Wookie and I decided to call the bet a wash. As we got up to make our way to the spaceport he did ask one more thing of me.

"Ohoowhwaworc ohacraao ohoohuanwa acrahowo acraakakwowhwowa acrawa aoacworo acrawa aoacraao cahaoac aoacworo ohrawhaowowa. "
"Wonder what would have happened had they had that sith they wanted."

"You have no idea my furry friend, you have no idea."