Disclaimer = I don't own Star Wars. Timothy Zahn (RESPECT!!) owns most of the characters and other stuff. (I made up Jencen, Sylvn and Daeya)
Takes place before ROTJ. Possibly somewhere between ANH and TESB.
Remember Talon Karrde and his famous ship in Timothy Zahns famous Thrawn Trilogy? Well there back, in a whole new series.
The young woman looked out of the window in the cockpit at her surroundings.
Talk about dull. She murmured under her breath. Nar Shaddaa was possibly the center of all dodgy smuggling deals in the Galaxy.
She left her ship and flagged down a taxi (which in Nar Shaddaa is probably a dangerous thing to do).
Where to hot stuff. Asked a wrinkly Dresselian male. Sylvn, a young Corellian Human girl shot an icy cold stare back the Dresselian.
I'll show you where you're going if you call me that again. She snapped back.
Alright, alright, miss. Where will we be going tonight. He answered, putting on a rather posh republican accent.
Meltdown café. And make it quick. I'm probably late as it is. The woman then sat back in the cab and let out a long sigh. Bored, she ran her fingers through her hair, a mixture of sunset orange and chocolate brown, with luminous blonde streaks. Her hand travelled down the back of her neck until she reached a thin silver chain. She found the small pendant at the end of the chain and stared at it gloomily. She had no idea where it had come from for she had, had it ever since she lost her parents. Parents of whom she could not even remember.
Presumably, they had been murdered by stormtroopers. Whatever had happened, Sylvn was left to fend for herself. Still, despite the lonliness, she did enjoy the independence.
Right, here you are, miss. Grumbled the Dresselian. Sylvn handed over the credits, without saying a word, then stepped out of the cab and entered the meltdown café.
Two Gammorean bouncers guarded the front entrance. Sylvn quickly stepped aside as they threw out a rather drunken whiphid.
Inside she found hundreds upon hundreds of smugglers, thieves, and bounty hunters chatting, fighting and drinking.
My kind of scum. She thought smiling.
One drunk Telosian had tried to hit on her, however she grabbed his arm, and with one quick snap, she dislocated his shoulder, leaving the man writhing in agony on the floor. She travelled through the crowds after the brief incident. Most people had decided not to look at her, realising she was not the kind of Human to mess with. However, someone had noticed the stranger enter the cantina. He slowly left his table of drunken companions, and followed the young woman to the bar.
Sylvn groaned tiredly as she sat down. The bartender infront of her was cleaning a glass with a cloth that was as stained and dirty as the floor beneath her. However, she was too tired to even care.
Corellian whiskey, on the rocks. She called. The bartender nodded and set the glass down. Sylvn immediately poured the fiery liquid down her throat.
Aren't you a little young for that? Asked a human man beside her. Sylvn turned round a little confused. What's it to you? She snapped at him.
The older man shrugged. He began to turn around, just before she spoke again.
don't I know you from somewhere? Sylvn asked curiously.
Many people know me from somewhere. You probably know me from Kessel though. My name is Talon Karrde. He answered turning back round.
Sylvn nodded her head. Ahh, the great Talon Karrde. Greatest smuggler in the Galaxy. She paused, And I take it you know me? Karrde nodded in agreement.
Sylvn set down her drink. That's the one. So what brings you hereor was that a rather stupid question? Karrde smiled at her.
I have a deal with Jencen the Hutt here. Karrde answered then pointed over to a large table infront of the stage where the Max Rebo band where presently playing. He should be arriving there any moment. Karrde explained.
That's pretty much why I'm here too. Another whiskey! She called to the bartender then turned to Karrde, Want one?
That's the first time I've ever heard of the girl offering the guy a drink. Karrde laughed.
Yeah, well, I ain't your average type of gal! Sylvn grinned back. Make that two whiskeys! She called to the bartender who immediately set two glasses filled to the brim with the amber coloured liquid.
Come and join us then. Karrde nodded to a group in the far corner of the cantina.
Sylvn lifted her glass. Sure, I'm right behind you.
Karrde immediately began introducing everyone to the lone female smuggler.
Sylvn, this is Torve, Aves, Dankin and Fein.
All part and parcel of the great, magnificent, dazzling, Karrde's, Aves was quickly cut off by Karrde. Don't suck up Aves. He warned.
What dealing brings you here? Dankin asked.
And what makes you so sure I'm a smuggler? Sylvn asked with a wide grin.
Well you wouldn't mixing with our type of scum if you weren't! Aves laughed before being elbowed sharply in the ribs by Fein.
At that point, one giant Hutt entered the cantina, surrounded by many other types of creatures. In one hand, he held a strong, chain which was attached to a young green Twil'ek woman.
The crowd moved over to the large table infront of the stage, where Karrde had earlier pointed out to Sylvn.
I take it that's our money, I mean Hutt arrived. Sylvn grumbled.
I like the way your mind works. Torve grinned at her. Sylvn nodded proudly then realised that Karrde seemed to be on a different planet.
His eyes were glued on the disgusting slimy Hutt who had just strangled a near by Mudukon half to death.
I wonder what state of mind I was in when I made this deal with Jencen. Karrde spoke quietly as the enormous Hutt slowly slithered by them.
A drunk state of mind. Aves quickly answered.
Karrde glared at him, And you're supposed to be my adviser. Aves shrugged before putting yet another bottle of cheat beer to his lips.
Sylvn nudged Karrde a little. Having second thoughts are we? Karrde hesitated for a second then shook his head.
I'm sure it's nothing. He finally answered.
There sure are a lot of his cronies accompanying his fat, slimy ass. Torve grumbled in the back.
Yeah, a little over the top if you ask me. Dankin agreed.
The enormous Hutt was now seated in his usual place, admiring the dancers and entertainment on stage.
Maybe I should check it out. Sylvn whispered into Karrde's ear.
No, it's too dangerous. Just be cautious. Karrde answered and Sylvn nodded obediently.
After another ten minutes of constantly drinking, Talon Karrde, Aves, and the young Sylvn slowly made their way over to the enormous Hutt.
The Hutt growled deep in the back of his throat as Sylvn approached. Ootah bringa, daa Sylvn, heh, heh, heh! He laughed deeply. Standing her ground Sylvn lifted her head high and smiled back.
Jencen, it is naturally an honour to be in your royal presence. She said, her sarcastic nature clearly exposed.
Aves, who at the time was seeing double of everything (too much cheap dresselian beer!), constantly elbowed Karrde in the ribs. Hmm, hmm, she's good. That was sarcasm. Karrde rolled his eyes.
What good is an adviser if he is too damn drunk to advise?
The smuggler, Karrde, stepped beside Sylvn, who secretly was pleased at his presence. Although she was tough, she, like everybody else, hated the Hutts.
You have my merchandise? The Hutt spoke in Huttese with deep accent.
We have it. I can deliver it to you tomorrow morning. Karrde answered for both himself and Sylvn as they had spoken, and made arrangement five minutes before. Karrde would deliver the merchandise to Jencen that he and Sylvn had brought.
I suppose that will do, Wild Karrde. The Hutt's voice now boomed, using Karrde's famous ship as a nickname for the smuggler. You will be sitting with us through the night, yes? The Hutt said almost hopefully as he studied the slim frame of Sylvn's figure. She glared at him, but nodded to Karrde. She did not want to get on the wrong side of this particular Hutt, who, just for the record, had strong connections with Jabba the Hutt.
Dankin, Torve, and Fein decided to go back to the Wild Karrde (Karrde's personal ship). Karrde, Sylvn, and Aves had stayed.
So, yousa now good friends of the mighty Jencen! The Hutt boomed proudly.
The three smugglers glanced at each other in desperation then grinned quickly at the disgusting Hutt.
Slowly, the Hutt began moving closer to Sylvn. Disgusted by his obvious intentions she stood up quickly, knocking Aves' drink over him.
He shouted, angrily.
Oh, sorry. I'll go get you another! Sylvn volunteered immediately and began to squeeze passed him. Jencen shook his head at her. Ahh, wesa having slaves for dat, heh, heh, heh! He laughed and pulled her back down to sit beside him.
Aves smiled then decided to, help her out'. He rested his arm over her shoulders and nodded to Sylvn.Hey, I'll help you out. Pretend you're with me. Just, you know, play along. He grinned at her. Sylvn pushed him away and glared.
I'd rather be with a Hutt than you. She hissed through her teeth. Aves folded his arms, and sat back in his seat sulkily. Beside him, Karrde chuckled a little.
That wasn't funny. Aves mumbled.
Well, well, well. Guess you are after all, now how did you put it'Gods Gift to Women'. Karrde laughed aloud now. Sylvn, who had overheard the conversation, joined in, in the laughter.
Gods gift to woman, huh. She repeated.
Suddenly, the green Twil'ek girl who had come in with a chain attached around her neck, walked up to them, holding a tray with three drinks on it. Unfortunately, she tripped up, sending the drinks flying. The glasses smashed on the ground, and scattered across the floor. A look of sheer dread spread over the Twil'ek girl's face. Her eyes darted up to the giant Hutt, who luckily had not seemed to notice.
Sylvn noted the look upon the Twil'ek's face. If the girl was caught, she would most likely be beaten severely. The Hutts were, after all, a most ruthless species.
She quickly motioned to Karrde who was at the end of the table. He moved the shattered glasses under the table, and out of sight. The Twil'ek girl smiled gratefully, before moving swiftly towards Jencen the Hutt again.
Hmm, not bad. Aves grinned.
Yeah, thanks Karrde. Sylvn said, relieved.
Huh? No, I was talking about the Twil'ekOoo, what a catch. Aves growled. Sylvn frowned and looked at Karrde questioningly. He just nodded to what he knew was her unspoken question-Is he always this bad?'
Jencen quietly signalled to some of his associates who nodded and stepped away from the table. Slowly and discreetly, they moved to another room in a far dark corner of the cantina.
Jencen turned round to Karrde and the others at this moment and explained he would be away for half an hour or so. After spouting many empty apologies, he glanced down at his Twil'ek slave, pulled on her chain then motioned to the room in the far dark corner of the cantina.
The giant slug then slithered away with the Twil'ek girl. Sylvn shuddered, feeling obviously sorry for the Twil'ek. Secretly, she had once been a slave too.
Karrde had figured this secret out though. He could see from the fear in her eyes, when the Hutt dragged the young Twil'ek away. He leaned over the semi-conscious Aves, and spoke to her quietly.
Are you alright? Surprised by his question, Sylvn immediately nodded. However, both knew that she was lying.
The room was filled with thick black smoke from cigars. The smell of cheap beer hung in the air, practically choking the Twil'ek girl, Daeya, to death.
Jencen had used her as a way to hide the fact that he was actually going to discuss certain matters with his other two cronies, in the dark room. The three sat round a table, awaiting yet another sinister character, which was lurking in the dark.
Daeya watched the shadowy figure in the dark, but all she could make out were his two glowing red eyes. Slowly the character appeared out of the shadows. Daeya gasped in surprise as she recognised the creature who now stood before Jencen the Hutt.
"Bib Fortuna. We meet at last, eh!" laughed the Hutt. Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt's henchman; was standing infront of the table, grinning so that his sharp yellow teeth could be seen poking out from his wrinkled white lips.
"You have a plan then, Jencen." The Twil'ek man asked in Huttese.
"Karrde is here." Jencen replied smugly.
"And the girl?" Bib asked quickly. "The Empire only cares about the girl." He growled. The Hutt leaned back and nodded.
"Would I let you down." Jencen answered. The Twil'ek man laughed.
"Good. You may kill Karrde, but I want the girl alive." Fortuna said, his pale face taking a darker tone.
"What about Jabba? The deal was to get rid of Karrde and Jabba!" Said a whiphid companion of Jencen.
"I will get rid of Jabba in my own time." Fortuna spoke calmly. "How will you get rid of Karrde?" He asked curiously, the sly grin appearing on his face again.
"My own secret recipe." Jencen answered grinning back.
"Poison? How original." The Twil'ek man remarked. "I will meet you on Tatooine in three weeks. By then, I will have gotten rid of Jabba and you can deliver the girl to me." Jencen nodded in understanding. The Twil'ek pulled the dark hood of his cloak over his head.
"In three weeks then." He and his companions began laughing (evil laugh alert!).
Daeya looked around, frightened. Karrde and his companions had saved her from one severe beating. It was time to repay the small debt.
The Tripid, a green leathery skinned creature with a thin frog like face, had been telling jokes and stories for at least half an hour since Jencen had left with his slave girl.
Karrde, Sylvn, and Aves sat with miserably bored expressions. Aves slowly found his eyes trailing off to Sylvn and the top of her shirt. Unfortunately, for him, she had noticed. As she cleared her throat to get the smuggler's attention, he looked up to see her glaring at him fiercely. He smiled innocently and leaned over to Karrde on his left.
"How long do we have to listen to this guy?" He whispered. Karrde shrugged then yawned.
"Until Jencen comes back I suppose. He won't trust us while we still have his stuff." Karrde yawned and stretched a little once more. The Tripid was still telling his appalling jokes. What was even worse, the rest of Jencen's henchmen were laughing at them!
Finally, Jencen walked out of the room with the Twil'ek slave girl, Daeya, on the end of a chain.
Karrde and Sylvn watched as the Hutt neared the table and sat on his huge bench, with the Twil'ek on the ground beside him.
Sylvn sighed, getting sick of the looks she was getting from both Aves on one side and Jencen on the other. "That's it, I'm getting another drink." She stood up, but Jencen pushed her down again and offered to get her one. He motioned to his Twil'ek slave and another of his associates, a whiphid, and winked. The whiphid nodded and got up to get the three smugglers one of Jencen's 'special recipe' corellian whiskeys. Daeya reluctantly followed behind him.
Ordering three corellian whiskeys, the whiphid quickly slipped a white powder into each drink. Grinning the whiphid ordered the Twil'ek girl to serve them. She nodded without hesitating, and walked back to the table, with the three drinks balancing on the silver tray.
Karrde smiled at the girl and took the drink from the tray. Daeya glanced around quickly. No one was watching. She bent down to Karrde and whispered in his ear.
"Don't drink them, there poisoned. Jencen plans to kidnap you and the rest." With that, she served the drinks to Aves and Sylvn, before rushing back to Jencen.
Jencen grabbed her chain and pulled sharply on it, making her drop to the ground, wincing a little.
Karrde glanced at the girl for a second. He could not see any reason for her to lie to him. Moreover, he certainly trusted her a lot more than he trusted any Hutt.
Before Aves and Sylvn could touch their drinks, Karrde had explained to them that it was a trick.
"They certainly have been very good to us." Sylvn frowned, as she whispered to Karrde.
"Yeah, almost too good." Aves agreed. "So what do we do with these?" He asked.
"They're bound to be suspicious if we leave them, or even knock them over." Sylvn said at a loss.
"Well, pretend then." Karrde answered. Aves and Sylvn watched as Karrde put the glass to his lips and slipped its contents over his shoulder. He looked at the seat where the liquid had fallen. It was now burning and sizzling. Karrde's eyes widened at the sight.
"Just, whatever you do, don't swallow it." Karrde gulped, trying to be calm. Aves and Sylvn casually followed his example, and slipped the contents of their drinks over their shoulders.
Beside Aves, the amber liquid began to burn the seat, however with Sylvn's the drink did nothing.
"Strange, nothing's happened with mine." Karrde frowned but decided not to look incase the Hutt got suspicious.
"Must mean they want you alive and us dead." Karrde whispered.
"Oh, gee, well thanks. That's definitely made my night." Aves said sarcastically. Sylvn was utterly confused though.
"Why would they want you dead and me alive? Why not just kill us all." She asked.
Aves frowned at her. "You're as bad as he is!" Karrde ignored him.
"There's probably many reasons, but I think it would be best if we made ourselves scarce right now." Karrde rose up to meet Jencen. "It has been a memorable night and an honour to be in your presence. I assure you that we will deliver your merchandise tomorrow morning. However, now we will leave you to what I hope will be an enjoyable night." With that Sylvn, Aves and Karrde began to walk away from the Hutt's table.
"Where in the hell did you come up with all that crap?" Sylvn asked. Karrde laughed.
"One of my many trade secrets." He said, tapping his nose.
"Hey, hold on a minute. There's Benson. Haven't seen him in ages. You two go on ahead, I'll meet up with you in ten minutes." Aves said, moving towards the bar as he spoke.
Sylvn watched him go then turned to Karrde with one eyebrow raised, "Benson?" Karrde smiled and shook his head as he watched Aves down a couple more whiskeys.
Both Karrde and Sylvn headed for the exit and walked passed the two Gammoreans that guarded it.
"Well, see you in space Talon Karrde." Sylvn said cheerfully.
"Guess so. Just be careful, they could come after us." Karrde glanced around, checking that they were not being followed.
"You waiting for Aves?" Sylvn asked him.
"I have no choice. I suppose I can't leave him." Karrde said fed up.
"Well, I'm glad to have met youagain." Sylvn shook Karrde's hand before walking off down the street.
"I take it you're walking back!" Karrde called.
"I'm a big girl!" Sylvn called back, pulling out two blasters from their holsters. Karrde grinned at her. He turned back round, waiting near the meltdown café's entrance for Aves.
However, unbeknownst to Karrde, there was an alley, which ran beside the café. A door slid open in the alley. Five shadowy creatures stepped out and crept up the dark alleyway towards him.
Karrde, hearing quiet rustling behind, spun round quickly, blaster in hand. However, he was quickly knocked unconcious by a blow to the head from one large fist.
Sylvn immediately turned round, sensing something was wrong.
What am I doing walking away? Jencen would not simply let us go like this. They must have Karrde, I know they do.
She ran back to the Meltdown café, only to find Aves at the bar. She ran up to him and punished him in the ribs, figuring it was the best way to get his attention.
"Owe! Owe! Gods what did I do!" He paused a moment, trying to remember who she was, "Oh, it's you." He said dryly before turning back to his drink.
"Aves Kar" Suddenly, Sylvn noticed that Jencen and his cronies were gone. "Aves, Jencen has Karrde." Aves turned around lazily.
"Look sweetheart, Karrde's back at the ship." Aves began turning round again but Sylvn grabbed his shirt and pulled him off his seat.
"He was waiting for you! Jencen and the rest must have gotten him when I left." Finally, it seemed to sink into Aves. His eyes widened a little.
"Why didn't you say so!" He yelled. Sylvn rolled her eyes.
"I did say so! You're just too fucking drunk to understand me!!" She yelled back at him. Aves was about to say something back at her, but then he began thinking.
"You know, all this began happening when you came along." Aves said accusingly. Sylvn gaped at him, unbelievingly.
"That's it, I'm leaving. I'll find him myself." She walked away from Aves who began mumbling to himself.
"Yeah, sure whatever. What a stuck up, stuck upstuck upMmm, cheap beer"
Sylvn began walking down the dark alley alone, grumbling about Aves and life in general. Either she was ready for feeding Aves to a starving rancor or she was madly in love with him! In the end she decided on her brain's third suggestion, 'Too much Corellian coffee, mixed with too much Corellian whiskey is bad!!'.
Sylvn looked around her. The air was damp and cold in the dark alleyway. "Sure, and this was a good idea?! How the hell do I get myself into these things?" She mumbled. Suddenly, a little way ahead, she saw a thin character step halfway out of the shadows. It was waving to her, signalling something. Sylvn could make out that it was, in fact, the Twil'ek slave girl of Jencen's. The Twil'ek looked like she was asking for help. Sylvn immediately ran towards her without thinking.
The Twil'ek was actually bait for the smuggler and was being held by a large whiphid who had his hand around her mouth. The Twil'ek suddenly bit his hand and screamed out to Sylvn.
"Run! It's a trick!!" Sylvn skidded to a halt, hearing the warning, but it was too late. Behind her, she could hear the blasters powering up. Slowly turning round, she saw three of Jencen's henchmen.
"I take it Jencen's too afraid to get rid of me personally." She snapped at them. The whiphid who held he Twil'ek stepped out of the shadows towards her.
"Oh, you'll see Jencen and Karrde in good time. You see, our job is to deliver you to the Empire. Not to kill you," He laughed, "That's up for the Empire too decide."
Sylvn frowned, utterly confusedagain. "What does the Empire want with me?"
"All will be revealed in good time." He answered, "Get her!" Growled the whiphid.
Suddenly, blaster fire erupted around them. Sylvn threw herself on the ground as each of the creatures were shot to pieces in an attempt to fire back. Finally she turned round onto her back, only to see the barrel of a blaster pointed directly at her head. She closed her eyes, swallowed thickly, and awaited the final shot. However, a hand reached down for hers, and a familiar voice spoke.
"Sorry I was late. I was...catching up with Benson." Sylvn opened her eyes and stared up at the character.
"The one and only." Aves caught her hand and pulled Sylvn to her feet.
"Thanks." She stuttered, utterly astonished.
"Hold on, I need to lean against the wall for a second. I'm very drunk." Aves admitted before practically collapsing against the wall.
"I take it nobody's going to help me up then!" Said a voice from the shadows. Realisation hit Sylvn like a kick in the gut, and she rushed over to the Twil'ek girl.
"Eh, sorry." She said, helping her up. The Twil'ek dusted herself off and looked at Sylvn.
"That's okay. I think I've definitely repaid my debt to you though." She said smiling.
"Debt, what debt?" Sylvn asked.
"Well, you and your friend helped me when I dropped those drinks." She answered her eyes growing sadder. "You have no idea how strict Jencen can be."
"So you told us what Jencen was up to." Sylvn finished, now understanding.
Aves cursed for the hundredth time during their conversation."If you hadn't noticed, oh-wonderfulness-that-I-just-saved-five-minutes-ago-and-risking-my-own-life-at-the-same-time, that my arm has been shot and it fucking hurts!" He shouted, glaring at Sylvn. She began walking over to him casually then suddenly, without warning, punched his other arm.
"OWE!! SHIT! What did you do that for!!!" He yelled in agony.
"Well, now you're concentrating on that arm's pain." Sylvn said calmly. Aves clutched his other arm now, and scowled at her.
"I hate you."
"I know." She smiled and turned back to the Twil'ek.
"What's your name anyway?" Sylvn asked her.
"We don't have time for this. They'll be more people sent after us, and seeing as both my arms hurt now, I can't shoot at them!" Aves said, clenching his teeth to prevent himself from saying something he might regret.
"As I was saying, what's your name?" Sylvn repeated, ignoring Aves in the background.
"Daeya, Daeya Glinner." The Twil'ek slave answered. Sylvn was a little surprised by how tough the Twil'ek seemed since she was a slave. And, what was worse, the slave of a Hutt!
"Well, Daeya, we need to know where Jencen is keeping Karrde. Do you know?" the Twil'ek girl paused, unsure if she was as brave as she wanted to be or not.
"Hey remember we're on your side." Sylvn assured her.
"Yeah, go, go Miss Integrity." Aves murmured under his breath. Sylvn shot him a dirty look.
Daeya sighed, "I know where he'll be keeping your friends." She answered. Aves frowned.
"Friends, what do you mean, friends?" He asked.
"Friends, the plural of the word friend. Something of which, is completely non-existent to you." Sylvn snapped at him. The two were obviously getting on fine.
Daeya decided if anything was going to happen here, she would have to be the one to start it. Or else, she would have to listen to 'Gods Gift to women' Vs 'Miss Integrity' in a battle of wits and insults.
"The Wild Karrde has most likely been overtaken by now. That was Jencen's plan." She explained.
"You can take us there, right?" Aves asked, still clenching his arm.
"I think so. However, we need a ship to get there. It's kinda a secret location." Daeya answered. Sylvn nodded.
"We'll take my ship. It's not far from here."
Aves groaned. Usually when someone said that, it meant only forty or so minutes away. Sylvn sighed, reading Aves' expression like a book. "Fine. We'll get a cab."
~ ~ NEXT PART COMIN' SOON!! ~ ~
This is pretty lame, I know. I guess I just write for my own pleasure!! R&R if u can be arsed!