Rab Atomi, a male Twi’lek with green skin, shirtless but wearing gloves, scans the crowd for sight of his sister, missing now 6 months. He nods when Jabba speaks–he knows the reward for finding the crimelord’s item will easily cover the expenses for the next full year in his search for Lili. Or, if she is here, perhaps the item will provide possible barter for his sister’s freedom…
The night progresses with the usual sights and sounds of a palace party thrown by none other than Jabba the Hutt. Ta’Lenna takes in much of the conversations going n around her. She sees many faces and hears many voices. She listens to a Rodian blab on and on to a Human about the difficulties of being a shipjacker. She sees a different Human being led by a female Falleen to a private chamber for some more intimate entertainment. She politely eats from the bountiful feast and chats lightly with nearby guests. “What brings you here? You seek a favor of Jabba as well? Don’t want to say what? Hey, I get it. None of us are proud to be here. Where is he anyway? I hope this isn’t a ruse!” She watches unimpressed as the gladiatorial combats play out. Finally the vile slug arrives, and a small number of guests are sequestered through the labyrinth of the palace and into one of his chambers. Gammorean guards grunt aggressively and eye them suspiciously as they enter single-file.
The Hutt offers an incredible chance for Ta’Lenna to actually leave the planet in search of an item he desires. The young Twi’Lek nearly jumps at the offer, but she decides to allow other to act first. She doesn’t want to arouse suspicion. A few less-adventurous favor-seekers shuffle out of the room upon Jabba’s order that only those with serious intent stay for the final details. There are a few jeers as they leave, and the look in Jabba’s gaze is cold as the vast reaches of the outer rim as he watches them slight him openly. Fools, she thinks. Jabba will have the last laugh.
A woman with blue skin like hers asks what he could be seeking. A sudden round of muttering and chatting erupts. The Hutt waits while they make their choice, but Ta’Lenna can see that his patience is wearing very quickly.
The blue-skinned, blue-eyed, slightly framed, female Twi’Lek shuffles over to the area where those that choose to stay are gathering. She is wearing ill-fitting wanderers robes and does not appear to have any possessions. She sees a fellow Twi’Lek looking about, apparently waiting for somebody else to arrive. She looks in the same direction as he and sees nothing of importance. She does, however keep and eye on him. For whatever reason he has stood out to her.
Rab sidles over to the blue-skinned Twi’lek, happy to see one of his own species that is neither slave nor sycophant to Jabba. At least she seems to be master of her destiny, Rab decides. He faces the same direction as the blue girl and starts talking without introduction,
“Have you met a girl named Lili?” he half-whispers plainly, his style to lay his cards on the table as often as the situation allows, “She’s my sister.”
He holds out a holoprojector disk and floats the image in miniature, a green-skinned Twi’lek girl with the same features as Rab, albeit slighter and prettier.
“I’m not sure,” she replies in Ryl, language of their species, “Many Twi’lek come and go throughout the galaxy. I’ve been on Tatooine only a few days and have seen quite a few that look like her. Let me think for a moment…”
As she studies the image, she introduces herself. “My name is Ta’Lenna, by the way. May I know yours?”
After studying the hologram of the girl for a few more moments, Ta’Lenna sighs and looks to the man. “I’m sorry, but I don’t recall having seen this woman. I see you are still here. You must be planning on accepting Jabba’s offer.”
She scans the room to see if there are any others around that interest her. She spots a human leaning against a wall. He is trying not to look conspicuous, which means that he is obviously out of place. He seems to be wearing farmer’s garb in no better condition than the tattered rags she is wearing. She considers whether she will approach him or not as she returns her attention to the shirtless Twi’lek.
“So do you have a name or not, Lili’s brother?”, she asks.
He snaps the hologram off.
“Rab, the name’s Rab,” he says with resignation. He pulls himself back together. “You want to team up on finding this prize of Jabba’s? We can make an even split. I’m not greedy– I just need enough to finance tracking down my sister.”
Ta’Lenna swallows hard and speaks again. In Ryl still since they are the only two talking.
“Hello, Rab”, she beings, “Listen, I’m sorry about your sister. This is kind of a strange offer since I do not know you, but what if I were to try and ask around about her? I have a way with words and I’ve been known to find things out. You could say it’s something of a knack I have. Anyway, I am presuming you’re in a similar lot as I having little in the way of credits or items. Maybe you could owe me a small favor at some point should I be able to find anything out. Does that sound like a deal? Once I get my hands on a holoprojector I will need to copy her image, okay with you?”
“As far as this item for Jabba goes, I think there will be plenty more that wish to split it aside from you and I. Perhaps that fellow over there,” she says as she nods in the direction of the Human she has been eyeing up. “He looks like he would have something to say about that. But, yes, I rather like the idea of working with a fellow Twi’lek. Aside from any bonds we make with others, let us make a promise to look out for one another.” She extends her arm to shake hands.
She looks toward the Human again and waits for him to meet her gaze. When he does, she raises her hand and motions for him to come over. If he does, she asks, “Are you taking Jabba’s offer?” She switches to speaking in basic for the Human.
“I am taking Jabba’s offer, yes,” Rab says in Ryl. “I need to find my sister, and winning this prize will allow me the freedom to do that.”
He smiles. “You wonder why I would approach you so quickly for a partnership–look around,” he says to Ta’Lenna, “many of our kind here, but they have degenerated. You seemed to have some decency in you, and your desire for a copy of the holodisk bears that theory out, even if you intend to extract a favor for it.”
He watches Ta’Lenna approach the farmer. There may be something trustworthy and untarnished about him as well, even in this wretched hive.
H’Vas leaned back against the wall, staying out of sight, keeping quiet. The young human just didn’t want to attract attention to himself. It was bad enough that he’d had to come here cap in hand, so to speak, to ask for an extension on the loan, but now he had to mingle with all these . . . criminals? They must be criminals, right? If Jabba the Hutt wanted to employ them? But could he afford to turn down the offer? Forgiveness of his father’s debt? Owing money to the Hutts wasn’t like owing money to the government or a bank. You couldn’t plead poverty and declare bankruptcy. You had to pay. If you didn’t have money, you paid in pain. If your father died, the debt became yours. And then your son’s.
He’d risk a lot for that.
Aurora Kelene frowned and stood with her arms crossed and her back to the wall while she listened to Jabba’s speech. She was a beautiful young human woman, perhaps in her late teens or early twenties, with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was a rather small woman, of slender build and standing perhaps 5′ 2″. She wore a low-necked, short white pullover shirt that ended at the bottom of her rib cage, leaving her midriff bare, and that had big poofy elbow-length sleeves. Over this shirt she wore an equally short bolero vest in a light blue color. She wore a pair of skin-tight pants in the same shade of light blue. Knee-high white boots covered her feet, and a matching white utility belt encircled her waist. A rather elaborate silver necklace adorned her throat, and seemed to be the only piece of jewelry she was wearing. It was hard to say what it was, but something about her made it seem like she wasn’t from here, or didn’t belong here.
Aurora watched as the some of the others in the room left when Jabba dismissed those who weren’t committed to his cause. She also watched Jabba’s reaction as the others left. She had the feeling they’d end up regretting their decision. She herself stayed, not because she had any interest in helping this slimy enormity find his item, whatever it was, but she had her reasons.
As she watched the crowd, she saw a couple of Twi’leks talking to each other, apparently about a third Twi’lek. Unfortunately she didn’t understand their language, so she didn’t really know what they were saying to each other. She began to wonder if Jabba was going to pit the various people in the room against each other in some sort of competition to retrieve the item first. Perhaps she should start making allies herself. She noticed that the two Twi’leks were looking towards a human just to her right, maybe intending to recruit him into their little group. The man appeared to be a local, probably a farmer, and he looked like he wanted to be here as little as she did. Before the Twi’leks could say anything to the human, Aurora extended her own hand in greeting to the farmer. “Hi! I’m Arani. Arani Korden,” she said, not wanting to give her real name. She had known an Arani Korden once, but that was on another planet, and she was pretty sure the real Arani would never find out that Aurora was using her name. No one here would ever know the difference.
One by one the other guests at the private session start to leave. The Hutt is clearly annoyed at this, but he bides his time and you can only imagine that they must have very pressing reasons not to stay, given that a Hutt’s anger is not to be aroused.
In the end, only a small handful are left. When several minutes have passed without anyone else stirring towards the exits, Jabba signals his assistant who touches a small panel on the console at his side. The doors whoosh shut with a dull boom that indicates how heavy they are. The Hutt lays back on his slimy couch while small rodents scurry over his body gnawing away calluses and grooming the orifices of his sweat glands. The crime lord puffs on a water pipe, expelling clouds of aromatic smoke as he nods again at the Rodian.
The older male scowls at Jabba, but shrugs his acceptance of the instructions and turns towards you.
“What you hear in this room is a privileged communication from Lord Jabba,” he croaks in accented Basic. “If you ever disclose this information to anyone outside of this room, you will be punished. Severely.”
He looks each one of you in the eye waiting for a sign of acknowledgment before he continues.
“This object,” he produces a large gem stone from an inner pocket, “has come to our attention.” He turns the jewel under the lights; it sparkles and scintillates seeming to magnify the light that falls on it.
“A pretty thing in and of itself, but it has other properties that are far more interesting.”
He returns the gemstone to his inner pocket and touches the console again.
The room darkens and a three dimensional hologram springs to life above your heads.
The scene is outside in full sunlight, a desert setting, probably on Tatooine itself. A group of Mon Calamari technicians, their moist skin heavily insulated against the dry air, are working with a modified blaster rifle. From time to time one of them speaks to the camera, but only the image is being shown, and no sound plays back in the room.
The blaster rifle is mounted in on a tripod and several shots are fired into a flat vertical section of rock. The techs take precise measurements of the impact craters and the scorch marks created. Then you watch as they take the jewel the Rodian just showed you (or one very much like it) and insert it into a jig attached to the rifle. When it is secured, they stand well back and fire a single blast at the rock face. The holo display flares bright white and when you can see again the Mon Calamari are jumping up and down, clapping one another on the back next to a huge cavity in the rock – as if a ship mounted blaster cannon had fired at it point blank.
The holo dissolves and the Rodian speaks again.
“It does not take much imagination to understand the value of this crystal to any armed force in the galaxy. The problem is that there are only three known crystals like this. Lord Jabba has one. The Emperor Palpatine, we believe has another, and there is a rumor of a third, and even larger crystal, in the crown of the matriarch of the Yvarema, a hive mind species that lives on an unknown planet somewhere in the further reaches of the Kathol sector.
“Our current investigations lead us to believe that the stones come from this section of the galaxy, and that is where your quest will be focused.”
He clicks his console again and a gigantic holographic map of the galaxy swirls above your heads with the major star systems picked out in color coded pinpoints of intense light.
As the Rodian continues to speak, the locations he mentions are highlighted.
“Tatooine is here, at the outer edge of the galaxy in a region called Wild Space. The Kathol Sector is also well outside main part of the galaxy in a region past Dagobah on the Rimma Trade Route.”
The map highlights the well traveled and well documented trade routes that stitch together the galactic civilization. Ships that move along these routes can use the universally published route geometries that make really long distance space travel a possibility. If any ship had to navigate between one point and another by dead reckoning, each jump would by necessity be only a few light years long and the total journey would take years. By following the well known routes, huge jumps can be made in only a few dozen hours.
The Rodian outlines this in the next few minutes.
“From Tattooine, you will travel inward along the Corellian Run to Tynna. There you will reorient yourselves and travel out again along the Hydian Way to Eriadu. And then a final route change onto the Rimma Trade Route to Dagobah and beyond to the Kathol Sector.
“From that point on, our maps are no more than hearsay and rumor. You will have to work with locals on the ground to obtain more data about the star systems in that sector and seek out the world of the Yvarema.”
He steps away from the console and the map collapses around him.
“As I said. We are fairly sure that the Emeror also has one of these crystals and that his own scientists have been conducting experiments along their own lines. He will want to know if there are more. He may or may not have heard the same rumors we have. If he has not, we do not want to alert him to our intentions by mounting a full-fledged expedition to the Kathol Sector. His spies will surely see that almost immediately and his resources vastly out weigh even Lord Jabba’s.
“Instead, we will send you out. A rookie team in an old transport looking to make a living in the outback. A bunch of losers and wanna be’s. No one will pay even a moment’s notice to your endeavors.
“Do you understand? Do you have any questions?”
After the Rodian explains, she understands why it is so important that she take this job.
“I’ve come wearing the clothes on my back,” Ta’Lenna says to the communicator, “Would Lord Jabba be so generous as to provide the crew with resources beyond the old transport you spoke of?”
Rab looks nervously at his jetpack that he set down under a nearby table. A couple
of the other “losers and wannabes” are eyeing it up, so he marches over and quickly
puts it on. He fingers his blaster pistol and considers unsnapping the retainer on his
blaster holster for emphasis, but does not.
He takes his place beside Ta’Lenna to hear the Rodian’s answer.
“How about money?” bursts out H’Vas. “If we’re trying to pass ourselves off as merchants working the space lanes, we’ll need cargo, or something to buy cargo with. Is there a budget here?”
The crystal is interesting to him, but his primary concern is working off his father’s debt to the Hutt family. He doesn’t want to really think about what a technology like this might mean in Jabba’s hands — or the Emperor’s. Though given the rumors he’s been hearing as he traveled here about the atrocities committed by the Storm Troopers, he wonders if the Hutt might not be the lesser of two evils. he looks around the room at those who are left. Not many. Better not be a big ship or they won’t be able to fly it.
Speaking of which
“Any of you lot know how to fly a ship? Or plot a course? I can, but I’d rather not be the only one on board who knows how to.”
Rab speaks up, “I can fly a starship. I agree that it’s safer to have several pilots in the mix.”
The jetpack Rab picks up is interesting. “Nice piece of equipment you have there.” she says casually. Her eyes linger on it for a moment longer.
Ta’Lenna takes note of the human speaking up and chimes in. “I can fly and chart a course. In fact, I’d be very happy to. I have no skill when it comes to the rough and tumble stuff. I like to stick to what I know.”
She covers the distance between the two of them and introduces herself.
“My name is Ta’Lenna Beel. It looks like we’ll be working together. May I know your name?”
H’Vas looks the Twi’lek girl over, wondering what has brought her to Jabba’s palace. He has no experience in judging people well, but it sounds like they are all going to be spending time together. Better to do that on friendly terms than sour.
“H’vas,” he says with a country burr to his Basic. “N’Var H’Vas — I come from Chandrila. My family owns a ranch there — at least we did. I’m here to try and save it. How about you?”
“Oh,” she replies, “I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your family’s ranch. I wish you the best in trying to recover it. I’m here because I have no place better to be. I’m a freed slave that has begun life as a vagrant. I heard about this private function from a smuggling crew that I hitched a ride with. They were among those that walked. I wonder if Jabba will pursue those poor souls that did not accept the job.”
Ta’Lenna looks around and counts heads.
“Mr. Jabba don’t do nothing that ain’t about money,” whispered H’Vas to the Twi’Lek girl, casting a glance the Hutt’s way. “He might make an example of someone, but if there’s still something owed, he’ll wait until the last credit is paid before he’ll take care of them.
All the same, he might arrange a broken leg or two. If I was them, I’d get off Tatooine as quick as possible.”
He wished he could do the same himself. But he needed to wipe out his family’s debt and if this was a way to get it done, it actually sounded as if it might be a bit of an adventure. And it even looked as if there were a couple of girls along for the ride. That was better than monitoring a dozen tractor ‘droids back home.
He listened carefully for what was to come next.
It looked like this wasn’t going to be some kind of competition between individuals or small groups after all; they were all going to work together as the crew of a small ship, apparently. Aurora could live with that, at least for the time being. The group that was left was pretty small, as it turned out. Aurora figured they’d all better get to know one another.
“I’m afraid I can’t fly a spaceship, at least not yet, but I’m willing to learn,” she said, addressing the group as a whole. “My name is Arani, and I’ll help out in any way I can. I do have a few… other skills.”
Turning to the Rodian, she said, “So where is this ship, and when do we leave?” Then, lowering her voice to whisper specifically to the Rodian, the continued, “And is there any chance I can get my blaster pistol back?”
Jeshek sat off to the side quietly listening to the others in the room taking note of their appearances and initial actions. Two Twi’Leks, a human, and others.
Yeah, we’re going to look like a motley crew of sorry merchants and probably be targeted for imperial inspections for contraband” he says to himself as he rubs the cred stick that Jabba had personally handed him between his fingers.
Despite becoming a slave to Jabba, the Besalisk liked the Hutt to a degree. Certainly did not get what his master saw in other races for personal entertainments, but to each their own. Jeshek had been working for Jabba for some years now. A little slicing of bank accounts or droids here and there, repairing whatever needed it, and so on. All of the work done with little or no complaint and Jabba liked it that way.
When not needed for work, Jeshek studied how to speak Huttese and Jawa Trade. He wanted to know what his master was saying and had to deal with those damn robed bastards with glowing eyes a lot of the time for parts and droids and a C3 unit was too damn talkative for his liking. It was always better to get right to the point and not have a droid prattling on about this or that.
As he watched the room, his mind went back to the day that Jabba started talking to him.
“Jeshek, my boy. Come here” the crime lord beckoned. The Besalisk figured his time was probably up. A repair went wrong or something and his usefulness was at an end. No matter, just walk up and get it over with. The time with Jabba was better than what the empire would have given. “Yes, my master?”
“Let us play some sabbac” the hutt waved to a table where cards were set with a dealer ready. They both played and Jabba won the most hands while Jeshek had the luck of only two wins.
“Are you comfortable here, Jeshek?” Jabba asked during the last hand. “Far more comfortable than I would have been with the empire, Master” came the reply. The hutt laughed at the comment for a bit while the besalisk kept a strait face and expected doom at any moment. “I like you, Jeshek. We should talk more in the future” said the crime lord with a smile on his face as he laid out his cards for a sabaac. “As you wish, Master Jabba” he replied with a look of confusion on his face that caused the hut to laugh more.
Over the time of a year, Jabba talked more and more with Jeshek. Asking questions and getting answers that seem to amuse the wily hutt. Then, one day the crime lord asked the question “How would you like to free from being a slave?”
Having observed his master’s penchant for tricks with his words the besalisk asked “How would you allow me to stop being a slave, Master Jabba? I’ve seen how you let other free of such obligation, but I might like being a slave more than being released as I have seen some others”
The hutt laughed and laughed for minutes and finally replied “You are smart to ask, my boy. You see, I would like you to be free in a way you would prefer. I may call on you for work, but you would be free. All you have to do is perform one great task for me”
He came back from his reverie as he noticed Jabba’s odd little laughing pet come near and was about to swipe the cred stick from his hand. “Back off you little piece of Jawa waste” the tech threatened to the creature and sent it running off to it’s owner.
‘I guess he really does like me’ he thinks to himself and walks forward to join the others.
Jabba is getting impatient with the process. He booms a few terse remarks to the old Rodian who snaps back in his own tongue. You don’t really need to speak either to understand that the Rodian was just told to get a move on and he replied back that he was going as fast as he could, or cared to. Jabba spits out a few tendrils of slimy drool at his subaltern, but they seem to have a working relationship.
“It is first dawn now,” the Rodian picks up the pace a bit. “By noon of the major sun, you must be in Chalmun’s cantina by the space port in Mos Eisely. You will receive the credentials and the codes for your ship from a Wookie. It’s a Maka-Eekai L4000 Transport named the Nomad Prime. She’s a good ship, well maintained and refurbished, though in keeping with your cover story she is not brand new. By the time you take possession of her she will be fully fueled and provisioned for six months galactic standard. There is a small armory aboard: A blaster pistol of various designs for each of you, three blaster assault rifles of common design and a long range blaster rifle equipped with snipe scope. They are for last resort usage at all times.
“The ships weapons are in tip top condition. The magazines are full.
“In the cantina you will make your own contacts for a cargo. You are entirely on your own here. The idea is that there should be no ties between Lord Jabba and your enterprise, so you will make your own deals right from the beginning.
“You will have 100,000 credits to spend on buying cargo. Each of you will be given a credit chip with 1,000 credits minus a random amount, to prevent any espionage from spotting the uniformity. You may use this for any particular purposes you wish.
“Lord Jabba expects you off the planet and on your way before the major sun rises again tomorrow. Any questions?”
Aurora reflexively backed away when Jabba spat out those tendrils of slimy drool; she didn’t want any of that filth getting on her. She then listened patiently as the Rodian explained about the ship they were to be given, and the credits. Jabba wanted them off the planet within a day, and that was fine with her. She regretted ever having come to this ball of sand to begin with. When the Rodian asked if there were any questions, she spoke up. “Will we be given transport to Mos Eisley?” She didn’t know about the others, but she didn’t have a speeder or other means of transportation.
“I can give you a ride,” H’Vas spoke up quickly but a bit nervously. Pretty girls tended to leave him a bit tongue tied, but he was about to ship out with the blonde (if I’m reading the posted pics right) and he figured he needed to at least be able to talk to her.
“Why thank you, handsome!” Aurora responded, a hint of relief in her voice.
“And anyone else who needs one, too,” he added as an afterthought turning around to look at the others. “I rented a T-44 land-speeder in Mos Eisley to get out here.’ He did wonder briefly about how the others got here, but decided it was probably rude to ask.
He also has a question for the Rodian as thing begin to wrap up
“How will we know who our contact is at the cantina?” he asked.
Good question, Aurora thought. She should have thought to ask that herself. She listened for the Rodian’s answer.
A little later, when Aurora was the last to emerge from the chamber, her face was pale and she wore an expression of anxiety. Spotting the other members of her new little group, she went up to them and said, “I just found out an important bit of information the Rodian neglected to mention. This little ‘mission’ of ours has a time limit. We have to be back here within one galactic year, or else.”
Ta’Lenna is pleased to take the credit chip. she checks it for authenticity and confirms 987 credits.
“I need to gear up,” she announces on her way out, “I might look around here a bit and then move on to Mos Eisley. What are the rest of you doing?”
“I could pick up a few items myself, but I think I’ll wait until we get to Mos Eisley,” said Aurora in response to Ta’Lenna’s comment. “I just want to get out of this place as soon as possible.” She hopped into one of the T-44’s passenger seats. In response to Elena’s comment, she said, “So…this thing can get us to Mos Eisley without breaking down, right?”
The blue-skinned Twi’lek looks to be terribly prepared for any kind of journey having no visible weapons or armor of any kind, and wearing only ragged-looking wanderer’s robes and a thin, silver bracelet.
She pauses outside of the chamber and looks around for somebody to start talking with.
Elena had come late, signing her life away to make taking her ship appear ‘legal’ was not a pleasant process. One bad run and jabba takes her ship. ‘Well, that’s gratitude for you!’ she thought as she adjusted her pack on her shoulder. Glumly she took up her cred slip not even bothering to look at it. She was Bantha bait if she didn’t get it back and soon. She said nothing to the others and just followed the ones that said they were going to Mos Eisley. She didn’t bother looking at any faces and she didn’t want anyone looking at hers. She was a fairly tall woman, dark hair, green eyes and not thin and not heavy though it might be difficult to see under her clothes. She wore an old style rebel pilot’s hat complete with goggles and her satchel bag was filled with any kind of tool that existed as far as repairing a ship went. She had never used a weapon to kill before so she hoped she wasn’t expected to now or tomorrow or ever for that matter. People who used weapons oft as not died by them and she intended to stay very much alive thank you!
She passed H’Vas but stopped when she heard what he had said. “A T-44? You’re braver than you look, those things are notorious for engine coolant failures. Hope you asked where the fire suppressor is….or when you rented it did you even bother to see if it has one?” She said condescendingly. “Well?” She asked after just a moment. “You gunna drive? Ladies here gotta shop, move!” she barked and scowled at him.
The dark haired woman practically bit his head off about the model of land-speeder he had rented and then demanded a ride, but the good looking blond was nicer about it. He wondered how they were all going to get along living in a transport for months — up to a year, it sounded like — at a time. Three humans, two Twi’leks and the four armed Basalisk. Quite the family gathering.
He waited to hear from the Rodian about their contact and then he lead the ladies back through the labyrinthine palace to the car port where his land-speeder was hovering on standby. The rental unit was old and fairly beat. It had an actual physical key rather than a gene recognition interlock, and he fumbled with it as he opened the cowling. he glanced around for the fire suppression system, wondering what would happen if this thing went up in a ball of flames in the middle to the desert. There seemed to be a whole lot of desert on this planet.
“I think we can all fit,” he called to the others. Though it would be a squeeze — especially for the Basalisk.
On the ride to Mos Eisley, he started a conversation he thought they should have before they took command of the ship.
“I can pilot a ship, I can astrogate. I have knowledge of astronomy, engineering and general technology. I’m not particular good with weapons. I think we should pick a captain. Someone who will speak for us when we negotiate for cargo or deal with authorities. Any volunteers?”
Seeing as her companions seem to be in a rush to get off of the planet, Ta’Lenna gives up her search and instead follows them to the transport.
It certainly looks like a rental, having all manner of dents and rust. However the appearance of the vehicle doesn’t matter so long as they arrive in Mos Eisley.
“I volunteer,” Ta’Lenna says. “I love to talk and I love to listen. I, too, can pilot and astrogate. I’m good at talking to people and finding things out. I’ve never had to use any weapons, really. But I will not go unarmed. I look forward to inspecting the weapons Jabba left us once we are on our way. I’ve heard of how brutal spacing can be.”
“I think we should all introduce ourselves now. I am Ta’Lenna Beel. I was a slave for most of my life. I’ve earned my freedom now, but I am essentially the same slave until I can make some credits of my own. I heard about the meeting at Jabba’s while hitching a ride with some smugglers. In fact, I watched them walk out on Jabba.”
She eyes them all in turn. H’vas seems simple, Rab seems lost, the Besalisk she has seen before but doesn’t really know, and the humans are both different. One has been quiet so far save for trashing the transport. The other, who knows?
Elena always hated talking about herself but the Twi’lek seemed kind enough and she could only imagine what she had been put through being a slave. He shivered just thinking about that as she listened to her. She did have a way with words and was well spoken it seemed. She removed her hat and ruffled her hair then settled the hat back onto her head and nodded.
“Well…I’m Elena…if it spins, thrusts, flies, lights up, pushes or pulls I can fix it. I can talk to computers, droids and Jawas, it’s people that don’t really interest me much. Except her,” she pointed to the Twi’lek named Ta’Lanna, “she’s pretty hot,” she said as she gave the Twi’lek a wink. She looked down at her own chest briefly as it seemed quite inadequate compared to hers then grunted softly then tried to look nonchalant about it all.
“People with weapons tend to put holes in people who are holding weapons so if what we are about to do involves having to face people with blasters…I’ll be right behind ya,” she said honestly just barely able to contain a grin. “I do ‘happen’ to know a thing or two about security systems, explosives and in a pinch I can plot a course and pilot a ship,” she added. as she fumbled with a part she had just removed from the speeder’s auxiliary control system computer console.
H’vas asked for volunteers to be the captain. It sounded like he meant more of a group spokesperson than a leader or pilot. Aurora thought about volunteering, but then Ta’Lenna spoke up first. Aurora was fine with Ta’Lenna being their “captain”; she’d probably make a better captain than Aurora would anyway, considering that Aurora really didn’t know much about flying a spaceship. Ta’Lenna seemed pretty interesting; Aurora wanted to ask her about her life as a slave, but decided it could wait until some other time.
Aurora raised a surprised eyebrow at Elena’s comment about Ta’Lenna being ‘pretty hot’; she’d thought that, if anybody was going to express such a sentiment about Ta’Lenna, it would have been Rab. Aurora grinned in amusement and glanced at Ta’Lenna, wondering what her reaction would be to Elena’s statement.
When it was her turn to introduce herself, Aurora said, “I’m Arani Korden… well, actually, that’s not true. I’m sorry; I’m just nervous about giving my real name out to folks I don’t really know. My real name is Aurora Kelene, of the Naboo. I don’t know much about astrogating, or high tech equipment, or that kind of stuff, but I do have kind of a knack for dealing with security equipment, so if you ever need to get a locked door open, let me know. I’m pretty good at dealing with people too. People seem to like me; most people, anyway. When it comes to fighting, I think I’m a pretty good shot with a blaster, although I can’t say I’ve ever been in an actual shootout. If there’s somebody around wanting to hurt you, I tend to think it’s better to just sneak away. Oh yeah, and I play a mean game of sabacc!”