Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tales from SWTOR

The “Daring” Adventures of Captain Malcolm

Betrayed in the Sands

No matter how he hard he tried, there was no way he could huddle closer to the rock, but there wasn't much to stop him from trying to do so, especially after another blaster bolt went over his head. Red peeked over the rock, ducking just in time to miss a second shot. Sighing, he yelled out, “Really? Are we really gonna do this out here? Maybe you can drag me back into town an' shoot me there? I'd much prefer it if someone could at least find my corpse.”

On the other side of the rock he could hear the sound of laughing, followed by a few phrases that he lost to the wind, fairly certain they weren't very wholesome. After a few more bolts were fired off, he heard one of them let out a few curses in Huttese, followed up with something a bit more direct, “Just come out and get shot. It'll be over much quicker. Then we can bury you.”

Redamous pulled one of his blasters out, peeking out from the left side of the rock. “Look folks,” he yelled, trying to get it past the winds, “I didn't come here lookin' for no trouble. An' I'm sure we can talk this out, can't we? We're both sensible parties I'm dead certain.”

The laughter and shots told him otherwise. “Did you make that offer to Lemad?” one of them roared in anger.

He peeked out again, this time to the right, “Who the hell is Lemad?!”

The shots stopped for a moment, before starting again, faster than before, followed by what sounded like a rancor roaring, “You didn't even know his name? Of course not, you spacer scum.”

“Friend, I ain't got no clue what you're even talkin' about. I ain't killed nobody. 'Specially nobody named Lemad,” the Captain said, doing his best to keep calm.

The dry air hit Captain Redamous “Red” Malcolm's face harder than he'd expected it to as he stepped out of the spaceport, looking out over the small settlement. He slipped his thumbs into his belt, regretting his decision to keep his jacket on. Where most would have turned back to change, he knew he didn't have anything better back on his ship.

The road wasn't very busy as he started down it, giving a polite nod to most of the people he passed, ignoring those who gave him a look he knew meant “Go, before I kill you,”. His eyes shot to the right as he past the marketplace that had been set up near the center of town. He paced around it for a few minutes, before asking one of the merchants for directions to the cantina.

Destroying his hopes, he was disappointed to find that the air inside was only slightly better than the air outside, but it was at least cooler. Looking around the open space, the Captain was back in his element. There were some who belonged in command of troops, some who belonged behind desks, but Captain Malcolm was at his best when he was standing in a bar. For some reason, he attributed it to the atmosphere, his tongue grew sharper, and he mood lightened, while still being able to get serious when the need arose.

He'd not visited this particular bar, though he wasn't sure why. He'd been to Tatooine his fair share of times. Taking a deep breath, he walked up to the bar itself, and dropped into the familiar position of resting his arms against the bar, eyes shooting from left to right.

The bartender sized him up quickly, giving a short, but fairly friendly sounding “What can I get you?”

Red smiled, assuming his polite demeanor, “I'm lookin' for a few folks, uh,” he drummed his fingers against the bar as he thought, “Simial, an' Deaso. Somethin' along those lines. They hang 'round here by chance?”

The bartender gave the spacer another look over, jerking his head to a room back in the corner of the cantina. Without a word he turned his back to the Captain, and started cleaning a few glasses that were behind the counter.

Redamous gave a polite nod, turning on his heel and moving through the crowd, what little of a crowd there was. It was getting close to the middle of the day and aside from a few people who'd dropped in for a bite to eat, the crowd wouldn't start building until later. Guards coming off duty, merchants closing up shop, and the locals would start coming in when the suns started to set, and likely so would the off world ship captain.

Red wrapped his knuckles against the closed door, checking his blasters when he started to hear people moving behind it. He was hoping he wouldn't need them, but considering these were a Hutt's contacts. The door opened with a loud groan, and he slowly entered.

The room was fairly barren, aside from a bar and a few stools. Behind the bar was a Twi'lek, resting against the counter, blaster in hand. Sitting on one of the stools was a Rodian. The Rodian muttered something Red didn't hear, while the Twi'lek sized him up, before speaking, “Malcolm, yes?”

Putting on a smile and giving a friendly wave, the Captain entered the room, nodding, “That'd be me alright. Tell you I was comin', I would guess, am I right?”

The two exchanged a look, before the Twi'lek nodded, “They did.” his eyes glanced to the other side of the room for a quick moment, but it was long enough for Red to follow his gaze, finding a woman, another Twi'lek, he'd somehow managed to miss on his first look around the room.

The captain nodded politely to the woman, softly saying “Mornin' there miss.” before looking back to the two men, “So what we doin'? I jus' unloadin' this stuff an' handin' it off?”

The Rodian spun the stool around to where he could face the human, nodding, speaking in Huttese, “Yeah. We're gonna go look at the spot first.”

Red looked between them for a moment, confused, “Spot? You mean where you're buryin' this stuff? Works for me, I guess.”

The two exchanged another look again, before they started heading for the door, “Come along, nerfboy.” the Twi'lek said, which was followed with laughter from the Rodian.

He looked between them, frowning for a moment, leaving the room with a last glance to the girl in the back.

“So which one of you's Simial, an' which one of you's Dearo?” Red asked as they began the trek out into the sands, doing his best to make small talk.

“Simial is me, Dearo is him,” the Twi'lek said, not even looking back at the Captain. The Rodian let out a bit of laughter as he followed behind his friend. Behind them both, Redamous's hands went down to his blasters again, seeming satisfied with the fact that in a pinch they should fire just fine.

The trio crept slowly along, up and down dunes. From the east the wind was slowly picking up. As the sun climbed higher and higher in the sky, the Captain slowly began to regret his choice in clothing. He decided he'd have to buy something better for this sort of weather before he came back to Tatooine. Finally the group reached a small almost enclosed area, blocked by larger rocks, forming a sort of miniature canyon. A medium sized bolder had settled in the middle, but the area around it was clear.

“So uh...Why'd we walk all the way out here?” Redamous asked, growing more wary by the second, striding over to the boulder and leaning back against it, panting a bit. Maybe his droid was right, he was getting out of shape.

The Twi'lek set a hand on his blaster, “To bury something, of course,” he said slowly, a tint of humor in his voice.

Redamous frowned slightly, inching along the boulder, slowly, “Hardly need to ask what, now do I?” he said, with a slight sigh, left hand going down to his blaster on that side, hoping the movement was concealed enough.

The Rodian drew quicker, pulling his blaster out, practically laughing and speaking at the same time, “Don't even think about it,”. Slowly Red brought his hands up, “Better,”.

“Y'all wanna tell me why you're gonna shoot me? 'Least you can do is tell a guy why you're gonna shoot 'im,” Red said, doing his best to keep calm as he slowed, but still kept doing his best to crawl around the rock.

The Twi'lek and Rodian shared another look, they seemed to enjoy doing that. The Twi'lek now had his blaster out, and was shaking his head slowly. He started pacing a bit, every now and then pointing the gun at the Captain, before spitting at his feet. “You killed my friend,” he finally replied, coldly.

Red shook his head, keeping his hands up, “Friend, I ain't killed nobody, an' I didn' come here to kill nobody, an' I ain't gotten nobody killed. 'Least recently,” he said, before he slid fully around the rock, doing his best to take cover behind it. The two on the other side seemed to have been waiting for the moment they'd have an excuse to fire, and let loose.

Really? Are we really gonna do this out here? Maybe you can drag me back into town an' shoot me there? I'd much prefer it if someone could at least find my corpse,”.

“Just come out and get shot. It'll be over much quicker. Then we can bury you.”

“Look folks, I didn't come here lookin' for no trouble. An' I'm sure we can talk this out, can't we? We're both sensible parties I'm dead certain.”

“Did you make that offer to Lemad?” one of them roared in anger, probably the Twi'lek.

“Who the hell is Lemad?!”

“You didn't even know his name? Of course not, you spacer scum,”, that was the Rodian.

“Friend, I ain't got no clue what you're even talkin' about. I ain't killed nobody. 'Specially nobody named Lemad,” the Captain said, doing his best to keep calm.

There was a grumbling from the pair as the wind picked up again. It'd changed directions and was now coming directly at Redamous. With a sigh he pushed away from the rock, heading in the direction it was blowing, doing his best to stay unseen. Slowly he crawled around to where he was behind them. The Rodian had stopped firing by this point.

The Twi'lek looked over, the rage obvious in his face, “What now?”

The Rodian held up his blaster, slamming his hand against it, “Thing broke on me again,”. The Twi'lek grumbled something, his hand shooting out to grab it from the Rodian, “Don't make it worse!”

“How am I going to make it worse? It's not like you could have bought a working kriffing blaster, now is it? No, you had to go and get a 'good deal', didn't you?” the Twi'lek practically snarled.

Redamous unholstered his blasters, pointing them at the two's backs, “Well ain't this a good bondin' moment, am I right?” he said, the two turned, the Rodian unarmed still, the Twi'lek still fumbling with his friends blaster, “Hands up, please,” the Captain said smoothly, “An' put those things down,” he said motioning to the blasters.

The Twi'lek frowned even more than he already was, his face folding a bit on itself, “Going to kill us too, I take it? Go on, do it nerfboy,” he growled.

There was a small silence for a moment, as Red walked up to them, before he broke it. “Look, friend. I ain't no killer. Now, right now I ain't above leavin' you folks out here, Sand People might get you, or a Jawa, but hey,”.

“How would you leave us out here?” the Rodian laughed, looking to the Twi'lek, “He's going to kill us, he just wants to be clever about it,”.

“Like this,” Red said, quickly switching his hands from holding the grip of the blasters to the muzzle, bringing them down on their heads. They fell together. He slowly dragged them over to rest against the rock, guessing he only had maybe ten, twenty minutes max before they woke up.

The cantina had gained a few customers when Captain Malcolm reentered, going back to the room where he'd found the pair. His conscience wasn't letting him get off this rock without telling the girl where her friends were. As the door groaned open, he stepped inside, not seeing anyone else. He pulled his blaster out, slowly walking in, looking behind the bar, jumping back slightly when he saw the two corpses that were rotting behind it.

There was a soft cough from near the door as it shut, the girl walking in, she had her own blaster in hand, pointing it right at his head, “They earned it, I'm guessing you have too,”. She approached him, motioning for him to lower his weapon, which he did, “Where are my friends?”

He slumped back against the wall a bit, crossing his arms, “They're takin' a little nap. Which is probably better'n they deserve, considerin' they jus' walked me out to the middle of nowhere in the hopes of killin' me,” he grumbled.

She frowned, “So you killed them,” she said, her voice cold and flat.

“What is it with everybody assumin' I'm a killer? I ain't killed nobody lady, let's get one thing straight, of the many things I can be accused of, I ain't a killer,” he said, getting irritated, even though it probably wasn't the best thing to do when a gun was being pointed at him.

She blinked, looking him over again, eyes shooting from his weapons to his face, “You aren't lying. Why...Why are you hauling my brother, then? Dragging his body out to some hot rock to bury him?”

Redamous's jaw dropped a bit, “I...I'm not haulin' nobody, far as I know,”

“No. No,” she said, sounding quite certain, “You are. Buried in your garbage,”.

“It isn't my garbage, lady. It's some Hutt's...” he paused, sighing, “It's a Hutt's garbage. An' I'm gonna guess your brother ticked off a Hutt,”

The girl bit her lip, shaking her head as she backed up, dropping her blaster in the process, “I knew it would happen. I told him, I did. I told him he'd get himself into trouble, but you know what? You know what? He just. Couldn't. Listen.”

The bags in the cargo hold still held the scent of Nar Shaddaa, and of, well, garbage. It didn't take too long for Red to dig out the corpses. He brought it outside the ship, setting it on the ground, bowing his head slightly in respect as the girl mourned her family.

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