Clair Dock, Tjakiri
Personal Log. It's been a while since I did one of these. Really had no reason to. Grief does funny things to a man. Evy is gone. Taken before her time by an Imperial Enforcer. No fuss, just mess. Sometimes the emotions just hit me out of the blue. Anger, bitterness, sadness. My mother once said that bitterness is like drinking poison, hoping the other person would die. How do you make a governing authority die?
I still think about her. At the oddest of times. Working out, working on the ship, walking along the promenade. Sights, scents, and even sounds trigger it. Sometimes I can bottle it up, sometimes I just loose it. I miss her. Her sense of adventure. She was light-hearted and it balanced me out.
Needless to say, I left Shaw Port. I left the Empire. Officially I'm a defector. I packed up my worldly possessions, which accounts for very little and got the hell out of there. Some things happened; I'm not sure how or why. Now I make berth at Clair Dock. A particular woman has taken interest in me. I don't know why. Maybe she saw my bitterness and distaste for authority. Maybe I'm just some pawn in some larger game. Whatever the case is, I'm an outlaw now, so I might as well act like one....I've heard the whispers about her, the Pirate Queen, and she has job for me.
sat across from Stryker. Her small frame radiated power. Her dark hair was braided into tight dreadlocks, tied into a knot and held in place with an simple tie. She smiled as her brute of a bodyguard, Idris stood near the door. She placed her neatly manicured hands on the table.
“That’s the deal, take it or leave it.” Her voice cool and level.
Stryker looked at her. “I just go in and retrieve the goods?”
“Of course, that’s the easy part. Next is you have to actually deliver the goods. And I shouldn’t have to tell you that if you fail on this job, I would be most displeased.” She traced his large bicep then slowly retracted her hand. With one last smile she stood up and spoke something to Idris. "Mae'n bryd i adael." He turned and escorted her from the little meeting room.
Stryker sat there for a moment thinking hard. How did he find himself in this mess? It didn’t really matter at this point. He took a job and now he had to follow through. He pushed himself up off the table and made for the exit. Clair Dock was a drab rundown mess of a station. A perfect breeding ground for the unscrupulous swine of the galaxy. Half the courtesy lights lining the walkways were burned out or flicking, casting demonic shadows in heretical dances. Beggars, pick pockets and conman selling their wares dotted the darker recess of merchandise stalls. He turned a corner and passed a small group of prostitutes. One of then latched onto his thick arm.
“Hey there big guy…” she cooed, “I can show a man like you a real good time…”
Stryker shook her off, and grunted. “I doubt it very much….”
Another one approached. “Ah common big boy, show us what you got…”
He ignored the catcall, and kept walking. He rounded another corner. Up ahead was a flickering neon light. The only real illumination in the dark hallway. From under it, loud music was playing. There was the sound of breaking glass, and a drunkard was roughly pushed out from the establishment. Stryker deftly sidestepped, as the drunk hit the wall, spun and fell in a heap mumbling curses. He rounded another corner, and was greeted with more riffraff. He continued to ignore them and came upon a small establishment. He pushed open the door and let himself in.
Immediately his lungs were accosted with the acrid purple haze that accompanies Onion Head. He coughed and tried to wave it away, with absolutely no effect whatsoever.
“Hey man….” A raspy voice punctuated the haze.
“Are you Mixman?” Stryker asked, the smoke giving him a headache.
“The one and only, dude….”
Stryker looked dubiously at the man. He wore dirty clothes, smelled bad, and his hair was unkempt. “I was told that you sell used ships.”
“Oh, yaaaa, I do. What choo lookin’ for bro?” He slithered around the counter and tapped on a holodisplay. “I gots fast ships, you know, for going fast and making those unlawful deliveries….” He smiled half his teeth missing, “and slow ships for carrying a lot more stuff, like Onion Head…”
Fracking space hippie,
Stryker thought to himself, the idiot smoked himself retarded.
“...and ships that go boom…” Mixman pantomimed a slow motion explosion and mouthed a boom.
“Ya, ya, I’ sure you have all sorts of ships…” Stryker interrupted, “You got a cobra?”
“Well sure I have a cobra…” Mixman droned on, “…But I keep it in my pants…”
“No you fracking idiot,” Stryker’s patience was running thin and the smoke was making his head throb, “the ship. The Cobra, manufactured by Faulcon deLacy.”
“No need to yell man….” He scratched his bum, “Ya, we got one of those….”
“And how much do you want for it?”
“Want for what?” Mixman paused for a moment. “…Nah just messing with you bro…Um…..Three hundred fifty thousand sound good man?”
“What’s wrong with it?” Stryker folded his arms.
“It’s missing its Frame shift thingy….” The hippie shifted his weight and leaned on the counter.
“That’s pretty essential for space travel. I’ll give you two hundred thou for it.”
“That’s a lot of money bro……Sure, I’ll sell it to you for that much, Roid-man." Mixman typed in some commands on the holodisplay and pulled up a requisition form, and turned it to Stryker.
Stryker quickly filled it out, then laid a large sum of credits on the table. "Don't smoke it all at once."
"No man, it has to be savored.....Your ship is on pad....um, pad 03, man..."
Stryker turned on his heel and left the dingy headache inducing room. He took a deep breath of, cleaner, air out on the promenade. He needed to get to work. His window of opportunity was closing.
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