SUBTERREL - THE OUTER RIM "I've got a bad feeling about this."
That old saying seemed to sum up Ned's life. The Nar Shaddaa dread. It was a big galaxy out there, and everyone wanted what you had. The more he gained, the more he stood to lose. But, concurrently, the more he lost, the bigger his debts became, and the bigger his debts became, the larger the price on his head. Poverty was a death spiral and he wasn't exactly liquid right now. The only asset to his name was the Fresh Pursuit, and he'd never sell her - not even to save his life.
"Dwoo-wee", his T3 unit chirped, resting idly on the other side of the cantina table. In sharp contrast to the nervous smuggler, T3-K7 was chipper as the day he'd come off the manufacturing line. The utility droid's photoreceptor clicked and whirred as the droid's head spun around, looking for their contact in the seedy bar. It'd encouraged Ned to try his hand at Sabacc, but he was more than positive that he'd be accused of cheating, then killed. The other patrons had that hungry look in their eyes.
Outside a starship, he felt vulnerable, like a brain without a body. He'd already mapped an escape route back to the hangar bay, if things got dirty.
His contact was about a job. High stakes, low detail. Part of him thought it was a ruse to take him in - a setup. The latest figure, he'd heard, was a bounty of twenty-five thousand credits. That was enough to draw takers all the way from the Mid Rim. But what he was being offered in exchange for this meeting, surface-side, was plenty more. At least, that was what the holo said.
There was an off chance this was Jedi business. That...could pay big.
Hand on his gun, concealed under the table, he did his best to relax and survey the other patrons. A motley collection of sentients. He was one of only a few humans in the room, which was itself thick with the smell of alcohol and smoke. Slythmongers prowled the periphery of his vision, but any of them could be a bounty hunter in disguise.
Once he had the job - once he was back on his ship - he'd be safe. Nothing could catch the Fresh Pursuit.
It was just a matter of surviving until he was back aboard.
It was not often that Morgh made his way to the outer rim. A lawless place, unbefitting of civilized society and deserving of complete and utter destruction. In other words, a place where Morgh would fit in just fine. This was not the sort of place where Jedi would usually be found, but Morgh was not hunting Jedi today. Despite that, his mind unconsciously shrouded itself. The action was so natural at this point, Morgh wasn't sure he could even stop himself from doing it.
Spotting his target, Morgh made his way over to a table where a pilot sat next to a little T3 unit. Morgh was, compared to his normal wear, lightly armed. No more than a single sonic grenade at his hip, his knives hidden in his boots, and a single heavy blaster at his other hip. Light armor, barely hidden under a black cloak, could be seen easily. Chest plates and pauldrons could only be hidden so well, after all. But he was intentionally attempting to appear less threatening than normal to not spook the smuggler.
Sliding smoothly into the bench at the opposite end of the table, Morgh spoke as casually as if the pair of them had always been speaking, "Waiting for someone- friend?" A smile graced Morgh's crusty face, something his peers had told him to stop doing. But smiles could be disarming, even if off-putting.
'Dealer continues, 4.'
'Dealer plays. 3. End drawing.'
'Opponent plays card in hand. Stand.' 'Play +2 in hand. Stand.' 'Begin betting.'
Ned met the eyes of the human stranger who had sat at his table and was unsettled to see that they had a glassy, milky appearance that he could not immediately place. Maybe he'd found an innovative way to use death sticks. He wore light armor over a heavy black cloak. The way the man smiled was immediately disconcerting. The cracked lips, the creases around the eyes.
"Just enjoying the atmosphere," he replied, eyes flicking over to T3-K7. He nodded once, and the T3 unit whirred, leaning forward before rolling away. Left to its own devices, T3 would make its way back to the Fresh Pursuit, which had been docked close by. Ned didn't move far from his ship for a reason. The astromech could fly it over here for him if he needed it to -
- he really hoped he wouldn't.
"You looking for transport?" he asked, brow furrowed, never taking his hands off his blaster's handle under the table. Naturally, the safety was off. The way he was sitting, the gun was angled directly at the stranger's chest. Would that armor save him from a point blank shot, if it came down to it?
Nar Shaddaa was just another pit stop for the one the criminal underworld had started to call, "The Marquis of Death". He was known for being brutal and violent, leaving a trail of death behind him as he went. He was ruthlessly efficient in his killing and execution of any jobs he pulled. He was wanted in connection for several high end robberies and assassinations. An award for his death or capture is a generous amount.
Andras stood back in the shadows of the already dark alley as he watched the two thugs he hired beat a dock worker. "What route will the inspector take?" A thug growled.
Blood seeped out of the workers mouth. "OK...ok, he's checking landing pad 36B first then 41D." The worker said between breaths. He fell to the ground once the workers released him.
Andras exited the shadows. His black suit and red shirt always attracted eyes every where he went. Andras was not a small man, not only was he a taller human but he had a muscular and broad stature. He stood out, and was remembered. Upon looking at his face though was a blank expression of the helmet that he wore. Only four small thin optical lens broke up the darkness. He reached down and picked the worker up, throwing them back against the wall of the alley.
"Please, please, just let me go. I got two kids at home." The worker begged.
Andras reached out to the force, attempting to Force Choke the worker. Nothing. He was still blocked for some reason. He enjoyed using the force. He enjoyed the rush of power he felt when using it. He hated being blocked from it. In his anger, his hatred shifted onto the dock worker. A vibroblade quickly plunged itself into the throat of the worker right at the base of the skull, and in a blink was gone. The worker was dead before he hit the ground. Another body in the wake of Andras' hatred. He cleaned the knife on the workers body.
"Let's go." Andras turned to exit the alley when a couple of blaster bolts lit up the alley dropping his two thugs.
"Marquis! Stop right there." Andras stopped with his back still toward the voice. "Get on your knees." Andras reached out to the force one more time. It was painful and actively fought him the whole time. He tried to turn the pain into his favor, only for a brief second was he able to sense where the two men stood behind him. They made the mistake of being within his striking range. Apparently two overconfident bounty hunters wanted his bounty.
Andras slowly lowered himself until he was close to the ground then spun quickly dropping to one knee. Blaster bolts shot over head. As soon as he dropped to a knee, two throwing knives with pintpoint accuracy hit their marks and the bounty hunters fell. Andras walked to their bodies drawing his own blaster, he fired one shot into each of their heads after retrieving his knives. He walked back to his dead thugs reclaiming the credits he paid them earlier that night. He would've killed them anyway so it didn't bother him. Andras exited the alley holding two fingers to his temple as a headache came on from using the force. I need a drink he thought to himself.
Andras sat in the corner table at a very rough bar, again standing out from the other customers simply based on his attire. A fancy looking cocktail sat mostly drank in front of him. A couple of other patrons joined him at his table interested in who he might be. The two patrons at his table, an Aqualish and a Siniteen, talked about who knows what. Andras was focused else where. With an arm around the Twi'lek dancer sitting in his lap, Andras watched as two men interacted at a near by table. The tension between the two obviously shown by one having a hand on his blaster.