Wednesday, September 2, 2015


(This is something new for PC, a short piece of fiction that I'd had rattling in my head for a little while. It's not going to be a regular feature of the blog, but I felt that I had to do something with it or it'd just drive me crazy.)

"Not interested."

I flicked the sabacc cards onto the table and frowned. Some days you simply can't get the card you're looking for.

The Rodian leaned across the table, spreading his hands over the chips. "Unless you're made of credits, I'd say my offer couldn't have come at a better time," he said, sweeping the pile to join his own sizable mound of chips.

He had a point. I figured that I couldn't lose with my hand and tossed in a few extra chips, but the little sneak managed to pull that one out of his snout. Again. I glanced around the cantina, but I didn't see anyone interested enough in the game for them to be tipping that little slimeball off.

I decided I'd had enough losing for one day. "Look," I replied, "I'm not a big fan of war zones. Somebody could get their ship shot out from underneath them."

"I thought you were one of the best pilots in the Mid Rim." The Rodian began stacking my --now his-- chips, making a thrumming noise in his throat.

"One of the best pilots alive, and I prefer to stay that way." I pushed myself away from the sabacc table and began to stand up.

"Not even for fifty thousand?"

I froze. "How much again?"

"Fifty thousand."

I sat back down. That amount of credits would keep me comfortable on Coruscant for a long time, let alone Nar Shadda. "What's the cargo? And you'd better not say 'a Hutt'."

The Rodian slowly pushed a stack of chips to one side. "It's a war zone. What do war zones need the most?"


"Well, that too," he said, scrunching his snout, "but there's not as much money in kolto as there is in weapons."

"What sort of weapons? I don't have capacity for a full shipment of assault droids."

"Blasters. You can pack a lot of them in a freighter your size."

My fingers twitched. You could outfit a small army with blasters given my cargo space. "Who's side are you arming?"

The Rodian picked up a chip and made an elaborate show of peering intently at it.

I hate it when customers act like they're better than me. "Look," I groused, "I want to know if this job will bring the Republic down on my head. Jedi give me hives."

He pressed the chip onto the table, holding it in place. "My client has interests he wants protected from both sides, and this shipment will help his people do that."

"If that's all there is, fine with me." I shrugged. The Rodian's client must have a massive operation planetside if they're willing to pay that much. "What's the time frame?"

"My people can have the cargo delivered to your docking bay within the hour. As for delivery, my client expects the weapons delivered to Ord Mantell in a couple of weeks."

"What's the situation at the spaceports on Ord Mantell?"

"You're not going to land there. My client has a landing pad fairly close to Fort Garnik, but it isn't covered by spaceport security. The other spaceports aren't safe at this time."

So much the better. Smuggling spice was bad enough, but blasters were the Glitterstim of a war zone, and buying off spaceport customs would have been a real problem. Unless there was something I was missing, there was a huge upside and not that much risk for me.

I nodded and stood. "You've got yourself a pilot."

The Rodian looked at my outstretched hand and shook it after a long moment. "Don't make me regret this decision, Captain," he said. "My client doesn't like smugglers who don't deliver."

"They never do. But hey, you're dealing with me. My record speaks for itself."

"Just make sure you deliver the shipment to Ord Mantell on time. There will be a contact at the landing pad who will make sure your delivery is logged. Name's Skavak."

"Skavak. Got it."

I left the cantina with a bounce in my step. I may have lost big at sabacc, but I landed a deal that should be a cinch. Things were looking up.


  1. Oh man, please tell me there's more of this story rattling around in your head. I have to know what happens on Ord Mantell.

    1. Hehe, the punchline is that this is the start of SWTOR's smuggler story - you land on Ord Mantell and the moment you turn your back this Skavak guy steals your ship. (I think it's fair to say this without a spoiler warning, considering it literally happens in the first five minutes.)

    2. Oh! Then I'm going to have to make a Smuggler so I can find out how it ends. I think I had one a long time ago but she didn't get very far so I'll have to start over.

    3. Yeah, Shin has the right of it. The overall resolution to that initial part of the Smuggler story takes up all of Chapter One. I still think that the Smuggler story is the best of the Republic storylines.

    4. I should also mention that I tried to keep the first person voice gender neutral, so that you could hear either a male or female voice in your head.

  2. Nice intro, Red! Thanks, Shintar, for clearing up what happens next. I'd like to hear more of your version of the full story, Red.

    1. I'd have to think about that a bit; I wouldn't want to give the story away or anything. This little bit of fiction was what I thought might have happened prior to the beginning of the Smuggler's story.