|Date: Wednesday, 27 Feb 2013, 10:37 PM | Message # 1
|The number of stormtroopers on Jaemus had been a surprise to Royce. Captain Finn seemed untroubled, but nothing troubled Finn. And Finn's face wasn't on wanted posters across a third of the Outer Rim. But not this third of it, fortunately; Royce had last been seen on Bresnan, so there was no reason these stormtroopers would be looking for him all the way out here in the Obtrexta sector. Wishful thinking? Royce had wondered, then admonished himself to think more optimistically. Never mind that thinking "optimistically" and thinking "wishfully" were essentially the same thing.
So far, however, he had little reason for concern. The trip to Jaemus had been uneventful, and they had landed without incident in a beat-up Corellian transport that Doohan and his Engineering Corps had boosted from a junkyard on Ord Mantell. The registration was pre-Clone Wars, but it had been good enough for ground control. Ship repair was their excuse to remain on Jaemus for several days, during which time Royce and Finn had watched closely the shipments that came and went from the spaceport to the Magrath family estate outside of Jaemus City. The estate needed a steady supply of essentials, after all—farming implements, mostly—and Royce and Finn had learned that most of the Magrath estate's cargo was handled by a local shipping company, under contract to the Magrath family, no doubt. Faded green hulls scarred from atmospheric re-entry, the ships were easy to spot. And conveniently for Royce and Finn, they followed a predictable schedule.
That's how they knew when the next ship would arrive, and in which docking bay. And they had been ready for it. Or rather, Finn had been ready for it—Royce had a blaster pistol in his hand too, but it was Finn who had done most of the shooting. A few well-placed stun blasts from the Captain's blaster, and the ship's hapless pilot and co-pilot were unconscious. It had happened fast, as planned, and Royce helped Finn drag the bodies—weighing a ton, it seemed—back into the ship and out of sight. There, Royce took over.
He'd been right—farming implements, as it turned out. But also a crate of wine from Dantooine; a gift from the Chamber of Commerce, evidently. That would do nicely. Back in the ship's cockpit, Royce looked up the contact information for the Magrath estate on the ship's cargo manifest and opened a comms channel, crossing his fingers to Finn. "Yes," he said once the estate had acknowledged him, "This is Captain Witter of the freighter Nubian Dream, in port in Jaemus City. Transmitting credentials now"—the information was accurate, never mind that Witter was in a closet at the moment—"We have a scheduled shipment for the Baroness Magrath but there seems to be a customs holdup. I'm sorry to inconvenience the Baroness, but it seems her signature is required to release the cargo to her, over."
He released the transmit button, glanced at Finn as he awaited a reply, and sighed. "Here's where we see if any of this was worth the trip," he said darkly.
Think optimistically! he reminded himself.
Oh, shut up.
Leader of the Ruusan Reformation League
Former Senator of Commenor (17 BBY—13 BBY)
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