bralor_avTrey and his escorts walked into one of the many restaurants on the pleasure boat’s promenade. They slid into one of the booths and waited. “Shouldn’t they be here by now?”

“Patience,” Trey nodded as he looked through the drink list, “I would figure you’d like being off your feet.”

“Didn’t say I didn’t appreciate that,” she grinned, “just worried about my baby is all.”

“No reason to be,” Arden jumped as Bralor’s voice came from the booth behind her. The little pilot started to whip around to the other booth. “Keep it in yer seat, squirt,” Bralor reprimanded her without even seeing her. It was like the old soldier had a second sense for these things. In fact it was just knowing your setting. Lots of polished glass meant lots of reflective surfaces “Act like you didn’t hear me. We don’t know each other, remember?”

Arden sulked a little bit as she slumped down in her seat.

“Have any issues?” The redhead added.

“Not gonna lie. The two princesses are a handful. Right now they’re enjoying a little one-on-one time.” Bralor replied, he was dripping with more than a little sarcasm. Truth be told he wouldn’t have been all that surprised if security hadn’t found two dead bodies in the luxury spa. “Either they’ll work it out or we’re gonna work a little harder for a bigger piece of the pie… I’m calling even odds on that one.”

“Petty squabbling on the Soul is one thing, but if they blow this we’ll likely all end up decorating someone’s wall in a block of carbonite.”

“Expensive use of carbon freezing. More likely we’ll be on normal ice in the morgue.” He folded his arms across his chest and looked down the corridor. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll make do.”

Trey leaned over to Kyra and pointed at a random menu item. “We do have a slight problem, guys. There’s another team on board.”

“Apparently Trey knows um,” the Soul’s pilot grumbled.

“That could go either way.” The old soldier leaned back in his seat. “The devil you know is better than the one you don’t. If we’ve got competition I’d rather we know how they operate.”

Sighing, Trey dropped the menu. “There lies the problem,” he said, a false smile plastered on his face as he leaned closer to Arden. “They are going to operate pretty much the same way we are. Except for our ace.”

“Ace?” Arden’s eyebrows arched.

Nodding, the thief smiled to himself. “Didn’t I mention? We have a bit of secret backup. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.”

“So what is it?” Arden folded her arms across her chest.

An eyebrow raised. “It’s not unlike a lightsaber, but it’s not a lightsaber. And there’s a guy who has one. He’s on our side.”

“Well that was cryptic,” Bralor chuckled, “not overly thrilled with not telling us about the back up plan, but I trust you, Trey. What do you need from us?”

Kyra shot Trey a look. “And what about a lightsaber? Do you have a…” her voice went from whisper to barely perceptible. “Jedi?”

Trey shook his head. “Not by a longshot, Kyra. And your team should stay the course, Urs’vn. The opposition only knows the three of us, so if worse comes to worse, you guys do your stuff and we’ll handle them.”

“And what about Deffico,” Arden pretended to put her attention back to the menu, “he could be a problem.”

“Who’s Deffico?”

“Oh, no one,” Trey said innocently. “Just the security guy for the sabaac tournament. He’s an… ISB agent. Hunted my dad around the galaxy for fifteen years.”

“No one, huh?” Bralor laughed mirthlessly.

“Would you like me to kill him,” The Chiss spoke up.

Dropping the menu once more, Trey had to fight the urge to look at him. “Absolutely not. We do not kill, unless we absolutely have to. And we absolutely do not have to kill Deffico. He won’t be an obstacle.”

“As you wish.”

“So when do we start the next phase, I wanna get this done and get the hell out of here,” Arden was starting to feel the nerves creep of all the new complications to their plan.

Trey watched the waiter approaching and smiled. “The Diva’s show is in two days. We’ll be ready to go then.”

“Two days huh,” Arden sighed, “Okay then, so all we have to do is dodge your buddies, and the authorities and try to keep ourselves alive till then,” she gave a mock smile, “sounds simple.”

“What about the marks?” The Mandalorian clone casually eyed a security detail as they walked by.”We have a list?”

Trey discreetly flipped a tightly folded sheet of flimsiplast over his shoulder. It landed neatly in front of Bralor. “List by room number and what sort of valuables you might find. No names.”

He folded his hands in front of him on the table. They fell right over the folded sheet. “Names don’t matter.” When he moved his hands it was gone, nobody saw. “Just numbers.”

Arden took a sip from the glass in front of her, “So I guess for the next two days we don’t worry about that other team and try to enjoy ourselves while we case the ship and get our moves down?”

“That’s about the size of it,” Trey nodded.

Arden laid her chin on the palm of her hand, and blew a loose strand of hair out of her face, “I got a bad feeling about this.”

Krynn walked with Bralor through the crowded restaurant and out the door. This operation was very different from anything the Chiss had done before. Still, his military instincts were in high gear as he followed the older man’s lead matching his cadence and posture perfectly. Krynn switched his helmet receiver to silent com so that it would only transmit to Bralor and not out his external echo system. “Bralor.” he said. “Are we moving into position to begin our sweep of the state rooms?”

Bralor shook his head. “I’d like to get this data into Pal see if he can run the numbers and mine some security codes off the cruise’s mainframe.” Beneath that helmet he grinned a little. “Droid may be old, but he’s got more tricks up his sleeve than a Black Sun pirate.” He looked over to the Chiss.”This is your first job. You and Kyra both. I’d rather you go in with as many aces in your hand as we can get. Keep things smooth and the improvisation to a minimum.”

The old soldier lifted his wrist and checked the time. “Our charges should be finishing up their alone time.” He lead the pair out into the walkway that would head down to the grandiose spa where the Diva and the Ambassador had been pampering themselves. “Let’s go collect the bodies.”

Krynn nodded slightly in his armor as he followed Bralor. “I’ve always been better at leaving them behind.” The Chiss pondered his reply a moment. This was strange. He didn’t usually partake of humor, in fact it usually confused him. But the statement had just rolled off his tongue with a dry inflection. His head should have been in the mission, but he had momentarily derailed his own focus. He shook his head and quickly reigned himself back in.

Though the Mandalorian Helmet hid his smirk, it hadn’t gone unnoticed. “Did you just make a joke?”There was a bit of static as the grizzled soldier chuckled quietly. He looked over to the Chiss and nodded. “You may make it out here yet, gl’eek…” The two walked stiffly into the spa area.

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.