kyra_av“I have been instructed that we are to start in the Executive Suite wing of Station 3.” The Chiss said, falling into step beside Kyra. His head turned, examining her from behind his helmet. Again that slightly unsettled feeling twisted in his stomach, almost as if continued close exposure to her were making him ill. “The ship’s utility droid provided the Diva’s Mandalorian with this.” He opened his fingers, revealing to her the data stick Bralor had given him back in the suite.

Kyra’s hand went for the stick, then hesitated, almost as if touching the Chiss would increase the feeling of unease she felt being in such close quarters with him. She forced herself to take the small device that was supposed to act like a master key to each of the staterooms. Tucking it into her jacket pocket, the two continued on in strained silence.

They moved through the massive ship along the pre-plotted path that kept them out of view of security cameras and any few stragglers that had not managed to be suckered into tonight’s performance. Slipping into Station three the executive suite was not guarded by any security personnel. Instead, there was a rather appropriately intimidating door.

The Chiss’ head turned slightly to his partner. “First step: entry.” He examined the dataport where countless fat cats simply slid their passkeys and walked through into the most lavish wing of suites money could buy.

“You don’t say,” Kyra replied, masking that uneasiness with a sarcastic groan. The data-stick slipped into her fingers. “Let’s just hope this droid’s as good as they think.”

She pressed it into the port. The Aurebesh script ran across the screen so fast she hadn’t been able to make heads or tails of what was going on, but in a short moment the screen went blank. Just as she was about to curse, it spoke in that pleasant tone.

“Welcome, Mr. Pal.”

Kyra raised an eyebrow. Whatever she’d been expecting, this certainly wasn’t it. She looked at Krynn, who remained as expressionless as a plasteel box, then back at the panel. “Uh… open?”

“Certainly, Sir.” With a click and a hiss, the door slid open to reveal the plush stateroom beyond.

Kyra took a breath and stepped across the threshold, fully expecting the air to split with the sound of alarm klaxons. Their fortune seemed to be holding, however, as little more than the room’s climate control system kicked on. Soft lighting illuminated various areas, but what interested Kyra most was the bedroom closet. According to her datapad, that’s where the stateroom’s strongbox would be found.

Krynn followed Kyra into the room and the door slid closed behind him. “Stay here,” the redhead said, moving into the bedroom, “you cover the door and I’ll handle the safe.”

The Chiss nodded, giving a small look around the room. “Very well.” He returned to the door, fishing a device from one of the pouches that hung from his belt which he affixed to the panel beside the door. If anyone attempted to enter, he would know.

With the entry secured, Krynn silently went about his duties, pilfering petty valuables from the room and slipping them into the duffel around his shoulder. He carefully picked the things that were valuable and even then only took that which appeared to have the highest possible price tag. Afterall, this was just their first stop. There were several more rooms for them to pilfer after this.

Kyra stood staring at a safe that was nearly half as tall as she was. When Trey had explained that she would be taking care of the room safes, she had assumed they would be small boxes only large enough to hold a handful of valuables and cred-cards. The container before her could very well hold all her current worldly possessions with room to spare. Shrugging off that depressing thought, Kyra slipped the data-stick into the safe’s access port.

As with the door, characters streamed across the screen then went blank. Half a breath later, the mag-clamps released and the door swung open. The thief’s eyes widened with glitter and flash. Whoever the occupant was, he was obviously a high-roller, and he treated his lady friends well. Stacks of credchips filled the bottom of the safe, and jewelry ranging from delicately beautiful to outrageously gaudy was casually tossed in a pile atop the creds.

Kyra knelt down and began piling the jewelry into one bag and the creds into another. She tsked as she came across a small hold-out blaster, tucking that into the small of her back. Moments later she had closed the safe and was back out in the main room. Her elation over this first job coming off so well so far was dampened by the queasiness the Chiss’ presence always seemed to force upon her.

“Let’s go.”

Again, all she received was a nod from Krynn. He popped the device off the door’s controls and lead her back into the hallway.

They carried on in their part of the plan. They followed the map of their marks on the calculated route and each time the mysterious “Mr. Pal” was offered that same easy access to the room and to the safe. Each room went smoother than the last, and by the fourth room the pair had hit something of a stride.

Krynn stood beside Kyra as she stepped up to the next room. “We are ahead of our schedule,” he told her. “If we proceed at this rate, we will return to the ship before the others.” Something in his tone seemed find this information distressing.

Kyra could feel the waves of unease rolling off Krynn. It might have been enough to make her smile; knowing that he was as uncomfortable around her as she was with him. But the overpowering feeling that he was just – wrong – kept her from doing so. “I really don’t see that as a bad thing. This might be our first job with Trey and his crew, but even pulling smaller jobs being ahead of schedule is usually a plus.”

The Chiss’s eyes narrowed slightly as he looked back to her. “It is not a matter of size. It is a deviation of their orders.” He felt that strange tightness twisting in his belly. A dark and almost violent urge seemed to pull at the edges of that knot. He pushed them down. “The plan was put in place for maximum efficiency of the job. We should stick to the plan.”

Kyra rolled her eyes. “Whatever. We do what we came to do and move on. We’ll worry about deviation of orders after the loot is sorted.” She pushed past him and moved into the bedroom.

She jammed the data-stick into the safe and waited as it cycled. This time the safe opened up not to reveal cred cards or other valuables, but a datapad and a packet of flimsi. Flipping through the flimsi revealed very little, though she tossed the packet in the bag with the creds anyway. Picking up the datapad, she examined it, turning it over and activating it. The device refused to power up. Kyra thought for a moment, then jammed the splice stick into the input port on the pad. In seconds, the pad jumped to life and Kyra ran through some of the data.

It took a few moments before her eyes widened in realization of what she held. “We have to get out of here…” She tucked the pad into one of her cargo pockets, grabbed her bags and moved out to grab Krynn and go.

As she strode from the bedroom, a soft beep came from Krynn’s wrist. “Wait.” He held his hand and she stopped cold in the middle of the room. The light on the device affixed to the door was blinking red and in a moment the door slid open.

Without a pause or notice, the man slowly entered. He was human but he looked somewhat green, unwell. Sweat rolled down his brow as he shuffled through into the room. Wiping his arm across his forehead, he looked up and locked on the redhead. His eyes went wide. “What are you d-”

There was a loud pop and flash, cutting his surprise short. The man grabbed his chest and blood seeped through his fingers. He swayed on his weak legs then collapsed forward.

“No wittnesses.” Kryn holstered his blaster.

Trey sat on the floor, leaning against a strongbox door. “Well, this is another fine mess,” he paused to cough, clearly affected by the gas still pouring into the safe, “I’ve gotten us into.”

The comlink Trey held went off with a chirp. The thief flicked the comlink on.

Trey? Arden’s voice quivered on the other end.

He lifted the com to his face, slipping down the wall. “Everything’s fine, Arden.” His voice was soft and betrayed his words. Everything was not fine. His eyes rose up to the descending ceiling of gas. He had been fast enough in killing the alarm before the signal got out, so nobody would come running to find them. It was a blessing and a curse. “Just relax. The safe’s will keep you in clean air. Right now it’s the safest place to be.” He smirked a little, glancing down to Bralor across the room.”Except, of course, for a Mandalorian helmet.”

“The more you talk, the more of your fresh air you use.”

Bralor knelt in front of the door’s controls and had already pried off the lifeless panel with a knife. The wires strung out taut by the weight. His blade scraped away the rubber casing, revealing the fine weave of cable within. He slid two of them together but nothing happened. “Osik,” he cursed.

“It’s dead.” They had been through the plans a hundred times. There was no pressure release in the safe. There was no gas. And there was no lockout. Not in any of the plans. “Must be a tertiary security protocol.” He looked around for somewhere they could steal some power from, but there was nothing. “There’s no getting out from this side of that door.”

“They must’ve upgraded just before taking in all that cash.” He shook his head. “Sithspit…” his eyes started feeling heavy. He could feel the gas already effecting his system.

What about Pal? Huddled in the dark, small space, Arden did her best to follow Trey’s instructions. She clutched the com in her fingers. That shake was still in her voice. He could pop the door in a second.

“He’d never get here fast enough.”

“No, he won’t.” Bralor pulled out the second comlink attached to his belt, the two-way, and thumbed it on.

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