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Nic and Jana: A Mercenary's Tale
My name is Nic White.
I've been called soldier, cop, smuggler, thief, criminal, captain, and even rebel, but I was most often called a mercenary. I was considered a lowlife, a man who lived on the other side of the law. Don't get me wrong, I was a good guy; hey you had to be the scum of the universe in the galaxy I lived in. I lived much of my life under the evil rule of the Palpatine and his tyrannical Empire. The dictatorship born from a war for democracy... the irony is obvious and devastating. Those who were in place to stop this very thing from happening didn't even see it happening and it happened literally under their noses. The Jedi failed and they were all but wiped out for it.
Most people had a defining moment in their lives, a moment when their
entire lives changed for either better or worse. For most people, this day
was when the Clone Wars ended and the Republic became the Galactic Empire. If you know the story of my life you would probably think it was when I got landed with a Jedi on my ship and ended up with the empire and Vader on my back, but you would be wrong. For me it was before that and three years after the Clone Wars, the day I met Jana Vincent.
A small Corellian SL5 freighter travelled at high speed towards the city-world of Coruscant. The ship was small in size compared to most freighters in the Galaxy, and was probably not for cargo transport but something less legal. It burnt through the planet's atmosphere, glowing as it did.
The ship proceeded to fly high over the city and between the enormous
skyscrapers of the Imperial City. The ship began to slow as it approached a landing pad and came to a full stop before touching down. The loading ramp slowly lowered and hit the floor with a loud bang as the metal knocked against the metallic surface.
As the contact was made a man came flying out of the ship. He flew through the air and quickly came down, his whole body smacking against the cold shiny surface face first. This man was Nic White, a 28 year old Caucasian human with thin blond hair that almost covered his eyes. He was wearing a pair of wrath skin trouser and a dark blue shirt and a flight jacket over it. A holster holding an old looking blaster dangled from the right side of his belt. His boots were dark black with a knife handle sticking out of the left one.
Following Nic's journey through the air was a small duffle bag and a unique energy shotgun. Both items landed just to the right to of him. Nic pushed himself up and turned around so he was sitting on the landing pad, facing the ship. Three men stood on the top of the loading ramp and looked down at Nic.
"C'mon guys! I would've paid," Nic shouted to the men.
"Then why did you stowaway on my ship?" The central man demanded. Nic paused and looked down, obviously struggling to find an answer and looked back up at the men.
"Can you at least drop me off somewhere else?" Nic pleaded to the ship's captain.
"You're lucky I didn't drop you off in hyperspace," the captain retorted as he nodded to the man to his right. The right man hit a button causing the ramp to rise up and slowly close. The captain waved good-bye just as the ramp sealed. Moments later, the ship's thrusters flared into action and the ship took off, flying away from Nic.
Nic still hadn't gotten up from the landing pad as he watched the Corellian freighter fly away.
"Perfect I'm stuck in the Heart of the Empire... just where I want to be," he told himself sarcastically. He then grabbed his bag and stood up, throwing it over his shoulder. Looking down he saw his gun and
picked it up, examining it as a big smile came to his face.
"At least I got you with me," he murmured.
The Griffin Cantina in the commercial district of Coruscant was known to be quite a rough and seedy place. It was the place where all the mercenaries, bounty hunters, and criminals tended to congregate on the planet when passing through. The Cantina held a strict no firearms policy, but that didn't stop the fighting or deaths as many of the nights ended with a bar room brawl. On this night, the Cantina was particularly busy with a resent convoy from the smugglers moon of Nar Shaddaa.
The young waitress, Jana Vincent, had only just arrived for her shift. She had long dark brown hair that reached down to the middle of her back and brown eyes. She was fairly short in size compared to most humans her age; 26. She was reasonably attractive and wore casual clothing.
The Cantina owner was furious waving a datapad in the air quickly moving toward Jana.
"Vincent!" he screamed, shoving the datapad in her face. "That last fight you started has cost me three-thousand credits!"
Jana took the datapad and studied it for a moment before rolling her eyes.
"C'mon Fitsy," she sighed. "Half of these things needed to be repaired anyway... and I didn't start that fight. You know it, too."
"You certainly finished though, didn't ya?" Fitsy grumbled. "Henth was one of my best customers, and he won't be coming back now you've broken both his legs."
"That Dug should've kept those hands of his to himself," Jana replied evenly, handing her boss the datapad. "He had plenty of warnings.
Fitsy snatched a gun he saw on her belt and shook his head. "Just get to work," he muttered.
Nic walked through the large bus station near the landing pad where he was literally 'dropped off.' He had been a mercenary for nearly three years now and he was good at it. The problem was he could be very picky about the work he chose. This meant he was often out of work and low on credits. He barely had enough credits for the bus ticket he just bought to get to the commercial district, so he was stuck on the galactic capital.
The freelance mercenary had only been on the planet for a few hours but he had already found out where he could find some work to get off the planet, a regular hangout for other mercenaries in the commercial district.
Nic's bus wasn't scheduled to depart the station for another few minutes so he found himself walking to the balcony on the top floor. He approached the railing and leant on it as he looked over the cityscape. The metropolis was bustling with activity as the air-taxis, speeders and starships flew along the sky-lanes. Nic slowly turned his head to the right and saw the old Senate building. He laughed to himself as he saw a couple of ships pull into the large circular building.
Nic knew that the senate still met every now and then but it was pointless. The only vote that counted there was that of the Emperor. Palpatine had already begun to dissolve the senate as his control became more and more tyrannical, he had already banned all non-humans from attending the Senate meetings. Those who spoke up against him were also banished. Bail Organa and Mon Mothma were two of the first to go. Their crime? Pacifism.
Nics focussed changed again and looked to where the Jedi temple once stood. Now it was the Imperial Palace. The large structure was purposely made to dwarf all the other skyscrapers. It was ironic that where the Jedi Temple, the symbol of freedom, once stood now had the symbol of galactic domination erected on it. The recently constructed statue of Emperor Palpatine was large and made so all could see from hundreds of klics away, Its eyes made to symbolise Palpatine watching over the city.
'Taste certainly doesn't come with power,' Nic thought as he looked at what he perceived as an eyesore, 'but it does come with vanity.'
Nic stood up strait and turned back around and headed to the bus terminal. He had placed 'Betsy', his favourite gun, and his pistol inside his bag. This would allow him to travel more easily without being stopped by the Imperial police. Though carrying weapons was not illegal on Coruscant, getting licences was nearly impossible (unless you could bribe an Imperial Officer) and Nic didn't have one.
When he arrived at the terminal his bus was already boarding. Nic showed the guard his ticket and walked strait on to the bus.
The Griffin cantina was now bustling with patrons from various species. A Bith jazz band played their music on a stage in the corner. The atmosphere was electric with varying activities happening on the tables and the booths. The owner, Fitsy, was behind the bar taking orders from those who came to it and taking the orders from the waitresses.
Jana was carrying a tray of drinks. She had been working as a waitress for nearly four years, though not by choice. She had run out of
money not long after she had arrived on Coruscant and found waitressing was the only way she could make any money. Despite the fact she had graduated from the T.C.T.A (Talus Combat Training Academy), she had found that nobody was willing to give her a chance. She was a good fighter and a superb gunner, but because of her short stature, many people didn't think she looked right for the jobs these skills would work in. Jana didn't like this work and often ended up in fights with 'handsy' customers or an employer who didn't pay her wage. This meant she rarely stayed employed at one restaurant or club for more than a month.
Jana placed the tray on the table and gave the drinks to those who ordered them. Then, lifting the tray, she moved to walk away. One of the patrons Jana had just given a drink grabbed her free arm, stopping her.
"Hey little lady," the man slurred, clearly drunk. "Why don't you stay here for some fun?"
Jana looked down at the man's hand, and then up at his face.
"Take your hand off my arm before I do it myself and break your arm," she threatened calmly. At this, the large and very muscular man began to laugh and said, "And how do you intend to do that?"
Jana dropped the tray on the floor and used her newly freed hand to grab the man's arm. Shifting her body around and kneeling so her knee was under the drunk man's elbow, she moved her 'captured' arm in such a way to force the man's grip on it to loosen, thus freeing her arm. With both arms free, she gripped the man's wrist and pulled his arm down toward her knee. The man's elbow connected with her knee, snapping all the connective tissue the arm, causing him to wince and groan. Jana released her grip and stood up, turning to retrieve her tray and walk away.
"You Schutta!" the man screamed, clutching at his arm. "You broke my arm!"
"I warned you," Jana answered, glancing at him. Enraged, the man released his broken arm and reached inside his jacket with his good hand, retrieving a small hold-out blaster and pointed it at her.
"I'll make you regret that," he threatened. At the bar, Fitsy groaned and put his head in his hands.