One of Thousands
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kirkwall/The Free Marches
Current Game: Dragon Age II
Hyperspace travel was, according to Tysyacha, the most incredible blessing that space engineers and explorers had ever given to the galaxy. Within a few hours instead of days or even weeks and months, the newest crew of the Ebon Hawk found themselves sliding onto an unoccupied landing pad on the world of Nar Shaddaa, "unoccupied" meaning "slightly unused, crumbling, but still relatively safe."
Tysyacha smiled apologetically at the wary expressions on everyone else's faces. "Sorry," she said, "but this planet's not exactly famous for its infrastructure. Only the Exchange, which I hope is in disarray since I helped to stabilize things here, might have safer landing pads. Foreigners, visitors, and the commonfolk have always had to make do with whatever the Nar Shaddaa government can afford to offer them."
She, Rika Saben, Kimber Quitaan, Lane, and the still-unnamed mechanic exited the Hawk down the loading ramp and started walking toward the center of the upper floor of town. Down below were--seedier elements, so to speak, even more so than the Exchange, and the most destitute of the working class and unemployed. Vermin swarmed heavily in the depths of the planet, and monsters no one had yet named. There was no law on Nar Shaddaa below the true "living spaces" of the planet, and no hope. It was comparable to the depths of a mythical Hell some Earthlings believed in.
"Kala-Naa should be over near the front door of the main cantina," Tysyacha said, pointing. "She's rather inconspicuous, but I can pick up her rodent scent clearly." Grimaces were seen on a couple of crew members' faces, but the Exile smiled. "Don't worry. Kala-Naa keeps herself clean, and she doesn't carry any diseases or plagues."
Reassured (or at least partially so), the five strolled over to the outskirts of a garish-looking cantina. Tysyacha was surprised, or more than surprised, to see that Kala-Naa had built herself a nest near the door. Baby mice peeked their heads out from beneath its bantha-fodder material, and Kala-Naa suddenly came running out and squeaking.
"My babies! Don't touch them, human scum, or I'll bite you--Oh! It's you, the kind lady who visited me two years ago and gave me 2,000 credits to get in very good with the Exchange." Surprised looks from the crew. "I not judge you. You just not want to get on their bad side, and you did good things too. Like save that one girl from Hutt spice
camp, along with mum. What you want this time? More information?" A toothy smile.
Tysyacha nodded. "Kala-Naa, I'd like you to spend some time thinking back, far back, and see if you can remember a man. He had dark hair and was tall, having a scent of power about him and a leader's stride." A pause. "He might have even been wearing a scary mask." She preferred not to think about those dark times, but they had existed.
Kala-Naa started squeaking excitedly. "Scary man! Scary man not hurt me, although I thought he would. I saw scary man in mask. He was looking for someone or something. Who or what could it be? Anyway, I heard him say to someone near him, with bald head and nasty purple sections on it, that he would soon find the place, on a dark planet, where 'there was no darkness'. He headed for light, when all else was black. Where could that be--black planet? Kala-Naa not know of any black planets around."
"Darkness means evil, too," said Tysyacha. "A dark planet. Malachor? Was that it?"
"Mal-ee-kor dead. This planet live--I think. So far, far away that Kala-Naa's head spin just thinking about it. I listen more, but I hear mumbles and more mumbles. Sorry." She bowed her furry head. "Wait--it that way." The rodent pointed decisively.
"Jeering Statement: A black hole? Master, this surpasses ridiculousness. Let us leave."