Taking the large public lift down from Crown Estates to the Workman’s District proved uneventful for Nolann, Eli, Dax, and Dr. Andromeda. Kratos feeling weary and desirous removing his breathing apparatus said goodbye and headed for a nearby atmosphere chamber that accommodates Kel Dor. Proceeding down the damp hall towards Ortho’s the crew began to notice more shops. On the right they passed a store with a sign reading Industrial Uniforms and to the left a store selling airspeeder parts. Immediately ahead at the end of the hall was a rare book shop and on the right-hand corner lay Allad’s Droid Repair Shop. Taking a right at the next hallway Karad’s Tattoo and Piercing was the shop to the left, directly across from Ortho’s Repair Shop on the corner.
Upon entering Ortho’s the characters looked to the right to see a dismantled droideka lying on the floor. The grotesque fat man sat behind his desk with dark protective goggles. He intently ignored the newcomers; his pudgy hands carefully held a tiny welder which was focused upon the housing of a large rifle lying across his messy desk. After a few more moments of silence the fat man chuckled with satisfaction as if there were some secret that the rifle before him held.
“Well, did you finish the job?”
“Here are the data chips that Schlick wanted and the cylinder.” Nolann offered.
“I don’t want those.” the fat man snapped “give those to Schlick when he returns.”
“Where is Schlick? He didn’t pick us up.” Dax eyed the pudgy man carefully.
“He’s away… on business in Imperial Center. He’ll probably be back in a week or two. No telling with Schlick.”
“But what about our compensation?” Eli stepped forward from behind as Nolann barred her approach with the back of his hand.
“I have your money little one. But first there is another mission for you.” The fat man bent down to open the lower drawer on his desk, struggling as though his fatness were suffocating each strangled breath. In his short hands he offered a small holoprojector “Take it” he managed. On the projector a small note read, Confidential, Read only when alone.
Now more composed the fat-man explained further, “Schlick says that’s for your eyes only. Here are your credits for the previous mission. I will be taking the equipment that I previously loaned you.”
“You can have them, little good these uniforms did us.” Andromeda scoffed.
“No kidding” Dax added. “I don’t know what their worth to you now that they are covered in our blood.”
“You can have them if you want them” Ortho responded unmoved “I’ll take 15 credits for each outfit.”
Nolann thought carefully “I think I’ll buy mine.”
“I want mine too!” Eli claimed pushing her way forward by ducking under Nolann’s outstretched arm.
Nolann and Eli paid for the uniforms then the crew left the repair shop with little more than a glance at the proprietor. The entrance to Crown Estates is always a pleasant experience even for the long-time tenants living there. Sounds of screaming babies, adults arguing in some intelligible language, bums lying in the floor are just some of the pleasant sights and smells to barrage the senses. Nolan has lived here in The Palace as it is more locally known with a red-headed human girl named Mara for some weeks now. Aside from the gaudy turquoise with brown-stained carpet, Mara’s place is decorated rather nicely (albeit girlishly). Nolann and the others have temporarily made this their home.
“Let’s get this thing turned on.” Dax laid the small disk-like holoprojector on the table in the relaxation room.
Clicking on the projector a small blue and translucent image of Schlick appears. His figure appears slim and tall. He is wearing his characteristic leather jacket, with a white silk shirt underneath. His black riding boots come all the way up to his knees.
Sorry I couldn’t be here in person to take care of this business but other priorities have called me to Imperial center for the moment. Here is what I need you to do. He shifts his weight to the other leg. You are to travel to the starlit café on the Ord city skyhook. Around 8:00 tonight a person will approach you at your table. He will say to you, how is the dianoga tea? And you should answer “I like its dark stains upon my lips.” He will then hand you a package, which you should not open until you have reached a private place. Inside you should find a description of the place you are to visit. Ortho should have given you an encrypted credit chip which contains 50,000 credits. Don’t even think about it, you’ll never slice it. Once you have arrived at the specified location use this money to bargain for a piece of cargo once carried on the vessel Intrepid, formerly destined for Alderaan. Try to get the lowest price possible for the deal. I will activate the credit chip when I know you have completed the mission. Once you have obtained the package, you will need to bring it to the Galactic museum in Imperial center. Ask for the curator named Nom Cardin. He will be your final contact for this mission. Once you have completed this assignment, call me on my comlink. My number is 827-72-9421-87. I will meet you on the plaza near Crown Estates. You can replay this message if you need to. Please don’t let this holoprojector fall into the wrong hands. You will receive payment when you display this projector, the remaining bargaining credits, and a receipt from Nom stating that you delivered the package.
The tiny blue image of Schlick blinked and then vanished leaving the sound of Mara’s apartment strangely quiet.
“What do you think?” Dax looked at Nolann.