Coming Clean is Half the Battle | Chapter 2 in Star Wars: Shards Discussion Boards | World Anvil
Sun, Mar 31st 2024 11:30   Edited on Sun, Apr 28th 2024 06:47

Coming Clean is Half the Battle

Brimstone Whammy by Synthography by CB Ash
 
It took only moments before the Street Judges could haul a battered Karakas and his wounded co-workers out of the cantina. The Death Watch commando took longer as he took offense to being manhandled.
 
Heavy stun at point blank range made for excellent diplomacy.
 
Meanwhile, smoke was cleared out of the cantina in no time. Despite new blaster marks on the walls and more than a few broken tables, the establishment was none the worse for wear. Despite the combat, and new battle decorations, Olee Pindol’s mood remained as upbeat as ever.
 
She even treated Dizzy and Iwa to a new round of burgers and drinks on the house for no hard feelings. There was even an offer of jobs as bouncers if the ladies ever wanted it.
 
That is, all of which came after Iwa’s rage subsided. Leaving her far less likely to tear up nearby patrons as fun-time confetti or a Corellian piñata. Aches and pains from the fight with Karakas began to slowly make themselves known to Iwa.
 
Judge Drifter located an intact table and righted it back on its feet. After which he sat across the table from Iwa and Dizzy. He pulled off his helmet to reveal the easily recognizable features of a clone trooper that shared all too many facial features as Dizzy.
 
“Now, before we get into the ‘impersonating a Street Judge’ bit… really, off the record. What are you two doing on world?” Drifter asked.
Tue, Apr 2nd 2024 04:58

I groan a LOT and accept the burger and fries from Olee with a lovely Dagobah Slug Slinger from Dizzy and settle down to refuel. Rage is not my preferred method to handle conflict, but sometimes it is better diplomacy. I notice Judge Drifter plop down across from us. I study him while I am ostensibly eating. He is an obvious 'sibling' to Dizzy, but he somehow lacks her effervescent spirit. She has fun and you can tell it just by looking at her while he does not give off that vibe at all.   I seem to recall hearing the same sarcastic wit from comms chatter during the early part of the fight before things got blurry, so that is encouraging. It would be very helpful to have someone on our side on this planet. Now, what was I supposed to be doing??? Oh, that's right. Find some medallions to pay for my armor and help Dizzy plan her wedding. I really wish she was more excited about NOT wearing armor for her wedding dress. Something light and gauzy............I flip back to the conversation when I hear, “Now, before we get into the ‘impersonating a Street Judge’ bit… really, off the record. What are you two doing on world?” Drifter asked.   "Me? I'm just picking up some goods and paying for them with a bit of service. You?" I causally respond.
Tue, Apr 2nd 2024 02:28

I nod in agreement with Iwa's summary. "Scouting out the tailoring contractors is just a happenstance bonus," I add. "Got samples and sales pitch from one. Maybe we'll get a few more before our return flight. Tell us a little about the Judges being so very present today. Is this all over the whole city of Nelden? Or something particular about the Urmbrek Market?"
 
Because this is the second Judge we've noticed within less than two hours. And my understanding is that they usually operate in pairs. And Judge Vos jumped on the chance to volunteer me as a pro tem bailiff.
And it is probably not a coincidence that this is also the second firefight to trip over us in the same amount of time.
I suspect there's a faction war in progress. That it's tied into Irrit Deeneru stealing something from an Imperial Moff to sell to the representatives of a Hutt.
I can't help thinking that the Order of Solicitors are out in force to disrupt some big conflict while it's still building.
 
I wonder if I ought to be shuffling Iwa off-planet.
I wonder if this city is counting down to a literal explosion.
Sun, Apr 14th 2024 05:43   Edited on Sun, Apr 14th 2024 06:50

Drifter rubbed his eyes, as if trying to wipe away a shadow of lost sleep that haunted them. After that, he raised an eyebrow at Iwa before he cut a glance at Dizzy. Then, with a sigh, he tapped a com-channel switch inside his black, Street Judge helmet. A faint glow inside registered ‘on break’.
 
“I shouldn’t say anything,” Drifter replied while he nodded at Dizzy. “But she’s family, and that means ‘trust’. So if Dizzy trusts you, then you’ve got a lot of people that also trust you. Dizzy can explain just how many some other time.”
 
Drifter idly waved a hand. “I’m part of a task force sent by the Order of Solicitors. The organization I work for as a Street Judge. We’re tracking down a couple of big problems but trying to do it quietly.”
 
He smiled at Olee when she appeared with a dark drink with ice, a layer of white foam thick enough to take a nap on, dotted with what looked to be chocolate puff balls.
 
“Thanks, Olee.”
 
“No, thank you, Judge. Just holler if you need anything, suga’.”
 
He took a sip then picked up where he left off once the cantina owner hurried off to deal with another patron.
 
“Firefek, that’s good. Anyway, first there’s a faction war about to erupt. Three sides are about to go at it. Rogga and her people, the Pyke Sindicate, and a Moff Porth Cabale and his people. Rogga and the Pykes have been at it for some time but it’s getting real hot right now.”
 
“Believe it or not, it’s not spice or anything of the kind, but antiques. Art stolen during the Civil War. Statues, holopaintings, you name it. Cultural pieces. They are selling for stupid amounts of credits on the black market to high end buyers.” Drifter shrugged. “Rumors say Rogga plans to use the art market as a way to traffic illegal weapons. The Pykes? Spice of course. As for Moff Porth Cabale? That slimebag traffics in stolen art, but so far nothing comes close to sticking to put him away.”
 
Drifter pulls out a small datapad and turns it on. An image of Irrit Deeneru appears on the holoscreen.
 
“Enter Irrit Deeneru. High end thief with a record of theft longer than a Star Destroyer. It’d be nice to arrest her, but really she’s got an art piece that is real important. It belongs to the Cragmoloid people, which it needs to go back to. But, there’s something else about it that makes it even more important which gets into the second problem.”
 
Drifter took another sip from his drink then glanced at the ladies.
 
“There’s a data chip hidden on that relic with partial coordinates to a cache of stolen Street Judge weapons, armor, and other things that both Rogga and the Pykes want. Rumor has it that Porth Cabale arranged it. If Rogga or the Pykes get it, they could use it to impersonate Judges and make it stick long enough to cause some ugly problems. The other half the coordinates? Not sure. Rumor is that a deep dive miner stumbled over them, but no one can confirm it.”
 
Slowly he tapped the table lightly as if bleeding off honest stress that showed in his eyes.
 
“We tracked the stash of Street Judge gear this world. Specifically this city, either in or just outside it. Where? No idea.”
 
Worry mingled with stress in his expression.
 
“If that’s not bad enough, I’ve noticed some… discrepancies… in Judge activity. Rulings and such. Nothing big, but little things that don’t add up.” Drifter toyed with his cup then glanced first at Dizzy, then at Iwa.
 
“I’m convinced that either Rogga or the Pykes have someone on the inside of the Solicitor task force. Someone on staff altering records, a traitor Street Judge, or even a fake Street Judge.” He met Dizzy’s eyes. “I can’t tell any of our siblings, like Razak. Sure, he’s blood family, but if he got anyone involved, it’d fast-jump the blaster fire. Which means, slow burn, stealth runs at all this while keeping the blaster-play to a minimum.”
 
At that, Drifter took another drink to let that sink in.
 
“So, there you have it. That’s why I’m here, bustin’ my shebs to not let this turn gang war while rooting out the rot. The locals here in Nelden city don’t need to ever experience any sort of gang war.”
 
After another drink he squinted at Dizzy with obvious mock-scorn.
 
“Which, by the way, vod’ika, why didn't I get an invite to this party you’re setting up? I mean, c’mon! You know I’d be good for the party favors.”
Mon, Apr 15th 2024 11:54   Edited on Mon, Apr 15th 2024 11:55

"One does not script the formal invitations," I tell Drifter in my snootiest Vor Bore impression, "until one has locked down the precise venue and date. Of course you're going to be invited, you knob!"
That settled, I turn to Iwa. "We're going to need duct tape, clown shoes and a one-size-fits-most ruffled collar that fastens in the back, and a couple spray cans of skin-safe day glow chartreuse paint. Maybe three cans. You want to look up costume supply stores while I look up twi'lek fashion model supply warehouses? Or other way around?
Fri, Apr 26th 2024 07:14

I start to nod and then stop. What the absolute farfek!?!?!? I stare at Dizzy and then shake my head slowly, trying to clear the sic-six's webbing from the head as I am obviously missing more than half of this conversation.   I try to replay it in my head and yet it still does not match with Dizzy's response. I am old, I am a grandmother, but the mental gymnastics that I just observed makes me feel completely ancient.   "Why do you always go for the wrong color scheme? You do know this is why planning your wedding is taking so very long as I do not want you to be unhappy with the holographic images after the fact. Chartreuse is certainly eye-catching and will probably make the point you are working on, but why not a simple dreamwort yellow to send the message?" I grouse
Drifter pursed his lips then arched an eyebrow at Dizzy with a half-smile. After that he gave Iwa the same look.
 
“If you ask her sisters why, they’ll say she was dropped on her head once too often as a child. A few of her brothers say that, too. My own theory is that she’s got a secret collection of ‘Irritated Officials of the Galaxy’ trading card collection and she’s going for the full set.”  
A heartbeat of silence passes while Drifter squints in light concentration. An eerie feeling passes around the table.
 
“But… I can tell you’ve traveled with her for a bit now. Especially, since it seems you’re here to help her not run head first into a fashion disaster, since most of us know a bantha’s butt worth about fashion and too much about armor, weapons, and the like.”
 
He extended a hand to Iwa.
 
“Just to observe the proprieties, they call me Drifter. Yes, I’m a Street Judge, but that’s just the job right now? You?”