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Vervain held the medical scanner up to the giant hutt her nose wrinkling in a mixture of awe and disgust at the hulking behemoth. The scanner beeped twice then fell silent. The diagnosis screen blanking out, and the device began a reboot sequence, failed then shut completely off. She looked over her shoulder to the captain who shrugged. It was old imperial technology anyway so it was due to fail at some point. 


There was a crackling of static in her ear from command and the captain held up his hand. It took a moment for Vervain’s own comm to tune into the encrypted frequency. THe voice was calm but carried with it the command of someone terrified. 


“....Get out of there now. Imperial Knights are enroute. They have sensed something evil there. You are with a SITH LORD.” 


She dropped the scanner and the fear in her stomach caused her to drop her rifle as well. Almost like a herd of nerfs, the commando team bolted for the airlock. None of them looked back. 


Pretender to the Galactic Throne

Leader of the Rebel Alliance

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  • 1 month later...

The overlarge Hutt heaved his immense bulk across the decking, watching the assembled security force bail from their patrol like womprats scattering before a Krayt’s roar. He let out a small, blubbery sigh and shoved his way into the nearby stardock where his newest pawn, the small humanoid Gwenhwyfar, was hotwiring a convenient Upsilon-Class Shuttlecraft.


<<Not nearly luxurious enough…>>


Leaving a trail of slime behind him, the Master of Gluttony departed the dreadfully boring mission he had stalled and somehow procrastinated into being bored of.


<<Hwyfar, set a course for dear Raxus Prime. Set the shuttle’s transponder to be… Le Morte d’ShadowFett. That seems like a good name.>>


And thus Le Morte d’ShadowFett entered hyperspace towards a new adventure


King Kheldar vos Correlli said:
Sheog, I have to ask, overkill much?
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  • 1 year later...

The door alert system jingled softly alerting the front desk staff of their arrival. It was a call back to days of yore. In fact it was almost all but impossible for the human ear to differentiate the sound from an actual bell. The pristine lobby of the towering Spider Co building had an actual crackling fire framed by a rich stone and polished wooden mantle along one wall; a welcome glow of warmth against the wintery air that blustered outside. Front and center a smooth warm orange wood desk stood, behind it stood two receptionists, a bellhop, and a trio of other building employees each adorned in crisp white uniforms that looked like they would be more at home at a black tie event than here. It all contributed to an aura of grandeur and an air of warmth that extended well beyond the crackling flames and filled the whole of the ornate lobby with welcome.


Stepping in out of the cold, the well dressed Rodian slipped his smooth synthskin learher gloves from his hands, “Tell you what, there are way too many places in this galaxy that are much colder than there ought to be.” He rubbed his blue-green hands together as a spark of joy crossed his eyes as he spotted the fire and extended his hands towards it, beckoning the warmth into his frigid digits. His compatriot, and truth be told bodyguard, a rather thick yellow-gold Yuzzem grunted a chuckle as he tapped the sealed cylinder tuckedbeneath the crook of his arm. 

The Rodian plopped down rather unceremoniously in an enveloping high-backed chair that faced the fire, his hands extended outwards. “I know. I know. We still have,” he looked at his wristwatch, “17 minutes. It would be rude to arrive this early.” He responded to an inquisitive growl from his companion.


Having seen their arrival, a yellow-skinned twi’lek tailed by a pair of young human men, no more than 22 standard years apiece, swept towards them. “Good day gentlemen. Welcome to the Spider Co Building. Might I enquire as to your destination?” She asked cheerily.


The Rodian and Yuzzem exchanged a glance before the lizard-like being buzzed, “We have an appointment on, uhhh,” he pulled a scrunched piece of paper from his pocket, “the 87th floor. I thought I would warm up first. Not everyone has a thick fur coat like my friend here.”


A knowing look passed across the faces of all three employees, “Ah yes , Nubia Star Drives Incorporated. When you are ready to go up, please alert the front desk and we will have someone escort you. In the meantime, can we offer you a spot of Nubian Brandy to ward off the chill of our winter months?” 

You see, the Spider Co Building was one of the more  posh business buildings in Nuba City, situated on pristine real estate a short underground shuttle trip from the capital and the halls of democracy that governed the planet. Home to a variety of offices representing businesses across the galaxy, merely having an office within was a sign of financial success. To command the top floor, well that just spoke of a richness that oozed from every pore. It was that floor that was entirely commanded by the small shipbuilding company known as Nubia Star Drives Inc. They had made a name for themselves designing some of the best and most exclusive craft the galaxy had ever known. Each was a work of art and worked flawlessly. A single freighter made by NSDInc was even able to withstand an entire blockade it was rumored.


”I think we will be alright.” The Rodian smiled as he caught a whiff of the brandy that was offered. He would have happily accepted, but they were there on business, more than business in fact. They were there under orders.


The musclebound Yuzzem smiled politely and waived a hand to decline.


”Very well,” the receptionist smiled with a slight bow as she slipped the offered glasses to the boy behind her. “If there is anything we can do to make your stay more comfortable, please do not hesitate to ask.”


Ten minutes later found the pair riding an equally ornate and spacious lift upwards through the building towards the 87th floor. It was smooth and gradual enough, one could hardly tell they were

moving at all. “Nothing like the lift tubes on the Rebel starship,” the Rodian would say later while describing their visit.


At the 87th floor, the doors opened with a pneumatic hiss. The corporate office of Nubia Star Drives was, well, not what either of them had expected. Not that they really knew what to expect, but still.


A counter seemed to run the length of the room; a room that seemed significantly smaller than it should have been. The only telltale sign that alluded to the business of the place they were in was a single large framed shot of a squadron of N-1 Star  fighters  emblazoned with the Naboo Security Corps logo image on the wall. Behind it sat a solitary man with salt and peppered hair and a mustache that probably would have been more at home atop the lip of an old world battlefield general. As he looked up over his rimmed spectacles, the bellhop stepped back into the elevator, “Your 3:75 appointment.” He spoke before the doors closed silently.


”Ah yes,” the man beckoned the Rodian and Yuzzem forward as he consulted his ledger. There was not a computer in sight. In fact, as the two stepped up, their own electronics chirped and immediately shut down. Had they not been warned about this particular security measure it would have been alarming. As it were, they had been warned and nobody with prosthetics were selected to attend this meeting. “Yes, Let’s see here, Mister, ahh, Freedom was it?” The man’s finger landed on the appointment looking from it to the two before him clearly aware that the pseudonym was just that. “I see you have an appointment with one of our shipwrights, “Mister, ahh, Jones,” he smiled shooting the pseudonym right back at them, “will be with you momentarily.” The man gestured to a pair of leather chairs along a far wall of the mostly empty room.


The two had barely sat down when a door at the other end of the small reception room opened with a hiss.“Mister Freedom, welcome,” grinned a young woman, her blonde hair pulled back into a tight bun. “I have been looking forward to out meeting. I am,” she paused to glanfe at the ledger the elder receptionist was offering, “Mister Jones.” The smile fell from her face st the ludicrousness of such a moniker. It was only for a moment though, as she turned back towards her guests her smile lit her entire face, “Please come with me.” She turned and led them down a rather bland but rich warm green-tinged hallway past several closed doors until they reached one like the dozen others they had passed. There were no names, no numbers, nothing to differentiate any one from another. “Welcome to my office.” She said as she opened the door. “I hardly am ever here. Please pardon the lack of, well,” she gestured them into the room. A single desk with a computer monitor sat in one corner. A pair of folding chairs sat opposite. In the middle of the room a holographic display table sat unused. The entire room seemed devoid of any personal knick-knacks or additions whatsoever. 

Stepping into the room, the Yuzzem handed the long cylindrical container to the Rodian as he took up a post beside the door. They had made it this far without any issue. That business on Cato Nemodia did not count. What sort of customs officers thought that cake mix was Spice anyway? 

“Thanks Grimm,” the Rodian buzzed as he stepped to the side as the woman stepped in after, pulling the door shut behind her.


‘Mister Jones’ did not go towards her desk, instead she took up a place standing opposite the pair across the powered down holotable. “Now, what can Nubia Star Drives do for you fine men today?” She asked warmly.


Carefully, the Rodian unstoppered the end of the cylinder and gingery poured out the scrolled documents within. “We represent the Galactic Alliance. As you know, turmoil seems to have engulfed the galaxy of late and we have need for a good many ships.” The look on Jones’ face was obvious as she was preparing to interject that her company dod not work for the Alliance, just like it had not worked for the Sith. She did not get to or beed to though as the representative continued. “Now we are not asking for a fleet. We are not asking that you become the sole provider of starships for the Alliance. We are here with a business proposition,” he began to unroll the first of many papers that had fallen to the table, “a contract for one single fleet element and all that accompanies it.”


Jones cocked an eyebrow curiously as she leaned forward to look at the lists and rough schematics of over a dozen different vessels. Itemized requests for certain systems, security measures, ideas plucked from other designs, they were all there. What was not there was a layout. Not a single image of what the craft would look like. Many would be clients started with an image and wanted things crammed inside. “There is a lot here,” she noted as she shuffled page after page. “How are you going to pay for all this? Such a task will not come cheap.” She paused as she held up an old designers blueprint and swuinted to read the handwritten notes scrawled across it. “These are originals!” She gasped as her eyes shot from the design plans to the Rodian and back. “Where did these come from?”


The Rodian leaned back, a smile or what passed for the Rodian version thereof crossed his face. “They are a gift, a downpayment of sorts, from our benefactor should you undertake this . . . massive project. Salvaged from the wreckage of Coruscant and plucked from the hands of the criminal underworld, these designs belong to the people

of the galaxy. Our benefactor knows that you and Nubia Star Drives will keep them safe.”


”As for payment, know that while

fledgling, the Alliance has many allies and member worlds with deep pockets and vast resources. It is to protect them that we seek this project be undertaken. The wealth of the whole of the Outer Rim is at our disposal.”


Jones nodded, “And I will

have the freedom to design such a craft as I see fit?”She asked looking back to the plans, “Some of these things will

have to be redesigned from scratch or harvested from across the galaxy.”


”Our benefactor is aware of this. Can you do it?”


Jones pondered for a full thirty seconds of silence as she wracked the inner workings of her mind. “I will need to bring in other shipwrights and it will take quite some time.” She picked up a formal order contract. For such a complex task it was quite a simple form. She began to fill in spaces, crossing out certain lines and scrawling in amended scripts. “Whose name should I put on this should there be a lack of payment?” She asked glancing up without moving her head. “And what are we calling this project?”


The Rodian paused, “All of that will be fine. Please put the order under the name  of Vangar Longfang, Baron Administrator of Cloud City,” he responded for the name. As for the project name, it had not been discussed. He thought about it turning it over in his head before his comrade let loose a low guttural growl. “Yes! Hope. Let us call it Project Hope.”


The rest of the meeting consisted of the finer points of contract negotiation, signatures, guarantees, clarifications on certain design elements; but in less than a standard hour the Rodian and Yuzzem were walking out of the Spider Co Building, boarding a shuttlebus and returning to their spacecraft.




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  • 3 weeks later...

In a post-apocalyptic universe where everyone, every world and people, sought to define a new normal, to ensure their own safety into an uncertain future. With the fall of galactic fleets prowling the space lanes, the galaxy was ripe for the plucking to any morally compromised wannabe pirate with a ship and a blaster. Local security was one thing; but outside of the Imperial Worlds, worlds recently liberated from the oppression of the Sith, chaos had taken ahold. In systems no longer used to fending for themselves, like those in the Outer Rim, predators were abundant. They swooped in to exploit the vacuum while and where they could.


Of course, not everyone exploiting the situation were hardened buccaneers. Such was the case with the dozens of private contractors tasked with procuring the immoderate amounts of raw materials and specialized equipment for the latest project undertaken by Nubia Star Drives. For the promises of upfront payment or protected shipping, many anxious financial officers were more than happy to stay in the black, even if it was not as deep as they might like.

So across forgotten hyperlanes the galaxy over entire privately owned fleets of ore haulers escorted by armed frigates and heavily armed or fast freighters moved worlds of wealth and material without knowing any more than their small part. Payments came in cash or goods. Bigger clients were paid directly by Nubia Star Drives’ executive accounts.


Compartmentalized to the highest degree, order confirmations came into NSDInc’s head office. Today that was a bank of empty offices covered by plain waiting room with a mural of N-1 star fighters on the wall. Those orders were checked by hand. The mustachiod man at the desk sighed, as his computer dinged, another confirmation receipt. Sitting up from his slouched position, the man grabbed his spectacles and slid then across the ridge of his nose as he slid a ledger from a discrete drawer beneath the desk. Lines of numbers and codes thats all it would look like to the uninformed. Keying into his computer, the man stared over his glasses at the screen. Reading the message he thumbed through the book, his finger running line by line until he settled on a lengthy string of different alpha-numeric designations. Tapping it, he pursed his lips. That was it.


Opening up another program, the man’s arthritic fingers moved across the keyboard. More code. Confirmation. And with that he closed out of the program and slid his ledger back into the drawer. Setting his glasses on the counter, the receptionist returned to his holo book.


Half way around the globe, a comm unit dinged. Standing up from her crouched position alongside a prototype land-speeder, Eleanor Rook, wiped her grease covered hands on a rag hanging at her waistline before shoving her goggles up onto her forehead. They pushing a stray strand of blonde hair back towards her ponytail as she picked up her comm unit. Nodding her head ‘Mister Jones’ smiled. That was the last of it. At least they could get started.


Walking across the well organized workshop, Eleanor slid a separate comm  unit out from a heavy metal composite lined toolbox; a simple man’s broadcast jammer.


There were 3 comm numbers preprogrammed into the unit. Eleanor selected the second one. Across a galactic network of satellites and back trails and secure networks the signal bounced. It rang four times before a gruff alien voice answered in the other end. “Ya?”


“Supplies have been stockpiled. Divert what you need to Duro. Hangars two through fourteen. Plans are on site.” Eleanor droned emotionlessly. Just another business deal. Then she hung up. The communicator went back into the toolbox. Turning the shipwright walked back over to her custom speeder. Pulling her goggles down over her eyes, Eleanor squatted back down and plunged her hands into the half dismantled engine core.





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