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#13816619 Jul 17, 2018 at 10:23 PM · Edited 2 years ago
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Walking through the old Mwarbu office, Sallus finds his mind is full of thoughts of concern and caution. With a holo projector in his hand he moves through the rooms of the office . The office has seen far less use after the agency grew in finance, reputation and work when it moved its headquarters from here on Nexum to the planet Del'Nomesh where they are closer to the main region of space they been exploring with much success. He and Thyone has been working in this office since. Stepping out of the back door into one of the two landing pads of this office, he sees whom he is looking for.
In the landing pad that was walled up and only opened to the sky, a Seeker Z-10 sits along with two other ships. Under the Z-10 is his wife Thyone the one Sallus is looking to talk to. The refurbish of this Z-10, that has seen better days, is a fun side project of Thyone and Sallus. Right now she has four helpers. The two closest to Thyone are Feugia and Peneus, their 5 year old twin daughter and son. The two were born a little less than a year after Sallus returned home from that 10 year long absence in Lamaria before finally finding his way back home. Though it made things slower than usual, Thyone gladly lets Peneus and Feugia help her as a good way to spend time with them.
On top of the Z-10 is her second helper Dwennor. A Duro wearing a trench coat over his shirt and pants, he is working on a panel. Though Sallus knew Dwennor is a very experienced spacer and a friend of Thyone from times before Sallus and Thyone first met, he always gets the feeling this Duro was more dangerous and skilled than he knew. But he says nothing since Thyone trusts him and he never showed any treachery to her at anytime.
Sallus could see the third helper working in the cockpit. A Coynite, Ziman'Ol is another old trusted friend of Thyone. A bounty hunter and superb warrior, he is still wearing armor as he works. Somehow Thyone had earned his deep trust and respect, a big feat dealing with a Coynite.
Sallus stops short of this ship and says, "Thyone.." his voice showing some urgency and concern.
Hearing his voice, Thyone moves out from under the ship. Once she read the feelings on his face and realizes the same in his voice, she gets up and walks to him, wanting to know what has happen. "What is wrong, love?" she asks as as stops right in front of him with the twins following her.
Sallus brings his hand up holding the holo projector then turns it on. The holo projects the image of a Human woman. Both of them recognize her. Nyla Dialnom. An old friend of Sallus he knew from his days in the Rebel Alliance. She served as a droid engineer for the Rebel back then. Last they heard she had married and settled down on Rori.
"Sallus.." Nyla's holo begins to say, her words shaking in much fear and concern which her face showed as well, "I need your help. You are the only one I can trust in this," her eyes move as if paranoid, "Ugur is missing. I... I think it is real bad.. Please come and help me."
Sallus turns it off then he and Thyone looks at her as she places her hand lovingly on the twin's heads as they stand at their mother's side. He can tell by her body language that Thyone understand the situation now.
"Going to head there to help?" Thyone says more than asks. She understands him very well and what he is thinking.
"Yes, I want to go and see what I can do. She seems in genuine distress."
"We'll be fine," she answers, nodding her head as she hugs and kisses him, "Go help them. Be back quickly and in one piece."

Releasing a deep breath, Sallus looks at the ship before him. An Incom Explorer scout ship. It is smaller than a light freighter but it is more than enough for him. He had gone to Sallux for help on this trip because he didn't want to hire transport just in case he will have to go to elsewhere after Rori. As Sallux recalled Nyla, Sallux had loan him this ship to use.
He watches R2-Z7 "Zee" go up the ship ramp. Zee was put here by Sallux to assist Sallus in watching over the ship but in maintenance and sometimes piloting. As Zee moves up the small ramp into the ship Jolan's Tooth, Sallus checks his gear. His DE-10 blaster pistol sits in his holster on his belt. His Myluran blaster pistol, a gift by Perry and his family, sits firmly in its holster hidden in his boot. His trusty N'Gant heavy blaster carbine he has over his shoulder held by its sling. After making sure his backpack is ready, he walks up the ramp to begin his trip.

Rori. A moon of Naboo. It has a terrain mostly of marshes and swamps along with two main cities. One of these two cites is Restuss. Now Sallus is walking down one of its streets which is wet from recent rain as he heads towards where he will meet Nyla. Last time he was in Restuss, it was a big battle between the Empire and the Rebels. He had fought for the Rebels at that time. He recalls Restuss was in ruins from it all. Now the people have rebuilded it completely with the help of some local Gungans. The architecture is mostly Naboo with the rest Gungan, along with a smattering of other styles.
Arriving at a small two story house, he knows on the door. As he waits, he can hear some noises on the other side of the door. When the door open a small bit, he can see frightened eyes looking at him. The door open further as he can see it is Nyla. He walks in once she signals for him to enter. Once he is in, she quickly shuts the door and lock it.
"It is so good to see you, Sallus" she says as she looks like he last recall her but definitely scared and worried.
"You said Ugur is missing. What happen?" he asks as he keeps alert to everything.

The first part of the history she gives he is quite aware of. He listens as she talks about how she and Ugur left the Rebel Alliance after the Battle of Endor. The two had settled on Rori where he became employed in a small blaster technology business. After a few years they were married. Soon she gets to the second part which he was not familiar with. She talks about Ugur had done work on some projects for a company named Terace. She then says how he had traveled to Rishi to finished up an important project for that company. She never heard back from him. She then suspect kidnapping when a co-worker of Ugur made it back and told her about it before he went into hiding. She said about how she got in touch with the local law enforcement. The police found out Terace was not even a real company and maybe a front. When the investigation was shut down so suddenly and completely, it scared her as she realized this might be much bigger and more dangerous than she first thought. she could only recall Sallus as one she could trust and knew how to get in touch with.

When she finishes talking, he just stay silent as he thinks and ponders what he has heard. As she sits there, waiting for him to reply still clearly scared, he says, "Mmm …. Seems to be something more to this than what meets the eye as you think. Though I am at lost what exactly that might be."
"Will you be able to help...?" she asks unsure and scared.
"Yes, I will go find him and bring him back," he comforts her, "Will you be safe?"
"Yes," she responds, feeling a little better, "Some of our mutual friends will keep me safe."

Sallus guides his ship over clear tropical ocean and islands of tropical forests. He steers it slower as he nears what goes for the main city on Rishi as there is some traffic about. Soon he spots the landing pad he was hoping to get to, thankful it is empty. As he brings his ship to hover then lowers down to land, he can see a Human woman in dirty work clothes walking up close to the landing pad to look up at his ship with her hands on her hips. Getting out of his ship, Sallus starts to walk to the woman whose dirty beautiful face with brown white hair tie in a bun is marred only by a very angry expression as to explode in anger at him. As he nears her, he talks off his helmet revealing his face.
Upon recognizing his face, her facial expression suddenly turns into a sweet loving smile then just as suddenly to a stern scolding one. She burst out yelling, "When will my grandchildren visit?!"
He holds up his hands in surrender and to calm her down, smiling anyway. "I promise I will have them visit, Mom." His answer seems to placate her as she goes back to a loving smile then hugs him warmly.
Once they stop hugging, they walk away from the landing pad. "How's things been going?" Sallus asks, smiling.
"Your dad is off working as a guard for some miners in a nearby system," she replies, "Lucious is stationed on Thyra Prime.." Sallus almost grimace since his brother Lucious was a staunch Imperial, but at least the two of them never had to fight on the battlefield, "Nadava and Muklan have settled on Aquilo and doing great there," he nods and smiles, glad to hear his sister and her husband are doing fine. She then asks, "What brings you here?"
"I am following a trail of clues looking for a friend," he replies.
She frowns some, "Will you be able to stay to spend time with your mother?"
He smiles warmly at her, "Of course I can."

The building looks like it hasn't been occupy for a couple weeks. Like a number of other buildings here on Rishi, this one has been used as a temporary place for groups passing through. From his mother, whom is a well known and respected resident of this area, and some of her contacts, he found out a person of Ugur's description was seen going here about 2 weeks ago. Sallus is glad no one seems to have used this building since it provides a greater chance of clues. He moves through the building searching carefully for any clues.
After a few minutes of fruitless searching, he comes to one room where he searches what seems to be a mess of boxes and chairs where it looks like a fight had happened. Moving some broken boxes out of the way, he picks up a very nice necklace with a broken chain. As it looks so familiar he open the necklace which turn on a micro hologram. He closes it back upon seeing it was a hologram of Ugur and Nula. He puts it away knowing he is in the right spot and that Ugur would never depart from this necklace.
Before he stands back up, he stops and reaches to his side as he spots something out of place just under a desk. He pulls out a datapad that looks like he has been sitting there for no more than a couple weeks. Turning it on he looks through it. But to his chagrin it is in a language he didn't even recognize. He turns it off and puts it in his pocket. Once he stands up, he moves to look around.
He pauses as he notices something that seems like it was place there on purpose. Picking it up he was surprise to see it is a playing card from a a card game Rutzen which is popular in some sectors. As he examines it, he notices it is the fyg'kar card then he feels a chill goes down his spine as he notices the extra marks on it that made it unique but something he has seen many times in his past. Not liking to think about it, he puts the card in his pocket to study later on.

Sitting in a chair at a table, Sallus watches his mother examine the contents of the datapad he found. He didn't find any good evidence except for the necklace, datapad and the card. He didn't like what the card seems to be alluding to. He continues to sip his cup of some local berry juices which is very good much to his surprise.
"This is no language I know or seen," she finally says as she lays the datapad on the table, "But while you were away investigating, I ask around to my contacts quietly. What I found out verifies all you had said so far," pauses as she gets more serious,"I also found out this group that took your friend. I would advise to be very very careful. What little is known is that they are quite powerful, secretive and violent. So best to be very careful whom you say what to. It is very suspected they have spies and contacts everywhere."
Taking the datapad and looking at it, he thinks deeply then places it in a pouch, he nods his head, "I sure will and think I have someone in mind."
"Can you stay long enough to have dinner?" she asks lovingly.
"Love to"

Boreas. A cold weather planet, though not as a wasteland like Hoth, has oceans, forest and plains. As a frontier planet it only has two cities, Gorea and New Tyrena. Gorea is located inside a big long-extinct volcano in middle of a wide plains. The city itself is in the tunnels and caves in the volcano, some natural while others were dug out. The entrance of the city's starport is at the top through the wide volcano crater with landing pads carved into the sides of the equally wide throat.
Sallus has come here to meet with someone he can trust with secrets as well as has great linguistic talents. Her name is Bettina. She is a language genius and an old friend of Thyone back in her days as a slave for a Hutt. Now Bettina lives here in Gorea as a much respected and looked-after community member where she runs a library and language classes. When he had approached her, she agreed to translate it but it would take her three days.
For three days Sallus has stay in Gorea, visiting various dives and other places. Despite that, his thoughts are mostly on the fyg'kar card he picked up on Rishi. They take him back many years during the Galactic Civil War when he served in part of the Rebel Alliance. A few Imperial units became rivals to his. One such unit was the Red Blades and their calling card was fyg'kar card of this exact same rare type. This could be a copycat but his instincts tells him otherwise.
The Red Blades was an Imperial Army Special Missions unit. Many times it had mimic Rebel guerrilla tactics then committed a number of atrocities which they framed the Rebels for. Sallus' unit had fought them on many occasions. Last he heard, the Red Blade was disbanded shortly after the Battle of Endor by Moff Marlik of Gurith Sector in a move to solidify his power. Now he is not sure what the situation is with them.

Walking in one of Gorea's big tunnel streets, Sallus enters through a nondescript door into the library where Bettina is working at as she had told him to meet her at. The fairly spacious library was carved out of rock. What shock him the most was that whoever carved the stone into the walkways, railings and stairs did a masterwork in how ornate and stunning it is.
He then spots her, a stunning brunette sitting at a table studying a datapad with several books and other datapad within reach. When he walks up to her, she looks up and motion for him to sit down at the same table. When he sits down, she takes a breath and starts to talk, "I was able to translate it. It is Yunith. The actual meaning looks like code so I am not sure what it means.," handing him a datachip.
He accepts the datachip and plugs it into his datapad. After examining it, he recognize the code as an old Imperial code he was familiar with. He stays at the table as she works on other things while he breaks the code. After a few minutes he breaks it and sees it is coordinates. He thanks her then hurries off to get to his ship before the trail can go colder than it is already.

Looking through his macrobinoculars, Sallus checks out this nondescript building. Though it looks harmless, his instincts tells him otherwise. So he keeps still and observes it longer instead of rushing in. From the datapad Bettina had translated, he was able to decode it further to find coordinates which lead to this city Na'ardok and this building which he is looking at.
Na'ardok is one of four starport cities of Aeolus Jenth. The Aeolus system is a major trade route system in the Buarp sector. Aeolus Jenth is a moon which sees a large space traffic day and night. It orbits the orange and green gas giant Aeolus Prime which Sallus can see in the night sky if he looks in that direction. Of the four starport cities, Na'ardok has an open secret that the authorities there only follow custom rules loosely. This makes it a shadowport where smugglers, pirates, bounty hunters as well as others come to do trade in goods and services more than this system and neighboring ones.
His patience and trust in his instincts pay off soon as he spots a guard whom foolishly cross by one of the windows. Now as if a switch was turn on in his mind, he is starting to notice the security of the building and a makeshift plan forms in his hand. He puts his macrobinoculars in the casing at his belt, collect his blaster carbine and puts on his helmet. He then moves off on the roof he is on, keeping low for cover.

With his blaster pistol ready in one hand, Sallus sneaks down one hall then another slow and quiet as possible in his armor. He shakes his head internally in disgust that he is finding the security of this place to be so lax and complacent. Still he is not complaining about it, but is not taking any chances.
He stops as he comes where two hallways intersect. Looking around the corner he spots what seems to be odd sight of a guard bringing food into a door down the hall then exiting a few minutes later. After he waits for the guard to disappear further down the hall, Sallus silently makes his way to that same door. Just as he thought they are as lax on this door security as with the rest. He quickly undoes the simple lock before entering into the door so not to step into an ambush. The room is dark and empty of anyone and leads to another room that is brightly lighted.
Staying in the dark room he can see people in the lighted room. He smiles to recognize one of them as Ugur. The others were dress similar to him like technicians. They were eating but definitely not happy. He stop a few steps short of the doorway when he notices laser traps going across the door. Apparently these traps are meant to keep the technicians in the room but not stopping others from entering since he can easily disarm them from his direction. He quickly disarm them then stands up and enters the lighted room.
At first they look at him in submissive boredom thinking he was one of the guards. Within a couple seconds their facial expressions went to concern and bewilderment as they realize he is not a guard but unsure who he is. Ugur quickly recognizes him in shock. Finally he speaks, stuttering, "Sa ... Sallus... Is that you? How did you get here? Why?"
Sallus smiles to show he means no harm, "For you. You have made Nyla very concern."
"Nyla... is she alright? Did they hurt her?"
He raises his hands to calm him down, "She is fine but I am here to get you as she thinks you been kidnapped. Is that what happen?" asking to make sure what is going on.
Ugur nods his head eagerly as though he sees a hope he wasn't expecting, "Yes.. we all were kidnapped and made to work here.. working on blaster designs, improving and making new ones.." spreading his arms out to point around at the rest of the technicians, about six in all including Ugur.
"Well, come with me. I'll get you out of here."
"Can you take the rest here? None of us wants to be here"
Sallus thinks deeply as he looks around at the technicians. { That would be eight people... Me.. the droid.. Ugur and 5 others.. that is more than the max number of passengers it can carry... guess I can.. it will be tight and the life support system will be stretched...} "Ok, Come with me.. Quick before they come here."
The technicians immediately brighten up from the news and get to action. To his shock and chagrin they rush to collect datapads and various things of their work and research from what he can tell. He waits impatiently for them. What happen in seconds but feels like hours, they stand ready to follow him. He then turns around to lead them out. Just before reaching the doorway to the hallway, it opens to reveal a surprised guard. Before the guard could react, Sallust grabs his head with his hand and slams him into the wall, knocking out the guard cold.
Sallus turns his head to the stunned technicians and says softly, "Hurry before they miss him.." then heads off down the hallway followed by them, all trying to move quietly and quickly as possible. Much to his relief their walk through the building was without any more complications. He finds himself quickly thanking mentally that the guards here are so lax. Soon they reach a door to the outside where they pause.
He looks left and right to scan the street for any surprises as well as some sort of transportation. He smiles to see an old repulsor truck nearby, one used by these guards. Laughing to himself over this poetic justice, he signals behind him for they to stay there inside the door. He then quietly hurries to the covered truck then gets inside, drawing his blaster. He swiftly checks the inside to make sure no one else is in it. Satisfied it is unoccupied he gets in the driver seat. Spotting one of the technicians looking at him from inside the door, he starts up the engine and drives it by the door, stopping at that point.
He quickly signals them to come in the truck which they eagerly did through a side door. He counts each one to make sure he got everyone. Once the side door is shut, he drives off. He drives off trying to look casual but not too slow. Every so often he looks in the mirrors to make sure he is not being followed. Finally he arrives at the entrance to the landing pad where his ship is parked. He parks not far from it then gets out to hurriedly direct the technicians out of the truck. He leads them into the entrance. Once upon the landing pad he directs Zee to get on the ship and start it up then instructs Ugur to get the technicians settled on the ship. As they go about their duties, Sallus checks the outside of the ship to make sure everything is ready for takeoff. He gets in once everyone is aboard then finds he has to practically crawl over some of the technicians to get to the pilot's seat as they crowd the small interior.
As he gets in the chair and helps start up the ship, he calls for permission to take off. Because of the fairly busy traffic they had to wait a couple grueling minutes before they receive clearance. Soon they are climbing in the night sky out into orbit. As he is about to key in coordinates for hyperspace Ugur sits by him.
"I got a good idea. Nyla and I already have back-up plans if we had to go in hiding. Let me signal her to meet. Nyla and I can take the rest of these gentlemen with us to hiding while.. I hope you deal with these people. We already agree to give you as much information as possible."

It turns out they met Nyla and a few of their friends ship to ship in some little-used system. There they dock with each other. After the Ugur and the other technicians left on the other ship, it left Sallus much time to think on the information they gave him. Now it leads him here to the cold weather planet Aquilo. Keeping low on the top of a snow and forest covered hill he looks out at what would be a hidden base of some sorts.
Using his macrobinoculars he is able to see clearer in the dark. The thoughts of what the technicians had told him. Whoever these people are, it is bigger than what he thought. He scans to where he sees the most activity.. the landing pads. Two Zeta-class cargo shuttle, that has seen better days, sit there. The next landing pad has a Myra-class shuttle.
When he zoom in at this shuttle's boarding ramp, he can see someone familiar much to his chagrin. The technicians gave his description but Sallus hoped it wasn't who he thought it was. Now he can see it is. {Lamar Jorkin} he thinks in disgust. Lamar Jorkin was part of the Red Blades and a blaster specialist. Even though he wasn't a leader, he was definitely bad news. Sallus' gut feeling tells him that Lamar is not working for the Imperials now. Now Sallus knows this is worse than he thought. He watches Lamar walking up the ramp into the shuttle. After the shuttle takes off and soars into the sky till it disappears in the cloud cover, Sallus puts away his macrobinoculars and moves to find a way in.

Moving in the shadows from various machinery, Sallus sneaks through the building. The trip to get inside took a while since the security is pretty tight. At times he pauses in cover as people here walk pass loading various crates and items on small skiffs. He quickly figures out the place contains an illegal blaster manufacturing operations. The second thing he realizes is that they are beginning to pack up this place as to move it elsewhere. He pauses again but to think on what he should do. He can't let them do this as we will not be able to track them.
He then notices a lone person walking by in the distance then opens a door through the security locks on it. Seeing a chance he quietly and swiftly moves to this person, aiming to get there before he enters the door and shuts it. He makes it inside following the person, letting the door shut behind. Inside he sees the man leaning a little over a computer typing codes into it.
Without turning around the man said, "I told you I don't need any help. Go back and continue packing and loading up," his voice full of agitation and anger, obviously mistaken Sallus for someone else. Knowing he probably has very little time till this man realizes his mistake, Sallus quickly grabs a nearby rob and slams it on top of him, knocking him on the floor, out cold. Keeping one eye on the unconscious man, he works on the computer, putting a datachip in the slot. With so little time he works feverishly to get as much data on the chip hoping it would be of help. Pulling the full datachip out, he gets an idea to slow the packing as well as attract the attention of the local law.

Finding some machinery that can cause fire and explosion he sets up some sort of pipe bomb made from what he can gather. Setting the fuse he heads quickly off to another machinery a good distance away to set the second pipe bomb, hoping these two will do the job. He quickly sets the second bomb then hurries off, not sure when these bombs will go off as he made them in such haste and he was not quite an expert in demolitions. He runs through the large room into another of machinery in various stages of packing.
As he reaches a door a big explosion back where he was seconds ago, answering his mental question on the timing, follow by secondary explosions. He bust out of the door almost running into a surprised person. Without pausing Sallus hits the person knocking him out cold. He keeps running as a second explosion rocks the building behind him follow by another set of secondary explosions. He runs to find a good route of escape. He notices the few people he can see are looking not at him by above the the building he came out. He smiles as he spots a speeder bike. Jumping on it, he starts it up and zooms off, moving the bike where it is less likely he will be spotted.
He speeds the bike out from the base then up the first hill. Near the top he pauses right at the treeline. Turning his head, he looks at what is going on. To his delight he notices the warehouses on fire and giving off two big black columns of smoke. Then he hears and sees police airspeeders zooming pass him a good distance away towards the base. He smiles as he notices the two shuttles are not even ready to take off, much less warming up. Patting his jacket pocket to feel the datachip there, he zooms off in the speeder bike keeping near the forest so to hide himself from being spotted.

Slowly pacing in the landing pad covered on all sides but on top, Joran watches as his R2, Crim, rolls to then up the ramp into his ship Paxan Jewel. Paxan Jewel is an old ZH-25 Questor. Though it is old, it works for his courier job. He is here at Huriot, city of the grassland planet Circius. His father Sallus had asked him to bring him a number of items to him here. Apparently his father thought these items were best brought to him personally instead of having the information copied from them then sent to him.
He pauses and shakes his thoughts away when he thought he heard something. He chides himself for not noticing earlier as he notices a figure, taller than him, walking out of the shadow. The newcomer was some sort of alien. It has a single eye and looks strong. He could not recall anything on what type this one is, just that he had seen a mentioned of it sometime during school. His hand moves to his holstered blaster as the alien growls some words.
"Sallus," it growls with a fairly heavy accent as one of its hands holds a well-used, but well-kept-up, vibro-ax. It walks closer without pausing in an intimidating fashion.
Before he could respond or react in any way, the blunt side of the ax slams into Joran knocking him on his back, nearly passing out in pain. When he can notice, he looks up to see the alien standing right by him. Unable to move as pain racked his body, he feels great grief and horror as he spots vibro-ax coming down directly at him this time with the sharp end first. Then it all goes black and he knew nothing else.

In one of the two landing pads for the old Mwarbu on Nexum, Sallus stands there with much on his mind both emotionally and mentally. He, Dwennor and Ziman'Ol stand there in silent as they watch Thyone almost on her knees talking to Peneus and Feugia, trying to comfort both of them that it is ok and they need to leave to be with his grandmother on Rishi with their sister Quanie and their Uncle Cilcian, one of Thyone's brothers. Both Peneus and Fuegia frown and wonder what is going on as they can tell something is wrong but not understanding at all. Thyone speaks to them lovingly, trying to hold back her tears and grief from her voice and actions, causing Sallus' heart to break at the sight. Finally Thyone convinces the two it is ok then hugs Quanie, Feugia and Peneus before she stands up to watch them board the ship with Pthe twins holding their older sister's hands.
Sallus looks at Cilcian, "Take good care of them and be alert."
Cilcian looks back, "Anyone after them will not get through me," saying in such a way it made Sallus wonder about him. This doesn't seem anything like a former Imperial logistics officer then the thoughts leaves his mind as he has more important things to think on. He watches as Cilcian boards the ship and soon it takes off, placing his arm around Thyone's shoulders comfortingly as they both watch it climb into the skill and disappear there. Both Dwennor and Zimna'Ol head off as they had said they will watch out for Byton and Donna respectfully.
They made this hard decision just in case their family might be in serious danger. Back on Circius he had found Joran's dead body. He then found Crim whom was hiding but had also recorded the encounter from the ship's entrance. He recognize the alien as an Abyssin. Since the Abyssin said Sallus' name, Sallus figures it was after him. Still they can't be certain if his family is in danger or not. Last time Sallus had a bounty on his head was the time before he got lost in Lamaria and when he was presumed dead the bounties were rescinded. Since they can't chance it, he and Thyone will be taking care of the bounty the best way: taking care of it at the source. Their best lead is that Abyssin. Sallus pauses in his thoughts as he sees Camilla, Thyone's best friend, walks up to them with a datapad in her hand.
Camilla stops before them concern about their situation in her eyes and stance. As she is a semi-retired bounty hunter, she has been working to find out about this Abyssin whom Sallus suspects might be a bounty hunter or similar. She glances at her datapad one more time before speaking, "I did an exhaustive search with my contacts. You are right, Sallus, he is a bounty hunter. His name is Haso. He is part of bounty hunter guild, Magora League." pauses then answers their unspoken question, "I couldn't find any bounties on your head nor your family's, Sallus. So I think he is working for someone and that is where he got the bounty from. But I can't be for sure that your family has no bounty on them." She pauses to let all that sink in then continues on, "The latest spotting of Haso seems to be in Menotian Station."

The Menotian Station is an ancient and large space station that orbits the planet of Menota. The natives of Menota, Menotians, have long used this space station as a point where outsiders can come to trade, visit and rest, instead of on the planet itself. Its origins are lost in history though it is said the Menotians didn't build it. It's original shape is no longer visible from the many years of use, modification and upkeep.
Sallus watches the grumpy Bith vagrant sits back down, grumbling about being interrupted one too many times. Sallus then keeps walking down the run-down corridor. Ever since he and Thyone got here, they follow leads that lead them to this area of the station that hasn't seen use in a long time. They had to split up sometime back to follow two separate leads though they stayed in touch by comlink. He thinks he has a good lead as that was the second vagrant that complained about being interrupted by a bypassing alien that would match an Abyssin. Since Abyssin are rare outside their homeworld, he figures the chances of two being on this station at the same time are slim to none.
His thoughts go back to his late son Joran. Along with grief and anger, he feels guilty. He was the main target, not his son. If he didn't ask Joran to help him or if he showed up to meet his son much sooner all of this might not have happen. Sallus puts all these thoughts away as he needs to focus. He also begins to hear noises ahead that was totally different from that of a space station. He moves quicker but careful not to make much noises. Following the noises he finds himself coming into a chamber whose purpose escapes him. Across the chamber from him stood an Abyssin with his back to Sallus and holding a beaten Menotian up off his feet with one hand.
[That does look like the Haso from the holo,] he thinks as anger brews up within him, [Blast it.. forget stealth] He softly talks in his helmet's comlink to alert Thyone he found whomm they were looking for. He then hears her quick reply that she is now heading to his position. He walks out of the corridor and towards the Abyssin, readying himself for combat.
The Abyssin turns to face this newcomer. Haso drops the Menotian as he recognizes Sallus. "Sallus.." he growls as he readies the vibro-axe in his hand, "I knew that weakling couldn't be you. Time to correct that mistake." Haso charges forward so quickly it surprised Sallus.
Sallus ducks down and moves forward under Haso, barely dodging the horizontal slash of the axe. He moves forward towards the Abyssin, pop out a vibro-knife blade from the wrist then slash across Haso's stomach quickly. He moves on to stop behind Haso several steps away. They both turn around to face each other. To his chagrin, he notices the wound he just caused is already healing. He recalls vaguely reading that Abyssins have some sort of quick healing. Seeing this he knows this will be harder to do. As he keeps his eyes on Haso as everything start to go in slow motion. He draws out his blaster as Haso turns to charge him again.
He dodges to the side, firing his blaster wildly as he dodges Haso's fast vertical strike. Landing on his side, he starts to get up but spots Haso already charging him with his axe coming down where he is. He rolls on his side dodging the downward blow, rolling on dodging a second such blow. He then ignites his jetpack sending him flying off the floor into the air, firing back with a few mini rockets. He then curses under his breath twice. First time as he sees his rocket only causing him to roar in pain and not slow him down, except to knock his satchel off of him. The second curse happens just a second later as his back hits the wall, showing that this chamber is too small to use his jetpack effectively. He falls onto the floor after hitting the wall.
Before he could get himself up. he ignites his jetpack again seeing Haso bringing his axe down upon him with his surprising speed again. The hit was so close Sallus could feel the rush of air from the swinging axe. He fire his blaster again and again to try to create distance from Haso. He was surprise when a fiery explosion starts to hit the Abyssin repeatedly causing Haso to pause and roar out in pain and anger. He turns his head quickly to the source of this new attack. To his delight, he sees Thyone in her black and yellow armor firing her lava cannon angrily at Haso with a wordless battle cry of rage on her lips.
Seeing his chance, Sallus renews his attacks with his blaster and rockets as Haso rages and roars in pain and unable to attack back. Both his and Thyone's attacks seem to be fuel hotter as their griefs and anger pour out. They hardly slow down when the Abyssin collapses down into a heap.
Running out of missiles, Sallus finally pauses to see that Thyone has also stop firing though still trembling in grief. Glancing at Haso, he just sees a steaming pile of cooked meat. He figures that even an Abyssin can't heal from that. He walks to Thyone as he looks back at her. With her rage and anger spent, she just trembles for a second then sinks to her knees as she burst out in tears as her deep grief comes out like a dam bursting. Seeing her like this, he is unable to contain himself any longer. He kneels behind her, embracing her tightly from behind as his own tears come forth.

Dal'Nomesh. The de facto capital planet for inside the Nomesh's Shelf as more and more of this region of space is explored and opened up. Yet it is still a frontier world and its starport city, Mohena, is a small and growing city. This settlement is a result of the growing trading business venture between Sallux and Lomcus, which Sallus had personally introduced to each other years ago. They used the route he had taken back home from Lamaria as the basis for a trade route, the Theod Route. Soon systems were explored and chartered along the route with Dal'Nomesh established as a trading point since it was about at the middle point of the route.
Sallus walks down one of the main streets,staying to the side out of any traffic. He is delight by the fact that it is prospering. Since taking down Haso, they had learned from the Abyssin's datapad that the bounty was just on Sallus and that it was issued by Lamar himself and just to Haso. After he and Thyone gathered their family back, they had Joran buried. He and Thyone agreed that he should keep investigating and tracking down Lamar before he hires more bounty hunters or try to hurt the rest of the family. Now all the information they had found so far as lead Sallus here.
Sallus has visited Dal'Nomesh several times before. He probably knows a number of people here. In fact their daughter Donna and her then newly-married husband Yther moved here around a year ago. He would love to visit them as well as some of his friends here, but he doesn't want to bring trouble to them. He is not 100% sure he isn't being follow.
Turning a corner, he spots what he is looking for across an intersection. He sees Lamar surrounded by a large group that must be his minions. Before he can start to shadow them, it is too late as Lamar spots him and points at him, giving orders which Sallus couldn't hear over the city sounds. Noticing many of the minions turning to him and move to him with lethal purpose, Sallus ducks into a side alley. He wants to avoid causing a ruckus here. He runs down the alley way to lose his pursuers. Igniting his jetpack, he zooms up a wall then onto the roof. He then runs across the roof, stooped over to hide himself better. On the other side he jumps down, using a burst from his pack to slow his descent.
He runs down the alley then slows down to step out into a main street. But he stops himself in mid step as he notices some of Lamar's minions across the street. He swiftly withdraws himself back into the alley. He peeks around to see if they saw him. To his relief he can see they are still there, talking and arguing with each other, probably trying to figure where he is at. He turns around and runs the other way. He gets out on the next main street as he didn't see any of the minions.
He fast walks along the road, keeping alert. He looks at the buildings to get his bearings. He smiles as he sees a familiar place. He now knows where exactly he is. He is right by a well known cantina here.. the Twi'lite Gill. His smile falls as he notices some of his pursuers appearing around a corner up ahead. He is spotted. After a quick look around, he sees he has no real place of escape except one. He quickly slips into the door to the cantina.
Once inside he sidesteps and stands there as he allows his eyes to adjust to the dim light. His eyes quickly adjust and he starts walking further in the cantina. He walks deeper into the cantina, seeing it is fairly busy. Passing by the bar he spots a Twi'lek serving drinks. He recognizes him as Jas the owner of this place. He can smell the strange scents of some of Jas' special brews. He walks on deeper into the cantina looking for a place to hide.
"Sallus," a familiar voice to his side says, "Is that you?"
Sallus turns his head to see another friend, Remoku. He is a Zabrak trader who is sitting in a booth along with others. Before Sallus could respond, Remoku's face change to a more serious expression as he realizes something is up. Remoku gets up as well as a few others in the booth as they guide Sallus in the booth to sit in the middle. They quickly sit down with him. When they follow his eyes as he spots some of his pursuers entering, one of them places his trench coat on him and another places a wide brim hat on his head. Dorena, Remoku's wife, places her arm lightly on his back and have him lean forward over the table as another puts their drink in his hand. Seeing that they are trying to disguise him as a tipsy customer, he stays in position as they continue their conversation as if nothing special has happen.
With Dorena's arm still gently on his back, Sallus stays leaning just above the table top with the drink in his hand as if drinking. The wide brim prevents him from seeing much at all. He didn't have to wait long as he sees some slowly walking past the table, pausing as if looking around though he could only see them from the waist down. He can hear Remoku and the others laugh as they said their buddy Vercaine can't hold his drink, as though referring to him though he hopes Vercaine doesn't show up to break such disguise. The moments seems to last long, too long. Seconds past but seems like hours to him. He feels Dorena removing her arm from his back and hears Remoku saying softly, "It's ok. They are gone."
He slowly raises his head and sits up. As he sits up he notices the glass in his hand. It contain a blue liquid with two small metal rods coming up out of the glass. To his amazement there seems to be a tiny purple thunderstorm raging over the liquid between those two rods. Not really wanting the drink, he moves it away from himself as he fully sits up. A hand reaches out and accepts the drink. He recognize the owner of the hand as a Human named Gibbok, another trader. Both Gibbok and Remoku as well as Vercaine are part of a small trader guild named Blue Thantron whom works for Sallux with his trade with Lamaria.
Sallus takes off the hat and overcoat off of him as the others move those items back to their owners. The overcoat went back to Gibbok's partner, a Mon Calamrian named Gorlock. The hat went to a man, younger than Sallus, whom Sallus didn't recognized. He turns his head to Remoku when Remoku starts to talk again.
"Though those guys are gone, it might be best for you to stay here for a few minutes before going outside," he says with a smile.
"I appreciate the help, but I am surprise they looked over me so quickly. And what if Vercaine would have showed up?" Sallus ask.
"Well, Vercaine is off with his crew on a trading circuit in and around the Ison Corridor," he replies then grins slyly with the next answer, "well.. about them overlooking you.. there are ways to make oneself of little importance," then Remoku changes the subject when Sallus didn't ask any further, "Well you know Dorena, Gibbok and Gorlock which I am sure you know," each nodding in greetings as their names are said then Remoku motions to the young man Sallus didn't recognize, "This is Thraak Byrston"
Noticing Thraak is looking strangely with much focus, Sallus looks back and asks, "Is something wrong?"
"I know you...I seen you before..," Thraak says slowly as if recalling some memories, "Yes.. you and some others...years ago, a group that included you had defeated an invasion of my home town of Mos Espa by a vicious band of Tusken Raiders.."
Sallus pauses and thinks deeply for a couple minutes as he tries to remember. He finally nods his head as he recalls, "It has been a long while.. feels like another lifetime," recalling doing exactly what Thraak said those many years ago. Now he finds himself unable to know what to say.
"I been wanting to meet one of you to thank you for saving us from such horrors. Is there any thing I can do to help you?" Thraak asks with a genuine smile.
Noticing Sallus is still stunned speechless, Gibbok changes the subject, "What's the deal between you and those guys?"
Sallus takes a deep breath and answers, "Tracking them down.. Their leader is responsible for killing my son Joran as well as hurting some of my friends. My family as well as others might still be in danger by them." They all pause in shock of the news.
"I'm so sorry," Dorena says comfortingly, "Is there anything we can do to help?"
Thraak immediately talks, "I can.. They and their leader had parked their ship just a couple docking pads away from my ship," glad to find a way to help someone he considers a hero.
"Can you take me there?" Sallus asks, looking at him.
He nods his head eagerly, "Yes.. let's give it a few minutes just in case they might still be looking for you."

Many minutes later, they stand at the edge of the landing pad where Thraak's ship is parked, an old Nove Drive 3-Z light freighter. Thraak motions at nearby landing pads, "The third one from here that is empty for now. They were parked there."
"Think they might have filed a flight path?" Sallus asks, trying to pick up the trail.
"Seriously doubt it," Gibbok says grimly. Sallus nods his head in agreement, knowing he needs to get some leads.
"Maybe there is a way," Thraak says as they notices a small skiff moving to the landing pad. Once the skiff parks on the pad, a Bith gets out of it. Judging from the Bith's dirty clothing and gear with him, Sallus can figure out he works as a spaceship mechanic.
Upon seeing Thraak, the Bith gives a genuine smile, "Thraak, it has been a while since I last saw you. How you been?"
Thraak smiles back, upon seeing a good friend, "Jucklin, always great to see you again. How have things been for you?"
"It has been the usual around here. Always busy fixing this ship and repairing that one. A good thing for me. So what can I do for you?"
"I can use a few repairs but I was wondering about the people that was 3 landing pads from here"
"Oh them.. not the most friendly bunch but definitely needed my help on their ship. Think they went to a few places around here as well. Since you are such a trusted friend, I will tell you if you want to know." Jucklin then begins to talk quietly as they listen to him.
Once Jucklin is finish talking, Thraak turns to see Sallus thinking on what was said. "If you can stay overnight, I can look this all up as I know these places well. We all are staying at a good and nice inn not far from here. You are welcome to join us." Sallus agrees as this seems to be his only lead for Lamar's trail.

The next morning, Sallus finds himself in the Twi'lite Gill again along with Gibbok, Gorlock and Thraak. He didn't get much sleep last night but is feeling very good and ready. They are eating their breakfast as they talk.
"I had checked all those places Jucklin said and a few others he didn't," Thraak talks as he sips down his juice, "Apparently they don't talk much about their business. But a few times they did say a few things," pauses to eat a few bits then continues, "One had said something about the Gutherin Shipyards," says the last part slowly as he has no idea what that is.
Gibbok pauses in his eating as he looks stunned then says, " It is an urban legend of sorts from Lamaria. Not sure the rest but many have looked for it for many years without anything to show for it."
Thraak then continues on, "Another time one complained about having to stay at some place called Oulyus. If that means anything."
Sallus stops chewing his food, sits back and thinks deeply. Yes, he does know what that means and where Oulyus is. It is a small city on the planet of Mylur. He thinks it will be great to visit Perry and his family again since it has been so long since last time. Plus Perry most likely will know more about these shipyards. He then smiles knowingly, "Yes, yes I do know where that place is and now where I should go."

Stepping out of his spaceship, Sallus smiles brightly leaving his helmet clipped to his belt. Around him he could see the last interior of the hanger bay of Perry's manor. It sure has been too long since he has been here and the memories are coming back to the front of his mind. When he arrive here, he was delighted that the traffic controller acted stunned once he said who he was. He stands relaxed, knowing people are looking at him to see if he is who he said he is.
He turns his head upon hearing his name called out in a sweet loving manner. He spots Perry's wife, Betta, as beautiful as ever. She embraces him like he is a missed and loved family member which he returns the hug.
Releasing him from the hug she smiles sweetly, " Sallus, it has been much too long," her words has a slight but loving chide to them. She brings her arm in his as she guides him away from his ship across the hanger towards an exit. "We were very surprised and delighted when we were told you would arrive. Let's go to a better place to talk. Perry and I are eager to talk with you. And you should bring your family here to visit as well" He lets her guide him out of the hanger bay.
With her arm still in his, she happily leads him down one hallway then another. As it has been a long time since he has been here, he is starting to recall the layout of the place. He notices others recognizing him then they usually give him a nod or brief greeting but not stopping them.
She leads him to what he recognizes as Perry's personal study. In there Perry stands up with a big grin. Sallus and Perry shakes hands then Perry embraces him as a brother which Sallus returns in all honesty.
"It has been much too long," Perry says, smiling, "I see you are here for more than visiting. Tell us what brings you here."
Perry and Betta sits down as Sallus starts to talk, recounting all that has happen to lead him here, not holding back. They patiently listen to his every word. Sorrow crosses their faces upon hearing the death of Sallus' son but don't interrupt him. Upon hearing the mentioned of the Gutherin shipyards and Oulyus, Sallus notices the two glancing at each other as though knowing about what he is talking about.
Upon Sallus finishing, Perry sits back and thinks for a few seconds before talking softly, "Gutherin Shipyards is a legendary shipyards of the Gathials that supposedly could make large capital ship in only a few months, not a year or more."
"It is real?" Sallus asks, astonished.
"Perry pauses then speaks on carefully, "While there seems to be much historic evidence that strongly suggests it, no one has been able to find it or any physical proof though many have tried. Whether it exists or not depends on whom you talk to. I'm not really sure myself, but don't like the idea of such a group getting their hands on it if it is real," pauses then continues, "Oulyus is a small city here as you know. Though I am now curious if this has to do with the Yungzon, a new criminal gang that has appear in the area recently and been acting strange. Stay here while it can be investigated better then we can see about stopping this group before they can do more damage."

Kneeling behind cover, Sallus re-checks his weapons and armor. He had spent a few days at Perry's manor and true to his word they found a definite lead. Lamar was spotted with the Yungzon. Now from Sallus' information the local police decide to raid the group's compound. Because of that and his reputation from his stay here over 5 years ago, they have allow him and Perry to join them. He had no idea he even had such a wide-spread reputation if any at all. Near him Perry was also checking his gear while the other police were doing the same, dressed in police gear for heavy action.
Upon a silent signal they rush as quietly as they could into the compound. Before long the silence is broken by shouts of shock then blaster fire. At that point the fighting spread throughout the compound. As Sallus moves to the right side of the compound, he loses track of Perry whom went left and enters a building. As the fighting intensifies, Sallus puts his combat skills to use with his blaster and stun grenades. The appearances of combat droids shock the police but he is able to help take them down just as fast. Despite the resistance, he can tell they were taking over the compound building by building.
Moving from cover to cover, he leads the way as his shooting skills help break up the resistance they meet again and again. The action seems to blend together as they move further in till near the back. After entering the back, something catches his attention and he spots Lamar exiting a door by himself then rushes to a waiting shuttle. He turns to the others to tell them to support him. To his chagrin he can see they all are busy firing back at Yungzon goons.
One of the police looks at him as well as the running Lamar, then shouts, "Get him before he gets away."
Without needing any more encouragement, Sallus takes off with his jetpack, flying to the shuttle's ramp as Lamar runs up it into the shuttle. He mentally urges his jetpack faster as if that would work while he watches the shuttle readies to take off and the ramp starts to shut. Just in time he zooms up the ramp and into the shuttle entrance as they both close. He then turns his body around to try to move his jetpack in opposite direction to bleed off his speed. He didn't make it in time as his back rams into the wall then he falls to the floor, instinctively turning off his jetpack.
Getting up he automatically draws his blaster and looks around. The room he is in is dimly-lighted and empty of anyone. He could feel the shuttle taking off and knew he is by himself and needs to act quickly. He knows Lamar will not be easy to take down or capture. As he starts to move forward, his movement is stop by accurate blaster fire from down the hall. Though he dodges to the side, one shot grazes his armor on his left arm, another glances off his shoulder armor and a third hits his left part of his stomach, not penetrating his armor but he felt it. He fires back down the hallway to give himself some covering fire.
Lamar appears out of the hallway firing his blaster a few more times as Sallus ducks behind boxes of cargo, narrowly avoiding the shots. Sallus' accurate return fire drives Lamar to duck behind chairs and cargo with just 2 shots only grazing his clothes leaving burnt spots. To his chagrin, Sallus realizes he can't use much of his armor's weaponry because they could damage vital components of the shuttle. Still he can tell Lamar is being limited in the same fashion. Quickly their firefight compose of both of them firing and dodging as neither are able to get the advantage. With this pace, Sallus knows it would continue till one of them makes a mistake. He hopes Lamar makes it first and he would take advantage of it.
Seconds later full of firing and dodging, the mistake Sallus is looking for happens. Both Lamar and Sallus happen to stand up to shoot but to their surprise both of their blasters click as their power packs are both empty. Sallus sees his chance then ignites his jetpack and rams into Lamar, flying both of them down the hallway into the shuttle cockpit. They hit the console together then fall on the floor. In a hurry Sallus gets back on his feet to get to Lamar quickly. Too late he spots Lamar pulling out a second blaster hidden on his body and fire several times. Sallus dodges out of the way, barely avoiding most of the shots while the rest were stop by his armor. He then briefly ignites his jetpack just enough to clear the space between him and Lamar, knocking the blaster out of Lamar's hand and send it sprawling across the floor and knocking Lamar the other way.
Standing back up, Sallus is force to change his mind from going after Lamar as he feels the shuttle moving erratically. He turns then heads to the console to see much to his chagrin that the pilot droid was hit in the head and inoperative and the console itself is light up like a life day tree. Before he could do anything, his instinct warns him to move. He automatically moves to the side to see a large vibro-dagger stabs down where he was just standing, barely missing him, and hitting the console causing sparks.
Sallus elbows back into Lamar's gut causing him to let go of the dagger and bend over. Then Sallus turns brings his fist up into Lamar's face in an uppercut knocking him back. Lamar quickly gets up to face off against Sallus across the cockpit. Before either can do a thing, the shuttle rocks and metal creaks and cracks as though it hit something. Turning to face the window he can see a large ship but too close to tell what exactly it is but the shuttle has collided into it. Then both are thrown back to opposite side walls of the cockpit as the view outside starts to spin down towards the ground. The forces holding him to the wall grow stronger and stronger. He can see that Lamar is being affected the same way. His mind races to try to figure out how to get out of this as well as to temper back the panic trying to rise up in him. Before he can figure out anything, he starts to black out. He wonders if he is going to die now. He thinks of his family as well as not able to take care of this conspiracy he found. Then he falls into darkness.

Standing from a distance in the medical room, Perry watches with his hands on his hips as a newly arrived medical droid tends to Sallus as he lays there in a coma, covered in bruises and cuts. Not forgetting Sallus had saved his life years ago, the great Mylur statesman Borles had quietly send his best med droid to tend to Sallus. Perry has kept this secret till the authorities are sure Sallus would be safe. Betta is off getting a guest room ready as they had send private message to Sallus' family and now Sallus' wife Thyone is coming to help tend to Sallus. Perry would love to meet Sallus' family but this situation is not what he had in mind.
Much goes through his mind as he debates what to do. Thinking deeply, he already knows what to do. While he might not believe the shipyards are real, he can't chance letting this mysterious group get their hands on it just in case. He thinks on what he needs to pack and the steps to do now.

.. to be continue..

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