Chapter 3-What would a Ranger do?
They got back to the Moon Chaser without incident but that only alleviated the knot in Ado's stomach for a moment. After relaying the night's events to his partner, he now sat at the co-pilot station while Ky paved the cabin behind him.
"So, what are you saying? Are you saying we turn ourselves in over this?" the human gesticulated wildly.
"What do you mean turn ourselves in? we didn't take anything." Ado answered unsure.
"We broke into the building Ado! Not only is that a charge in and of itself, but the fact we were able to break in to a building that secure is bound to raise some questions for the GAG" Ky said exasperated.
Ado sat and pondered their predicament while Ky continued his pacing. "What about Val?"
"Valeria?" Ky answered the question with one of his own. "She's a trade official, not a cop."
She was an unscrupulous one at that. "She's technically part of the GAG government. We give her the info and tell her to keep our names out of it and she can relay it to Naboo".
At this Ky finally came to a stop and cupped his chin. His consistent tell that he was considering the advice. "Alright that could work. But first we get this clear; we're not 'giving' anything. This information is worth ten times what we could've made on that job and we are going to at least recoup that amount".
Uncomfortable with that part but unwilling to go back to square one after getting him here Ado relented and agreed. Ky sat down and punched in the coordinates for home.
Enfor strode with purpose down the hallway of the now simulated workplace that was Altorel Corporation. It was now mid-morning on Bespin and Enfor felt the soothing sense of accomplishment he lived for as he approached the door to Kaysix's office. The door tucked silently into its wall space and Enfor approached his perturbed looking leader.
"I still have no vidfeeds at my station" Kaysix entoned in a voice that let his servant know he was not pleased.
"There is no need my Prime. We were able to pull organic DNA off the rappelling machine on the roof" Enfor answered trying not to sound too pleased with himself.
"And?" Kaysix folded his hands in his lap.
"His name is Ky Burel, small time thief and smuggler out of Nar Shadaa".
"Then waste no more time? Take Eltwo and Zeefive and neutralize Ky Burel and his partner"
Enfour left the office feeling satisfied. He did not need adulation from his Prime. The successful completion of orders was all he needed".
Nar Shadaa looked like a mini-version of Corsucant. The small moon was covered with one giant city that was home to over a billion beings of all species and races. Humans seemed to still have a small plurality of the population but it was hard to tell and no one here did a census. While the wider galaxy considered the "Smuggler's Moon" to be just that; a moon full of scoundrels and petty criminals, the majority of Nar Shadaa's citizens were decent folk who didn't participate in crime at any levels. Numerous corporations made their home on the moon, mostly for tax purposes, and their presence was evidenced by the massive cloudcutters that rose up across the city skyline. Ky landed in their rented hangar and they moved cautiously to the apartment Ky shared with his wife, Lona.
Ado was incredibly nervous. He could see Ky was as well and the thought of Ky being even more nervous than him made him feel a bit better. He always found it strange that if you were scared with someone it made the situation more bearable. Ky's apartment was on the other side of the circular floor from the lift bank and sliding along the inner wall in order to peek around every curve made it all the more longer. Finally though they reached his door and Ky put a thumb to the pad and the door made an electronic clicking sound signaling it would no longer resist. Ado remembered Ky showing off that door when they first moved in here. For the working classes, a door with a handle rather than one that slid into a recess was a sign that you were moving up in the world.
"El" Ky called out. "Didi" he called again for their daughter.
"Lights" he said, his voice cracking a bit. "Lona!" he called again louder. This time he was answered. "In here" came Lona's voice but sounding distressed.
Both Ado and Ky practically jumped to the refresher door in the hallway. As they opened it both of their hearts went from in their throat to full to bursting with love as they saw their wife and the woman Ado referred to as his sister-by-marriage struggling to hold three-year-old Dealla's head under the primary head in their sonic shower. Ky half collapsed along the wall before enveloping them both in his arms.
"What's wrong?" she asked after receiving a kiss and turning back to Didi. "Nothing" he answered too quickly and she shot him a sideways look that reminded him who he was talking to. "Well probably nothing. Did anyone come by at all? I mean like a deliveryman, building inspector? Anything like that?" he asked and she shook her head. "Nooo. No one has been by. Well I mean except Marsella came by for a glass of wine a couple hours ago". Marsella, was his wife's best friend and their neighbor. Lona had known her since essential school. There was no way she was part of this. "Alright we have to go see somebody down the street. Can you do me a favor and take her next door till we get back"
Lona looked at him askance but didn't argue, just nodded. "Sure, but when are you coming back?"
"An hour. Two at the most. Anything over that and I want you to stay the night. If we're still not back put D in the Moon Chaser and head for Ord Mantell".
Now Dealla's hair was done and Lona took her out from under the cleansing head and hugged to her chest. "Ky what is going on?" she asked getting exasperated with all this cloak and dagger.
"Just trust me honey. I don't think its anything we have to worry about yet. If I'm right than I'll tell you everything in an hour." He said giving his daughter a kiss on the head.
"And if you're wrong" she asked still unconvinced.
"Then we're going to have to run for a bit" he answered with the most sheepish grin he could manage.
"Oh you two" she said and looked the ceiling. Something she always did before asking the Force to give her strength.
Ado glanced over his sloped Duros shoulder for probably the 20th time in the short walk to the GA Trade Administration complex. The bureau managed the ports and implemented and collected whatever tariffs or trade laws had been passed by Parliament. The Twi'lek Valeria Ro-Chino had been the official whose palms the pair had greased when they set up their 'import-export' firm 3 years ago. They got into see her fairly quickly. Valeria was, and always had been, a late shift official. Ky and Ado would never have met her otherwise as late was generally the time they "imported" their product.
Valeria seemed incredulous but also knew Ky and Ado were not prone to exaggeration. Unlike a lot of beings in their business they didn't drink a lot or smoke any kind of strong spice like ryll.
"Guys I don't have to tell you how crazy this sounds" she said, hands splayed out wide.
"No you don't Val, we just spent almost fifty hours trying to wrap our heads around it ourselves. But if Ado said that's what was said then I believe him, and you should too. Because even though I wasn't there for the conversation or the bodies I definitely saw and felt the blaster bolts coming at me from the room below."
"Well you were" she checked the anti-monitoring device on her desk to make sure the light was still green, "breaking in to a level 5 corporation".
"Valeria, they detain and call the cops. No company opens fire on burglars anymore" Ado answered, getting slightly frustrated at not being believed.
She sat back in her chair for a good minute. Clearly weighing everything she had just heard against the reputations of the two men in front of her. Finally, she sat forward again. "Alright, I believe you. I have seen enough in this job to know there are companies seriously pushing the limits on AI and the idea that one backfired this badly is not beyond the realm of possibility."
Both Ky and Ado made varying gestures of relief. "But listen, you're not going to be able to disappear back into the night on this one. Naboo will want to hear your testimony."
They looked at each other. "We know. But Ado believes its what a Jedi would do".
She shot him a sideways look with an "aren't you the cutest" smile. "Ahh like a real live Ranger. Good for you Ado."
She stood up. "Alright hang tight for two minutes".
Ado started to ask her where she had to go, but for the first time in almost 3 days he didn't feel nervous.
"Alright our next stop has to be Aryn's" Ky said folding one leg over his other. Aryn Bunarel was their lawyer on the Moon.
Before Ado could add his two cents the door opened again and Val came back in with a datapad. "Alright boys this is Nyin our attache to Nab-" Valeria never finished saying the name of one of the most influential planets in the GA as a light shone like a halo behind her head a split second before her forehead exploded outward in a shocking and macabre projection. Valeria dropped and revealed a pale skinned blonde human holding an x5-night sniper hand blaster and an equally terrifying look. Ado's uselessness in that moment would nag at him for days, but it was only because of Ky that he would have those days to feel so badly.