[Originally Written by Kalec]
Chapter One: Desperate Measures Nar Shaddaa, the Smuggler's Moon, one of the most vibrant and dangerous places in the galaxy. The cityscape glowed with a neon vibrancy that belied its decaying structures and congested, polluted cities. The upper levels present an endless parade of wealth, while crime bosses and political emissaries make backroom deals. A Defender-class light corvette shook violently, her reinforced frame groaning under the stress, as a sole pilot pushed her through Nar Shaddaa's atmosphere. The friction of re-entry turned the air to fire, as the pilot's dark eyes watched the orange glow of the flames through the transparisteel cockpit. A series of rapidly moving lines of code appeared in the corner of the man's vision, indicating that a systems diagnostic was underway. As the ship began to level off he input a few commands into the main console and ran a manual sweep of the surrounding sky. A few moments later the ship's sensors confirmed they had picked up nothing unusual. The pilot steered the corvette through Nar Shaddaa's Corellian sector. His destination was a bar called the Meltdown Café, a seedy restaurant and well known hangout for bounty hunters. It was the last place he wanted to be, but it was one of the few places left for him to go. Gently the ship swooped down to an available landing pad and hovered a few feet from the dock's surface. The exhaust from the corvette scattered debris from under the ship, blowing the trash off the dock's precipice. A few of the seedier residents moved away from the ship, attempting to hide their identity from any potential scanners. Once the ship had landed the pilot sat a few moments in quiet contemplation before making his way through the unfamiliar corridors of the stolen ship. As he exited the cockpit he remembered to duck his head, the recent welt along his hairline being an effective reminder. Within the ship's crew quarters, the man sat at the portcomp terminal, logged in, and checked the credit balance in his bearer card account. ///// Account Number: 000-334-57594-99 \\\\\ User Profile: Falx, Kalec Available Balance: 13 GCS ///// InterGalactic Banking Clan \\\\\ “Less than twenty credits...great,”he sighed with a tinge of defeat. Minutes passed as he stared at the portcomp's display before becoming suddenly aware of it. Shaking his head, he stood and entered the refresher. Stripping off the ill-fitting republic uniform, Kalec entered the shower and let the hot water rinse away some of his anxiety. Hanging his head he let the water run through his black hair and down his bearded face as he watched the water swirl into the drain. He had come a long way to get here, but found himself second-guessing the decision. When he finished pondering his next move, he stepped back into the crew quarters and changed into his own clothing which consisted of a pair of olive trousers, a black casual shirt, utility belt, and black knee-high boots. He looked more like a civilian than a former Imperial naval specialist but that was the point after all. Within the ship he had found a small arms locker with a single Arkanian heavy pistol, it was an antique by today’s standards but would have to do. He wasn't even sure the damn thing could fire but only a fool would walk the streets of Nar Shaddaa without a piece. He then loaded it into a single sling shoulder holster and checked himself in a mirror. From a pocket on his utility pouch he fished out a cigarra and lit the end, taking in the noxious vapor before slowly exhaling it. He could feel the calming sensation of the narcotic envelop his body and mind. “Life's little pleasures.” he smiled halfheartedly to himself. Nodding to himself, Kalec made his way toward the ship's entry ramp. Since the Jedi who owned this ship would no doubt be tracking its whereabouts there was no need for security measures; the residents of Nar Shaddaa would see to it that no evidence of his presence remained. As the entry ramp finished extending, he stepped out into the bustle of the moon's infamous docks. The first thing he noticed about Nar Shaddaa was the familiar polluted smell. A permanent atmosphere of desperation and animosity permeated everything, leaving one with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. He took another drag of his cigarra and blew the smoke into the already congested air. “Welcome home,” Kalec muttered to himself. As he left the docking area, residents began to take notice of the fact that he did not raise the entry ramp. Cautiously, a few of the braver pilferers made their way over to and ultimately in the abandoned ship. It would only be a matter of hours before everything of worth would be gutted from the vessel and boosted at one of the many scrap yards. The port authority would ultimately end up towing the vessel but that wasn’t his problem. There is an old saying on the Smuggler's Moon that goes: On Nar Shaddaa there is no law against turning a profit.
Chapter Two: A Farewell to Innocence The nightlife of Nar Shaddaa is nothing short of energetic, perhaps even more so than during standard galactic business hours. The neon-lit walkways and street peddlers catered to the strange and unusual but more specifically to the nefarious. Walk down the right back alley in Nar Shaddaa and you could find anything, but the wrong one will get you killed or sometimes even worse. As Kalec rounded the corner from the docks onto one of the city's main strips he spotted a local food vendor. The sign read something unidentifiable but the smell was overwhelming familiar. It was only then that the long ignored pangs of hunger decided that they would not go unnoticed. Stepping up to the kiosk, he determined that this particular establishment catered to those with a taste for Hutt cuisine. A Weequay vendor caught his attention and gestured toward a large pressure cooker filled with Chuba stew. The head of a gorg was simmering with other vegetables and spices, which to many newcomers would be unsettling. However, years spent on the Smuggler's Moon had acclimated his pallet to the favored food of the Hutts. Assuming that the vendor did not speak galactic basic, Kalec gestured for an order of Chuba stew and a cup of Gardulla. After receiving his bowl and cup Kalec ate in relative silence reveling in the first real meal since his two year prison sentence. Maybe it was the pungent aroma of the food or the bitterness of the alcohol but Kalec found himself reflecting on memories of his childhood... “Get in the ship. Now! Enough wasting time, we are leaving this ugly, god-forsaken rock” Verta ordered sternly, her dark eyes smoldering. “It's not ugly! Concordia's our home! Why do we have to go? I wanna stay! I wanna go back.” Kalec pleaded the way only a five year old could. “This is not up for debate. Get in there. This ship is your home now.” Verta said as she kicked Kalec in the rear scooting him along toward the