On The Edge Of An Empire - Star Wars

Arson Mandel's Mental Log #4

I felt a bit dejected that I wasn’t able to rid the ship of the Imperial Agent. I was happy to see him dropped off so that I could get in a bit of sleep though. There was some discussion about where we should be heading. Whether we go to Bespin, and deal with some AWOL couriers that Bargoss had hired in our place, whether we return to Tatooine or Nar Shadaa for bounties, and whether we could fit the Corella system into these plans.

I don’t think anything really came of it, but the crew certainly seem to be after diversifying their work.

As we went to take off from… I don’t even care to know what system this is. Some Imperial system. Gail managed to blow the engine well and truly this time. It cost us 15, 000 credits to get the replacement engine parts we needed, and that meant dipping into my personal savings. I could see that Garth was drawing attention to himself. His flagrant spending had come back to bite him in the ass. I made a note of that, and tried to balance it against the 1,500 bounty on him. I admit, I’m getting a little tempted at this stage.

After the engine troubles were resolved, we stopped off at Brentaal and I made a point of picking up a few things. Captain gave use the day off, as it was about time we got some relaxation in. I don’t know about the rest of the crew, but I can’t spend too long on a ship. It makes me restless.

I picked up a handful of stun grenades. They are often really difficult to come by in the outer rim, but I just saw them sitting in a shop window like they would be there every day of the year. It’s weird having easy access to stuff like that, but then again we’ve been travelling for the best part of a week to get here, so it certainly has it’s trade-offs.

I managed to come by a comms jammer and a comms scrambler. I’ve been waiting so long to get these back in my inventory. They are invaluable pieces of equipment, despite the surprisingly low price I bought them for.

I got back to the ship roughly the same time as Gail. We heard some cluttering coming from the cargo bay, but 21-BR is usually out on these occasions, making some change in the medical facilities. We went to investigate and found Garth, trying to pry open the chest cavity of EV8. I remained calm.

Enquiring as to what he was doing, he made some vague excuses about the droid attacking him, as if it had the capability to. He had apparently throughout this time, failed to ever notice that EV8 belonged to me. Perhaps he though EV8 calling me ‘master’, was somehow completely unrelated to ownership? Regardless, he had ruined my hopes for this droid, not only in that he had torn it apart, but also that I expected more from EV8. After all this, the droid was ultimately a disappointment after all.

I made mention that Garth would be paying me back for what he did to EV8, in the form of credits. He took offense to that, saying I had no right to. I picked up the shotgun he had left at his side, making a point to mention I will be differing to the Captain about what is to be done about this.

Not a moment after I get on the my comlink asking the Captain to return to the ship when he can, I and Gail find ourselves immobilised by some odd grenade Garth has hurled our way. I let the Captain know of the increase in threat on the ship, as Garth runs off out the cargo bay.

Gail and I find that he’s holed himself up in his room. I suggest we turn off the atmospherics until he falls unconscious. Gail agrees.

After a few minutes we hear a thump. We go inside to see Garth laid out on the floor. I suggest to Gail that he could perhaps be faking it. She again agrees. We fire a stun shots at Garth, and I have a bit of a quiet laugh to myself.

The captain gets back in time to see me carrying Garth to the medical table. I let Gail explain the previous events as I make use of my binders, restraining each of Garth’s limbs individually. When I was content with that, all I had to do was wait. Wait for Garth to wake up.

It wasn’t until halfway through the following day that Garth had managed to regain consciousness. In that time we had moved him from the med table to the common room table, as the Captain had decided we were leaving the cargo container behind. Where we were going, we needed to decrease the ship’s size, and increase maneuverability as much as possible. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to it.

The first thing Garth did when he woke up was piss all over the place. I resisted the urge to stun him into unconsciousness again, and informed the captain that he was awake.

Reminding myself of every little thing he said, would simply be a waste of my time. The gist of his poorly chosen words were that he had no intention of paying me back, despite the captain’s orders, he was completely unapologetic regarding his actions, and that when he could, he was going to kill me.

Oh Garth, you’ve just made my day and you don’t even know it.

At this point, we were stopped by an Imperial ship of some sort. I’ve never cared to remember the names. They reported that illegal personnel or personnel equipment was on-board. The others were about to quickly free Garth, but thinking quickly, I recalled that there was in fact a bounty on his head. I showed them the details, and convinced them to leave him tied up. The Captain then ran off to his quarters, swearing loudly.

Once the Imperials were aboard, we handed over the crew roster and what cargo we were carrying. Garth’s detonite was clearly illegal, but as he was our bounty, and we had all of his equipment, the Imperials didn’t seem too fussed regarding it. We had gagged Garth to avoid him ruining our day any further, but he made efforts to make that happen anyway.

I gave him a few swift blows to the head with the stock of my gun, but to little avail. Gail didn’t seem too happy either, but with the Imperial agent’s offer of executing the bounty for me, I think I made a good show towards them, alleviating any tension in the air.

Besides, nobody is killing Garth but me.

Carvisek and Gail weren’t scheduled to be on the bridge of the ship for a little while yet. I took this time to have a private conversation with Cameron. I felt that if I could get him onside, then this may give me an added advantage in what I was going to do regardless.

I listed how Garth had come across, how there was no remorse, and how I feel about death threats. They aren’t the kind of threats you can wait to see if they are followed through with.

I explained to Cameron how I can’t live with the possibility of some twisted version of revenge hanging over my head, a lethal revenge for an action as simple as picking up a shotgun. I pointed out that it was in fact Garth who had given me the ultimatum, ‘me or him’.

Cameron saw the logic, understood what had to be done, but wanted to make sure this wouldn’t come back to bite him in the ass. I said I would accept Garth’s debt, if that’s the price I have to pay in order to live. Cameron finished with stating, ‘this conversation never happened’.

I grabbed Garth’s bedsheets and placed them down around him. Explaining that it was to soak up the piss. He didn’t say anything, despite having been un-gagged for some time now.

I waited an hour into Gail and Carvisek’s shift. I knew that if I was able to sneak up quietly enough that Garth couldn’t hear me, then neither would they. In a swift motion, I replaced the gag in his mouth, muffling any cries he attempted to make.

Then, I took my time. It was only a minute and a half at most, but it felt much longer. Taking my vibroknife, with my nice, new, modified hilt, I place the blade over Garth’s throat, parting the fur so that I could see his skin. I paused just long enough to see the look register in Garth’s eyes. Would I really do it, was it just scare tactics? No. It wasn’t.

The blade plunged in, and instantly blood came pouring out. Garth fought and spasmed against the restraints as I slowly pushed the blade in further. Faint twangs could be felt in the handle as the vibrating blade caught, and then cut, through one nerves and tendons. After about a minute, Garth’s eyes lost focus, at first I thought that was it, but then his body continued to fight against the binders, and so I knew that I still had enjoyment left to experience.

It was only when the spasms had decreased that I removed the blade. Inspecting the fatal wound I had created, wondering if there were things I could have done differently. Perhaps the only thing I didn’t enjoy was the lack of remorse. I think Garth may have been more like me than I could have realised when he was alive. It was only in his dying moments that I could see how much of a simple beast he was. Not a monster, like me. But something close.

I unfastened the binders from the corpse, wrapping it in the blood-soaked sheets as I went. I carried the corpse to the airlock, placing it into the antechamber. I made sure to move the guns out of there prior to this, in case for whatever reason, the airlock should open.

I noted that 21-BR made no mention of the body as I passed by.

I got a very quick shower, to remove any blood from my person, and did a quick but thorough clean of the table and floor, to remove any blood that may have been left.

It wasn’t until Gail and Carvisek finished their shift that anyone even made mention of Garth. Gail came knocking on my door, stating he wasn’t on the table. I thought it odd, as she should have expected him to be put in his room by now. It was her suggestion after all. I told her to check the airlock and closed my door.

Some time later, Cameron came knocking on my door. He feigned a conversation regarding my involvement with Garth’s death, likely to help Gail reason with it. I remained in my room until the ship came out of hyperspace.

Upon arrival at Alderaan, I stepped out of my room to find the Captain staring out into an Asteroid field. Even as far out as Hutt Space, I knew exactly what this was, and what had occurred here. I placed a hand on his shoulder, out of respect.

Carvisek came into the bridge, failing to see me until she was stood next to me. Despite her large size, she practically jumped out of her fur when she realised I was stood next to her. Gail approached a short while later, asking to speak to Cameron. I obliged and stepped out of the bridge, giving her some privacy. Not 10 seconds later I can hear the muffled, raised voice of Cameron, yelling angry words at Gail. I don’t know what she had said, but it had clearly upset the Captain.

After a close encounter with ship, we landed at an Asteroid Mining station. Cameron gathered intel, and from there, we went further into the Asteroid field, having to land within an Asteroid. From here we received a message, that R4 would have to take time decoding.

At this point, Gail decided it be best that the crew have a discussion. I had been waiting for this moment. I was told that no guns were to be brought to the table. So I elected to bring my vibroknife, and several stun grenades instead. My utility belt made easy work of hiding them on my person.

I reiterated what I had said to Cameron regarding why Garth had to die, dressing it up a little better, as I felt Gail could not take a logical discussion in the same respects that Cameron and I converse in. While I could see she clearly wasn’t happy with my reasoning, she didn’t seem to fault them. She did have some weird notion where you should wait for someone to make good on their death threats before reacting. Rather than ask how you can react once you are dead, I chose to remain silent, to avoid provoking her.

Overall, I reckon I got her on-side with the whole thing. It certainly could have ended up worse. Like an entirely stunned crew and a handy vibroknife worse. She made talk of a fist-fight. Cam was quick to mention it would be watched over, and not lethal in any way. I’m yet to decide if I even want to fight her. Or whether I should just take a beating. I suppose I’ll decide when the time comes.

R4 chirped up at this stage, letting us know the message was in fact co-ordinates. A list of co-ordinates leading us to a destination. We set off along the route, with Gail piloting. I couldn’t watch what was going to happen, so retired to my room. Carvisek had been given the role of First mate due to my actions. A decision I suspect wasn’t directly made by Cameron, due to his prior involvement.

As we set off. We receive an incoming transmission. Some Czerka member is looking to join us. Says he knows Bargoss and that he’s hear to help us out. I immediately don’t like him. Probably due to the mix of the Wookiee coat, his way of talking with Carvisek, and his lack of even asking us who we are. I could go on, but we’ve got a job to do.

After a few clangs on the hull, there was silence for a moment before I heard that we’d arrived. Where we’ve arrived, I had no clue.

Turns out we had entered into an asteroid. An asteroid with a magnetic field around the entrance to it, stopping any atmosphere from escaping. We didn’t fancy risking it and so elected to go with our space suits on. Not 30 seconds after we are making our way into this asteroid do Stormtroopers show up. 10 of the fuckers are firing in our direction and chasing after us. They are making no attempt to hide the fact they are trying to drive us further into the asteroid.

Despite their clear misses. Gail guns one down, before yelling at me for not doing the same. Her belief structure makes no sense to me.

I quickly come across an ornate building within the Asteroid. Cameron’s face makes a curious expression somewhere between joy, confusion, and the increasing stress of having stormtroopers chasing you.

We make quick tracks into the building, closing the heavy set doors behind us.
Alderaan Palace is what Cam calls it.

We walk through various rooms of varying importance, taking the opportunity to pick up a few holodiscs containing long forgotten art. We can’t determine the value of these discs, but it certainly is worth checking out, providing we make it off the asteroid.

One such holodisc turns into a tall man clad in black armour. I appreciate the enigmatic look he has going, but would never want to meet him in a dark alley. I can’t help but feel his armour is a bit better than the poor excuse I’ve got for protection at the moment.

We reach a room that quickly turns back into what is now looking like a cave system inside the asteroid. We have to navigate a narrow pathway over a dark void. We start making our way, but Gail stumbles and falls, followed by me, and 21-BR shortly after.

I didn’t think this would be the way that I would go. I have to admit I always envisioned a lot worse. This wasn’t bad, all things considered.

We land on a safety net. My composure only really contained by the full-face mask I’m wearing, I quickly climb off the net and onto a platform.

21-BR takes a little while longer. For a moment, Gail and I forget about Garth as 21-BR comically fails to climb out of this overly large safety net.

Once 21-BR finally made it’s way to us, we climbed back up to rejoin the rest of the party, only to be met by a small group of greasy individuals too rude enough to exchange pleasantries before they started firing at us.

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