The Shipment (fiction)

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This story follows on from Escape.

The Shipment (fiction)

 

Brynla waited. She was seated at a table in a bar waiting for her contact. The bartender had given her some brilliant-green sickly alcoholic confection to drink. It tasted foul and was definitely not what she had wanted. No matter how rough and tough she looked she was always given some rather dainty-looking drink by bartenders who assumed that’s what human females wanted.

“Mistress Brynla I believe our contact is late.” said E-5JF.

“That would be correct” Brynla confirmed. She looked at her droid in absolute hatred. E-5JF was a silver protocol droid with a light feminine voice who liked stating the perfectly obvious whenever she had the chance. Brynla entertained fantasies of taking to her droid with a sledgehammer until she was nothing but spare parts. But droids were expensive to replace and she was useful sometimes, in fact she had got them out of the recent tight spot they had been in. Still, hitting her with sledgehammer a few times… Brynla began tapping her fingers on the table.

“Wilya Brynla?”said a voice above her. Brynla looked up to see a woman in a rather dull light-green outfit. She had shoulder-length dirty-blonde hair and blue eyes. Brynla found her reasonably attractive.

“Yes.” Brynla answered. The woman sat down on the other side of the table.

“I’m sorry I’m late Wilya. When I was told I was meeting a smuggler I assumed it was going to be a male.” Brynla rolled her eyes. If she had a credit for every time she heard that…

“Call me Brynla. Everyone else does.” Brynla informed her.

“Oh sorry! My name is Juslak, but you can call me Jus if you like. Do you have the shipment we asked for?” Jus asked her.

“Yes. I know we agreed on 15,000 credits, but the job was a lot more dangerous than I realised. I’ve decided I want 18,000 credits now.” Brynla stated. Jus looked at her in surprise.

“18,000? That’s 20 percent more! How dangerous did you think stealing contraband from an Imperial facility would be? You agreed to do this for 15,000.” Jus replied. She was very displeased.

“I’m sorry sweetheart but I’ve altered the deal. I’m sure I could sell the contraband on the street for a lot more than 18,000, so it’s still a bargain price.” Brynla casually informed her.

“Well I’ll have to go back to my superiors. It’s a shame people like you just use this opportunity to cream some more credits off the top, rather than actually helping us. I’m disappointed in you. I’ll see you later.” Jus looked at her coldly and stood up.

“I don’t have any affiliation. To me the galactic civil war is just an opportunity for me to make money from either side.” Brynla stated. Jus shook her head and walked off.

“The meeting doesn’t seem to have gone well mistress Brynla.” E-5JF informed her.

“Right again.” Brynla replied.

*

As Brynla left the bar her way was suddenly blocked by two hulking Gamorreans. A Quarren appeared beside them.

“The Boss wants to see you.” The Quarren said in heavily accented Basic.

“What now?” Brynla complained.

Brynla was taken to the spacious residence of Slyz-Bol, the local crime lord. He sat there in all his magnificence. Slyz-Bol was larger than a Wookie and had green craggy hairless skin and a protruding proboscis that was almost a meter long. Brynla had no idea what alien race he was, and if truth be told, neither did anyone else.

“The word on the street is you are in the possession of some Imperial contraband. If the local authorities hear about it life could become very difficult for you. If you were to give it all to me I’m sure they’ll never know of it.” Slyz-Bol said in his very nasally voice.

“And if I don’t turn it over I guess I’ll have stormtroopers all over my ship.” Brynla said in an aggrieved tone.

“It would be such a shame if that happened.” Slyz-Bol said trying to smile which was something his facial features weren’t terribly suited for.

Brynla let out a long sigh. Now that the local crime lord knew about it there was little she could do.

“Fine. I guess you’ll have to pick it up from my ship. At the moment my First Mate is on board with instructions to not let anyone else enter until I turn up. So you’re going to need me there.” Brynla informed him. She would have to think up some sort of plan on the way there.

“Okay. But don’t try anything or we will ensure you end up in an Imperial prison facility, or even dead” warned Slyz-Bol. Brynla nodded. She understood completely.

*

The next thing she knew she was in one of Slyz-Bol’s speeders and they were heading for Docking Bay 127 where her ship, The Star Wolf, was docked. Upon arrival Brynla walked up to her ship and waved at Ennik through one of the windows. She brought out her comlink.

“Ennik open the hold up” she ordered.

“Righto!” Ennik replied with his usual gusto and the next thing Brynla heard was the motors of the ships hold turning on and slowly the doors to the hold opening on the underside of the ship.

Without warning at least half a dozen figures dropped out of the hold and opened fire on Slyz-Bol’s men. Instinctively Brynla jumped out of the way. Slyz-Bol’s men were caught completely by surprise. A few of them got their blasters out, but most were shot down before they could respond. A couple of them used the speeders as a shield from the blaster fire before they slinked away, while the remaining ones ran off in panic. Brynla retrieved her heavy blaster and fired a few shots off at the fleeing figures. She turned to see the others who had dropped out of her ships hold were advancing on her. The one in front was Jus with a blaster rifle in her hands. Brynla’s mouth dropped open.

“How did you do that?” She asked incredulously. Jus smiled.

“When I returned to the bar I found your droid was waiting there and she told me she saw you being apprehended by Slyz-Bol’s men. Realising that maybe he had come to hear about what your ship was carrying we decided to wait for them to come here. We guessed you’d be with them. So we convinced Ennik to let us on board and we waited.” Jus explained.

“Well thank you.” Brynla said feeling sheepish.

“Well we have our speeders nearby and we have the 15,000 credits for you. I reckon getting rid of your criminal underworld problem was worth at least 3000.” Jus informed her.

“Okay I think I deserved that.” Brynla conceded.

“So we’re all square then?” asked Jus. Brynla smiled and nodded in agreement.

“Feel free to load up the contraband. Then I’ll be gone and I suggest you get out of here too. When Slyz-Bol finds out what has happened here he won’t be happy and there’s no knowing what he might do.” Brynla suggested.

“Yes we’ll load everything up as quickly as we can. However one more thing…”

“What now?” asked Brynla frowning.

“Though we have some reservations about you, we have another job we want you to do for us….”

 

Joanne Fisher

 

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