Contraband, part four (fiction)

Contraband

Part Four

Asran’s cohorts collected the foodstuffs from Brynla’s ship. As exchange for the food, Brynla was given use of a speeder to take the contraband supplies to the rendezvous point. E-5JF was left with the ship, while Brynla and Ennik were escourted through a secret smuggling tunnel to a hidden enclosure. There lay a speeder with an enclosed canopy and a laser cannon at the back. There was enough space in the speeder to fit all of the cargo they brought, just. Brynla got Ennik to pilot the speeder while she sat in the back with the cannon controls, she had already been warned they may encounter some Imperials.

Ennik piloted the speeder away from the city of Esgor. The terrain around the city was dry and dusty with small canyons and brown hills. They were making good time and would arrive at the rendezvous within a few hours. Suddenly a warning signal went off.

“Uh-oh. We have some company.” Ennik warned. Brynla looked at her scope and saw two red dots approaching.

“I’m guessing TIE fighters.” Brynla stated. “Try to maneuver the speeder down one of the narrower canyons.”

“Okay.” Ennik replied. He steered the speeder towards a canyon. Brynla looked around, and sure enough, she saw two TIE fighters approaching them.

Speeder you are in a restricted zone. Stop where you are or we will fire on you.” warned a voice over the intercom.

“Keep going.” Brynla urged. She aimed the laser cannon at one of the TIE fighters and fired. The pilot managed to evade the shots and then both TIE fighters opened fire on them. Luckily, the laser blasts missed them, and Brynla aimed at again at a TIE fighter and fired. This time she hit it, and the TIE fighter exploded into a ball of fire.

“Hang on!” Ennik said as he piloted the speeder into a narrow twisting ravine. The sole remaining TIE fighter followed while firing at them. Brynla returned fire, but each time the pilot managed to evade her shots.

“This pilot is good.” Brynla said to herself as she continued firing at it. Unexpectedly the ravine suddenly turned abruptly to the right, and the TIE fighter flew into the side of it and exploded. Brynla breathed a sigh of relief. “Good piloting Ennik!”

“Thanks boss!” Ennik cheerfully replied.

They traveled to the rendezvous with no further encounters. Once there, Brynla turned on the beacon and they both waited. A couple of hours later a couple of large beasts appeared to be approaching them. Looking through her macrobinoculars Brynla saw they were banthas being ridden by humans. As they got nearer, one of the riders dismounted and walked up to the speeder. Brynla got out of the speeder to face him.

“That’s near enough!” the figure warned. “Have you brought the supplies?”

“Yes they’re here. Do you want us to unload them, or would you prefer to do it?” Brynla asked.

“You unload them yourselves and leave them outside the speeder and we will collect them.”

“Sure.” Brynla replied, mystified by the odd request. Ennik and her could have helped them load the supplies onto their banthas, but they obviously didn’t want their help, so they unloaded everything while the others all watched them at a safe distance. “I suppose these are weapons the Alliance is providing you with.”

“No. They’re medical supplies.”

“Medical supplies?” Brynla repeated.

“Yes there’s a terrible sickness affecting the native inhabitants here. The Empire has chosen not to do anything about it. All they’ve done is quarantine the planet, but not helped provide any medical assistance for the native population. They’re just letting them die instead and they’ve blocked any help that’s been offered. These supplies you’ve brought will help save many lives. So thank you. But please keep a distance from us.” Both Brynla and Ennik did their best to keep as much distance as they could from them once they were told this news. After all the supplies were loaded, the others mounted their banthas and rode off leaving Brynla and Ennik on their own. The journey back to Esgor was uneventful.

Onboard their ship again, they left the planet Karagen behind them. Imperial customs checked them out again, but found nothing. After going into hyperspace, Brynla and Ennik sat in the ship’s cockpit watching the blue light stream by lost in their own thoughts.

“So what are you going to do with your share?” Brynla finally asked Ennik.

“I’m giving mine back to the Alliance.” Ennik replied.

“Why?” asked Brynla surprised.

“Because they need the money more than I do. We were delivering supplies to help save lives. I don’t think I should profit from that.” Ennik told her.

“Nice sentiment, but that doesn’t pay the bills.” Brynla replied acidly. For Brynla, if she gave the money back to the Alliance it would be an admission she was part of the Rebellion, and she wasn’t ready to admit that yet, not even to herself…

The End.

Originally this story was meant to be a single post but it ended up being longer than I realised.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

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