Republic Credits Will Do Fine...

Nothing Besides Remains...
Letters to Home 12

Oh how sad this place is. Never have I seen such despair. I know not how to accurately convey the scene that I have witnessed. In due diligence, I researched Questal to prep for and cross reference environmental allergens and malaises to generate appropriate countermeasures and immunization boosters. There were no real threats to be concerned with but fortune favor the prepared mind they say.

I looked upon the images of the planet and it reminded me of home, of course. It was green, lush, and mostly untouched by colonization, aside from a few standing settlements. Sadly, I emphasize the past-tense in that statement. What I was anticipating or expecting of the planet in reality was the furthest from. It was as if someone had simply erased all the signs of life from the surface of the planet and replaced it with deeply rooted scars and ashen waste. The planet was completely blemished from the glimmering gem of life it once was. There were portions that were obvious homesteads and farming tracts, however the current mining operations had and were leaving deep, industrial wound on the planet making it appear as if an affliction were slowing eroding and chipping away at the natural landscape and terrestrial acreages.

We landed on the planet only to find an Imperial fortification nettled into the Gralleeyna. The Imperial presence was menacing, to say the least, but it did not seem to be overbearing. You were aware of their presence and it imposed sense of order through means of fear and intimidation, yet something simply felt shrill about it. I could not place it, other than to suggest that it just was conflicting. Regardless, the spaceport, and I say that very laxly, was nothing more than an open field of dust where the dirt had been compressed so tightly under the intense weight of various transport ship that had landed over time. There were no frills to this port of call as it had its Imperial customs inspectors that were no more superficial permit pushers and scalpers skimming a few credits under the guise of Imperial protection. I despise people like this, yet I have seen far worse in my time with my rogue fellows, unfortunately.

Aside from that, Gralleeyna was different than most places I have come across. It is getting harder for me to say such a statement the longer I venture forth, though I mean it more on a cultural or sociological level than a physical observation.
There are rows and blocks of townhouses and cottages that have seemingly melded together into larger structures. The residents and tenant miners seem to be in a constant state of motion as the street vendors, farmers market, cantinas, and everything in between seem to never slow down nor close up shop for the night. Life keeps pulsating at all hours, non-stop. It is astounding as well to see a variety of different cultures from the various points in the galaxy yet finds some niche or pocket of familiarity all the same. The people are generally friendly, warm, gracious, and inviting though I dare say much of it is rather obligatory and artificial. As if the inhabitants know their world is perishing and they are trying to make the best of what it going on around them or fool themselves into think all is well. How could so much cheerfulness coincide with all this gloom?

This was only compounded by the fact that there were several notices placed about the city of the over the territorial governor, Moff Bandor’s birthday celebration that was to be taking place and observed for the entire week. There were various signs of cursory adherence to avoid imperial scrutiny. The people were in a festive, carnival atmosphere being played out in the street and various entertainers and circus performs paraded through the avenues of the municipality.

As we all casually surveyed the area, Deshaun did something rather foolish yet heroic. A small circus troop was strutting about when their ape-like attraction suddenly became agitated and broke free from its handlers. The creature went on a flailing rampage and was about to barrel down onto a young child. Deshaun charged valiantly and interceded, protecting the child from harm. Kas, Gerb, and Bruce joined in the fray were able to render the creature unconscious. The handler admitted he did not know what trigger the tirade but the local constabulary contained the situation and pushed on as if it was nothing major or worth pursuing. It was a peculiar set of circumstances and even stranger resolution, to be sure. I wonder what other odd situation are afoot.
When the Night was Thick and Starless
Letters to Home 11

We have made a quick stop off at Rodia given our rather unbridled pace we have been putting upon ourselves as of late. I was a bit taken back in the fact that Jack, Naska, and R5 decided to part ways with the ship and head out of their own. To what ends I know not, nor do I particularly care. I never could quite figure any of them out beyond the superficial; however I wish them the best of luck regardless.

Our numbers aboard have dwindled slightly, aside from the recently acquired service and pilot droid. The ship seems much quieter and more empty than usual. It is not as if we were casually meandering about carousing and carrying on; far from it. I do not know how to put the sentiments into words adequately aside from saying that I am feeling much more disconnected and isolated. I still have Deshaun, Gerb, Kas, and Zan, yet even then they are engrossed in their own affairs to pay much mind as things have quickly become standard.

I am left to my own diversions though they are usually far from leisurely. I have been quite busy keeping my associates mended, treated, and healthy. Though aside from my assigned duty and responsibilities, there is little else I have readily available in pleasantries. I have been compelled to take the initiative and actively seek out new ways to occupy my time.

I noted how I was become more familiar with the ship’s systems and our procured pilot droid R2-NX01, whom has been dubbed “Nix” for short, has actually become my de-facto tutor to all things aeronautical as well as astro-nautical. The little pilot droid is surprisingly a decent instructor. It is not as flat or static as those tutorial droid all loathed in school with their preprogrammed “words of encouragement” protocols. It is surprising how simple and straightforward the little droid comes across when explaining and setting up scenarios. I admit I had to plug him into the translation screen to interpret his binary, but oddly enough I am beginning to comprehend.

Deshaun has been pushing to find out more about the possibility of family members still alive and apparently there is a lead. According to Deshaun, he has a sister still alive. I loathe thinking on what type of persona she is compared to Deshauns’ rather brazen and lecherous ways. In any event, we are making our way to her last known location which is Questal.

I cannot say I have ever heard of this place. Amongst us gathered few we knew even less. It is one part terrestrial for homesteader and the rest retains quarrying and extraction of its most precious and valuable reserve, Ardanium. I was familiar with Ardanium as one of the key elements in removing flesh oriented, bacterial diseases and the like. Zan knew it to be used to line the inner portions of fuel tanks on capital ships. This material is apparently grows stronger in the presence of radiation. It is rather fascinating, scientifically speaking, though I am no geologist.

That aside, we are on our way to Questal to find a lost loved one. Well, I say that rather reserved as this sibling is not quite lost, yet there is lack of validity. Deshaun continuously goes on about his concern that the Empire will strong arm, blackmail, or influence him by means of his family to fund their plots yet at the same time he operates so brashly. We shall see how this plays out.

If I Never See this Planet again... It'll be too soon
Letters to Home 10

sandtrooper-tatooine-mos-eisley-jawa-high-definition_2.jpgIt’s one thing to avoid conflict; it’s another to be held sheepish and duped. Tatooine is a strange place in its own right and its denizens are even stranger. I do not where to begin explaining this, but I shall try nonetheless.
Rhan took Zan, Kas, R5, and Deshaun out to remote location while Bruce and I stayed with the ship. Honestly, there is not any one place that one can’t call “remote”. By Tatooine standards, this roughly translates to away from the view of others, namely the Imperials and criminal elements alike on planet. It is funny how so far on the opposite ends of the spectrum these to entities fall yet one feels the need to hide from both. R5 and Zan haggled over the terms of the deal and came to a new price of exchanging the two Z-95’s for the A-wing and credits. After some assessment of its soundness and airworthiness, Kas took the reins and flew to back to the hangar.
One of the 95’s was stripped down to parts and in the hold. Rhan came with a transport and trailer train as well as a pilot who took the fly-able one. In the midst of offloading the parted one, we had some uninvited guests. Zan and Bruce recognized one of them as a Hutt Enforcer with a group of hoodlums coming to collect on a debt. I know not what his business with the Hutt entailed, nor did I press the issue. Ignorance is bliss in this case. Though it looked as if the initial exchange was escalating to a gunfight, thankfully, this did not come to pass. Zan and the Enforcer bartered a deal to leave them be costing him 5K to avoid a fight. Rhan did not waste any time and opted to take his payload and expedite out of the hangar. I do not fault him for it was not his fight.
With a hypothetical peace established, the enforcer slyly eluded to a running bet between a couple of local Hutt’s named Jabba and Teemo. I could only guess Zan was intrigued to perhaps gain favor with one or diminish a debt owed to one or the other. I could only assume Jabba by the Enforcer’s inflection. In any case, it enticed Bruce and Zan enough to pursue.
The rumor was that a Twil’lek woman was working around several noted “high rolling” gamblers and she apparently “crashed the tables”, whatever that means. I can only assume she must have beaten the odds and won more than the casinos were willing to payout or aided the gamblers in the same fashion. Whatever the case she stirred the ire of the Hutts and each were seeking to “acquire” her. The mere mention of tracking a woman perked Deshaun’s curiosity, of course. So, Zan, Kas, and Deshaun set out to hunt her down. The trio bounced from back alley to cantina in search of this woman. After a merry little jaunt, they were able to catch sigh t of her. Deshaun, seeking to aid the “damsel in distress” approached her. Unbeknownst to my associates, they created an opening to allow the enforcer to have them do the dirty work and sough to steal the prize. That is when things went rather chaotic.
Blaster fire and brawling broke out between the two sides. Though Zan and Deshaun took the brunt of the blows and shots, they managed to secure their quarry and offered her a means of escape. They doubled back to the ship and, once again we hastily took our leave from Tatooine with our new “guest”, for lack of a better term.
Of the place we have travelled, Tatooine is one I was more than happy to leave as quickly as we arrived, so to speak; too hot, too seedy, and too much trouble to deal with. In all honesty, I have absolutely no desire or need to return here, though I have a bad feeling that I will… unfortunately.

Big Brother is Watching
Letters to Home 9

8552396962_4fe386906f_b_2.jpgApparently our endeavors were not without some advantage. The terms of striking out on the chaos we created did prove to be enough to instill the trust in Rhan. He opted to fulfill his part in acquisition of an A-wing. I seriously have no idea what he is seeking this ship for. When I asked him in confidence, he simply replied “It’s going to be my toy!” You flyboys and your fascination with the latest and greatest flying machine is something I shall never truly understand. Ha-ha!
In any event, Rhan told us that he too was caught up in the act of tying up loose ended and found himself in the scope of a sniper. He convinced Zan to take him onboard to obtain his trophy as he was on the run from Arend as well. The enemy of my enemy, I suppose.
We set out and were bound for Tatooine. Ah, yes, the barren waste of sand and scandalous desires. I have never been here, outright, though its reputation precedes itself. Let’s just say the reputation is completely true. It is hot, bright, and 115 F in the shade no less. Far too hot and arid for my liking, however if you are it is the one place where no one your story, let alone cares. If you are seeking to hide, this is the Elysium you seek. It has its own dangers but you quickly learn to mind your own and keep a low profile less trouble shall ultimately find you.
That said, Tatooine was where this A-wing was being “stored”, and I use that term very loosely. Given the circumstances that led us here I highly assumed it was a rouse or yet another pilfered piece of property. Such was not the case, thankfully. I was not without concern though. A Imperial Star Destroyer was orbiting the planet and its stature in the skies above certainly made for a looming and dreadful presence. It was made known that the late Moff of Tatooine was assassinated and there was an investigation into the circumstances of his death. It appears they took this incident VERY seriously if not a bit overzealous by breaking out Storm Troopers to maintain order. They had not declare a state of martial law, however they were certain placed strategically to do so at a moments’ notice.
Although the goal was to remain unobtrusive, such was not to be. Kas, Jack, and Nauska caught up in a street fight with a group of troopers and it caused an immediate commotion. I know, deep down, it wasn’t their intent to create a distraction but it did afford us some liberty. Sometimes, I wonder about Kas. She can be trusted and put herself in harms’ way, yet sometimes I ponder what her true motives are. I did not take long for the Imperial forces to move on the situation. A shuttle landed and several officers and ISS agents took a more personal and direct approach to the issue. In short order, Jack, Kas, and Nauska’s likenesses were plastered on the public broadcast. Thankfully, no one acted on the “Imperial gratitude, however a price on their heads will be soon to follow. We will have to act expeditiously…

Sometimes You have to be a Bad Person to Save Yourself
Letters to Home 8

Mari_-_Star_Wars_1313.jpgIt would appear, Jalen, that I am now one of those whom are guilty by association. Intrigue has a funny way of turning things upside down and sideways it seems. I sit here writing this as we make a spirited flight from Bespin after being under duress. There is advantage and disadvantage to being outside the loop. Somehow I have fallen on the middle ground.
I sit here keeping tabs on Zan who is floating in the bacta tank. Others are sleeping of their sedatives and incurred wounds. Needless to say, their business inevitably ended in a double cross, in a manner of speaking. It was to be a heist in two spectrums. The goal was to steal the Jewel of Yavin and take the auction money for it. To what ends, I know not, though I do know it was all part of the contract’s fabricator.
I was able to assess that it my comrades were the means to do the “dirty work” of the scheme. They used their skills to move closer to the prize and set up pieces to play. Intrigue is such a chess match, don’t you think? They drove up the bids and shuffled the funds to a private, secure account. They also crashed the museum and snatched the gem. It was not exactly without a hitch or two, to be sure. They fought off security droids and some other thief looking to do the exact same thing of taking the gem. It was escalating quickly.
They managed to acquire their objective and went to meet their employer and close the deal. Apparently, this is where it turned much darker in plot. They were to rendezvous at a public transit lift and be ferried to a discreet location. My associates are not one to play the fool and planned accordingly, however what they did not count on was for their transport to be their death warrant. The ferry was rigged with explosives and though they managed to release the device it exploded and caused a major crash. Zan took the brunt of it but it was a failed attempt to eliminate loose ends.
They managed to skirt security and other elements, making their way back to the ship. We made quick work of making a swift exit and left Bespin behind us. It is not that they went away with empty pockets, as Gerb managed to build in a “back door”, whatever that means, and get the credits owed and we hold possession of the gem. Yes, illegally, but as Kas so admittedly pointed out that it was leverage. This match is a stalemate at the moment.
As if it wasn’t enough to simple have someone after us, I fear we have a trifecta. Kaltho bought the gem, the original owner has no payment, and the conspirator has little to show for his efforts and variables not in his control. Now we must watch ourselves threefold. Oh joy… then again, nothing bands a group together better than a common enemy, dare I say enemies. It would be nice to have some friends at this point.

My Mind was Racing
Letter to Home 7

SWE09-CloudCarRace-TimothyBenZweifel_2.jpgOh, Jalen! What a race! Do you remember that last charity speeder race at your airbase on Harte Secur? Well, let’s just say it paled in comparison to what I witnessed at Cloud City’s Grand Prix. Perhaps it was because I had more of a candid interest in the event with someone I know being actively involved. I cannot recall the last time I was caught up so wholeheartedly in such revelry.
The race itself was fast paced and heart pounding. I found myself glued to the streaming coverage on my data pad. Zan was amazing! The ships tore out into the open skies like a flock of startled birds. It was chaos as they swarmed, banging and bashing into one another. I heard an onlooker comment that they were “swapping paint”. What an odd but rather fitting analogy. At first it was simply a matter of jockeying for position and taking the lead. Unknowingly, the locals’ anticipation was building as they scroll a text that announced “Weapons Free”. I became alarmed initially, yet a subtext scrolled the rules of engagement and “environmental hazards”.
That, ironically was a misnomer as several exchanges occurred between the racers rather than the hazards they implied. Aside from the knocking out of the competition, there were some natural perils present; large cloud-like forms, winged serpent-like creatures, even part of the cloud banks that ignited and detonated as they plunged through them. Many of the racers were taken out by these elements; however there were plenty of safeguards and safety units present that plucked the endangered crews from certain death.
I admit Zan’s skill at the controls was extraordinary. Being the “unknown” wild card was his forte. He certainly out witted and out maneuvered his competition leading the pack at length for the majority of the race. Needless to say he became the hero of the day. Zan won the race, hands down, took the purse, and was hailed they conquering hero, though he was quite modest about the whole ordeal. As a comrade I was overjoyed for his accomplishment.
After the fanfare subsided the focus was driven to the grand gala and auction at the museum. The showpiece was the “Jewel of Yavin” which was to be sold. I was aware that the others “business” centered around this item or event, though I preferred not to know the specific details. I had reserved myself to wait in the wings, though a gentleman approached me and asked if I would like to attend as his guest. You need not worry; he was an older gentleman and a widower who simply wanted the accompaniment of a lady on his arm. It was not solicited, perish the thought; however he furnished me with attire and was gracious and chivalrous. There were no ulterior motives in his request, I assure you, and I could not in good conscious decline an innocent offer.
My gentleman escort and I attended the gala and he was the perfect gentleman. He enlightened me to the social structure and assumed customs of Cloud City as well as informing me of the repartee being exchanged by the players in the auction. After making soft spoken introduction to the invitees, the auction went into effect. I watched as Zan and Deshaun played opposite of each other as the bidding commenced. One by one, patrons dropped out of the running as the stakes of proposals rose. Deshaun caught the ire of a Hutt that was attending named Kaltho. Soon the bid was over 200K credits! I knew full well Deshaun, let alone Zan did not have the resources to front such expenditure, even combined, yet they pressed the bids to those ends. Deshaun gracefully relented to Kaltho and he won the bid.
After a rather intense barter, the tension still lingered in the air. The gala returned to a melancholic social party like many my mother dragged me to and the night passed relatively calmly. Zan, Deshaun, and the other took their leave and reconvened to continue on with their “contract”. I afforded myself the separation and enjoyed my small self-indulgent moment. I knew that it was soon to be over with the intrigues my fellows were wrapped up in requiring a hasty exit. Oh what tangled webs we weave…

I had my Head in the Clouds
Letters to Home 6

esbbest_08.jpgAh, Bespin, the floating city amongst the clouds. I must confess, Jalen, I have never seen a place that no matter where you are or what time of day it is, there is always beautiful sites to behold. Amongst the clouds you feel on top of the world, literally. I felt like a little girl dumbstruck in awe and wonder. It was so peaceful and serene. Sadly, this was far from a moment of rest and relaxation.
We circled around the city on our approach. It seems landing and docking space is at a premium. After a few trips around the circuit, we got clearance and landed. Thus started the bizarre circumstances of this meet and greet with the contact. We exited the ship to be met by a messenger that delivered note to Zan. I opted to wait in the wings and take care of incidental matters as the others went to the commercial district. That is where things got interesting.
Jack, Kas, Bruce, Deshaun, and Zan met with their elusive contact that had retainers that had to be abandoned. Essentially, my comrades led them on a merry little chase with the occasional exchange of stun shot. Thankfully, there was enough common sense between both parties in regards to the innocent bystanders in their wake. After a bit of evasion, my fellows ditched their pursuers and they scurried to their meet. Well, most of them. Bruce had the unfortunate bad luck to run directly into a member of the Wing Guard. He was detained, questioned, and released with a misdemeanor fine for his misfortune.
After their meet, I was enlightened to the matter and the particulars of the business at hand. Deshaun took to his role as a social distraction in pursuits of gaining access an affluent auction taking place on the upper level. It is strange that no matter where one travels the social castes and classes still hold to stereotypical premises of the more prosperous one is the higher their positioning and holds. Bespin is no different with the wealthy living closer to the top. Regardless, high society is in Deshaun’s routine. I find myself distancing myself from the immediate issue but knew someone would need to be the anchor and able to pull them out of fire if things run afoul. At least that was my intent as I am far the gallant hero, but I was not about to leave my associates out to dry. I cannot exactly fly the ship, after all.
I digress. Their employer, a Pantoran named Arend Shen, gave the others an in by offering them the front of being a sponsored participants in the Cloud City Grand Prix. He provided them a vehicle and they were pressed for time to the ship ready to race. Amongst our rather idiosyncratic band of fortune hunters, we had it covered. We also gained new companion; a Drall named Gerb. He’s a little peculiar; though it is not fair to me to judge as he is the first Drall I have come across and I plead ignorance to their ways and character. Gerb is nice enough though and a relative guru with computers and electronics.
Zan and R5 were set to fly the Cloud Speeder, but true to R5’s programming, he had to tweak the performance every which way he could as Bruce set about modifying and upgrading the mechanics. Gerb set to enhance the systems and avionics. Yes, I am learning the terminology. However, this race has some notoriety of mishaps and sabotage between the racers and we were inducted to it as the rest. A rogue individual managed to bypass the hangar doors and deliver a present of these small droids that I heard Gerb call “Buzz Droids”(?). I’d never heard of these things, but they are like insects that solely seek to cause havoc on a ship. That’s the thing; they only went after the ship. I guess there is a sense of fair play still between the racer as not to take the pilots out just cripple their chances.
Kas was rather rash and leaped out onto the rogue’s speeder. Intimidation aside, I dare say it was madness on her part but her reckless actions struck fear in him and he ran scarred, taking Kas with him but she wrench the speeder out of control and leapt to safety. I don’t know the particular but the thought alone imbues both concern and admiration for her. Anyways, the others managed to fend them off though they did manage to set repairs and refit plans a bit back but they managed to finish up with little time to spare and now, all that is left to anxiously await this elaborate race and yearn that fortune smiles.

Pulling Back the Curtian
Letters to Home 5

Pagoda_by_tarrzan.jpgIt would appear we have evolved from our simple activities of drifting nomads to being embroiled in underhanded schemes of treachery and payback. Well, most of us. Jack, Kas, Bruce, and Zan were talking of needing to upgrade some materials, resources, and elements to the ship. Deshaun was eager to push the fact anything could had on Zeltros. After some reasoning, Zan was persuaded, set course. Thank the maker of stimpacks because I opted to vaccinate myself with pheromone suppressors and I’m thankful I did. Lechery, libidinous, and lust is known to rampant. Ha-ha!
The rigors and trials of life and business are not as stressed on this world as you would see on the likes of Coruscant or Corellia, though it is definitely more free-spirited and aloof as many are simply enjoying life to the fullest; perhaps some more indulgent than others. Do not get me wrong, it is certainly vibrant, yet at the same time tranquil. In any event, Deshaun took it upon himself to be a generous and welcome host and sought to give us some much needed relaxation, at least in his mind. I did not refuse the pampering, but I did not binge on his hospitality. Some let loose, some were more reserved. To each their own, I guess. In the midst of this Zan was seeking to acquire a small fighter craft called an RZ-1 Interceptor(?). Of course you probably know all too well what it is, yet I’m a doctor, not a flyboy. ;)
Zan and Deshaun “slummed” and sauntered through the “shady” districts because this isn’t something you simply go and purchase from a dealership, apparently. After a few greased palms and slinging of drinks Zan met a Bothan “Junker” named Rhan. After some casual exchange, Rhan informed Zan of an opportunity for “little job” that could net him the payout he would need to get what he’s looking for and earn Rhan’s confidence. Rhan gave him the preliminary details and told him the contact and the job were on Bespin.We settled up our affairs on planet and set off for Bespin. This is already starting off with a lot of unanswered questions and deceptiveness. Needless to say, I got a bad feeling about this…

Hither and yon in search of vestiges of ancients
Letters to Home 4

Hyperspace-3D-Animated-Wallpaper.jpgMy Dearest Jalen,
I’m sorry, Jalen. This is where I would normally profess an energetic salutation, though I’m aware this may be the onset of a one sided communication. It is not that I don’t care, I truly do; it is simply the fact that I feel better writing to you in the hope you read this and know that someone who cares is thinking of me. Perhaps I’m a just a bit depressed and deserted. I have my travelling companions to be sure, yet they are simply that, not true friends. Forgive me; I don’t seek pity, maybe sympathy.
It has been some time since my last message and in that time some much has happened I can barely recount in detail what all has transpired. For starters, we bounded about doing regular transports of goods of little import till we were approached by a scholar of some sort who was pursuing ancient artifacts. He was some sort of archeologist, at least that what he appeared to be. He was a little skittish and aloof, but overall harmless. Zan took on the contract of providing glorified transport as Kas, Jack, and Bruce provided pseudo-security. The scholar’s work provided a location of pieces to a greater artifact. This took us to points relatively unknown from what felt like one galaxy to the next. It was adventurous and intriguing, I have to admit.
We go somewhere, navigate the terrain, find a long forgotten shrine or temple, or whatever they were. Occasionally, we’d encounter some creature(s) in our path that were relative unknown to common knowledge. In one case we came across this island inset to the remnants of a meteor crater. The island was inhabited by these pseudo-sentient primates. They were primal by nature but could communicate through body language. They seemed to “worship” the artifact and the man-made structures holding it. As if it came from the pages of a fairy tale of old, of course this artifact had a guardian. It was a like one of the fisherman’s yarns or Gungan tales a creature of huge and frightening mythical beasts from the deep. Needless to say I’m certainly less skeptical now having seen it with my own eyes.
Words cannot properly account for the massive size of this creature. At best, take a tortoise, give it the length and width of the largest Tank you could picture, add an exoskeleton complete with spines and spikes, add a nasty disposition, and you have what I saw. Disturbing, is it not? The “charade” monkeys did try to steer us away and warn us, but let’s just say my travelling comrades are less that apt to heed sufficient warnings. It was a harrying ordeal to be rid of the thing. Was it killed… hard to say. We retrieved the object, err artifact, and set out for our next destination. That… is where it got even more intriguing.
We headed for a remote destination in the Outer Rim. I know you would want to know more being a pilot and all but I’ve only becoming vaguely familiar with this astronavigation technique. In any event we were approached by several fighters who were intent on taking us. At least that myself and the others could ascertain. No comm chatter; no signaling; just interception. We braced to repel the aggressors and we were able to fend them off and disable them. We are not bloodthirsty and give banter, barter, and quarter. We are not pirates, after all.
A capital ship arrived on the scene and that is where we were able to “talk” this out. Well, I say that rather audaciously. The best I can summarize is that these rogue individuals were “protectors” of the artifact(s) that the scholar was pursuing. We tried to find a compromise, but none could be reached. All we could do is turn back. That is, Zan did manage to recover some compensation for the assault upon “his baby” by claiming two of the fighters for himself. Yes, it was a bit of skullduggery, I’ll admit, but we are NOT pirates, far from it. It was sad to see the scholar have to run back with relatively empty pockets, but he paid us for our services rendered and we part ways.
And that is about the best I can recall. Funny, One part danger, one part danger, and I have found myself becoming carefree and nonchalant about it. I know not whether to be disturbed or content. Then again I am being a bit more proactive about my circumstances and situation. I still am travelling and retain my function as doctor, though I’m trying to diversify my professional portfolio.
I mentioned before how I started investing in trade goods, well, I’ve expanded to other ventures. Nothing substantial or noteworthy but it is affording me a side profit. I let Zan know, as not to hide it from him nor undercut his own enterprise(s), to which he took no offense. Father would be proud that I’ve finally come around to the family business, would he not? HA! I’ve also begun to learn the basics of piloting and navigation. Moreover out of boredom, while waiting for someone to become sick or injured. I’m apt with the electronics since they are not much different than the medical scanners I am accustomed to. Ok, so they are different, but there is some familiarity.
I feel I have rambled on in this message long enough. I admit I feel slightly better inside having relayed this to you. Perhaps I just needed to someone to talk to, so to speak. My mother had given me a personal diary when I was little and I kept it up into my early teens. Though this is far from a schoolgirl’s secret book, as you, Mr. Jalen, are my intended audience, it feels more like a confessional narrative. Maybe this is to be a confessional, improvised diary, or memoir. Whatever the case, I’ll do my best to keep up with it. Know that, I still miss you dearly and long to see you again. You are in my thoughts and heart wherever I go.
tumblr_m4j6ibVs0x1rw2mv9o1_500.pngP.S. I still have those reading spectacles you gave me in jest because of my squinting. So, yes, you are “on my mind”, always. hahaha!

Your decisions are what make you who you are
Letters to Home 3

Hilton-Gaslamp-Naboo.jpgMy Dearest Jalen,
Where am I to begin? I am somewhat at a loss for words right now. Who knew coming home would leave me with more sadness and distresses. I can only say, for the moment, I know now why my correspondences have not been reciprocated as of late. That is, if my presumptions are correct.
I only thought that Naboo would be a reprieve for the hassle, yet I am thrust into my own personal calamity. Knowing my parents rarely deviate from their routine I took to the family manor in the Lake Country to draw as little attentions possible. Ok, so a Citadel-class light freighter landing the back hills of the manor is less than inconspicuous, but it’s an off season for there to be many residents.
We landed and I set to being a hospitable hostess and knew I would need to restock the pantries for my guests. I took the speeder into the capital with the others. I set about gathering the essentials as the others went around on their own merry explorations as came to find out many of them had never been to Naboo. I was glad to see little had changed and I sent out a note to let you know I was here, yet I got no response; not even a cursory justification. It was then I knew something was off. Of course, one half of me thought the worst while the other began to stew on doubts. I knew a more direct approach was inevitable, I opted to be direct towards my parents, and went to the family hall in the city.
To say I did not feel the least bit awkward as I walked up to the estate would be a lie. I caught myself taking a deep relaxing breath before I hit the call button. I did not feel it appropriate to simply walk in, though it is my home, so to speak. Etiquette presided over me. As anticipated, Braynar, father’s steward, was there to receive me. For a moment I felt the first sense of being welcomed home by his presence and though I could see a slight spark of happiness in seeing me initially, it quickly turned to worry. This only confirmed my reservations that something was certainly amiss. Braynar and I exchanged pleasantries as he tactfully clued-up the situation for me that my parents we “on leave” as father’s endeavors had come into question by the ISB and that the house was being watched. With that, I excused myself as Braynar chivalrously bid me his well wishes.
I know not what all was being scrutinized, but it was certainly enough for my parents to remove themselves from the planet. It would have to be something imminent and damning for my father to resort to such a course of action. I discreetly worked through what open channels I could query for information yet little were readily available. I was only able to discern that my father was being suspected of financing deeds that apparently were divergent of the imperial status-quo. To what ends… I do not know.
No doubt, you know what my immediate concern was. I rejoined my companions to which I found them dealing in a sale of “contraband items” which involved them with some “rebel sympathizers” who were eager to purchase said items. Oh, the tangled webs we embroil ourselves in. It was then I realized that if the suspicion of my father would open them to delve into his affairs I knew they would no doubt stumble upon “The Sanctuary”. I knew if they had not already discovered it, it would only be a matter of time before ISB would. That would not only bring me back to a person of interest then acclimate me to father’s issue thus adding more conflicts and fuel to the fire.
Forgive me for not enlightening you to my actions prior, yet given the circumstances, I could not risk entangling you in this mess any further. I told the others of what had been done in the past and seizing the opportunity, I headed for “The Sanctuary”. There was at least a few still on Naboo who welcomed me with open arms. I informed our “guests” of the situation and the impending trouble that could be following. They understood and agreed that it was “time to move on”. I was able to take them to the “sympathizers” to which they were in shock of what I was able to bring to them. Our “guests” offered to join them and we parted ways. Given the situations, I pressed Zan that we again make a unobtrusive leave from Naboo. He agreed, we gathered some superficial business to pay the way, and left.
Oh, Jalen, what have I done? Have I cast my lot into a ring I should know far better than to plunge into. As father had told me, on good or ill times, “Your decisions are what make you who you are.” The question what have I become? What is happening to me and my family? I have never worried myself over my parents’ affairs before, yet now here I am troubled and vexed on what is transpiring. I am frightened of what is and what may come to pass. I am even more terrified by this silence between us. My mind tells me I need to relent from making these missives as it only puts you in question while my heart yearns to hear you say “everything will be fine; trust me”, as you have in the past. Forgive me if I do not continue with my regular dispatches, at least until I find out more on this matter of my parents retreat. Please remain safe and know that it pains me to not to hear from you, more than you may know. I know in my words they come across harsh yet it is the anxiety weighing heavy on me. Just know it is not out of spite but concern and selfish wants. I miss you more than you may know…


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