Get Rycar!


Selona 13-15 10BBY, Mos Espa, Tatooine

For three days, Ellona and Rubicon holed up in Ellona's small rented apartment in Mos Espa, a place she described as 'an igloo made of sand'. Recuperating, they also spent the time getting to know each other. Realizing that Elonna was someone he could trust, Rubicon told her the story of the events that had brought him here. See Rubicon's page for details.

Selona 16 10BBY, The Snap Shot, Mos Espa, Tatooine

On the fourth day, the pair were eating in the Snap Shot, a small but crowded diner where they knew they could lose themselves in the crowd. Unfortunately, the cover wasn't good enough. Four toughs turned up at their table, two fanning out to cover them at a range while two approached them directly. One, who she thought she probably recognized as one of Gazdar's henchmen, gestured that they should stand up. "Himself wants to see you," he commented.

"What's the occasion?" queried Ellona. "You can ask when you get there." was the unhelpful answer. She glanced at Rubicon, but he shook his head; this was not a place to fight. Shrugging, the pair stood, paid for their meal, and accompanied the thugs out of the Snap Shot. Rather encouragingly, they were not disarmed.

A short ride in a heavy speeder took them across town once more to the crime lord Gazdar's hidden lair. Once more brought before Gazdar, lurking in his shadows, they stood rather nervously and waited to see what he wanted. He eyed them for a few moments, and then spoke in his level, calm tones.

"I have a problem." he said quietly. "I have a rival."

"Newly arrived on Tatooine is a human smuggler called Rycar Ryjerd. He is encroaching on my business, and I need him removing from the picture. He has established a base out in the asteroid field, for which I will provide co-ordinates. I do not have any space-travelling employees available to me at the moment. I need someone who can't easily be traced to me to fly out there and capture him for me. If you can capture Rycar Ryjerd alive for me, I will pay Cr2,000 for each member of a team of four (or less). If you kill him and return with evidence, I will pay Cr1,000 to be split between you." He paused. "If you capture his base, and his ship, intact, there will be more rewards."

"Will you accept this mission?" he ended. His tone was light, but Ellona could feel the guards behind her tensing, and guessed that an answer to the negative would lead to a short and painfilled future. "Of course," she answered easily.

Half an hour later, the pair found themselves back outside the Snap Shot, none the worse for their 'abduction', but with some decisions to make. First and foremost, of course was whether to take the job. Ellona had no compunctions about working for a crime boss, but Rubicon, striving to live up to the Jedi ideals he'd adopted, had worries. "Although Gazdar is scum, I can accept a temporary alliance with him to take worse scum out of circulation; I've heard of this Rycar - a slaver, pirate, and murderer. However, unless we decide that our objective is firmly to capture him rather than kill him, I can't co-operate." Ellona made haste to reassure him that they were indeed going to captiure him if at all possible.

"Also," added Rubicon, "Getting closer up to Gazdar is probably the only chance I have of retrieving my Adegan crystals."

First things first. To start with, they had to retrieve the Evangeline, Ellona's never-seen starship, from Mos Eisley on the other side of Tatooine. They also needed to plan their assault on Rycar's asteroid. Various ideas were thrown around, the most promising of which was the Ellona's idea of using some kind of gas to knock out the inhabitants. Rubicon agreed that this was a good idea, but commented that different gases might be needed to knock out different races. They also agreed that hiring some help would be a good thing, as other than slight ability with ship's turret weapons, Rubicon had no useful ship skills.

Transport to Mos Eisley presented a problem. It was more than three thousand kilometres, over some of the most hostile territory imaginable, roasted by Tatooine's twin suns, so walking was out.

Several solutions presented themselves. They could obtain dewbacks or banthas and ride them, although neither had any expertise with domesticated animals. They could buy a landspeeder and drive. A new X-34 retailed for Cr10,500 or so, a used one for Cr2,500 and a complete wreck for Cr1,00 and down. They had Cr2,600 between them, and the problem with a beat-up speeder idea was that it would probably die on them half-way there.

That left the transport. Assorted companies ran commercial travel between Tatooine's settlements, and in the end this was the option they settled on. Asking around, they got directions to Elborn Intercity, and a few minutes later were standing inside the usual Tatooine 'shop' - four pillars supporting a roof, open on three sides for ventilation and cooling, with sandstorm shutters. The sign was hanging loose and everything was grubby, but the man behind the desk looked up and asked what he could do for them.

"Transport to Mos Eisley, for two, one way please." Ellona answered. The man sucked in a breath. "Ohhhhhh, now, there's a shame; it went yesterday, and the next direct isn't for a week," he said. "I have one leaving tomorrow; goes Entha - Taike - Bestine - Eisley; Cr400 each."

"How much for the direct?" she asked

"Cr200 each."

"We'll take that."

Five minutes later they were outside again, tucking tickets into into pockets. Ellona leafed through her wallet; money was running low. Who knew what parts or repairs the Evangeline was going to need? "I think I'm going to need to find a job," she concluded.

17 Selona 10BBY, Mos Espa, Tatooine

Rulhin's Repulsors was a down-market, battered, cheap business at the poor end of Mos Espa. It repaired all kinds of repulsorlift vehicles (that people were poor or desperate enough to bring in, anyway). Like Elborn's, it was largely open to what little breeze there was, but unlike Elborn's it was a hive of activity.

Half-a-dozen speeders in various states of disassembly lay around, most being worked on by grubby, sweating mechanics. Pit droids skittered around, helping and getting in the way. A couple of jawas hung around the perimeter, trying to steal anything that wasn't clamped down. And in the middle, shouting at everyone impartially with a pair of leather lungs, was a burly, dark-haired human who had to be Rulhin himself.

Ellona waited until the tirade ended, and then introduced herself. "I'm looking for a job," she said. Rulhin looked her up and down critically. "A job as what?" Ellona mumbled a bit, nervous. "A mechanic," Rulhin looked skeptical, and she realized this was a selling thing. How had old Corlos' cargomaster done this....?

"Yes, a mechanic. I can fix anything - trust me!" she declared brightly, looking him straight in the eye. He looked at her for a few moments. "All right," he said, pointing into a corner. "That X-33 over there; motivators are shot and something keeps blowing them, that clown Draven can't fix it. If you can, you've got a job."

Ellona took off her jacket and blaster and hung them up (nice and close) and started poking around inside the open access panels. The 'speeder's systems were a mess, and the repairs Draven had attempted had made it worse. After a few minutes look-over, she stood up and went over to the store-racks and started filling a box with tools and parts. She found most of them, but a couple of items were't visible. She looked around, and a young, dark-haired man gave her an encouraging smile. "He's all right to work for, despite the shouting," he said, "but he can't file stuff. Look in the Hydrospanner box." She smiled her thanks, added the last part, and returned to the job.

Spreading everything out around her, she selected some tools and slid under the 'speeder to get to work. Now... take this lash-up out, isolate the power, unscrew that... Suddenly she was half-blinded as a spray of oil jetted out, covering her face in black goop. Frantically she twiddled the valve the other way and shut it off. Wiping her eyes, she glanced around; no-one seemed to have noticed. Hastily she cleaned up the spill, and studied the engine again to see where she'd gone wrong. Ahhhhh...

Ten minutes later, she shoved the replacement motivator into place, reconnected the power feeds, and smacked the activator. With a clean hum, the 'speeder lifted from the greasy floor and hovered a metre above the ground. Ellona vaulted in, grabbed the controls, and gunned the vehicle out through the open doors. All those lazy afternoons with her father's 'borrowed' 'speeder came flooding back, and she scorched backwards and forwards in a dizzying series of stunt manouvres. Finally, she throttled the power back and brought the vehicle back into the bay to halt gently near the suddenly-quiet Rulhin.

"The X-33 can't do that," he said, slowly and dazedly. "You, my friend, are hired!"

(The job pays Cr100 per day, so over seven days that will increase her funds by Cr400 after living costs)