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Christopher Levy and Thomas Rogers.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:7:15) in the Rhinnal system: Rhinnal (Rhire: The Rusty Lekku).

Timo Pendar and Captain Dagon Tong.


The intelligence forces of the Empire had failed miserably at obtaining workable intel on the Rebel cell within the Ringali Shell, as Imperial Intelligence and the Imperial Security Bureau were too busy working against one another than cooperation against the Rebellion. Desperate for any information they had made it known that credits were available for any information. As both MI and the ISB wanted information they found themselves bidding against one another and driving the price up. The result was individuals of all kind were taking it upon themselves to dig for information, and even falsify intelligence, to capitalize on the Imperial incompetence. Such business was not even beyond that of members of the Black Sun, whose Vigo could no longer match the price of the Imperials. Timo Pendar, Black Sun enforcer, found himself skulking about The Rusty Lekku in the city of Rhire on the frozen planet of Rhinnal where he believed he had spied Rebel agents gathering information. He could not be sure, however, and so when he moved in to observe the woman, he took a seat at the bar where he could watch her, but he only casually sipped at his overpriced Corellian whisky in the dirty glass.

For all the complaints over the cold, Dagon actually liked Rhinnal in some ways. At least there were minimal issues in electing to keep one's face covered during most of the day. No one batted an eye at heavy clothing either. Where as on some worlds, his team looked very much like mercenaries and bounty hunters when they shifted to a more direct action posture, on this ice covered ball, they were just in layers trying to keep warm. But it wasn't for the joy of freedom of movement that had the commando in the Rusty Lekku, nor was it for love of socializing. He had an ale in front of him on the table he had chosen, well back against the wall, near the side exit of the place. He had a throw away datapad in front of him, and was waiting for it to confirm that his message had been scent. His advance team had reported that they thought they had caught some surveillance on their recent trip, and after he'd done some of his own digging, his agreed. Hence he was at the very same bar as this Pendar individual, and waiting for the message he'd sent the man to be received. He had just contacted him with a cloned ID from one of the many street vermin who pedaled whatever they could to anyone, including Black Sun, to make a profit, informing the enforcer that he might have some good info on new folks lurking around the city in places they shouldn't be. The message also detailed that the would be informant would meet Timo behind the Rusty Lekku. Dagon reasoned that a criminal enforcer would either be brazen enough to simply walk out the back door, not believing anyone would attempt to trap him, or cautious enough as a career criminal to take an alternate route to get a look at who wanted to meet with him before he committed to the meeting. Dagon was hoping for the second, hence he was nearer the side door.

Timo was sitting quietly at the bar, nursing his Corellian whisky, when the message arrived. It caused him to arch his eyebrows, as he did not expect anyone to know who he was there. He looked around the Rusty Lekku for a moment, but not seeing anything out of the ordinary, he simply dropped a credit chit on the bar and began slowly walking out of the establishment. When he got onto the streets of Rhire he shoved his hands into his pockets as he tightened his coat around him, which made him regret coming to this awful world. If not for the credits he would be back on Brentaal IV. He moved around the side of the Rusty Lekku, looking down the alley where he was supposed to meet the contact. This had every aspect of being a trap, which made him reach down to his side where he had a standard heavy blaster pistol on his left hip. Gritting his teeth, partly because of the cold, and partly because of his nerve, he moved down the alleyway that would eventually lead to the rear of the establishment as instructed.

Dagon stood after the man had walked out, and moved out into the alley behind him. He made sure to wait a few moments, giving the man a chance to get at least 3 or 4 meters down the alley towards the back before he too stepped out into the snow. Normally, he would have been lying in ambush, but as he was doing this solo, to try and prevent further compromise if he could, he had to employ more subterfuge. He turned, and with a lurch added to this step, pressed his hand against the wall of the Lekku, and started to heave. The sound of impending vomit would fill the alleyway, loud enough to draw attention, but who hadn't seen someone puke outside of a dive bar? A few seconds later, the chirp of a data pad would sound from around the corner in the area where the text had told Timo the meeting would be.

Timo had nearly reached the end of the alleyway when he heard the man behind him vomit. He turned, unable to not look, but it did not strike him as anything more than someone who had had too much to drink. With the war raging on the neighboring planets the foul mood that had come down over Rhinnal had made *everyone* drink more. He considered doing something when he heard the datapad beep, which reminded him of the meeting and the potential credits. Shrugging, he again tightened the coat around his body. It was too cold for him to hold the grip of his blaster, and against his judgment he slipped that hand back into the jacket as well. "The Rebels need to attack someplace warmer," he muttered to himself, before lowering his head and turning the corner to move behind the Rusty Lekku.

When Timo turned back to the chime of the datapad, Dagon moved. It wasn't with a sudden lurch or surge, because that typically gave the victim a moment or two of warning if they had previously noticed the attacker, even if they had written the attacker off as a non threat. Instead there was a practiced ease to which he swiftly made his way behind the man, his silent footfalls at once out of place, and utterly befitting someone who moved with such menace when he wasn't trying to blend in. Before his target could put his hand back on his heavy blaster, Dagon had pulled his knife, and run it horizontally against the inside of the would be spy's wrist on his gun hand, just deep enough to render the hand less than useful for a gun fight, without leaving him to bleed out. The theatrical effect of blood being spilled was an added bonus. In the same moment, Dagon's right hand came up, and snatched the man's chin, digging his fingers up into the mandible nerve, and yanking back, forcing the man to first tilt his head back, and then surrender his balance to the attacker, who turned him, and then rammed his face into the side of the frozen dumpster where Dagon had left the datapad that had helped to lure Pendar into this predicament to begin with. He pushed the man's face into the cold metal, and placed the tip of the blade against base of the man's skull, where it met his neck, right on the brain stem. The man wouldn't be able to see his attacker, but as a fellow traveler on a violent rode, Pendar would know where the placement of the knife meant. "You've been looking into the wrong sort of things." Dagon's voice didn't need any enhancement to sound menacing, the naturally gravelly tone having never been described as soothing by anyone, even people who liked and respected him.

Of course it was a trap. When Tong's blade connected with his wrist a spurt of blood shot from his vein, causing an almost artistically beautiful contrast with the white snow on the ground. He only had himself to blame. His greed ... his lust for credits. He had no interest in the Galactic Civil War ... Republic or Empire it did not matter to him. Conflict and chaos meant profits for individuals like him who existed in the middle, and as the war intensified credit symbols flashed in his eyes. Before he could react, or even scream, the man was upon him, expertly gaining control of his body and slamming him into the dumpster. It was clear to him that he was dealing with a skilled operator, more than a simple Rebel commando or a local security officer. With the blade placed expertly in a way that could end his life in a millisecond he was careful not to move, nor speak, and instead listen. "Alright. Alright," he said, weakly, through a voice that was strained from having his face slammed into the dumpster. He closed his eyes, preparing himself for what could have been the last seconds of his life, slowly breathing what might be his last breaths.

"I want you to keep looking into them. Because you work for me now. Anything you find out, you will tell me about. Before anyone. Before your bosses at Black Sun, before local security forces, before some stripper you're bragging to hoping to get laid. And you will be paid for your trouble. But if you do not tell me first, about even the most insignificant little detail that you think someone in the Empire, the Rebellion, or anyone else might find interesting, I'll be back. And it will not be painless. Do you understand me?" He had no need to press the point of his blade any deeper, or slam the man around more than he had already. The point was made as to who had the upper hand in this moment, both in that he had identified Pendar in the first place, and that he had ambushed him with little more than a dry heave.

Timo listened as he got the surprising news that not only was he *not* going to be murdered in the alleyway, but in fact was going to be *paid* a small smirk inevitably crept onto his face, revealing chipped teeth and a bloody mouth. "I'll tell you whatever you want to know. No problem. I understand. I understand," he repeated, in a high pitched voice that mixed fear with excitement. He had come to Rhinnal for credits and now it seemed he had found them, but not in the way he expected. He did not care which side his information benefited, provided that *he* benefited, so he would have no problem honoring the desperate agreement he had made with Tong behind the Rusty Lekku.

Dagon dropped another datapad and a stack of 100 credit chips into the snow next to the man where they could be seen. "You put the information in the datapad and press send. Don't worry about putting an ID in. And don't worry about how I'll find you to pay you." The several thousand credits lying in the snow would be enough to start their dealings. And as suddenly as the man's night had taken a turn for the worst, the tip of the blade withdrew from Pendar's neck, and he was alone in the alleyway, bleeding, but several thousand credits richer, and a new task to hew to.

"Don't worry. I can do that. I can do that!" Timo replied, excitedly, as he looked across at the credit chips as they fell to the ground. Suddenly he did not care about the wound on his arm, or the beating that he took. "I'm not worried. I trust you," he said, as he transitioned into the asskisser role that was required to survive. When he was released he allowed himself to lay there in the cold ground for a moment, catching his breath, and reflecting on how close he had come to death. He was in shock, both from the trauma of the experience, and the wound he had suffered. Rather than attempt to stop the bleeding he moved quickly towards the credits, grabbing each of them up, and shoving them into his pockets. He then snatched up the datapad, hiding it away where he hoped it would not be discovered if he encountered an Imperial patrol. As he began to walk back down the alley he began to scheme ways to discover information so that the next time he encountered this individual he would receive credits and not a beating.

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