Beyond - Legends "Breakfast in Bedlam" (Psychodrama/Action) -COMPLETE! 9/18- Thank you!

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  1. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Title: Breakfast in Bedlam
    Author: Trak Nar
    Genre: Action/Psychodrama/Character study
    Characters: Zuckuss, Toryn Farr, a few OCs, Gawynn Karastee from the EGAS
    Rating: PG-13 Violence, suggestive dialogue/scenes, disturbing content

    Summary: In the seedy underworld of the galaxy, bounty hunters pursue the violators of an unwritten code of conduct, but even these mercenaries are not immune to the law. Zuckuss, one of the galaxy's most infamous bounty hunters, finds himself caged with the very fugitives he has helped bring to justice. Sentenced to life with enraged inmates who hunger for his blood, Zuckuss will need more than his reputation and luck to survive, especially when faced with a serial killer with an insatiable appetite for revenge.

    Note: Originally published January 26, 2010, on Star Wars Fanon. The original story was formatted in eight two-chapter segments and an epilogue. This version will be posted in single-chapter segments, each chapter posted every few days or so, depending on length.

    -------------------------------------------
    Chapter 1

    Now: 26 ABY

    Dr. Gawynn Karastee tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and looked over her datapad. She had found a moment's peace in the sparsely-decorated room, a welcome change from the constant noise of the prison around her. Echoing footsteps, the warden's booming voice ringing from the walls, inmates screaming various obscenities that one should not repeat in polite company, and the rhythmic heavy thud of the automatic locks all combined into a chaotic cacophony of distraction. Certainly not conducive to the work Karastee was appointed to do. And most certainly ill-suited to the rehabilitation of her mentally-ill clients. Dr. Karastee was the court-appointed criminal psychiatrist for the Bedacus-Lambrecht Correctional Facility, charged with caring for society's outcasts. Known within the duracrete walls as "Bedlam," the prison indiscriminately housed the mentally-ill with the general population, as to the district's Department of Corrections, there was no real difference whether that inmate's charges were due to conscious decision or irrational and unstable thought processes.

    Dr. Karastee shook her head, hearing a hollow, tinny "bang" and several inmates shout somewhere out in the hallway nearby, followed by the harsh bark of a corrections officer and the impact of a nightstick against a cell door. A few moments passed and she heard the unmistakable ''beep'' as the door was unlocked and opened. Karastee looked up from her datapad, two large uniformed officers flanking the doorway, a short insectoid Gand ushered inside and directed to sit in the chair across from her. The Gand, clad in a bright orange jumpsuit and fitted with a breathing apparatus, obeyed immediately. His hands were bound at the wrists, similar bindings on his ankles. Karastee regarded the despondent creature before her with a nod and a professional smile. "Good afternoon, Zuckuss."

    Zuckuss gave a slight bow of the head, but otherwise remained silent. He rested his gloved hands on the table separating himself and Karastee.

    Karastee waited until the guards stepped outside before speaking again. Granted, the guards were only there to maintain order and discipline, but Karastee would rather it be confidentiality that was the priority. What her clients say is of no business to the corrections officers. And in a facility such as this one, where errant bounty hunters are housed with the fugitives they helped put away, even the smallest amount of information regarding any perceived weakness could be turned into a weapon. She had seen it happen before; an inmate had learned of an incarcerated bounty hunter's troubles due to an off-hand comment by one of the guards. That information was passed on to several others and when dinner was served that evening, the gang descended on the bounty hunter like a pack of wild nexu, beating him to
  2. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Some possibly-disturbing imagery abound in this chapter. Nothing too graphic or explicitly gory, but some may find it a bit unnerving.

    -----------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 2

    And then: two years ago

    No one knew about it. No one suspected a thing. He was always so quiet, well-behaved, kept mostly to himself. "A strange genius," they called him. Brilliant, though aloof. Happily occupied with his cooking. And that's the way it would have continued until the final project. Oh, that final project. How very quickly it had turned, from routine to appalling. Appalling, at least, to the uncultured swine at the academy. They lacked good taste. They all did. The students, the instructors, everyone. The galaxy was mired in the control of those with an unrefined palate. Not a single touch of class among the lot of them. Perhaps if they understood the importance of not letting good food go to waste, he would be attending commencement ceremonies and beginning his career at Calliandro's. But, no. The administration was run by the inflated egos of those without the slightest hint of proper etiquette. Those who were blind to the culinary expertise he had. And their processed-meal-laden minds drove them to expel possibly one of the greatest chefs the galaxy had ever been blessed to have known. And then that dung-eating invertebrate who calls itself a food critic had the gall to make a snide comment on the HoloNet News, further poisoning the minds of the public and blinding them to what he had to offer.

    The blade hit the counter top with a sharp "thwack," Pepan Manja bringing his focus back to the here and now. It was not the time for inner reflection, considering that he had the oven on. And his mind should not be wandering away while he was cutting a sizable roast into smaller portions for easier storage. Which one was this one again? Ah, yes... a Vratix. Apparently an engineer of sorts, judging by the belongings he found on its strangely-jointed body; a datapad full of technical readouts. Those things didn't matter, though. He could care less about the belongings. He will dispose of those unnecessary items later.

    The Vratix was caught in a secluded side street roughly two blocks away from Bucher's Quality Meats, a pound of ground nerf chuck tucked under one chitinous arm. It was utterly oblivious to its surroundings, having traveled that area so often that it was confident in its self-assurance that it was in a perfectly safe neighborhood. Its ignorance was its own undoing. Pepan was able to track the Vratix, then felled it with a single blow from a discarded drainage pipe. The dizzying impact to the back of the head sent the Vratix pitching forward. Pepan then quietly ended the hunt, a quick snapping twist of the head to sever the spinal column. He took his catch home and processed it.

    No one knew about it, of course, just as no one knew about the others. And if he plays his sabacc right, he can keep it that way. This Vratix, with its awkward, crawling gait and multi-jointed limbs, was certainly not about to tell anyone what happened in its condition. Pepan's long snout curled in the Kubaz equivalent of a smile in response to his joke. Shaking his head, he finished cutting and wrapping the last remaining portions of the Vratix carcass in white butcher paper. Putting the meat in his cold storage locker, Pepan took a moment to check on his cooking. A succulent aroma of marinaded meat wafted forth from the open oven on a wave of warm steam. The strong spice scent stung his eyes for a moment, Pepan blinking away the tears that were brought forth. No matter how the seasoning irritated his sensitive eyes, it would not affect the flavor of the dish. The savory meat, softened in its own juices, sizzling, glistened in the light of the oven. Oh, pity on those who would miss out on such a culinary delight! They have not the slightest clue what they are missing!

    It is their own fault for that, Pepan surmised. To allow this game to roam the streets
  3. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Yep, still posting this. I had it originally in two-chapter segments, as after I typed each chapter, they were quite short. Anywho, onto Chapter Three, and with it, the start of the violence that was mentioned in the rating.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 3

    Now.

    "...What the hell is this? Mystery meat?"

    "Ain't no mystery 'bout it. It's what a Hutt fergot ta flush."

    Cami Sookanado wrinkled up her green snout, the disgust further reflected in her large round eyes. The amorphous mass haphazardly spattered on her plate certainly resembled such plumbing backwash and had a pungent smell to match. Not very appetizing at all, and Cami considered herself to have a very broad taste. She shook her head, making her way through the line and toward an empty table. Decent food, she surmised, was yet another freedom the district had taken away. You do wrong and you're not even permitted to enjoy a palatable meal. Even if that apparent wrong was more of something devised by the Department of Corrections, relating to a miss-communication, and applying to the dodgy policies regarding the legal rights of bounty hunters. Cami was a Rodian, her species having garnered a reputation for a love of the hunt and thereby producing a fair share of lawless mercenaries. Years ago, Cami was forced into retirement and given a government pension. Her son was taken away and Cami was bounced from one group home to another, suffering from what many in the psychiatric profession considered to be a severe form of post-traumatic stress disorder, stemming from a hunt that had gone horribly wrong. However, her caseworkers neglected to mention that Cami's retirement was technically probation. So, when she accepted a contract to bring in a disillusioned Imperial terrorist suspect, her caseworkers alerted the Department of Corrections. After her hearing, Cami was charged with violating the terms and conditions of her parole and sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

    This was not the first time she had been in detention, as Cami had spent a few years after her son was born in a residential treatment facility leading up to her retirement. However, those circumstances were markedly different. She did not have charges on her record, nor was she housed in a penal facility then. Cami sighed, finding a relatively empty table and sitting. Her orange jumpsuit clung to her slight frame and she fussed with it, rolling up her sleeves. She stared pointedly at her meal for a long moment, then looked across the table. "I swear, Zuckuss... sometimes I envy you..."

    Zuckuss, sitting across from Cami with a bottle of what appeared to be some sort of protein shake on the table before him, glanced up at Cami from a moment of quiet reflection. "Why?"

    Cami nodded to her meal, then to his drink. "You definitely eat better than the rest of us." She chuckled, then poked at her food with her fork. "Honestly, I'm not hungry anymore. This stuff smells like the showers in C Block."

    Zuckuss watched Cami for a moment, then extended a retractable pipette from the lower part of his face mask, plunking the end into the bottle and knocking back a few swallows. "How is your son?" he asked after a long stretch of silence.

    "Alright," Cami felt a knot form in her throat. "He's doing alright." She paused. "Miss him terribly." It was only in the past year and a half that Cami was reunited with the child that Social Services had taken away from her so very long ago. Her son, a spry young Rodian that went by the name "Trak," had accompanied her on the hunt that violated her parole. A hunt that ended with Trak being accidentally injured when their ship was attacked. Cami felt absolutely horrible for it, even though the matter was beyond her control. "I'm gonna see if the CO will let me call him."

    "They should. There's no reason why they wouldn't. He's your son."

    Cami nodded. That was at least one thing, one freedom the Department of Corrections would not take away entirely; a mother's right
  4. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Chapter Four is now up. This was the first finished fic I had written in a very long time, hope people are enjoying it so far. Some more disturbing bits pop up in this chapter. Not quite to the extent as was present in the second chapter, but there are a few.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 4

    Dr. Gawynn Karastee shook her head, folding her arms across her chest, her gaze going to the floor for a brief moment before returning to the warden. "Was it racially-motivated?" She was standing before the desk in Captain Bencar's office as they discussed the altercation in the mess hall earlier that day. At the time, Dr. Karastee was in the middle of a meeting with a pharmaceutical representative when she was called away, alerted that her client was the target of the fury of another inmate. Of course she was told this after the fact. Too late if there's a fatality, Karastee again shook her head.

    "No, there wasn't any gang activity involved," Captain Bencar reviewed his notes of the incident. "Dokk was one of Zuckuss's bounties."

    Figures, Karastee mentally rolled her eyes. She should have expected that answer. The motivations varied, but they all boiled down to one simple and primitive concept: revenge. It was only too easy for the inmates to act on those motives when they and their intended prey are on a level playing field. "Any injuries?"

    "Dokk got a bloody nose and some bruised dignity, another inmate's arm was broken, compound fracture at that, and Zuckuss's respirator sustained some damage."

    Karastee nodded. Zuckuss certainly fared much better than other incarcerated bounty hunters.

    "I bet it's due to that findsman nerf-spit." Bencar seemed to have read her thoughts. "I mean, we've had other bounty hunters in here before, but none so high-profile. If he wanted to, I bet he could disarm half the officers here real easily." He shook his head. "He wouldn't say anything about who started it. Just stared that stare of his, even after some 'persuasion.' I don't see why you insist on working with that bug. He won't talk and when he does, he still doesn't say anything." He shrugged. "Almost like he's paranoid or something. Strange little bug..."

    "It's the schizophrenia," Karastee said matter-of-fact. "If he were in a residential treatment facility, receiving proper treatment and therapy--"

    "Hey, Doc, don't go jumping on my case. The judge decides where the inmates go, not me." Bencar interrupted firmly. "Zuckuss is too violent and high-profile to go anywhere else and they closed the Valorum Center." Local budget cuts had seen the closing of a number of residential psychiatric centers, its patients turned loose on the streets. Many of them were not medicated and found themselves incarcerated in a number of prisons. The mentally ill had no advocacy on Coruscant anymore. They were seen as uncontrollable criminals that needed to be removed from society.

    Bencar cleared his throat and continued. "For cripes sake, he almost ripped another inmate's arm off! That inmate spent four hours in surgery! Zuckuss may be short and quiet, for you at least, but he's a serious threat! He's not one of your usual small-time hunters, Dr. Karastee."

    Karastee nodded slowly, her gaze going to the floor for a moment. Bencar had a point, Karastee was blind to a majority of the goings-on concerning her clients. She only knew of the fights after being told of them, she, herself, had not the opportunity to bear witness to any of the conflicts. The violent histories of her clients were made known to her through data files and interviews. In addition to that, most of the bounty hunters she worked with were virtual unknowns to the galaxy as a whole. Zuckuss, however, was one of the "Executor Six," hired years ago to acquire one of the most notorious bounties ever to grace the galactic postings. His career had made his name known from the Core to the Outer Rim. He had achieved a sort of legendary status among his people and his long career had
  5. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Figure I'd post the next chapter prior to heading out for the weekend. Got some more possibly disturbing imagery in this one.

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    Chapter 5

    Then.

    Gands were easy to kill. The short stature and ubiquitous breathing apparatus made them suitable targets. Grab them from behind and cut off their air supply until they suffocate. As long as they were caught by surprise, they went down rather quickly. Some would try to hold their breath, only prolonging the inevitable. They would succumb eventually, however, losing consciousness and allowing Pepan to finish the job with a snapping twist of the head. He preferred to kill them quickly, as the amount of lactic acid that would build up in the meat from the lack of air would be considerably lower and thereby leaving the flesh in a more palatable condition. Though, Gands required more preparation prior to serving. The ammonia they breathed collected in the soft inner flesh, giving them the pungent smell and flavor of refresher cleaner. Thus, Pepan was carefully selecting the ingredients for an overnight marinade.

    Pepan glanced at the carcass on his workbench, stripped and washed, the limbs having been removed and stored away earlier. This one had decided to stay late at an office building in an affluent financial district before stupidly taking a short cut through a dark alley between two speeder parking decks. Pepan shadowed the Gand then grabbed it around the neck, applying clamps to the air hoses. It took a few moments to suffocate, Pepan restraining its arms and disconnecting the close-range audio unit built into the breath mask so that his prey could not scream. Its death throes reduced to a series of clicks and hisses, the Gand went down quietly. Pepan then stuffed the short body into a duffel and took it home.

    The belongings and breath mask were tossed in a barrel situated by the entry way. Those items will be dumped down a freighter shaft later. One of the benefits of living on Coruscant, Pepan decided, was the ease of garbage disposal. He had originally left his home planet of Kubindi on the encouragement of his friends and family to seek culinary fame at one of the galaxy's finest cooking schools. He had become something of a local legend in the student-run restaurant, his artful presentation and skill earning him the chance to enter into a regional cooking competition. Only, that vermin that claims to have an experienced palate denounced Pepan's dish. The only way such a creature would have good taste were for it to be served in a stew. His snout curled in satisfaction. Calliandro's kitchens had a new secret ingredient after his expulsion. Good eats indeed.

    Pepan measured and mixed the marinade, a strong acidic pepper aroma wafting from the large bowl. The meat had been scraped from the strong carapace earlier, rinsed thoroughly, brined with a wet cure, and placed on napkins to soak up any excess water. The brine had reduced the amount of ammonia to an extent, the marinade will ensure that the meat would be tender and flavorful. Pepan's mouth began to water at the thought of the masterpiece he would create the next morning. His resiplex would be saturated with the delectable aroma for weeks afterward. Putting the meat into the marinade, he stirred it to ensure even distribution, then covered the dish and put it into the conservator to soak overnight. Pausing to wash the brine marinade off his hands, Pepan crossed the room and turned on the holo-proj for some background noise while he finished processing his game. Unlike most insectoids, Gands could not be permitted to sit overnight without refrigeration as the soft meat would degrade due to the ammonia content. The smell would attach itself to Pepan's clothing.

    "--outside the district courthouse in Hirkenglade. The court heard testimony from the defendant and several high-profile witnesses concerning the allegations..."

    Apparently there were other more pressing goings-on in the area, Pepan surmised. At least this tim
  6. Mechalich Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    This is in response to chapter 1, I'll catch up with the rest later. There will be constructive criticism in this review, you have been warned.

    Overall, I like the idea, more or less. No doubt Zuckuss has quite the story to tell, and there is good detail here and some fine description. The story has considerable promise and the characterization seems well done.

    Some plot issues: Karastee is presumably human, but this is not clarified, she is only referred to as pushing back a strand of hair. it would probably be wise to clarify this point since it is obviously relevant to the story's psychological drama. Additionally, I struggle slightly with the premise that a human would serve as the criminal psychiatrist for a Gand, public-appointed or not. That seems to be something of a bridge too far. it would be good to at least have a reason why something so unusual on the face of it is taking place.

    Writing Issues: While the imagery and description are good, the story has flow difficulties. It is written in a rather overwrought, cumbersome style, and this is compound by agreement issues, tense consistency, and occasional shifts in narrative viewpoint. I found I had to fight my way through it.

    A sentence like: 'Gands were generally regarded as being unable to visibly emote, though Karastee had found that she could detect enough subtleties in Zuckuss's body language to alert her to what could possibly be on his mind.' Goes down anything but easy; it requires considerable chewing. Essentially, I think this method is creating artificial distance that pushes away from the story.
  7. Mechalich Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Regarding Chapter 2,

    Comments regarding the writing remain, especially agreement issues, for example: 'He could care less about the belongings. He will dispose of those unnecessary items later.' There's a switch right between two sentences.

    Yay for suitably alien creepiness though, we rarely see this kind of thing in Star Wars even though inter-species strain for such basic reasons ought to be shockingly common.

    Entomologist note: you describe roast vratix as red and dripping with juices. Regrettably, because insect circulation is conducted by a tracheal system and they have an open circulatory system, insect flesh is actually white (if you've ever had crab cakes for instance), and they don't really have 'blood' so much as a thin mix of hemolymph in the body cavity. While Star Wars insectoids may actually be closer to mammalian biology in some cases (the insectoid idea is always a funny one), I figured it was worth noting.
  8. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    The only reason I didn't explicitly say that Karastee was Human was because I couldn't find a good place to put it in where it wouldn't sound like an infodump. That and it seemed needless, as I was writing from her POV and she herself wouldn't muse about her species. And since in the EGAS, her species wasn't even named, then I wished to remain ambiguous, in the event that it's revealed.

    Yeah, I was stretching it a bit with the Vratix. Basically, I was going for a more crustacean comparison in terms of the cooking. Just observations from when I was watching lobster tails cooking in an oven. Having seen insect recipes, though, they tend to simply dry out, at least cicadas do, and thus it wouldn't be very beneficial to the story, so some creative liberties were taken.

    As for the tense, I have a habit of using plu-perfect, which I've been working on in later works. This one was the first one I've written since high school, and at the moment, I can't be arsed to fix it. One of these days, perhaps, but it's not very high on my priority list.

    Thanks for the comments, though. I was beginning to wonder if people were actually bothering with this.
  9. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Onto chapter six. There's a suggestive scene and accompanying dialogue in this one, plus the usual dosage of violence.

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    Chapter 6

    Now.

    "--Alright, well I'd better go before they cut my comm privileges. Mm-hm. Alright, you take it easy, I'll see you soon. Mm-hm. I love you, too. Buh-bye." Cami Sookanado closed the connection with a deep sigh. With a nod to the corrections officer, she stood and followed her escorts out of the room. The walk back to the cell block seemed longer, her thoughts centered on her son. It had been a few weeks since she's seen him last, the Department of Corrections only permitted infrequent visits once or twice a month. It was one of the drawbacks with her particular cell block.

    Cami was housed in the mental observation unit in Bedlam. It was a co-ed mixed population of prisoners all sharing a common characteristic--mental illness. The charges that sentenced them varied, but competency hearings determined them all to be not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and sentenced to a period of psychiatric observation. Cami's parole violation was determined to be a memory lapse stemming from post-traumatic stress disorder, sufficiently covering up the initial communication breakdown between her and her caseworkers. Her stay was to be temporary, at least compared to the inmates who were there indefinitely; the lifers. Most of those inmates were labeled as being dangerous to themselves and others, effectively curtailing any possibility of release. The drab white walls, the bars, the officers, meager meals, and combative inmates were to become the only things they would know for however long their various lifespans were. Aside from the gender mix of the population, the only thing that separated the cell block from the rest of the prison was the strict medication regimen.

    "Just in time to take your feel-goods," one of the corrections officers remarked. Without another word, Cami was led to the nurse's station and handed a small cup full of pills. Cami counted the pills, then swallowed them down with a gulp of water. Opening her mouth to prove to the nurse that she was not cheeking her medicine, Cami took another drink of water, handed the cup back, and wandered across the room to gaze out of a small window.

    It had begun to snow outside, the fluffy white flakes drifting lazily to the ground. Some years ago, the Coruscant WeatherNet decided to reintroduce winter weather in time for the holiday season. The public response was favorable, so it was continued. When the months that signaled cold weather arrived, the WeatherNet seeded the clouds, coaxing a pleasing snowfall into the air. There were still restrictions on the season; precipitation would only fall after rush hour and unfortunately for Coruscant's school-age population, there were no snow days. However, the snow still made people happy. It was soothing to watch the flakes drift, occasionally stirred up by a gentle breeze. Cami drew a level of comfort from it, reminded of the year a strong cold front swept through the Chekkoo Province on her native Rodia, dumping three feet of snow on the enclave. The weather was a fluke, the province was too far south to be affected by snow, the winter months merely drying out the air. At the most, the region dealt with the occasional ice storm, giving the surrounding jungle an unsettling appearance, branches bent with the silvery ice coating, not a sound from the wildlife, only a low eerie wind. That eerie wind returned when the forest was blanketed in white. And as she watched the snow outside, Cami knew the wind was there as well. That soft, low drone. No other sounds, the usual noise deadened by the snow, leaving that strange constant drone. That cold, hollow whoosh...

    A pair of hands softly caressing her shoulders snapped Cami from her moment of quiet reflection. "Who...?" She attempted to turn around, only to be slammed against the window, her arms wrenched behind her back. The impa
  10. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    It's always good to see some reality injected into the GFFA. Prisons don't get notorious only on the reputations of their inmates, but how they behave. The stark portrayal of Bedlam -- a prison which is supposedly located in "the heart of civilization" -- in this story adds some real depth to life in the Star Wars universe.
  11. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Thanks. That was one of the things I wanted to explore more. Prisons are not pretty places, even in a GFFA. And oftentimes I have seen in other sci-fi media the usage of a mixed-gender population, yet rarely is there any sort of friction between the inmates. I can recall at least one where the lone female prisoner practically took over the facility. I chose to take a more realistic approach with it, however, and spent some time studying prison politics and inmate behavior (not in person, mind you).
  12. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    You wouldn't have to do it in person anyway. There's plenty of so-called "reality shows" that'll tell you everything you want to know. :p
  13. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    And all those episodes of "Lockup" on MSNBC certainly fall into that criteria. XD
  14. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Onto the next chapter. This one is relatively violence-free.

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    Chapter 7

    "Would you care to explain your behavior?" Dr. Gawynn Karastee was poised with her stylus to update the information in her datapad. She and Captain Bencar were seated in the interview room across the table from Zuckuss, whose gaze was locked on the binders securing his wrists. "You've been getting into more fights lately and at least one was unprovoked. Care to explain why? Are the voices telling you to act this way?"

    Zuckuss remained silent, idly fidgeting with the seam of his glove.

    Bencar slammed both palms hard against the table, the thudding impact jolting Zuckuss upright. "Answer the question, Zuckuss! Either start talking or you'll spend the rest of your sentence in the Hole!" The threat earned Bencar a stern glare from Dr. Karastee, which he ignored. "Seriously, this 'silent assassin' nerf-spit needs to stop! You've been pulling this act since you got here!" He stormed around the table and grabbed Zuckuss by the shirt collar, yanking him backwards and forcing him to meet his gaze. "Start talking or you'll never see the sun again."

    "That's enough!" Karastee stood. "Do you want to send him into another psychotic break?!" She waited until Bencar released Zuckuss before speaking again. "Please, Zuckuss, just tell us what happened. What is said in this room remains in this room."

    Zuckuss moved his gaze from Karastee to Bencar and back again. He gave off what sounded like a gusty sigh, though it could have been his gear venting excess gas. "Dokk was going to harm Miss Sookanado. Zuckuss was only protecting her." The stress of the fight and Bencar's attitude must have urged Zuckuss's alternate personality out of hiding, as evident by how he referred to himself in third person. His voice was quiet and reserved. "Dokk should not be permitted to interact with the inmates in E-7." He leaned forward, resting his hands on the table and fixing Karastee in his gaze. "You are aware of why Zuckuss acquired his bounty, are you not?"

    Bencar shook his head, dismissing the statement with a wave of his hand. "Dokk's charges are not on trial here--"

    "Dokk assaulted women," Zuckuss said simply. "Seventeen victims. Ten of them dead. The 'Swatara Strangler.'" His voice dropped. "Miss Sookanado would have been his eighteenth victim if Zuckuss had not intervened." He paused, moving his gaze to Bencar and his voice took on a slightly accusatory tone. "Dokk should not be permitted to interact with the inmates. Why is he not in Hi-Max?"

    Zuckuss had a valid point. Karastee looked at Bencar as well. "Why isn't Dokk in Hi-Max?"

    "Well, he will be now, what with that assault on his record..." Bencar avoided answering the question. "I'll put the order in after we're done here and he'll be moved this evening."

    Karastee sat down again and noted something in her datapad. With how inmates were hesitant to report any transgression against them, she doubted that Sookanado was the only one Dokk had assaulted in the prison. There were other female inmates in E-7, and the mentally ill were often the target of violent attacks. They were also less likely to report on those attacks, often internalizing it and justifying it as being their fault. Karastee sighed, her gaze on Zuckuss, wondering if he were a victim of such assault. If he were, it was unlikely that he would ever say so, having rationalized it. "So, you were only trying to protect Miss Sookanado. Why was Hardin involved, then?"

    "Hardin had contraband," Zuckuss again said simply. "He was going to cut her throat if she screamed. The corrections officers would not assist her, they were blind to it. Focused on their own internal affairs. It was happening in front of them, in the light, plain view. Their eyes open, yet they see nothing. Blinded by the searing incompetence--"

    "Enough!" Bencar again slammed the table. "I will not sit here while you insult my staff!" He huffed. "And knock o
  15. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Onto the next chapter. No violence in this one, either, sorry to disappoint. :p

    ----------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 8

    Her eyes watching the other inmates, studying their behavior, Cami walked unescorted through the common area and to her cell. She had showered and changed her clothes, feeling cleaner since the assault. However, the feeling did not last as she was stopped by one of the guards and asked to file an incident report. Someone had snitched, though the officer didn?t specify who. It made Cami wary, as if the other inmates found out, there would be hell to pay. A shudder crawled up Cami?s spine. Her large eyes darted from inmate to inmate, noting the faces. Dokk was not among them. Good, an icy feeling crept into her chest. Hopefully he?s been moved from Gen Pop. She wouldn?t count on it, however, it would only be fitting that the Department of Corrections overlook the behavior and subsequent actions of the Swatara Strangler. Thankfully, Cami had protection.

    When she was processed, Cami was told that there was overcrowding in the mental observation unit and that she would need to share a cell. However, at the time, only two male inmates had room. A temporary arrangement, she was told, was made as the warden selected the most incompatible species of the two and she was assigned to Zuckuss?s cell. The racial difference and the fact that Zuckuss was dependent on a respirator was sufficient reason enough for the warden to allow a co-ed sleeping arrangement. They breathed different atmospheres and Zuckuss was seen as a celibate monk, so the staff was not concerned with any unwanted advances and progeny. Besides, they claimed, it was only a temporary arrangement.

    That was almost five months ago.

    Cami gave off a sigh as she entered her cell. No one she passed on the way, thankfully, indicated that they knew that she had spoken to the guards about the assault. She hoped it would stay that way. Crossing the small cell, she flopped down on her bunk, her gaze on the ceiling. Closing her eyes for a brief moment, Cami tried to rid herself of the jumpy feeling. This was not the first time she had been assaulted, and she assumed that it would not be the last. Not in a place such as this. It scared and disgusted her. And the edginess, the paranoia, would not wear off any time soon. She sighed again, closing her eyes and allowing her thoughts to drift off to points unknown.

    Only a quiet murmur behind her made her sit upright. Turning around, she saw her cellmate sitting in the corner of the cell, his knees to his chest. The Gand appeared to be upset about something, his gaze averted and quietly murmuring to himself.

    Cami stood and walked over to Zuckuss, crouching in front of him. "Hey. You alright?"

    Zuckuss did not reply right away. He held his gloved hands before him, palms up, as if using them to indicate what he had become. He looked at them for a moment, then rested them on his knees. "...Zuckuss is sorry, Toryn..."

    Cami raised an eyebrow. This was the first time she had witnessed him referring to himself in the third person. She knew that most self-deprecating Gands did that, but throughout the bulk of her imprisonment with Zuckuss, she had only known him to use pronouns and similar identifiers. She thought that perhaps it was due to him being away from his culture for so long. Shrugging it off, Cami glanced at the cell door, making sure no one was hanging around in the hallway outside, then sat on the floor in front of Zuckuss. ?What?s wrong? Who?s Toryn??

    ??What?s wrong with you?? He wishes he could say...? Zuckuss didn?t directly answer Cami?s questions or even make eye contact. ?Zuckuss is sorry, Toryn...?

    Cami waited for a moment, then gently placed her hand on the Gand?s shoulder. ?Hey, talk to me Z... What?s up? What?s wrong??

    Zuckuss finally looked at her. ?Eh... It?s--it?s nothing...? He shook his head, his gaze going to his knees. He made a sound, like a sigh, his shoulders heaving with the e
  16. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    Toryn...is that the same Toryn from Of Possible Futures and ESB?

    Great story Trak -- keep it up!
  17. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Been a while. Just got sidetracked with a few things. Ninth chapter's up now. It's time for a f-f-f-f-FLASHBACK!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 9

    Then: one year ago.

    ?I don?t see why you were so insistent on contracting him,? Brigadier General Havenstrite folded his arms and fixed Toryn in a firm gaze. ?He was with the Alliance for what, a few months? A few months until he deserted? Seriously, Commander, if you were that intent on hiring a findsman, Ooryl Qrygg is certainly a better choice by far. He has been a member of Rogue Squadron for far longer and is younger--?

    ?With all due respect, Sir,? Toryn Farr held up her hand, ?I stand by my decision. Due to his career as a bounty hunter, I feel that Zuckuss would have more experience and thus be better prepared for this assignment. Plus, with the training he received while with the SpecForce, I am more confident with contracting him. I have history with him, more so than I do with Qrygg.?

    Havenstrite snorted. ?I?d beware, Commander. Personal feelings have no place in this galaxy, particularly not here and not now. Don?t allow your so-called ?history? to cloud your judgment.? With that, he turned on his heel and left the room in quick, purposeful strides.

    Toryn turned away from the door and crossed the room to peer out the large window. She was making use of an empty office in the Senate Rotunda, needing to prepare to voice her reasons for opposing the reemergence of an old act from the final days of the Old Republic. The Enhanced Privacy Invasion Bill had seen renewed interest and was thus rewritten and making its way throughout the offices of the New Republic. Since such a bill, if it passed, would require the assistance of the Special Forces, then as commander, Toryn was privy to such information. She opposed the bill, however, feeling that it hearkens back to a darker age and unfairly targets non-human citizens and immigrants. If such a bill were to pass, a being?s comm records, finances, and other personal information could be searched without their consent. Financial transactions, particularly those of non-humans and other foreign entities, would be restricted at the discretion of the Treasury. And, most troublesome to Toryn, law enforcement and Immigration would be granted leniency when it came to reasons involving the detainment and deportation of immigrants and non-humans. It seemed too similar to the Imperial regime that she worked so hard to overthrow years before.

    Thus, Toryn was an outspoken opponent of the bill, which drew the ire of its supporters, particularly Brigadier General Havenstrite. Toryn?s opposition, however, earned her a spot on the committee, a high-profile position indeed. Her commanding officers, though, had concerns for her safety, as a veteran of the Battle of Hoth would be a prime target for disgruntled Imperial sympathizers, so she was advised to hire a bodyguard. After some deliberation, Toryn agreed, though for reasons known only to herself, she wanted to hire an outside contractor, someone not officially affiliated with the Republic?s military forces. Seeing as how Zuckuss still stopped by--even for a fleeting moment--to accept jobs and collect payment, and considering that Toryn had known him since Hoth, then she made the arrangements, her advisors handled the communications, and once a payment was decided upon, Zuckuss accepted the contract.

    Havenstrite was not content with Toryn?s decision, citing that Zuckuss was a deserter. ?Once a bounty hunter, always a bounty hunter,? he often remarked, having a dislike for the lawless profession. Zuckuss never formally left Alliance service, his records were still on file. After a mission that left his longtime partner, 4-LOM, in pieces, he started to become withdrawn, focusing solely on repairing the droid. However, when a memory wipe destroyed 4-LOM?s idealism and loyalty, Zuckuss was noticeably depressed. Soon after 4-LOM?s departure, the Gand quietly left, relocating to the Outer Rim for a tim
  18. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Next chapter is up.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 10
    Now.

    The walk to the cell block was long and, for the most part, uneventful. His chains clinking together, his hands bound at the wrists, Pepan Manja was led down the halls by several guards, two of whom were flanking him, his arms gripped firmly. Another guard was carrying Pepan?s meager belongings; his journal, toiletries, and a few books. Only the sparse comments between the guards were heard, not a word was spoken to him aside from the occasional command. His eyes on the floor, he watched the feet of the officer in front of him.

    Pepan had been in Bedlam for quite some time. The food was terrible and the warden would not permit him to work in the kitchens. Their loss, Pepan mused. He hoped that the warden in the other cellblock would consider granting him meal preparation for his work detail. After all, he is an accomplished chef. The other inmates would be in for quite a treat. A nice departure from all the government cheese.

    One of the guards quietly conversed with another. Their voices low, Pepan could not hear entirely what they were saying, though his attention was seized by the mention of a name: Zuckuss. Pepan glowered. Zuckuss was the reason Pepan was in prison. The sheer irony of it infuriated him. To be brought down by vermin was a crime in of itself! That smelly little Gand had tracked Pepan into the labyrinthine underlevels, using some arcane cultist ritual to sense his motives. Then, he was soundly snared in a shock-stun spray. The media termed it as poetic justice and Zuckuss was supposedly paid handsomely. Pepan spat at the memory. If he ever got his hands on that wretched maggot...

    "Don?t be spittin?." One of the flanking guards reprimanded him with a sharp shove.

    Pepan didn?t respond, his thoughts centered firmly on Zuckuss. The time spent in his cell only served to intensify his hatred. Pepan had ample time to stew, obsessing over just exactly what he would do if he ever had a chance to see that Gand. He had ploddingly deliberated it in his first journal, right down to the choice recipes he would use as he devoured the creature piece by piece, savoring each succulent mouthful. He liked to read those pages when he had a moment, imagining the scenario from start to finish. The feeling he got excited him. The delicious feast he had planned made the meager trays of unidentifiable slop he has been forcing into his cramping stomach almost seem worth it. His journal gave him a sense of comfort, soothing away the memory of the day?s disgusting meals with pleasant thoughts of an exquisite banquet fit for overpaid Republic senators. He enjoyed reading after the scheduled mealtimes. Until those dim-witted corrections officers confiscated it during a shakedown. "Putting out hits on an inmate," they claimed.

    What a preposterous idea! No inmate was ever mentioned, not even the Verpine that were incarcerated in the same cell block. The officers were overreacting. Ignorant creatures, the lot of them. Uncultured and lacking good taste. Nevertheless, Pepan was given a new blank book in which to record his thoughts, as dictated by the cell block?s psychiatrist. And thankfully, Pepan didn?t need his old journal to remind him of the grand feast he had planned. He had memorized those choice entries. All he needed to do now was bide his time until he could be released. Then, he would hunt Zuckuss down.

    Another officer came out of the cell block and looked at Pepan for a moment. He then pulled one of the other officers aside to briefly converse with him in hushed tones. Pepan heard the other officer swear under his breath. The first officer hurried back into the cell block while the other turned toward Pepan. "Stop here. They?re doing a shakedown."

    Pepan could hear officers shout in the cell block and the sound of locks disengaging. There were some more shouts and the sound of footsteps, the inmates must be being ushered out into another corridor. Pepan looked d
  19. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    Why has this story not gotten more attention? It's a really great narrative that pulls no punches. I particularly liked how you introduced Pepan into the mix.
  20. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Thanks. Pepan was pretty fun to write, even though I haven't bothered with giving him any dialogue, thus far. Anywho, next chapter is up.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Chapter 11

    ?I can?t believe you authorized that transfer!? Dr. Gawynn Karastee paced before Administrator Verloff?s desk, her arms crossed. ?You know how the other bounties behave! Every day I hear about Zuckuss getting into a fight with a bounty, did you think that Pepan?s transfer would be any different??

    Verloff merely interlaced his fingers and regarded Dr. Karastee with a level gaze. ?Please, Doctor... Sit down and calm yourself.? He waited until she obeyed before continuing. ?You know that A-3 was overcrowded. The staff there is not trained to care for inmates with more severe mental disturbances, either.? He sighed. ?Dr. Karastee, as head of therapy, you are the only one who can deal with these inmates, but you only work E-7. Pepan needed to be transferred so you could begin working with him.?

    A shiver crawled up Karastee?s spine. Working with the criminally insane was nothing new for her, she had been looking madness in the face for years. She had worked with patients who believed that they had tiny exogorths living in their ears that drove them to crime. She had worked with a man whose schizophrenia manifested as the voices of gods who gave him orders. The orders had led the man to kill three other people. Karastee had seen inmates with multiple personalities, bizarre delusions, uncontrollable compulsions, everything. Many of these inmates were violent. However, Karastee could still sleep at night and be ready for a day?s worth of therapy sessions the very next day with Bedlam?s sickest minds and not bat an eyelash at any semblance of fear. Pepan Manja, however, scared her.

    Indicted on nine charges of homicide, Pepan was like many of the other incarcerated serial killers. It was his psychosis, though, that set him apart. That, along with the simple fact that he had eaten his victims--that just did not sit right with Karastee. She had read the Kubaz?s journal and had gotten a glimpse into his mind. But, to actually be in the same room with him, to speak with him and truly see what lays behind his calm and intent stare, to find out just exactly how he could justify his actions is what sent Karastee?s stomach twisting into a knot. Pepan Manja scared her, though she was not about to let Administrator Verloff know. ?Who was Pepan seeing in A-3,? Karastee looked to Verloff, ?if he was seeing anyone??

    ?Dr. Niederer worked with him a few times. The records have been sent to you.? Verloff nodded to the datapad. ?As Caz?rak had mentioned, A-3 has a few insectoid inmates and there were no incidents there. Pepan shouldn?t be any trouble in your cell block. You only have one insectoid there if I recall.?

    ?You don?t understand,? Karastee shook her head. ?Pepan is one of Zuckuss?s bounties and Zuckuss is in E-7. You already know about how the other bounties reacted.? She paused, shaking her head and rifling through her shoulder bag. ?A few weeks ago, something was brought to my attention...? Finding the journal, she tossed it square on Verloff?s desk. ?The page is marked.?

    Verloff opened the book and glanced at the entry for a very brief moment. ?Ah, yes... The alleged hit...? He closed the book and handed it back to Karastee. ?As you can tell, the journal was confiscated. Pepan?s cell was searched and he was placed in solitary for a time.?

    ?You knew about it and you still transferred him?!? Karastee found herself on her feet, yelling. ?I need to protect my clients, too, Mr. Verloff! If over-crowding was a concern, couldn?t you have transferred a different inmate? I swear, the way this place operates makes no sense!?

    ?Doctor, please sit down,? Verloff remained calm. ?I?ve already told you that E-7 is the only cell block staffed to handle inmates like Pepan.?

    ?He put out a hit on Zuckuss and you transferred him to the same cell block!?

    ?Calm yourself,? Verlo
  21. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    Uh-oh...methinks there's gonna be big trouble in Bedlam!

    I like how you've been keeping up a sense of reality in this story. As a reflection of many things that are part of our own world, the Star Wars saga is a pretty good conduit for expressing social commentary, and you seem to do it well without going overboard. Keep up the good work!
  22. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Thanks. That's just something I don't see explored very often; social unrest and small stories set against a galactic backdrop. Oftentimes, a story needn't be a galaxy-spanning epic just to be powerful. Some of the more powerful stories I've read were contained and had that personal element that allowed the reader to connect with the characters.

    Anywho... it's time for a flashback!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 12

    Then.

    "Please, be careful, Toryn."

    The warning rang in Commander Toryn Farr?s head. Zuckuss had urged her to be vigilant of her surroundings and Toryn had done so. She had become wary of new arrivals to the Senate Rotunda, almost to the point of paranoia, which Brigadier General Havenstrite had called her out on.

    ?It?s fine to be watchful,? Havenstrite had said, ?but you?re as jittery as a shell-shocked vet. Either relax or you?ll be removed from the committee.? Thus Toryn throttled it back immediately. She did not want to be removed from the committee, her absence may see the approval of the Enhanced Privacy Invasion Act. Besides, she assured herself, she had hired Zuckuss for a reason. The Gand will keep an insect eye on everything. If things start to heat up, he?ll step in. That is what he is being paid for after all.

    At times, though, it seemed as if the stress was getting to Zuckuss. He seemed edgy, even irritable. He never once displayed that attitude toward Toryn, however, as he was soft-spoken and polite every time they would speak. He was undoubtedly quirky, Toryn mused, switching between third- and first-person referral quite a few times. Though, Toryn dismissed it as the local practices rubbing off on the Gand. Be around a specific dialect long enough and you start to incorporate it into your vernacular. Toryn found herself using words and phrases she did not normally use, having picked them up from the personnel she?s worked with over the years. The change in identifiers was not new as Zuckuss had done that throughout his Alliance tenure. The varying speech pattern may have been another reason why Toryn noticed Brigadier General Havenstrite having a dislike for Zuckuss. Unfortunately, that dislike was what brought Havenstrite to the office today.

    ?I heard him talking to himself,? Havenstrite nodded to the door behind him, ?out there in the hall. Carrying on a conversation with no one.?

    Toryn shook her head, dismissing it. ?Everyone talks to themselves, Sir...?

    ?Not like that,? Havenstrite folded his arms. ?Unless he has a comlink and he?s speaking to someone else? which he should not be doing anyway. No outside communications for the duration of his contract. If he is violating the terms, I will have him arrested and court-martialed--?

    ?I?ll speak to him about that,? Toryn cut him off. ?What was he saying??

    ?What does it matter? He was talking to himself!?

    ?And you never have, Sir??

    Havenstrite was silent for a moment, unable to come up with a retort. He cleared his throat with a loud grunt and redirected the conversation. ?I don?t see how you could put your trust in a bounty hunter, particularly that one. He was hired by the Empire to capture the Alliance?s best agents, and then suddenly throws those plans to the stars to rescue Hoth survivors? He had an ulterior motive, no doubt. His kind is motivated by greed, not good will.?

    ?Even so, he helped us,? Toryn nodded slowly. ?And in return, we helped him.? She stood, tracing her fingers across the smooth black surface of the desk. ?I had gotten to know Zuckuss quite well. Well enough to trust him.?

    Havenstrite gazed at Toryn, the corner of his mouth turning up in a sly grin. ?What they say is true. War does indeed make strange bedfellows.?

    ?Sir!? Toryn was aghast. ?If you are insinuating...!?

    Havenstrite threw his head back and erupted into a laugh that rang from the walls. He then cleared his throat and fixed Toryn in his gaze, his face stern. ?Be careful, Commander Farr. Do not allow your personal f
  23. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    One thing that also sticks out about this story is how you handled the (somewhat ridiculous) retcon that tried to account for why Zuckuss uses third-person in some sources, but first person in others. Poor guy gets no respect after all he's been through, he deserves a break and some proper treatment. The fact that you didn't go for the easy out--that is to say, having a Jedi character show up to "cure" him--speaks volumes about your creativity even when adhering to canon.

    Keep it up!
  24. TrakNar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Heh, that and writing characters who are a bit unhinged is just loads of fun.

    Anywho, next chapter. Got some innuendo in this one, if anyone's uncomfortable with that.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 13

    Now

    The blade dragged across the metal bedpost with a satisfying screech. Crouched in the corner of his cell, Pepan Manja kept a watchful eye on the door, his hands working diligently to sharpen the blade to a lethal edge. Another inmate had smuggled the knife from their kitchen work detail, hiding it and giving it to Pepan in the laundry room. It was a simple table knife with a dull blade, but with some sharpening, it would do the job.

    Pepan paused to inspect the knife?s edge. The overhead lights glinted off the scraped metal. The blade could easily kill a man, but it would take more work to hone it so that it could pierce a durable Gand exoskeleton. The damn pests were built to last, Pepan had to admit. He remembered the first time he slaughtered one of those creatures. He had to change his vibro-saw blade twice; it would catch on the chitinous plates and snap. And knives, unless inserted through the soft, flexing pleats of the joints, only cracked or even crushed the armor if the blade did not possess a fine edge. Stabbing a Gand was usually ineffective, unless one knew precisely where to aim.

    Pepan chuckled to himself, returning to his work. Zuckuss would certainly be in for a surprise. Pepan had witnessed other inmates attack the Gand; they usually targeted the ubiquitous respirator. It was an easy target, the exposed air hoses could easily be severed and it did not require much effort to rip the face mask away. However, from observing the almost daily mess hall brawls, Pepan knew that Zuckuss would be expecting it. The Gand was certainly vigilant, choreographing his defense in order to better protect his respirator. Though, the cumbersome equipment still proved to be a hindrance; Pepan remembered seeing a fight in which the breath mask was knocked off Zuckuss?s face by a well-aimed blow from a swung tray and he was almost frantic while securing it. It was too obvious and thus too well-guarded a target, Pepan would need to resort to other methods to bring the Gand down.

    The chitinous plates on the thorax, in order to maintain flexibility, were segmented into a complex suit of armor, the soft joints permitting ample opportunity for a knife to slide right through. And, fortunately for Pepan, Zuckuss would not be wearing battle armor under his bright orange uniform. All Pepan would need to do would be to get close enough to the Gand to jam the blade through his thorax. Then he would feast.

    If he could smuggle the body into the kitchens. The ever-present guards would make this a difficult task indeed. Unfortunately, there was not a single Kubaz among the staff, no one with a refined palate who would consider the importance of not wasting good food. Pepan let out an irritated sigh. He was surrounded by uncultured swine.

    Hearing the locks disengage, Pepan hurriedly wedged the knife between the wall and the bunk and stood, seeing one of those intellectual midgets at the door. The uniformed man regarded him with a glance. ?Pod time. You got one hour.?

    Pepan walked out of his cell and quickly made his way to a table in the opposite corner, joining with the other members of the gang. One of the inmates, Hardin, gave a nod. ?Pepan.?

    Pepan returned the nod and leaned against the wall, his gaze immediately going to the staircase that led to the upper tiers, seeing the usual set of inmates gather around it. Zuckuss was with that small gang, along with his female Rodian companion. That Rodian rarely left the Gand?s side, she could become a problem. ?Hardin. Who?s the Rodian there with the Gand? Quite a fetching catch for an insect to acquire...?

    Hardin folded his arms. ?Some bounty hunter named Cami. Small-time. Don?t think she caught anyone here.? He shrugged. ?You wanting some a? that or something??

    Pepan wrinkle
  25. Goodwood Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 5
    Lions and tigers and cannibals, oh my!
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