Title: Karrde’s Crew Author: Tarsier Timeframe: New Republic era and later (technically the first couple posts are probably Saga, but it seems weird to say that since they have absolutely nothing to do with the movies or the characters and events therein) Characters: Dankin, Odonnl, Aves, Ghent; to a lesser extent Karrde; maybe Mara to some extent Genre: friendship/family; one-shot series Summary: Some of Karrde’s employees are so close they become family. The family grows, the family shrinks. Notes: This involves headcanon and stuff I’ve always kinda wanted to share, but never quite seemed like a story. Recently I got an idea for a couple new one-shots I thought might make a nice series and then I decided to add a few excerpts from previously posted stories for some background. Images and rambling below the cut, feel free to skip straight to the story. Spoiler: casting; Mara; canonicity 1) Just for fun - here is my celebrity casting of the main characters: Dankin - Casey Affleck Odonnl - Adam Scott Aves - Joel McHale Ghent - Fran Kranz Karrde - Cliff Simon Mara - (edit of Japanese cover art) 2) I’m not sure how much Mara will be in this series, but for more on my take of her relationship with Dankin, see Overjoyed and Captain and Pilot. (Those stories are not necessarily canon with this series, but the essence of the relationship is the same.) 3) Canonicity: I wanted this to be fully (Legends) canon, but when I was looking into the status of Karrde’s company in the NJO/LOTF timeframe I realized (as I always do when looking at anything post-VOTF), that the canon was more bizarre than I thought. So this is probably not strictly canon. But if I was just writing my own version of events, Ghent would never have left Karrde. But I kinda like the story surrounding why he leaves. tl;dr - The canon is to blame for Ghent leaving the company, but this is probably technically an AU story. Table of Contents (in chronological order, not necessarily the order the stories are posted in) (this is aspirational and may change over time): First Meeting (this post) (Odonnl; Dankin, Karrde, Chin) (excerpt from WFF) The Guarlara (Dankin; Odonnl, Aves) (excerpt from WFF) Getting into the Family (Ghent; Dankin, Odonnl, Aves) New Roommates (Karrde, Nyo, Jarik, Dankin, Odonnl, Ghent, Aves) - Part 2 - Part 3 Leaving the Family (Ghent; Dankin, Odonnl, Aves) Revisiting the Family (Ghent; Dankin, Odonnl, Aves) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ First Meeting Repost - excerpt from Worth Fighting For - Chapter 7 Odonnl was just shy of sixteen and stranded on Coruscant when Karrde found him. He grew up in an orphanage and spent most of his childhood learning all he could about starships. About six months before his sixteenth life day he was hired by a group of rich kids, not much older than him, to help out on their first flight without adults. They were going to visit the tourist hotspots of the galaxy, starting with Coruscant. They got in trouble—something about a party that got out of control, Odonnl didn’t know the details—and had to run home with their tails between their legs. No one bothered to tell Odonnl. He didn’t miss Corellia, he’d just hoped to see a little more of the galaxy before being grounded again. Odonnl had always prided himself on being raised on the mean streets of Corellia. But he was about to find out the mean streets of Corellia didn’t hold a candle to the downright wicked streets of Coruscant. * * * It was several days after the ship had left without him and Odonnl was hungry. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. On Corellia, people always had odd jobs for him to do; if nothing else he could wash dishes in a restaurant to cover a meal. Coruscant was different. First he tried the shipyards, hoping to earn a few credits working on ships. They said he was too young and inexperienced. The diners and cantinas on the upper levels threw him out, citing rules about homeless beings loitering. So he’d tried his luck down a few levels. And then down a few more. And a few more. He found himself on a level with no eateries, no stores, no legitimate commercial activity at all. He was lost and starving. He kicked a broken bottle lying in the middle of the street in frustration. The bottle glanced off a nearby building, eliciting movement from a huddled form. “Sorry, I didn’t see you there,” Odonnl said. He saw the form was human, a child a few years younger than himself. When the boy didn’t respond Odonnl walked over to him. “I didn’t hit you, did I?” The boy shook his head. “Hey, maybe you can help me. How do get I get to . . . somewhere less dark and creepy?” The boy said nothing, instead taking a bite of something in his hand. Food! “Or you could tell me where you got the food,” Odonnl suggested. The boy offered him what proved to be the remains of a very stale ration bar. In his mind Odonnl knew he ought to decline. But in the end his stomach won out. “Thank you,” he said, tearing off a good-sized chunk and handing the rest back to the boy. “Dankin!” Odonnl jumped as a deep voice boomed across the empty street and a door in the building opened behind the boys. Odonnl leapt to his feet and started to run. His new friend didn’t get up, but rather shrank away, hugging closer to the building. “What do you think you’re doing? Get back in here now!” The words were slurred but the tone sent shivers down Odonnl’s back. Odonnl paused to look back and saw the voice belonged to a ronto of a human, whose face was crisscrossed with scars and tattoos. The man grabbed the young boy by his shirt with one hand and struck him across the face with the other. “Now!” he screamed releasing the boy's shirt and then kicking his legs out from under him as he scrambled away. Odonnl could do nothing but stand and watch, stunned by the needless cruelty. He didn’t move until the door was shut, with the horrible man inside. Then he sprinted away, swearing to himself that once he had found his way back up he would never come down this low again. * * * Eventually, Odonnl found a diner on an upper level willing to exchange food for work. He renewed his quest to find work at the shipyards, determined to get off the city planet as soon as possible. While wandering amongst a group of light freighters, a man pulled him aside and gave him a note, telling Odonnl he may have an opportunity for him. The note contained a time and an address. The address was midlevel, lower than Odonnl really wanted to go, but he could hardly ignore his first lead for something that might get him off planet. At the designated time, Odonnl arrived at the address. It was a strange restaurant. It was very quiet, sparsely decorated, with the tables spread far apart. The dress of the customers indicated a range from the upper crust to common street thugs. He was immediately shown to a table where an older man was waiting for him. Odonnl tried to focus on what his contact was saying, but aside from catching that his name was Chin, Odonnl heard very little. He was trying to figure out what kind of place this was when his eyes caught a familiar face—the child from the lower levels. Dankin. Dankin was sitting beside the tattooed man who had hit him before. Across the table was a very well-dressed man. There was something unsettling about the way the well-dressed man eyed Dankin. “What’s going on there?” Odonnl asked Chin. “Once you turn sixteen—What?” Chin glanced over his shoulder. “Best to just ignore them.” Then he added, under his breath, “Nothing you can do about recreation slaves.” Just then the well-dressed man slid a credstick across the table and reached for Dankin, a look of eager anticipation in his eyes. Odonnl had heard of recreation slaves. He’d just never believed that they existed until that moment. Back in the orphanage, when a child would complain about the quality of the food or the cramped sleeping areas, the guardians would tell him he ought to just be grateful he wasn’t a recreation slave. Recreation slaves, always young children, were rented out to anyone willing to pay, for any purpose. If they were returned injured or even dead, the renter was simply charged an additional fee, as though he had damaged a rented speeder. Odonnl had always thought the stories were made up to keep the orphans in line. But now he saw all too clearly that the stories were true. He didn’t know if it was guilt over taking food from someone who clearly needed it so much more, or frustration over his current situation, or outrage that the galaxy had suddenly become a place of unthinkable torment, but Odonnl did the bravest thing of his whole life. And the stupidest. “Don’t touch him!” Odonnl screamed, charging toward Dankin’s table. The tattooed man was a quickdraw. Luckily, Chin was equally nimble and hurled a chair into a glass divider nearby, providing just enough of a distraction that the blaster shot whizzed over Odonnl’s shoulder. Odonnl dropped his shoulder and slammed into the tattooed man. They both fell to the floor, the blaster sliding out of reach. Odonnl wrestled with the man, trying desperately to pin his arms so he couldn’t grab for any more weapons, until several security officers arrived and pulled them apart. As they were putting handcuffs on Odonnl, he saw the well-dressed man slipping out a back door, Dankin in tow. The tattooed man pointed at Chin and snarled that he was with Odonnl. When the security officers asked him, Chin glanced at Odonnl and declared he’d never seen him before in his life. They hauled Odonnl away. * * * Odonnl spent the worst night of his life in jail. He’d been in plenty of jails before—when he was a preteen he’d learned to pick pockets and had been picked up by CorSec on more than one occasion—and this jail was unremarkable. But Odonnl was tormented by thoughts of what was happening to Dankin, of whether he had made it worse, of what he could have done differently to save the younger boy. The next morning a woman arrived at the jail and bailed Odonnl out. She told him she worked for Talon Karrde and that he was to report for duty. Odonnl vaguely recalled Chin having mentioned the name Karrde, but he had no intention of going anywhere but to find Dankin and somehow or another rescue him. Once away from the jail, Odonnl started to walk away. The woman grabbed him by the arm, her grip tight enough to bruise. “You aren’t going anywhere but with me. You already owe Karrde your first four of five paychecks to cover the bail I just paid.” Odonnl tried to twist away, but the woman’s grip was firm. She half-led, half-dragged Odonnl onto an action transport parked at a nearby landing strip. She didn’t let go until they entered a large room near the center of the ship. In the center of the room was a large, ornate desk. Sitting behind the desk was a man with sharp features and jet black hair who looked down appraisingly at the new recruit. “Let me go! This is kidnapping! You’ll be sorry!” Odonnl had been letting loose a steady stream of indignant retorts since being grabbed and he didn’t let up after entering the room. He was fighting mad and his attempts to free himself caused him to sprawl forward onto the floor when the woman finally released him. “You must be Odonnl,” the man behind the desk said. Odonnl ignored him, choosing instead to spin around toward the woman who was now blocking the exit, a fresh set of invectives on his lips. But he stopped short, seeing out of the corner of his eye that Chin was seated on the other side of the room. And beside him was Dankin. “He’s safe for now. And so are you.” Odonnl turned toward the desk and got his first good look at the man who had altered the course of his life forever—Talon Karrde. “Chin tells me you never gave him a response to my offer,” Karrde continued. “What offer?” Odonnl asked. Karrde glanced to Chin then back to Odonnl. “An offer of employment. You work on my ship, you follow my orders and in exchange I’ll provide you with a place to sleep, meals, and all other necessities. Not to mention training in a variety of fields. If you decide you don’t like our arrangement, you are free to leave at any time.” “What about Dankin?” Odonnl asked. Karrde looked very seriously at Odonnl. “He’s your brother, right?” Odonnl didn’t respond right away and Karrde continued quickly. “I do not hire anyone under the age of sixteen. But I could hardly split up orphan siblings. If you will take responsibility for him and work extra shifts to cover his expenses, I suppose there’s no reason why your little brother can’t come along.” For several seconds, Odonnl pretended to consider the offer. But in truth he’d already made up his mind. Spoiler: Notes Notes: Chin is a canon character; as is Moranda Savich, the unnamed woman.