I’m a strange breed of MMO player. Even though I love raiding, questing and the occasional spot of PVP, I have been known to dabble in the mysterious arts of roleplaying. It’s a habbit – creating a character in a fictional universe who’s more than just an extension of myself. They become their own thing, take on their own life. I guess it makes me more attached to them as characters.
As a result, I tend to do this for all my new characters, even if I don’t end up roleplaying with them. So when I created a new Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I gave him a backstory. Who he is, where he came from, who he knows. That kind of thing. It’s your typical trashy pulp sci-fi, but I thought I’d share it, if only to raise a laugh.
The name’s Cargo Stuggs. Yeah, laugh it up. Dad thought it would be a genius idea to ask some grand Sith for a powerful, strong name in some fancy foreign language. He only found out what it meant after the naming ceremony. The Sith laughed a good one, right up until Dad put a blaster bolt between his eyes. Didn’t laugh much after that. Bastard.
Dad’s always been fancy with a blaster pistol, though he did everything he could to stop me following him. ‘Bay’, he used to say, ‘Enforcing aint no way to make a real living. You get yourself a proper thinking job. That’s where the real credits are. No one’s made their fortune breaking legs and shaking down. You gotta use your skull. Right kid?’
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. The old man had a point. Guess that’s what comes from leaving the farm on some backwater planet for the ‘untold riches’ of Nar Shaddaa. It’s a harsh bump when you realise the streets round here aren’t exactly paved with credits, and the only ones making money are the Hutts. The rest of us, we’re just blips in their machines.
He ends up working for one of them. Found out he was ‘over-qualified’ for regular manual work, so he earns his stamps muscling for one of the small-time loan sharks. You could say Dad had a talent for it, with arms like durasteel girders and a look that’d make you shit yourself. Made enough to keep us in food and digs, at least.
Tried to help as best I could, though there’s not much going for lanky goons with no learning. Dad got me a spot at some chemical plant his boss had connections with. Things were great till I got half my face burned off during maintenance. Got paid off to keep schtum about it, plus all this face furniture. Itches like fury though. Cheap black market stuff.
So I figured that with all this metalwork I’m carrying around, I might as well look at getting in the slicing biz. Stuff’s a cakewalk anyway. All you’ve got to do is stroke a few egos and the local sliceheads open up like Corellian Clams. The good ones mind, not the ones we normally get. After a while I’m holding my own, pulling in easy money from peeps who want info either dug up or vanished. A couple of keystrokes here and there, and these guys are throwing their credits at me.
‘Course, the good times had to end sooner or later. Dad enforced the wrong guy, got a bounty on his head. Literally, it turned out. Not many people walk away from having a speeder dropped on them. Leaves a mark. Crappy Circo Systems junk as well. No respect.
With the old man gone, I was pretty left to fend for myself. Got a payout from his boss, used the credits to buy the box we were living in. Nothing fancy, but I was too lazy to crate everything up and ship it someplace else. ‘Sides, I’m sure there’s one or two traps on his stuff that he didn’t tell me about.
I figured that since slicing’s such easy money, I might as well make a go of it. It sure beats knocking doors and beating skulls, and I aint exactly got the qualifications for handing out beatings, right? So I put my name out, offer my skills and sit back to see who bites. There’s a lot of hungry fish in that pool, my friend.
There’s three rules to slicing: don’t ask too many questions about the gig, don’t get cocky and don’t get caught. ‘Course, I had to go and break every single one of them. Bragging about the jobs you’ve done is great advertising, but say too much or hit the wrong ears and you’re staring down the wrong end of an enforcer’s blaster. So you do this kind of dance with the truth, giving enough bait to lure in new biz without earning the wrong kind of name.
Sometimes there’s the jobs that your gut says you shouldn’t take. Then you start thinking about the credits you’ll make, and if you can pull it off without getting vaped. Everyone gambles in Nar Shaddaa, ‘xcept most aren’t doing it at the sabbac tables. You make the call, play your cards and hope that it’s your hand taking the pot. These are high stakes, and you’ll lose more than your shirt if you play big and crap out.
My big gamble? Taking a job way above my grade. I was in some cantina, nursing a flask of some foul local ale, when the best dressed Rodian on the moon comes over and says he’s been looking for me. He calls for a drink, tells me he’s looking to set up a slicing team for his boss. On retainer.
I try not to choke as he mentions some big numbers. I mean really big. It’s the kind of job that can set you up for life. My brain is screaming at me that the green guy’s dodgy as hell, that he’s probably working for some Hutt who’s even dodgier. Then he talks about the custom slicing facility they’re building, and that does it for me. Everyone has their weakness, and mine is hot tech in gleaming cases.
Ever seen a Rodian smile? The way their whole snout deforms, scared the crap out of me. But he knew he had me. We agreed to meet up later that week, he finished his glass and walked. Me, I was still trying to figure out how bad it could get. Wouldn’t have long to find out.
So, the next day I’m grinning like an idiot, hanging around some shady part of Network Access while I wait for the green goon to show up. He doesn’t take long, bringing his Hutt boss along for show. I’d seen the Hutts a few times, but it’s nothing like being up close to them. You’re never quite sure if they’re smiling, got gas or are just plain nuts.
We head inside the facility that they’ve put together. It reminded me of a hospital, all stark lights and clean smells, really weird compared to outside. Strangely quiet too, once we were past the guards in the entrance hall. I’d have probably paid more attention if the Rodian hadn’t started gushing about his plans. Started talking about some big name data jockeys that were way above my pay grade and the fancy tech they’d shipped in.
We stopped at a door pretty much like any other. The Rodian punched a code into the access panel to slide it open, then invited me in. The room was a bit small and kinda dark, but I like it like that. All decked out in brushed metal and transparisteel. Sweet. ‘Course, then the Rodian had to ruin it all. He made some smartass comment about welcoming me to my new home, before sliding the door behind me.
That’s when it clicked, that and the Hutt laughing as he slithered away. Stupid Hutts.
It wasn’t long before the jobs started coming in. Messages on the terminal. Slice into this system. Change that data. Reprogram this. Sabotage that. I tried ignoring them, only they have ways of making you compliant. Turned out the guards posted out front ain’t paid to be friendly.
I needed to get out, and I could have sliced the access panel. But where’d that get me? The guards outside had guns, and I ain’t fond of getting shot at. So I sat and I sliced, doing the jobs that most in the biz would turn down flat. I don’t mind cleaning a profile or two, but I draw the line at remote wetworks.
Getting the word out to someone on the outside turned out to be pretty easy. I sliced into a few random places on the ‘net. Public boards, GTN listings, that kind of thing. Made it look like part of my regular slicing work, just in case anyone was watching. Did the job nicely. Just needed to hope it would land with someone willing to bust a few heads.
Didn’t have to wait long for a response either. Got a reply from ‘Blu’, a known slave breakout specialist. Hadn’t seen the guy in person, but I heard he was top notch in this line of work. He told me to carry on, keep my head down and be ready at any time.
A week later and I’m ready to give up. I aint heard anything back from Blu, and things were going from crap to hell. Turned out that the local bigwig Kabbura the Hutt was holding some kind of group hug elsewhere in the complex, so everyone was all over the place. Still, it meant they forgot my orders more than not, which was great by me. Wouldn’t want to disrupt anyone’s beating schedule.
Which is why I should have been ready for it. Right when the big boss is busy schmoozing with the hangers-on, the door, complete with surrounding wall, explodes and is almost instantly vaporized to a shower of pebble confetti. It’s a pretty impressive pyrotechnic stunt that leaves me cowering behind my console. As I peer over the top I hear two sets of footsteps crunch in the gravel. Even now I don’t believe what I saw.
As the smoke cleared and the dust was settling, there stood two beautiful dames. These girls – a blue-skinned twi’lek and a human redhead – were perfectly toned, with curves in all the right places. They stood there with their blasters raised up, looking at me while I crouched there, mouth open. After all, it’s not every day that you’re rescued by two babes in slavegirl outfits, right?
I didn’t get much time to enjoy the view, as these girls were all business. I remember making some smartass comment, trying to act all smooth, and that’s the last I remember. Next thing I remember, I’m on some cramped cargo-ship screaming out of atmo. Waking up from a K.O. in the middle of turbulence is not in my top ten. But I’m outta there, away from the slicing console and Kabbura and the Rodian and.. and my Dad’s stuff, and the slicing gangs I hang with, and the cool bars, and the tech shops. It’s like two sides of the same meckin’ coin.
We work out a plan, and we head back to Nar Shaddar. Red says she’ll take me on and look out for me while we work out what to do next. It aint going to be pretty, but it’s gotta work. Somehow.
Following from there, it only seemed right to create a few examples of things he might have implanted in the Holonet:
GTN – Your Interstellar Marketplace!
HEAVY DUTY SPEEDER BIKE – EXTENSIVELY MODIFIED!
You are bidding on a custom made speeder bike, designed from the blueprints up to be a tough, reliable workhorse with all of the latest creature comforts. Based on the classic Speeder Bike design, this beauty has been reinforced with a solid Durasteel frame and plated with thick Mandalorian iron. Fitted with twin antigrav jets for both speed and comfort, the toughened cantilever arms are guaranteed to take the bounce out of almost any terrain you drive over.
This speeder bike has seen substantial service with a number of owners, so we’re starting the bidding low on this one! She still runs fine, wit[/break][codeinsert][textstream][ttl=5]I seek assistance in escaping a situation. More details to come. Watch the boards. Not everyone is willing.[/textstream][/codeinsert][resume]h replacement parts easy to get hold of and nothing that a good Cybertech can’t fix. This red beauty could do with a respray, but then again who couldn’t!
Interested in taking this unique speeder for a test run? Hop on down to Gowring Je’Davvy Used Speeders. You’ll find us on Nar Shaddaa; just follow the bargains!
ExoticRomance | The best Interspecies Dating Site!
>MALES SEEKING FEMALES
entry> Trying for a Twi’lek
Middle aged, well-financed male human seeks female Twi’lek for companionship, entertainment and possibly more. Former dancing girls, former slaves [/break][codeinsert][textstream][ttl=5]I need an exit from this place. Co-ords to follow[/textstream][/codeinsert][resume] and so on are of particular interested. I’ve had a great life, now let me improve yours. Holonet Box No. 271828
BOUNTY NETWORK | SINGLE BOUNTY ENTRY
filter> location=”Nar Shaddaa”, result=”LIVE,OBJECT”, value=”50000C7”
results> HUTT CARTEL OPERATIVE: SLAVEMASTER DROSH
SLAVEMASTER DROSH GAARCH, believed to be residing in NAR SHADDA. Species is GRAN, approximately 1.7m tall. Usually accompanied by at least three guards, usually also GRAN or RODIAN.
Requirement is LIVE BOUNTY ONLY
REASON: SLAVEMASTER DROSH arrived on NAR SHADDAA with a collection of twenty slaves, which he later sold at auction. On delivery, these slaves would then overpower their guards[/break][codeinsert][textstream][ttl=5]Aid required to release indentureds, reply to this message to confirm support. Co-ordinates to follow.[/textstream][/codeinsert][resume], escape and return to SLAVEMASTER DROSH, where they would later be sold to another client. This continued six times, until SLAVEMASTER DROSH attempted to sell the same slaves to a previous client.
DELIVERY: Suspended in Carbonite, delivered to co-ordinates [redacted] on NAR SHADDAA, message sent to holofrequency [redacted] to confirm drop.
PLACED BY: Hutt Clan [redacted], Hutt Clan [redacted], Hutt Clan [redacted], Hutt Clan [redacted], Hutt Clan [redacted], Migrant Merchants Guild.