You don’t spend as many years as I have on the shadowy side of respectability without friends. Out here on the Rim, it’s a matter of survival to have people you can reach out to when you need a hand. Yeah, technically, we’re still under the flag of the Republic, but we try to maintain a healthy “don’t call us and we won’t call you” relationship. To say we travel in our own circles, and like it that way, would be a fair assessment. But it’s just never really that simple, is it?
My implant bleeped a transmission from an…acquaintance I’d hoped was long gone from my life. He wasn’t. If Philo Storm, Director of Republic Intelligence, was calling, it had to be something unpleasant. I was quite sure I didn’t want to know what it was about, but ignoring it wasn’t an option.
The bar was about as busy as we get and I, reluctantly, told Rhina to keep an eye on things. Rhina steals from me, so I endeavor to not leave her in charge very often. It didn’t have to be something all that big did it? Storm was on an unencrypted link, after all.
When I came out of the office and told her to clear out the place NOW, Rhina knew things were bad. A Republic cutter would be picking me up in two hours. Mission undetermined…destination unspecified. Oh yeah, it was that big. Apparently, I wasn’t quite as retired as I’d thought I was.