A Year Without the Sun

Chapter 4: The Hunt

Veshielle steeled herself. She wasn’t keen to go into the seedy cantina, but then again, she didn’t particularly want to linger outside on the filthy paving stones either.

As she begrudgingly stepped toward the entrance, the hired muscle guarding the door gave her a leering look that made her wish she could release the lightsaber hidden under the folds of her robes and relieve him of a limb. Instead she chose a spot over his left shoulder on which to focus her gaze and walked indifferently past. The place smelled predictably of stale liquor and staler breath. A mournful tune wailed despondently from a greasy-looking jukebox, almost as if the machine realized that no one was listening to its music. The din of voices and clanking glasses had long overtaken its efforts.

Veshielle continued to walk purposefully into the room toward the imaginary spot she had chosen to snub the Trandoshan, a path which led her directly to the bar. An over-eager human bartender with stained teeth and a dirty shirt that may have once been white slid toward her and wiped the bar in front of her.

“Whatcha have?” he asked her in Basic.

Veshielle never drank spirits. Her Master had forbidden it on the principle that it blurs the senses and one’s connection to the Force. Sometimes Veshielle regretted that particular wisdom of her Master, but not tonight. Tonight she had a very clear objective, one she was most single-minded in pursuing, and she would brook no distractions.

The bartender coughed without bothering to cover his mouth, whether to get her attention or from some stewing infection, Veshielle did not know. The general miasma of the cantina obscured the identification of any particular smells emanating from the man.

“I’ll have a gav” she said, turning from him to survey the barroom.

These places are the same, the galaxy over, she thought disapprovingly. Filled with pathetic, desperate creatures who would do a favour to themselves and the galaxy by ceasing to draw air. Veshielle detested the way their kind spilled into the streets at all hours, drunk and giddy.

“Here you go, lady.” The barkeep’s voice behind her interrupted her misanthropic pondering, which was just as well, as Veshielle could feel her anger welling. These people were not her concern. She was here to see one man, and there, through the haze of smoke wafting off hookah pipes and cigarras, her sharp green eyes had just found him.

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