Tatooine wasn't the ideal place, he reminded himself, but for the moment, it was all he could ask for. The worn, and ragged looking B-22 Nightfalcon hummed along, as he pulled into range of a Tusken raider village, the heavy tents set up against the harsh winds that were soon to come during the night.
His employer had promised a handsome 2,000 credits when the job was done, paying 500 on the spot. For such a small task, it was unbelievable. He had a small simple task. Eliminate the nomadic village, collect the valuables and return. Everything his employer didn't’t want was his to keep or sell, and for successful completion, in a timely manner, he’d get a round trip ticket to any place, anywhere, on a chartered ship. That was the primary reason for him being out here, in the dangerous wilds of desolate Tatooine. The planet that once looked like a safe haven now began to wane in his eyes. He couldn't’t bounty hunt, nor could he find a decent job.
His once new armor was now dark and stained, cracked and chipped; not in the style of the Imperial force. The last thing he wanted was to be found all the way out here. His weapon of choice was old, but well functioning, and he had power cells to spare. He had his sanity too, and the only thing that stood out was a dark blue crystal knot, a vein of red running in the center of the strands. It hung from a black ribbon, welded to his armor.
It was the award he kept from his last life, one of two mementos from an outstanding military career. It was a Jedi slayer crest; one of a hand full ever awarded to an Imperial trooper. He wore it with… well, not pride, but a shadow of pride, and it reminded him of what he used to be, and even more of what he was trying to become now in this endeavor.
It was evening on the desert planet, the double sun glaring orange against his helmet visor. He was half a click away now. It would be fantastically easy. He’d camouflage his speeder, himself, and hunker down, picking them off one by one until they fled, or panicked, carrying nothing, or the entire group fallen.
He pulled up on the controls, easing the speeder behind a shorter sand dune, before powering it down. He pulled a light brown tarp from a small compartment under the seat and threw it over, burying the edges in the sand. His own armor was a rusty black, with the odd paint stain, oil stain, or otherwise. He hunkered down in the sand, partially burying himself after bringing his rifle around.
The first Tusken raider never saw the bright blue bolt as it cut a small clean hole in its torso. The next fell to an accurate shot of the same caliber. With two fallen, the third panicked during the shot, and the lance of energy passed harmlessly over it’s shoulder. It screeched, falling over back wards, trying to scuttle away as another blast caught it low on the collar. It didn't'’t move after that.
The camp was in an uproar now, another nine raiders clamoring out of their tents, before more shots passed. Chaos ensued, four of them killed each other, two others fell to long rang fire. The last two ran, one grazed by a shot on its upper arm, the other uninjured.
The former trooper shrugged the sand off, as he stood. The camp was still. He wasn't’t enough of an idealist to believe that all had fled. There would most likely be lingering raiders, frightened by the violent uproar. He was prepared, in any case.
He carefully folded the tarp and replaced it in it’s compartment under the seat, before activating, mounting, and piloting the speeder to the camp. There was little he could carry. Dragon pearls would be the obvious priority since they were small and would be worth twice their weight in credits. Every male raider would have one.
He picked through the tents methodically, placing everything of value into a cloth sack he found. The one odd thing he found was a simple metal box, about as big as a blaster case… but blasters never had metal cases. They were too heavy and expensive, unless someone had credits falling out of their ears. He loaded the box into his speeder’s second storage compartment, grunting with the effort. Total search of the camp yielded thirty pearls. Some small, others as large as his closed fist. He also found a curious tube, obviously storing something of value. He loaded that in as well.
He didn't’t look back as he sped away back to the city Mos Eisley.
"Well done, Karwan. Well done," The heavy set being sat high in his chair, stroking the metal box with his four-three fingered hands. "Very few have gone out and returned the same day. Are you sure you aren't inclined to stay?"
"No, I have no desire to remain on Tatooine." The former trooper shuffled slightly. "My payment?"
"Of course, per our deal, everything else is yours."
That was surprising; he was sure that he'd be leaving only with a trip to Coruscant. He didn't think twice, before scooping up the jeweled stones, and wrapping them back into his pack, taking the metal cylinder in one of his hands. "And Coruscant?"
The being stroked the metal box again, as if in thought. "Why Coruscant, especially with that-" He pointed to the crest on Karwan's armor, "-welded to your armor?"
"I have a history that I need to fix." Karwan offered stoically.
The fanged mouth scowled back, "Tonight, one hour. Don't be late."
Perfect, just enough time to sell the pearls and speeder. "I wouldn't dream of it," Karwan tossed over his shoulder.
The blocks of credits were heavy in his hands. He was wealthy; very much so at the moment. The pearls had brought in a lot; not as much as he'd hoped, but it was more than enough. His speeder was sold to the first taker, for less than a sixth of what he'd originally paid for it. It was better than nothing.
The seat of the ship he would be flying in, wasn't comfy, or perhaps even meant for sitting, but it would do. It would be a five hour lightspeed jump between here and Coruscant, and that would be more than enough time for some shuteye.
He kept the metal tube close, it was important to him now, he'd downplayed it's worth, insisting that it was a shot power converter. The uneducated miscreant believed him, and lost out on a fabulous weapon. That was why he was headed for Coruscant now. He'd return the weapon to the very order he'd sworn to eliminate, and hope that they'd have enough good grace to let him leave.
Light space travel always left him weary, whether he slept or not, it still wore on him, and even made him sick at times. Especially times like right now. He had enough good health to get off the chartered ship, and watch it fly away, before he tore his helmet off and unbecomingly vomited on the landing pad twice. Karwan was very grateful to be back on solid ground, away from the jostle of space.
He'd chosen to be deposited at the Jedi temple, the very place he never would have wanted to be, if it weren't for the small kindness he was about to perform. He was unsure, stiff, and awkward; still feeling strings of nausea as he entered the temple. The finely crafted weapon hung from his belt, his helmet clipped onto his pack.
The first person he passed was female, and she eyed him oddly. He stiffened up even more when he saw a weapon of similar design hanging from her belt too. She must not have noticed the crest.
When the second Jedi passed him, he waved stiffly, receiving a wave back. It was easy to relax then. The Jedi didn't bother looking at the crest, or the weapon clipped on his belt. Jedi were nice folk, not at all accusative or searching for a fault, he noticed.
His luck however, ran dry when he reached a four way crossing and the third person took notice of his medallion. She seemed oddly dressed for a Jedi, too.
Chills crawled sluggishly up Karwan's spine as he looked over her more closely. It was becoming very obvious to him about just how much trouble he'd wormed his way into now. The woman...she was dressed far too dark be a Jedi.