Prologue~ Shut up and ListenMature

"Smugglers can handle just about anything-they fly through asteroid fields, play tag with nebulas and space storms, and they can land on anything. Nothing fazes a good smuggler. I've seen them land ships while fighting uneven gravity fields on asteroids barely bigger than their vessels. Gravity shifts, atmospheric turbulence, sandstorms, blizzards, name it, they know how to handle it."
-Lando Calrissian
The story behind the partnership of smugglers Astor Cassen and Raice Wystali

As the boy entered the Growling Nexu, one of the many dimly lit cantinas on Nar Shadaa, he received a few odd glances. He didn't let that bother him though. The glances were normal, and they came from off-worlders and others who didn't know how business worked here. His step was that of a person who had walked through those doors many times before, and the slant to his eyebrows belayed his age and apparent innocence. As he stepped in, he gave the room a quick glance, being careful not to linger on any one face for too long.

He liked to find his contacts before they found him, but today he wasn't able to spot whoever he was supposed to be meeting with. He took the only empty seat at the counter and waited. The bartender gave him a glance but didn't pay him any other notice. He was a regular here, and the two had an understanding, The boy wouldn't ask for any intoxicating drinks, and the bartender wouldn't ask questions. 

"About time you got here" muttered the man on his right. 

The boy was surprised, but he didn't let it show. "You're here for the Dura-steel?"

"You don't need to test me kid. You may have a "reputation" but you're not a professional."

The boy glared at the man, or he tried to. The man was wearing a black stetson with a broad flat brim pulled low over his eyes.

"Don't pout kid. Are you gonna take me to the supplier or not?"

"Yeah, I will. Come on." The boy stood, and the man with him. They made for the exit, but as they did, the man who had been sitting on the boy's other side threw a few credits onto the counter and began to follow. The boy didn't notice.

The boy didn't like this man with the hat. He was too good. Dangerous even. He could lead him down the "contingency route" and explain to his master that the man tried to threaten him. The boss would be upset, but he would accept it.

An evil smile broke out on the boy's face. He tried to hide it before the man caught on, but he was too slow.

"What's so funny kid?"

"Nothing sir. I'm just thinking about the cut that I'm going to get from this deal."

The man held his gaze for a moment, then he shrugged and ended the look. The boy cursed himself for his mistake, and hoped he hadn't jepordized his plan. He was almost there...

The boy lead the smuggler down a long alleyway. When they were near the middle of the passage, the boy broke away and sprinted for an open manhole. As he slid the cover into place, pandemonium broke loose. Men burst out of doorways and leaned out of windows, weapons drawn and ready to fire. 

The smuggler dove for cover and by the time he had rolled behind a dumpster, he had his own blasters out and blazing. Two men went down before they could fire their weapons. One of the men in the windows screamed as he was pushed from behind, and a second smuggler, dressed in black sleeveless jacket, took his place and let loose. 

The firing stopped almost as soon as it had begun, and the boy opened the sewer cover and stuck his head out, a triumphant grin on his face. 

The grin was quickly ousted by a look of horror as he found the man in the black hat standing over him. Before he could duck back down, a hand fastened onto his arm and pulled him up. He didn't notice as the man in the window climbed to the next landing and swung himself up onto the roof.

"Nice try kid. But again, you're far from professional. Now you're going to take me to the pickup point, which is on the other side of Nar Shadaa if I'm correct."

The boy gaped. "How did you-"

"Kid, I've been doing this since before you're father ever thought of knocking up your mother. Now what's your name? I don't wanna keep calling you kid."

"Tylan." After a pause, "What's yours?"

"Wystalin. Captain Wystalin."

The boy's head snapped up at the mention of the name.

"You're not related to the Captain Wystalin are you?"

"The who?"

"Captain Raice Wystalin! He was partners with Astor Cassen... those two are legends."

The boy thought he saw the man smile, but the shadow cast on face from his hat, made it hard to tell.

"So you've heard of them?"

"A little, but not too much. Did you know them?"

"I might have met them once or twice."

Tylan's eyes widened, "You actually met them? Can you tell me about them?"

"No. I'm not into back stories."

"I promise not to lead you into anymore traps."

"You have more?"

"Well... I might. You don't know if I do or not."

The Captain was silent for a moment. Then he sighed. "Fine. But you keep this to yourself you hear? Things are heating up between the Zann Consortium and the Hutt Cartel. If they go to war, they're going to need weapons. And what better way to get weapons than to force a few smugglers to work for you. I don't want to get them into anything messy."

Tylan started to say something, but thought better of it and nodded vigorously.

"They were the best smuggling duo in the mid rim. They actually met here, on Nar Shadaa."

"Really? Where? Is it far? Can we-"

"You wanna hear this? Then shut up and listen!"

The boy pressed his lips together and nodded.

"Raice was a senator's son, and Astor... well not much is known about Astor's family. Their convoy was attacked and the family was separated. Anyways the two work together as one of the most successful and famous partnerships out there. Some say they are second only to Han Solo and Chewbacca, the pair from the Galatic Civil War, but others think they're even more famous."

"What do you think?" asked Tylan.

The Captain glared at the boy, who quickly averted his gaze and looked at the ground.

"Anyways... famous or not, the two were nothing if not gamblers...and with more than just credits."

The End

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