Nemo Sekh’s Holorecordings #1 - ‘MIMBAN: MUD & BLOOD’, Part 1

The job had been simple. Some rich tourists, based out of wild space, looking for a guide. Take them on a tour of Mimban, not accounting for taste, and find them a few trinkets to take home and show to their friends. A slow day, at best, but they paid well. Where had it gone wrong?
Nemo lay flat on her back, eyes fluttering shut as cinders danced overhead. Her hands clutched the stone tablet close, and at last the world slipped away in flames.
What was it about Imperial relics that attracted so many weirdos? The fifth stop of the day, and all the Quarren and his entourage wanted to see were stormtrooper helmets and crashed TIE fighters, trudging from one sunken outpost to the next. This was the last time Nemo took a job on Mimban, biggest sinkhole in the galaxy. There wasn’t even much history to see here now- eight-hundred years on, most of it was long gone, lost in one bog or another. Though by the looks of it, she’d end up visiting them all today, whether she liked it or not.
The Quarren claimed to be some kind of planetary governor; talked about himself a lot. Unsurprisingly, didn’t seem to be much interesting to say. His companion, however? There was something there. He was a tall, thin Rodian who chose his words carefully. Seemed to know an awful lot about the sites. She’d taken them to some Imperial trenches, site of one battle or another, to get the Quarren his helmets. Mudtroopers were close enough, she thought, but the Rodian seemed to be some kind of scholar- noting troop divisions, their movements and supply routes as if he were an Imperial clerk, come eight centuries late to the battlefield.
“I take it you’re an expert in your own right, Mr…?” Nemo spoke in-between breaths, a sweat building they scaled another fortification.
“Pablores.” He started, his voice clipped. The name might've rung a bell, but she couldn’t place it. “I’ve an amateur curiosity.”
“So how’d you fall in with tentacles over there?” They twenty minutes out of their final destination for the day, and hopefully, the week.
“Mutual interest.” Pablores was a talkative soul, indeed.
“Specialist interest, too, I’d think. Tentacles doesn’t seem half the historian you are- some kind of scholar, I take it? Imperial speciality? You don’t really have the look, I’ve gotta say.” Her eyes narrowed. He held the same, disinterested gaze.
“Something of the sort.” They were cresting the hill now. Even Nemo couldn’t deny an interest in this last site. One of the last unturned stones that yet remained on Mimban.

The vast shipwreck of the Imperial Star Destroyer Eminence.
It rose like a great fallen god upon the horizon, a metal mountain that still swallowed the sky, even wrapped in ivy chains. The swamp had clawed its way over the bow and starboard sections, and even now it still dwelt within the high walls of its own crater, bathed in the pale shadow of that lowering expanse of mud. Nemo couldn’t help but smile at the sight.
“I take it you were expecting this.” A gleam had even taken to Pablores’ eye- but something in it betrayed anticipation, over amazement. “I can’t deny, I’m impressed. The Eminence is the best site for tourists. Won’t find it any guides, that’s for sure.” The Eminence was a well kept secret, by tourist standards. The remnants of an Imperial black book operation.
“No, no. This is new to me. Wondrous, indeed.” He spoke distractedly, as if his mind worked with some unspoken machinations. She didn’t trust him one bit.

The path down was a steep one- the Quarren protested, on account of his robes and the mud. Definitely an amateur. Who came to Mimban to stay clean, bar Hutts and Banthas? Nemo noticed how Pablores never put a foot out of place on the trail, not once betraying a hint of confusion, of disorientation, even as they weaved over the mud flats. “I take it you’re a practised outdoorsman, huh?” He shot her back a weary look. No more talking. She could live with that- more important was working out his game. A spy? Why bother. Bounty hunter? Who was hiding out in these ruins? More likely, he was thief. Come to Mimban to rob Imperial graves, make a quick credit. If that was the case- who was she to judge?
She took point to scope out an entry route. The hard part wasn’t finding the Eminence- any two-bit salvager with local info could do that. Getting in, on the other hand? The swamp was as alive as any explorer, shifting and bending constantly as it grew over itself, roots upon roots. There were no maps. Nemo fixing signal beacons to the trees as they moved, testing the waters with a depth sensor, and the bog with a firm push of her boot. Only now did the Rodian at last show his trepidation, eyes wide as he watched his own feet. Nemo held a quick pace; it was necessary, if they wanted to take the same route back. The Quarren would no doubt want to gawk at every inch of the wreck, as all the tourists did.
There- in the clearing ahead, the aft hangar bay. Rust had left its scar on the Eminence, a gaping void that revealed little but darkness, and the shells of rusted TIE fighters. She planted the last beacon by the mire, its red light blinking in the haze of the early evening. She let the other two collect. “Here!” She let out a sigh of relief. The Quarren grumbled all the same. No surprise.
But Pablores began to walk ahead regardless. Alone. “Wait up!” She cried, breaking into a quick stride to catch him.
“We’ve wasted enough time.”
One hand leapt out to restrain him. “It’s not safe for you to walk in alone-“ His eyes were a mask of wild fury. What was he reaching for- Nemo froze. Oh no.

A blaster shot rang out through the mist.
Her leg erupted into white hot pain, the smell of searing flesh and awful smoke filling her lungs as she crashed into the mud, shrieking. Through bleary eyes, she saw his dark silhouette looming. He raised the blaster again. “Don’t! Please-“ She forced her eyes shut as she waited for death. But the next shot wasn’t for her. It took two to kill the Quarren. She heard the soft the thump of his falling body.
Writhing in pain, she lay frozen in the mud, her leg aflame. Pablores’ sharp footsteps disappeared into the distance. Nemo gasped for air where there seemed to be none.
She felt a wall of sleep fast approaching. The arms of Ryloth's Goddess, perhaps. Yes. That would do.