Qrylo Qykk’s Holorecordings #1 - ’Hokey Religions, Part 1’
Three moons. One target.
The Walk of Penance shimmered under a blue star’s gaze, triplicate engines roaring silent through the void. A dull thrum echoed through its hollow quarters. Its sole occupant paced, hunched, from console to console, eyes dancing between a multitude of viewscreens. Qrylo was his own skeleton crew now, copilot and navigator; the body of a Duros lay still in shadow. Unlucky. Blaster burns were probably still hot. Last time he let hired help fly. Qrylo reflexively pressed a hand to his side, his own wound still stinging.
The Duros had got in the first shot, but on the wrong Weequay.
He'd sent Qrylo to the deck, but not for good. It was a shame. A freelancer from wild space, low price and high skill. Bad spice habit, but who didn’t, in these parts. Like all the rest, cocky, treacherous, and now… Qrylo raised a weary brow. Dead. Blasters never hurt any less, it seemed. One hand felt for an empty holster. He glanced up. His own pistol sat on the navigation console- fresh scorch marks on the barrel. More for the collection.
A chime, flashing. He was closing in to the surface, on course for a small settlement east-a-ways from Mantell City.
Mark was hiding out amongst the farmers, apparently. A Jedi, they said. Fallen padawan. How a Jedi ended up on the wrong end of a bounty, Qrylo couldn’t say. Rubbed the right people the wrong way, he supposed. Killed someone worth killing. He’d worked bounties for the Sith before, years ago, but this was a small-time deal. Couldn’t quite put his finger on it; money looked good, but he hadn’t had trusted it. Neither had his companion; but either way, that disagreement had ended to his satisfaction.
Qrylo knew the golden rule- never turn down a job. It was one thing to finish it, but it never hurt to be on the list. There was usually someone better, a Fett, or someone of the sort, so the job would always get done, either way. But for every coordinated sniper position, there was a chance encounter in a spaceport bathroom. If you didn’t know the job, you’d never get the latter opportunity. Qrylo dreaded to think what he’d look like without them.
He did not kill for money, alas. This was the truth, and all things given it was good, because he didn’t make a lot doing it.
He wasn’t incompetent as much as undervalued; too much work as a blunt instrument. Enforcing for Hutts had paid well, but it did little for your reputation as an efficient, inventive killer. Gamorreans hadn’t invented anything but new ways to smell bad for a very long time. No. Qrylo killed for atonement. That was his word for it, his bloodthirsty mantra. Atonement.
With each contract he knew how Quay and Am-Shak looked on, how they looked down with disdainful eyes unto these pallid sacrifices. Frozen and contorted boidies, meals unto the thunder and moon-god. In time, he would feel it: the gates of his homeworld, opening to his sacrilegious soul once more. Family, friends.
He would return yet, prodigal child. He gave a melancholy smile.
The ship strained to stay level, weaving amidst a host of pink clouds and grey spires rising from below. Mantell city. Not far now- one hand scrolled through the navicomputer as the other wrestled with the yoke. The scream of afterburners was audible once more, a symphony of reverse thrusters firing the ship to a shrieking halt over a barren field. Slowly, it descended, kicking up a dust storm. The landing ramp extended into a cloud of beige and grey.
Qrylo rolled the Duros off first. Thump.
Body had been stripped first of an overdrafted credstick and some stims. He landed face-down, limp, in a drainage canal. First man on Ord Mantell. It was what he wouldn’t have wanted. The Weequay twisted his leathery face into a half-smile, eyes narrowing as he strode out through the dirt. Farmstead was ahead. Small town, a little further back. Had best keep an eye out- farmers were a jumpy sort. He’d learned that lesson back on Sriluur, as a boy. They shot first, and preferred not to ask questions, if at all possible. Worked for him.
Crops were dead; victims of the blue star and no rainfall, he supposed. Locals would be on edge. That worked too. One hand crept to his blaster pistol as he rounded the barn- voices. Shouting. He pushed himself flat to the wall, eyes slipping out a fraction. Big group of Gran, gun-toting; small-time mercenaries, by the look. Threatening some doctor, a Bith. Money, stims, the usual.
But their leader- he raised an eyebrow. Human, barely eighteen by the looks. Oh. Qrylo swung back against the wall, eyes wide and teeth gritted. Human with a lightsaber. Jedi.
Should've known- Jedi kept strange company.