Wandering up to the galley, Myla overheard Jinn and Capt Ridley talking about Capt. Star. It had never set right with her that they left Geonosis without trying to locate Calen; however, she didn’t give orders, she followed them. Maybe Jinn and Capt Ridley had felt the same way. She had no idea what the Jawa thought about it, but then again, she’d never imagined the little guy (or is it a gal?) would crash that fighter into Gulga’s spike at Rorak V. As small as he was, Fi had grown in her estimation. Embarrassed, Myla interrupted the conversation in the galley to ask Capt Ridley a question. “Excuse me sir, can you help me figure out how I became a porn star?” Yeah, that sounded great. At least he was willing to look into it for her.
Pulling out of hyperspace into the asteroid belt near Nar Shaddaa, Myla heard Capt Ridley’s voice alerting the crew that two fighters had seemingly followed them from Rorak V. Of course they had. She and the other Sunrunner crew had blown up three fighters, destroyed valuable Engspice, and generally flipped the bird to one of the most powerful Hutt’s in this part of the galaxy. There was no way Gulga the Hutt would not send his forces after them. Climbing into the co-pilot seat, Myla buckled in for what was sure to be another epic battle. It amazed her how every time they were about to get some rest, some kind of reprieve from chaos, some new threat reared up. She’d grown attached to the Sunrunner, but it almost seemed to have a curse. She heard Jinn in the turret, shooting at the ships and incoming missiles. Every now and again she could hear the angry little voice of Fi as he tried to maintain shields; once she swore she heard him actually punching the machinery. Even Capt Ridley’s calculatedly casual aura was cracked as he concentrated on flying through the asteroids and evading the enemy ships. Myla did what she could to assist her ship and crew as Capt Ridley pulled off some pretty spectacular maneuvers, Jinn dealt significant damage to the fighters, and Fi somehow kept the Sunrunner flying. But for the Sunrunner, “Situation Normal” is never just all fucked up; situation normal is fucked up beyond all recognition. Two more fighters had blasted into the asteroid belt. Myla felt the whole crew steeling themselves for another round, when making some hasty calculations, Capt Ridley flung them out of the asteroid field into hyperspace.
Some hours later, Myla joined the others as they made ready to meet with Kurka the Hutt at the Falleen Lady. Assessing each one of her crew members, she was pleased to see wounds mending; they’d patched each other up pretty well. When they arrived at the Hutt’s floating casino, Capt Ridley once again wrangled with the guards to get everyone up the elevators to meet with the bulbous crime lord. During the exchange between Capt Ridley and Kurka, Myla tried to keep her eyes on all the nefarious characters, trusting that Jinn would be doing the same. She appreciated that Jinn always seemed to be on alert, and she still felt bad that it was her comment to Jinn on Rorak V that had led to him getting shot in the head. She had wanted to say something, but in his armor and his cloak, he was a rather imposing figure. Capt Ridley and Kurka appeared to be playing some sort of verbal game, as Fi continued to jabber at Capt Ridley in the background. Knowing Capt Ridley, he was trying once again to wrangle, barter, negotiate, and/or finagle more credits out of the situation. He was pretty single-minded when it came to credits. And Myla couldn’t fault him; it seemed an inherent part of his personality, and stars knew, they could use every credit they got. She had to admit that it would be nice to build up enough credits, so they wouldn’t have to take every single quasi-suicidal mission just to keep going. Capt Ridley and Kurka reached some sort of mutually dissatisfying conclusion, and Myla hoped they would be leaving soon. She was done with Hutts for a while. As they left, she heard Ridley repeat a warning from Kurka: lay low for awhile and watch your back, a Hutt never forgets. Great. Add another enemy to the list.
For the first time since joining the Sunrunner, Myla had almost a week of R&R as Kurka’s people fixed up the ship. She figured that Fi would end up going to the Busted Circuit to see what he could liberate from Riko Yavin. She’d also heard Capt Ridley and Jinn discussing upgrades and personal modifications they were planning to install for the bridge and turret. She, however, was going to use the time to research more on her doppelganger porn star. With a little effort, Myla discovered that this Irene Skycrest had been making porn for about five years, some under the name of Nell Westgate. All of them for PorSec of Corellia. And now it looked like this agile woman was poised to take over the lead of the Jedi Jezebel series. The information did nothing to ease Myla’s stress and irritation over the whole situation; neither did the fact that she knew it wasn’t her imagination—half of the men on Nar Shaddaa stared at her wherever she went.
Waiting back on the Sunrunner, the only place she could be without lurid looks and offensive offers, Myla received a call from Jinn. He had met someone on Nar Shaddaa with information that was important, and he wanted the rest of the crew to meet he and the stranger at the Meltdown Cafe. Myla converged with Fi and Capt Ridley, and they found Jinn in a booth with a very dandified man. The man looked like he could blend right in on some merchant planet, but on Nar Shaddaa he stuck out like a sore thumb. Jinn introduced the man as Earnest Eveningstar and that he had information on Capt Star. Myla listened as Jinn and Capt Ridley questioned the dapper gent. Apparently, Mr. Eveningstar had commissioned Capt Star for the mission that eventually left him stranded on Geonosis. Mr. Eveningstar was a mid-level manager at Tagge Co, looking to improve his position by sabotaging his work rival. Myla had heard of Tagge Co, but by the shadow that flitted across Capt Ridley’s face, he appeared to recognize the name immediately.
As Myla continued to listen, some of the pieces to their initial mission began to fall into place. It seems that Mr. Eveningstar’s nemesis had commissioned a certain bounty hunter named Vandis for assistance in moving up the corporate ladder. (Myla groaned the moment she heard Vandis’ name—Capt Star had mentioned him in the message he left to the Sunrunner crew, and Riko had warned of him, too). In retaliation, Mr. Eveningstar had enlisted Capt Star’s help in stealing precious cargo from Vandis, thus thwarting his rival. In return, Mr. Eveningstar would get information on Capt Star’s son Caleb and soon to be daughter-in-law Olivia, who had disappeared after being captured. Mr. Eveningstar told Jinn and Capt Ridley that Capt Star’s family had been taken to the planet Jebble, where there was an ice mining facility. So, Tamra and the other people they had found in the hidden compartments of the Sunrunner had been kidnapped by Vandis, and then stolen from Vandis by Capt Star. Having gotten the outcome he had so desired, Mr. Eveningstar considered his end of the bargain fulfilled, and he calmly walked out the Meltdown Cafe. And even though she had just met Eveningstar, Myla knew he was indifferent to the pain and destruction he and his rival had created; Tamra and her fellow victims, Capt Star’s family, the Sunrunner crew, and even Capt Star were just cogs in greater machinations.
Myla left the Meltdown Cafe with the rest of the crew of the Sunrunner. She half-listened as Jinn and Capt Ridley debated their next mission—going to Jebble to find Capt Star’s son, going to Geonosis to find Capt Star, or going to recover the salvage Riko Yavin had told them about. In the end, it didn’t matter much to Myla. She was feeling overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of all that lay ahead of them, the enemies that were after them, and her own personal mystery. It seemed whatever thread they pulled, whatever mission they took would just lead to more trouble, more threats, more enemies. In some ways, it was not all that different from the life she had been leading before. Except for at the Barracks she never had to worry about credits, food, or if there would be enough fuel to keep going between planets…
So with the ship repaired and the crew rested, the Sunrunner took off for the salvage at the coordinates given to them by Riko Yavin. Upon arrival, pieces of wreckage floated everywhere. After all of their space battles so far, Myla felt a momentary gratitude that the Sunrunner had escaped such misfortune. Scanning the area, the crew found a piece that look promising for cargo. Myla and Jinn put on two of the Sunrunner’s spacesuits and left the safety of the ship to bring whatever salvage they could find, while Capt Ridley and Fi stayed aboard the ship to monitor the area.
Space walks had been part of Myla’s training, and it pissed her off that she felt disoriented as soon as she left the relative safety of the Sunrunner; it was like being a novice all over again. Looking over at Jinn easily maneuvering towards the wreckage, Myla took a big breath to steady herself and hooked onto the line they had affixed to the flotsam. Which was fortunate—as the airlock released from the wreckage, the pressurized air threatened to send she and Jinn on an infinite journey of empty space.
Entering the wreckage and exploring its contents, they discovered crates of med kits! Such a haul would temporarily satisfy Capt Ridley’s need for credits and provide them with the medical supplies the crew seemed to need with every new person and planet they encountered. Maybe this mission would be worth their time after all, Myla considered. As they were preparing to transport the crates, Jinn and Myla were accosted by a medical droid. Obviously, the droid had suffered from some sort of damage as it did not seem to comprehend either its rescue and seemed to shut on and off randomly. Still, with Fi’s considerable mechanical skills, the medical droid was invaluable. Myla considered the near fatal wound that Capt Ridley sustained on Rorak V; such a droid might one day save one, if not all of their lives. With her thoughts focused on the safety on her crew mates, Myla could not understand why Capt Ridley wanted them to abandon some of the med crates to make room for the droid—surely it was better to ensure the droid first and come back for the rest of the crates. So, Myla did something she had never done before; she disobeyed a direct order. Even as she did so, Myla felt regret and guilt, but her worry about her crew, her anger at her disorientation from the space walk, and the stress from living in her new world of freedom all overwhelmed her ingrained instinct for obedience. Myla went with Jinn to the ship and ensured the droid was secure on the ship before heading back to the wreckage for the crates of med kits.
As they started back to the Sunrunner with the first of the crates, a swarm of Mylocks emerged from the wreckage. Fuck. Myla knew they would go after the Sunrunner and already heard Capt Ridley ordering them back ASAP to the ship. Jinn provided as much cover as he could, while Myla frantically tried to get the crate of kits back to the ship. The line connecting her and Jinn to the Sunrunner began to pull faster; Fi must have worked some of his mechanical magic. Amidst the chaos of the Mylocks and the careening pace to the ship, the crate of med kits became separated from Myla and Jinn. As she cleared into the airlock of the Sunrunner, Myla looked over her shoulder and saw Jinn stretching out his hand, as if straining to pull the crate back to the ship; she wondered what he was trying to do as the crate was clearly beyond his reach. As he joined her in the airlock, she could feel a wave of frustration coming from the usually centered figure. And she felt the same way. No crates, a broken droid, and energy-sucking Mylocks, all in one mission. “Yeah,” she whispered under her breath, ”Situation normal.”