Quarantined

The Prisoner of Secrets
James Thosk

Charo Resort, Corellia
7:30 p.m.
One week before The Quarantine

The sun was just beginning to set, and the sky burned a beautiful auburn hue. It had been another relaxing day in a series of relaxing days. There were some things that the mind couldn’t handle so easily, and these days of paradise were exactly what was needed for James Thosk. One mojito after another, it was a company tab so money wasn’t a huge concern, although it was his company… but sometimes to forget old pain, the monetary cost is nothing.

“Package for you sir,” came the voice of the small statured bell hop. “Seems it was sent from Naboo, thats funny you know with the war and everything…” His voice trailed off as he dropped the package and acquired his tip. Without another word he scurried off to undoubtedly pester another patron for services.

The package was a plain yellow envelope and was sealed in magnetic wax with the symbol of the Galactic Empire. Except these seal was slightly different and on closer review showed the eyes of the great Imperial Phoenix to be slightly crossed. Using the silver ring upon his finger, Thosk produced the correct electromagnetic frequency and the envelopes seal dissipated into nothingness. The contents of the envelope were as followed:

“Attention Agent Iceman,

Operatives in the field have uncovered evidence that suggests that there is a conspiracy group behind the Galactic Civil War. Though we can not know for certain, heavily damaged data pads have been recovered from the bodies of imperial and rebel soldiers alike. These data pads have no data on them, they were all wiped, but they all traced back to a small shop on the outer rim world of Taris. This shop is known in some circles to be a safe house for the Black Suns although we cannot know for certain. We need you to go to Taris and investigate this lead. You are the only one we can trust to do this, we need you. For this task you will be completely alone, we cannot help you, nor can we recognize that you exist. From this moment on we have no affiliation with you, and you never were affiliated with us. On the Wheel there should be a ship for you, the shops coordinates are loaded into the nav computer. Infiltrate the Suns and uncover this conspiracy. Good luck and may the Force be with you.

A. Tulloch"

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A Song of Grime and Blood
Oliver 'Pharaoh' Phage

FAMILY DINER
4:30 p.m.
One Week before the Quarantine

The lunch rush had finally seemed to subside, flour dust still hung in the air and people were talking and laughing in loud buzzing voices, but things were starting to settle. It had been a long shift, beginning 12 hours earlier in the kitchen mixing ingredients and spices to make the daily batch of fresh dough needed for Papa Phages Signature Pepperoni Pizza Pie . But now that was all done, the lunch rush had passed and Pharaoh was released from his work duties. Now free from the smell of the brick oven and the simmering waves of heat, the world once again became Pharaoh’s oyster. Taris was a sprawling metropolis full of adventure, fun, and trouble if you knew where to look. The southeast octant of Taris, also known as The Den, where the Phages Pizzeria was located was a relatively quiet area compared to the rest of Taris’ populace. This section was more relaxed than the everyday citizen and home to many of the towns middle class families. This “suburbia” as it was known was a welcome change of pace for many of Taris’ residents, even those who did not live in The Den, and this popularity provided great business for the many shops and businesses in the area. The Den wasn’t perfect, but for many it was as perfect as honest hard work could get you.

As Pharaoh finished changing into his street clothes, his comm-sat started buzzing, it was Miles and he sounded frantic,

“Pharaoh..its me Miles, you need to get to the Bottom Rung now, Jimmie and Toby need to go to the hospital, and they aint gonna let us leave. Its Hinshal the Trandoshan and his goons… they caught me.. with a loaded die up my sleeve and they chased us. They got Jimmie and Toby with stun blasters while we were climbing the fire escape, and they both got roughed up pretty bad. Im in the basement of the Starry Bar at the end of 3035th and Vincente. Hurry…they’re banging on the door hurry…QUICK THEY’RE HERE!!! NO NO STOP LET GO OF ME, PLEASE! AAAAHHHHHCH!!!…”

The sound of breaking flesh echoed through the receiver accompanied by sobs and pleas. Hinshal and his team were no jokes, and the Bottom Rung was a place most people avoided. It would not be a fair fight, that was for certain, but his friends needed him.

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To Kill a MockingJay
Dominic Jay

COURTROOM C
1:30 p.m.
One week before the Quarantine.

“I’ve told you before Dominic, and I’ll say it again, just because you have a good counterpoint about the murder weapon doesn’t mean you should devote all of your questions to try and bait the other side to talk about the weapon. You spent so much of your focus on this weapon that our support for the other components of this case are severely lacking. To win in court, you need a balanced attack until the other side shows their weakness and then you stab without relent. You do not try to force your way into their defenses, cover all the bases and then strike when the other side slips. If you weren’t so driven on this detail about the weapon, you could’ve struck at the prosecutions main witness when they misreported the times of the buses, instead of asking question after question about the missing screwdriver. You have promise Dominic, but you need to do better. I didn’t save you from your metro police job and put you through law school for you to lose cases. Tomorrow I will take the lead on questioning and I advise you to take notes.”

Quentin Jay shook his head and then gave a slight smile towards you, “At least the case is still ours to win, the prosecution has nothing outside of circumstantial evidence. We’ll hit them with the Dimitrov Defense tomorrow, and wrap up the win the day after. Why don’t you run down to the bar, and get yourself a drink. You did decent and you look like you need it.”

Dominic’s uncle turned around and walked back down the corridor, presumably to talk with the judge and other lawyers. He was right it had been a long day, and it would be another one when tomorrow came. The uptown bar lay three blocks east of the courthouse, and the path led through many shops and alley ways full of beggars and peddlers. There was also a popular casino in town, favorited by local police and black suns alike. Dominic’s pocket began to rumble and he answered his comm-sat, hearing the familiar voice of his personal driver Gerald.

“Mr. Jay I just arrived out front in the Bentlon, where would you like to go?”

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A Rude Awakening

IMPERIAL ORDANANCE
23761

The Supreme Emperor of the Galactic Empire Firmly Decrees;

The City and Citizens of Taris are hereby quarantined, under proper legislation by the Imperial Security Act, until further notice. All communications, satellite, electronic, and cellular have been blocked, and postal messages will be screened upon exit and entry. A strict 8:00 p.m. curfew is now in effect, and those outside of their homes after curfew will be arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit treason. From this moment on, all societal groups, excluding the Imperial Town Council, will cease in existence immediately. Imperial soldiers will be conducting routine and random searches of homes and businesses, and citizens must allow these searches under article 8 of the Imperial Security Act. These searches will be looking for banned materials including, but not limited to: rebel paraphernalia, explosives and/or components for the making of explosives, any weaponry in a category above series 8 and a limit of one legal weapon per household, persons who are not direct family in a home without proper reason, and other items that seem peculiar for your rank and station. Persons found it these items will be charged with conspiracy against the Emperor, and will be taken to Polis Haram for trial by military Jury.

THIS ORDER IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
CHI CHI LAMBDA THETA (Seal of the Galactic Emperor)

From every datapad and news-stream, every commlink to radio station, this message was blasted on repeat. The citizens of Taris awoke to this message, and the thundering sound of imperial footsteps marching up and down the streets. Overnight and without warning the sprawling vibrant city had been transformed to that of an imperial fortress. Large neon walls made of plasma divided the city into octants, and it appeared only the central hub containing the Imperial Town Council was without heavy troop presence. The town seemed cloaked in shadow, the once bright lights now yellowed and sickened. A parasite had invaded the city. Rumors began to whisper in sections of the city, “Why were the Imperials here” “How long will the Ordinance last?” The Empire was never well liked in Taris, but the presence of troops here brought many mixed emotions. Some felt that the Empire was overstepping their bounds in showing up on Taris, however others feared the Imperial presence means that the rebels were planning an outside invasion or worse a rebel sabotage from within. What was clear is that the Empire had shown up in force, and life in the city would drastically change.

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