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.