Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away…
The First Order reigns across the galaxy. Children are stolen daily from backwater planets struggling to survive under the tyrannical regime to help expand the First Order’s vast armies under Supreme Leader Kylo Ren’s rule.
On one such remote world named Kijimi is a woman named Zorii Bliss. Born into poverty, this woman has been forced to learn how to survive in a world of crime just to get by.
With massive debts weighing her down and the cries of the missing children preventing her from sleeping at night, Zorii longs to escape the hellhole that she has called home for over thirty years. But to do so involves a little more duping and a whole lot of luck…
Pew pew pew.
That was the distinct sound of blaster fire whizzing by Zorii’s head as she hurried down an alley in Kijimi City.
The sky was still dark but it was brightening as the sun began to rise over the mountains surrounding the small city. A heck of a time to be on the verge of death.
Zorii chanced a glance backward and could see the red outlines of her three attackers chasing after her as they rounded a corner. Information slid across the inside of her visor in red Aurebesh, detailing to her the opponents’ weapons and distance away from her. They were a good fifty meters behind her. She stopped in her tracks.
“Is there any way that we can talk about this?” she yelled.
Her response was a blaster bolt hitting the wall to her immediate left. She shrugged.
“Apparently not,” she said as she resumed running for her life.
Her attackers were crooks like her looking for a big break. They were the Jaazenee Brothers and they weren’t ones to trifle with. Running a deal with them wasn’t easy (or ideal) but it paid good and right now, Zorii needed money…badly. The deal had gone down as expected, no hiccups in the operation as Bliss and the Brothers sold a particularly hefty and entirely illegal shipment of spice to a big-time gambler looking for a good time. The only thing was, Zorii was clearly a bigger crook than the Brothers and had duped them out of their share. So, naturally, they were furious and wanted to see her dead.
Zorii, however, had grown up on Kijimi. She knew the alleys like the back of her hand and she also knew where her compatriots were. Just a few more turns and the Jaazenee Brothers wouldn’t know what hit them, literally.
She dipped around a corner, hurried up a heap of storage bins piled high on the backside of a food joint, and began to traverse the rooves of the buildings where she picked up her speed. Blaster bolts coursed by her but up here, this was her territory. Up here, she was in charge.
The sun’s golden light began to peek over the mountain in front of her, bathing the clustered city into a depiction of rare beauty that made Kijimi almost gorgeous. Almost. It was moments like these that memories resurfaced. Fond memories of sitting on the high cliffs watching the city light up under a beautiful sunrise. Right now, she wasn’t allowed the time to daydream. She had to get to The Den.
A blaster bolt whizzed by her head so close she could feel its searing heat. She glanced back, saw the Brothers still shooting at her, and with a smile beneath her helmet, she vaulted across a gap between the buildings, slid to a trapdoor inlaid in the roof, and knocked three times. There was a voice on the other side.
“What?!” cried a gravelly voice that sounded annoyed.
“Trouble,” she responded.
“There’s always trouble with you,” grumbled the voice.
A second later, in the alley, there was a sound of a loud thump followed by the distinct noise of three bodies falling to the ground. When Zorii peeked over the edge of the roof she saw that the Jaazenee Brothers were laid out, red knots forming on their heads from where a large log of wood had hit them, the wood lying not two feet from their bodies. Zorii shook her head amused.
She jumped down from the roof, moving around to the side of the building where she located the side entrance and knocked three times. There was no immediate response. She could hear the unmistakable chatter of approaching First Order stormtroopers nearing her. She didn’t have time for that. She was just about to knock again when the door opened.
An old slouched woman with greying hair and a scowl on her wrinkled face stood before her. Her name was Marta.
“You happy now?” Marta asked.
“Not quite,” Zorii said as she hurried inside.