The young cyborg Mako was upset with her friends greatly. "But I don't wanna stay here! I wanna go out and do missions, explore -shoot things. My blaster aim is good, you know it! Anything is better then just sitting around with your and our protection. No offense big guy." Jory the Nikto put down his drink. "None taken child. You're young and crave adventure." He then took another sip of his ale and spoke again."Mako, I know you want to go, but you're just not ready yet. Braden is doing this to protect you, I hope you know that." "Bu-" Aaray the Bounty Hunter walked back into the room.
"Hey!" Said Mako. "The hotshot's back. How'd ya do?" "Vexx left a datapad in his no-longer-safe safehouse." replied the Zabrak. "Fantastic!" Replied the cyborg. "Hand it over, I can get into it and find out it's contents." "My my," Aaray turned, it was Jory. "You so much natural skill for someone your age. I am honored to have you in the Great Hunt. How old are you anyway?" Aaray groaned, she hated people asking her age because they always treated her like a kid. "26. What were you guys doing while I was gone?" A voice shocked Aaray, it came from the back of the room. "Same as me, taking care of all the boring details so you didn't have to." Aaray smiled. "You're a good man Braden!" Mako lit up at the sight of Braden. "Hey Braden! How did the meeting with Nem'ro go? Is Aaray gonna see him?" "I set down the basic info, but we're hardly there. What have you got?"
"I cracked the datapad our friend here got from Vexx's safehouse. Check out this last entry." "Oh dear." Said the human, with an obviously worried tone in his voice. "Our lil friend Vexx here keep detailed records. He booked a shuttle ticket, we gotta move fast." He turned to Aaray. "Only the boldest and the bravest make it into the living hell that is the Great Hunt. Vexx is a bold target, a champion gunslinger and completely ruthless. So, are you able to take down Vexx all on your lonely?" A grin spread across the Bounty Hunter's face. "I've never been more ready." "Excellent!" Mako cut him off. "I have the location of Vexx's shuttle, I'll send the coordinates to your datapad." "Thanks Mako. Hey, I know we're not in yet, but we might as well be. I can't believe i'm saying this, but I couldn't have gotten here without your guys help, hugs for old time's sake?" Braden chuckled. "This isn;t the last time we'll see each other Aaray!" Then he gave the Zabrak a warm hug. "Don't die!" Said Jory. The Zabrak giggled. "Can do big guy." Then Mako came over and gave her a hug. "Good luck, I say that as a friend not just as a partner." "I'll be back soon, stay safe guys." The Hunter then left the room, in search for Vexx the champion gunslinger.
"Well, I'm gonna stop by the cantina, you guys ok here?" Said Mako. "Don't worry about us little one. We'll be just fine." Said the Nikto, sitting in his chair and feet up on his desk. "Stay safe out there!" Said Braden, right as Mako headed out the door.
It was a cheerful place, the Salty Sarlaac. Always people laughing having a good time, nothing holding them down. 'If only I could be like that.' thought Mako. She didn't drink, she was never one for alcohol, but she just had to get away from Jory and Braden, get somewhere to think. 'I just wish they would let me out. Jory is right. I want adventure. They know I have good aim and I'd be just fine, so why do they keep me here? If I was able to live in the streets of Nar Shaddaa when I was 8 I don't see why I can;t go out on missions with Aaray. Braden said it himself, Vexx is dangerous, Aaray could need help.'
Meanwhile, over in the depth of Fa'thraa the Hutt's turf, Aaray found Vexx, preparing for takeoff. "Who are you? You comin' to try and kill Vexx? You better go now, Vexx gonna kill you hard if you try to kill Vexx!" Said the gunslinger. 'Oh great, an overly confident target.' thought Aaray. 'Talking in the 3rd person is gonna get annoying, just shoot him.' "Vexx is a champion gunslinger! Get that? C'mon say it with me! Champ-i-on! Do I need to say it AGAIN? Vexx is a CHAMPION quickdraw gunslinger! Vexx'll kill you!" Aaray rolled her eyes, five minutes with this doof and all she heard was the same thing over and over again. While the babbling went on, Aaray took a moment to study his appearence. He was short, black, human and skinny, but looked agile nonetheless. He had slicked back brown hair so it wouldn't get in his face during combat, 'Looks like he knows some tricks.' thought Aaray. "You;re gonna die! Just back away now!" yelled Vexx. 'UGH! Enough of this crap!' thought Aaray angrily. "Enough of this jibber-jabber! Time to die!" Aaray already had her blaster out and pointed at Vexx by the time he got his out. Aaray quickly shot the blaster out of his hand and ducked behind a crate while he recovered. After taking a deep breath, Aaray took a peek over the crate. Vexx was gone. 'CRAP! Fantastic, Braden gets me a great target and I thank him by-' "GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" yelled Vexx as he jumped on top of Aaray and pinned her down on the floor, Aaray tried to wrestle him off her but Vexx had the Zabrak pinned down hard. She finally wrestled her arm out and banged Vexx in the back of the head with her blaster and knocked him unconscious. Aaray pushed the unconscious Vexx off of her and took his ID tags, they read: "Vector "Vexx" Jukal, human, 32." She took the tags and thought of her victory. 'Well done Aaray, well done indeed. Wait- did I just say Jibber-jabber?' Aaray could feel her cheeks heat up as she blushed, not that it could be seen with her blood red skin. She then headed towards their base back to Jory, Braden, and Mako. Not knowing Mako was in a cantina, only a couple blocks down.
Mako sighed. "Time to go home I guess, Aaray'll be back any minute." she whispered to herself. She headed back to the base, to find Aaray over two lifeless bodies. Jory and Braden's bodies.
"Wha-what happened?!?!?!?!?!" yelled Mako at the Bounty Hunter. "Mako!" Aaray ran to hug her, but Mako pushed her away. "I was so worried, I came back and found Jory and Braden, I thought you were gone!" Mako just stared at the bodies in shock. "The old man, is he..............?" Aaray said nothing and gave her friend a sympathetic look and reached for her shoulder. "NO! No, he, he can't be!" She rushed over to Braden's body and wept. Aaray knelt down to comfort her friend, trying to hold back tears herself. "Mako, I-, I'm sorry, Braden and Jory were good men." Mako pulled her face up and stopped crying, she then stood up and spun on Aaray, holding her wrist in anger. "YOU! You had something to do with this!" Aaray was shocked. "Mako, I wouldn't! You know that! Why would I do this?" Mako suddenly changed expressions, her face ridden with guilt.
"I- I'm sorry, I guess I just- I know you didn't have any reason to hurt him. I just can't believe he's gone, and-" Aaray put her hand up. "It's ok, I know what you mean." Mako then looked confused. "But, if you didn;t do this, then who did?" "Do you guys have security holo's? " Mako rushed over to the holoterminal. "Yes! How did I not think of that?! The holo's been tampered with, but I can fix it." A minute later a holo came up showing Braden, Jory, and two Mandalorians. "Move and you're dead." Said the holo version of Braden. "Now, if you know what's good for you, you'll turn around, and go back nice and slow." Then one of the Mandalorians spoke, the younger one. "Don't worry old man, I DO know what;s good for me, and that's winning the Great Hunt. When I win, not one person in the galaxy will EVER forget the name of Tarro Blood. And prices for my services will be as high as the Senate Tower am I right Sedyn?" The elder one, cyborg by the looks of it with a high mohawk and goatee spoke next. "Only Alderaanian lords will be able to afford you Tarro." Braden put a furious look on his face, fire burning in his eyes. "Tarro Blood? I've heard of you. Nearly got crippled by other Mandalorians in the Great Hunt 10 years ago, put on quite the show." Blood looked surprisingly calm and exceedingly confident. "Ah, yes. An unfortunate bit of history that won't be repeated. This time I shall win, and nobody will even remember that little event. Which will be so much easier if I could just get rid of those rat-faced Boutny Hunters, and only have fellow Mandalorians as my competition. Let's go over the list shall we? The Chiss droid builder fond of explosives? Gone. Twi'lek Vibroblade master? Gone. That jsut leaves your little protege old man." Jory had never been so angry, and you could see it in his eyes he was about ot shoot to kill. "Then your quest has failed! Aaray is not here, and now your plan is revealed!" Tarro had a evil grin on his tattooed face. "You misunderstand, hardly unpredictable from a dim-witted alien such as yourself. The rules prevent contenders from killing other contenders before the Great Hunt starts. I simply eliminated them as threats, and how does one stop a charging gundark, any ideas, Sedyn?" "Blast his legs out from under him, and he can't get you." "Exactly." Replied the devious Mandalorian. "Destroy the Hunter's crew, and I'll be outside, unassumingly unaware." Blood's figure then left the room. Braden was quick on his feet, but not quick enough. "Jory! Open fire!" But Sedyn already had his blaster out and shot them both.
Aaray heard Mako sniffle and went to comfort her. "That scum." She said softly. "He didn't even have the courage to kill them. He had his cohort do it! The cowardly bastard." She then walked across the room and Aaray followed. Mako put her hands on her hips. "He claimed he was Tarro Blood. He's a big shot even for a Mandalorian. When Blood started out ten years ago, he was HUGE news. Rumor is everybody united against him when he entered the Great Hunt." "So know he's making sure the cards are played in his favor." replied the Zabrak. "If what he said was true, he's already 'partied' with some of the other competitors. He barely escaped being disqualified from the Hunt last time, he was out on his back for a LONG time." She bent down and search Jory's body. "Blood;s determined to win the Great Hunt, our best bet is to get you into that competition." "If it means finding Braden and Jory's killer, i'll tear apart the whole galaxy." said Aaray. "I appreciate that alot. Braden was practically my father. He didn't deserve this at ALL. Neither did sarcastic, greedy little Jory. There's one issue though, Braden spent all our credits getting us here. We're stuck on this damn planet. We need Nem'ro, he;'s the only Crime Boss on this stink pot with enough popularity to get you into the Great Hunt. If... Nobody knows about Braden.... I might be able to get you a meeting with Nem'ro." Aaray hugged her friend. "It'll be alright. I promise. Look." She handed her Vexx's ID tags. "Take the tags. It'll be enough for two proper burials." "I- I don't know what to say. You don;t have to do that." "Braden and Jory were friends, and good men, they deserve it." "I-, thank you. I really appreciate that. I'll find a good spot as ever on this stink pot of a planet. We're gonna have to impress Nem'ro even more now. His enemies are floating all around Hutta, take down some leaders, and you'll score big points with the Hutt." "Can do. Come on, I think you need a drink." Mako smiled faintly and briefly, and the two walked off to the cantina.