078 days 14 hours 33 minutes 22.578 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
The crew has decided the optimal place for repairs will be Nar Shadaa. Bran explained that the multitudes of criminals and beings of ill-repute are often willing to offer services at prices below market value of other worlds. He also informed us that we are not morally culpable if the vendor we chose used parts were stolen at some point, it’s not like we stole them. Barook argued, but it is inescapable logic that we had not stolen anything in this particular instance, so I chose to devote my prodigious computational ability to other tasks while they continued the discussion.
079 days 10 hours 03 minutes 42.563 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
After landing on Nar Shadaa, the crew set about their various tasks. Demergo made a call to Napter, and soon he and Arrianta were headed out to collect on a bounty. They didn’t fill us in on the details, but based on how enthusiastic Demergo was, I calculated that it was 97.345% likely it was a “Dead” bounty.
The rest of us were gathered in the hold and Barook told us that he had a mission for us. Bran said that a business opportunity had appeared and excused himself to prepare for the meeting.
Barook told the rest of us of the request Captain Plimpton had made of us. We were to meet with a merchant who was offering materials to resupply the Anderson. The supplies had already been purchased, and all we had to do was pick them up and load them onto the Moth. It was to “be a routine operation, and would go quickly, especially with Vap and my help.”
079 days 10 hours 10 minutes 03.890 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
Having heard that the operation was to go quickly in either instance, I computed that my help was unnecessary. Bran had mentioned that his opportunity involved a potential employer for a completely legitimate shipping operation. Based on my calculation that such dealings had an 83.451% chance to lead to trouble, I trailed after him to provide my much more likely to be needed assistance.
As he left to discuss the proposition with the client at an upscale restaurant, I noticed that he took a large sum from petty cash. He noticed the inquisitive swivel of my dome and blink of my photoreceptor and explained that business expenses such as a nice meal, drinks, a little gambling, and a posh hotel room for himself were all part of appearing as a legitimate freight business, and it would all be more than covered by the deal that he would undoubtedly broker.
079 days 11 hours 03 minutes 16.012 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
As we entered the casino, my sensors were bombarded with flashing lights through the smoky haze of a variety of spices. Bith, ugnauts, a whiphid, an enormous pair of herglics, rodians, dugs, falleen, gotals, and other species my database was unable to recognize bleated, growled, buzzed, and shouted over the calls of dealers and the blaring of the gambling machines. Upon taking in the sight, Bran said under his breath, “Deal me in.”
Puzzled by the order, but not one to argue my crewmates, I rolled over to one of the dealer droids. It took forging an order for it to check in for routine maintenance, but I did get it to leave so I could take over its post. Bran was very enthusiastic about me dealing sabaac for some reason, and he told me he’d share the winnings with me. But his grin turned to a scowl before long, and he left the table after losing several consecutive hands.
He had kept taking me aside and telling me to deal him better cards, but each time I had explained to him that the outcome of the game was random he had just winked at me. Organics are so difficult to understand sometimes.
Another bothan with cream-colored fur joined the table after Bran left. He stayed at the table for an hour, sometimes winning, sometimes losing, but enjoying himself the whole time. Bran has repeatedly said that you can always trust a bothan, so before too long I found myself deep in conversation with the fellow.
He told me of the shop he ran several levels down as he fidgeted with his scanner goggles. “I have the best droid parts in the galaxy.” He looked me up and down. “You look like you could use an upgrade or two yourself. Stop by later if you have a chance.”
He reached into his frayed jumpsuit pocket and handed me a holocard. As I took it in my manipulator arm, his words replayed along my neural pathways, “best droid parts in the galaxy.” I caught my reflection in the chrome plating of a passing server droid. The bothan was right; I did have a few upgrades in mind. And didn’t Bran always say to never settle for less than the best?
079 days 16 hours 24 minutes 37.954 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
It seemed odd what my new bothan acquaintance had asked me to do in exchange for the parts. He wanted me to download a file from another shop and return to help him decrypt it.
I told him that that sounded an awful lot like illegal espionage, but he assured me that the owner of the shop was his friend and had offered him the file, it was just the owner’s day off, and he hated to be a bother when his friend was taking in some much-needed rest and relaxation.
It sounded far fetched, but Bran had said to always trust a bothan.
I rolled into the shop, a less-than-reputable establishment that seemed more likely to house a fugitive Demergo was chasing than the data I was after. Machine and computer parts were stacked haphazardly on row upon row of dusty shelves in no discernable system. The devoronian clerk was too busy making lusty promises to his paramour on the comm to even notice my presence, so I rolled back to the door marked “Employees Only”.
The backroom was, if possible, worse. It was a maze of abandoned parts, pieces, and wiring, a labor droid chassis here, a Clone Wars era tactical droid head there. Vap would have been right at home.
Avoiding questions from the disheveled dug manning the computer was also easy. He was fast asleep. His hands and feet dangled down to the floor, while his face rested on the desk. A glistening strand of drool connected his mouth to the keyboard.
I rolled up to the computer tower and jacked in. I was momentarily shocked to find that the computer was so… functional. The employees here were as good at programming and building computers as they were bad at cleanliness and basic hygiene.
Fortunately for me, the advanced security protocols didn’t matter as the dug had logged into the system before falling asleep. Within moments I had the data disc in my manipulator arm and was on my way.
079 days 18 hours 03 minutes 02.186 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
Back at the bothan’s shop, a much cleaner and tidier (though somehow no less seedy) affair, I was tasked with cracking the encryption on the files. I asked why he didn’t have the passwords when he was given permission to access the files and was told that he did have the passwords, he’d just lost them was all. And the original owner was probably napping and was not to be disturbed. And how about I just did what I had agreed to do?
Decryption didn’t take long at all, especially since I didn’t bother to scan for viruses or other malware before downloading the files onto the bothan’s computer. I'm sure he could deal with it if it came up.
And so it was that I found myself happily dragging a hovercart full of parts back to the VAPR Moth. More paint to finish the project I had begun several standard months ago, some tools to replace the cheaper ones I had been working with, and the components necessary to make the schematics I had designed into a reality. That would be quite fun.
080 days 13 hours 39 minutes 57.080 seconds Galactic Standard Time since Initialization
Upon returning to the Moth I discovered that Bran’s dealings had gone off without a hitch. Barook’s undertaking, on the other hand, had turned out to be a disaster and they repeatedly told me that my help would have been appreciated. Statistically, such unlikely events are bound to happen now and again.
More importantly, I finished assembling the pieces of my intended upgrade, and I must say that it will undoubtedly come in handy. A bit noisier (and my companions tell me smellier) than originally planned, but I’m not bothered in the slightest.
And there’s enough paint left over to give myself a new look to go with my new capabilities! All in all, it was a very profitable excursion for the crew of the VAPR Moth.