“I’m Corso and this is Skavak” shouted the younger of the two, attempting to make himself heard over the sound of gunfire.
“What is going on out there” Tajqa shouted back.
Skavak, glanced at the younger smuggler and yelled back at Tajqa “WHAT?”
Tajqa leaned over and spoke closer to Skavak’s ear.
“I said, what is going on out there? It sounds like a war zone.”
“That’s because it’s a war zone” answered Corso.
The war with the Sith Empire had been over for five years, and much of the central Republic worlds were still dedicating what scarce resources they had to rebuilding their infrastructure. This meant that much of the worlds on the outer rim where left to fend for themselves – and Ord Mantell was about as far out on the outer rim as it gets and could still be called “civilization.”
When the Sith war machine made its way across the galaxy, leaving destitute worlds in its wake, joining the Republic alliance had seemed like a good idea to people of Ord Mantell. But when the dust settled and the varied armies of the Republic limped back to their home systems things were different. The promised reciprocity in return for military support never materialized. What little aid was proffered was little more than symbolic, allowing politicians to claim they had upheld their agreements at least in part.
In the end, what issues where important to politicians where meaningless to the average citizen. As it was, when the populace doesn’t have enough to eat, it didn’t matter whether the owner of the local market was Sith or from the Republic; it only matter who could stock the shelves. So when push came to shove to shove, you can only shove so much before someone starts to push back….
And the first people to get shoved off world were the citizens of the central system Republic worlds who had become wealthy off supplying arms, and not always to the same side. The Republicans had come to Ord Mantell meddling in local politics, buying up property and business’ at desperately low post war prices. It was about this time the people of Ord Mantell Republicans had dubbed “separatists” turned to the same underworld figures upon which they had once heaped disdain to supply the arms to do the shoving. And people like Viidu, for whom Tajqa smuggled, were more than willing to supply the needed firepower.
As Viidu was wont to say, his mother only raised on stupid child, and it wasn’t him. That was why he chose a small warehouse in remote village on Ord Mantell to make the drop of arms that were smuggled past the Republican blockade.
“ I’m picking up those blasters in your cargo hold, said the man who identified himself Skavak. Excuse the rush but I need to get out of here quick. This village used to be safe but the separatists are taking over.”
“Where’s Viidu,” said Tajqa, “he was supposed to meet me here to take delivery of the blasters.”
Skavak point out the large warehouse door, past Tajqa’s light freighter, toward explosions that where lighting up the darkening evening sky.
“He’s on the other side of that.”