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Title: Malandu's Horticulture

jamfke - March 10, 2006 04:56 AM (GMT)
Makus stared at the holonet feed piping in over the vid screen on the corner of the counter. It had been a slow day in the shop and he was debating on whether or not to close up for lunch when his comlink began buzzing on his belt. He tugged the device free and hit the accept stud.

"Rancor 3, go."

The voice on the other end was the same he'd heard for some time now. Heavily modulated and scrambled to the point where not even the best slicer would be able to decode it, the person he heard would never be identified by a voice print analyzer.

"Rancor 3, there is a package needing delivery to Ryloth. It is very heavy, can you handle it?"

Makus thought for a moment, "very heavy" usually meant that it was an arms delivery or high security information.

"Will it require a binary load lifter?" he asked as a clarification of the material.

"No, but it must be hand delivered, and you might need a grav sled."

The item to be delivered was to be high security information, needing a grav sled meant that it was very serious information.

"I can handle it Jov. When and where do I make the pick up?"

"The package will be loaded on your ship by the time you get ready. It's an express delivery."

"Copy Jov, Rancor 3 out."

Makus had never been to Ryloth before. He'd heard about the strange world many times, and was very familiar with the Twi'lek species since upon coming to Coruscant, he'd been to several of the nightclubs near his apartment that featured the beautiful females of the race as dancers and serving maids. In fact, he fancied one such maid at the Laughing Jawa, Tee'la.

The blue skinned Rutian was quite timid, and it had taken Makus a long time to coax her into conversing with him, but his insistence eventually paid off. They'd been seeing each other for a couple of months now and he was becoming more and more infatuated with her every second he was in her presence.

He'd have to tell her he was going off planet for a time. Too bad he couldn't tell her where, for he was certain she'd love to have him deliver a message to her family there. But the nature of his business would put her at undue risk. Just being associated with him was more than enough, and he was in constant fear that he would be found out and something terrible would happen to her.

He thumbed the Malandu's frequency and sent him a hail. Malandu, the Ho'Din proprietor of the shop, was an older male of his species and was very proud of his business. Makus had told him that he'd gotten a delivery job that would require frequent jaunts away from Coruscant and the old walking flower said that he understood, but was still upset at times that were inconvenient for his employee to be leaving.

The comlink blipped receipt of the hail and was shortly followed by the old man's gentle voice, "Makus, is there something wrong?"

"No sir, just wanted to let you know that I have an emergency delivery and it cannot wait, I have to leave immediately. I'll lock up the shop before I go, do you have any special instructions for your plants?"

Malandu's sigh was characteristic of his unhappiness, "No, no, nothing special. The automated systems will keep everything fresh. I wish you didn't have to close up in the middle of the day like this though, you know it's bad for business."

"I know sir, and I'm sorry, but this job is really important to me. You understand don't you?"

The old Ho'Din paused for a moment, "Not really, but you have been the best help I've had in a long time. You really know what it means to take care of my babies. Please be careful and don't stay away too long, I'll call in Gorfwis to fill in for you. How long will you be gone anyway?"

Makus thought for a moment, "Probably a couple of weeks or longer, I'm really sorry."

"Stop appologizing. Just get back here in one piece, okay?"

"Yes sir, I'll do my best."

Makus disconnected the link and tucked his comlink back into his belt pouch. He shut down the register and fished his keys from another pouch as he headed to the door. Once outside, he locked up the shop and turned towards the spaceport. He'd have to call Tee'la in-flight. She hated to send him off without a kiss, but she too understood the importance of his job, at least as much as he let her know about it.

No time to waste, he hailed an air cab and directed the driver to the spaceport.

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