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Title: Act 2, Scene 1 - Sera. Honest living in a dishonest world.
Fandom: Star Wars.
Disclaimer: No ownership, no profit and no offence meant. Everyone is of the age of consent in their country and period of history
Author’s notes: This ‘verse started as a first anniversary gift for the members of the Canberra Star Wars Collectors Club. That story didn’t go very far but the idea stuck.

Summary: Sera’s patience starts to pay off.

It was surprisingly easy to make an honest living on a dishonest world like Corellia. Smugglers, pirates and bounty hunters lived hand to mouth, dreaming of the next big score. As a result, most of them ran their ships on a tack-repairs and hope. A mechanic willing to work for parts or small favours could make a comfortable living off the constant flow of traffic.

But more importantly, scoundrels gossiped! More than anyone else in the galaxy.

Everyone liked Skater. She was friendly, clever with cheap repairs and always had the very best gossip to share. She was also kind and sympathetic; the sort to buy someone a drink when they were down on their luck. On the promise they’d return the favour when they final hit the big one, of course. That promise rarely paid off but when it did it was worth it. There wasn’t a cantina in town where her bright blue hair wasn’t a welcome sight and it seemed like she’d always been there.

In truth it took Sera less than six months to establish her new identity in the space ports of Coronet City. A smart gamble here, a word in the right ear there, a package shifted from one ship to another on the quiet paid out well enough to rent herself a little workshop in the shadow of the port, the very gateway to the galaxy.

The Corellians had exactly the attitude towards the Empire one would expect from a proud sovereign system of mavericks and free-traders. That distain for authority made it easy to keep abreast of the latest news and the black markets of Treasure Ship Row made supply and demand easy enough to manage.

But the greatest currency of all in a place like this was gossip. There was nothing the scoundrels of Corellia loved to hear more than the stories of their comrades’ failures and successes. The later gave them hope they might pull off a score as good and the former made them feel better about their own sorry lot.

And Skater had a knack for collecting stories. Not to mention creating a few of her own. It was all about telling the right stories to the right people.

For instance – serious bounty hunters; real professionals didn’t tell their own stories. The stories always came from witnesses; a friend of a friend. Pros never bragged but encouraged embellishment when it made them look good and hushed up stories that didn’t. After all, how many stories about the real pros like Jango Fett started with ‘No shit, there I was...’

And right now, all the very best stories were about hunting Jedi. After all, for bounty hunters that’s where the money was right now. The Empire offered serious scratch for Jedi, delivered dead or alive. Needless to say that more than a few random corpses in robes were presented to Imperial Officers before the bounty was amended to require a lightsaber as proof. Even Sera made a few bucks making passable prop sabers before the wording was corrected to ‘working lightsaber’.

So it was with the stories about Val Kyrja. Her ship the Shield Maiden was said to be the fastest in the sector. It was said she never failed on a bounty but once turned down the money because she wanted to keep the lightsaber for herself. It was said she once had a Jedi lover and hated all Jedi because he jilted her to become a knight. The last story rather surprised Sera seeing she hadn’t made that one up. It didn’t take long before traders and smugglers were telling their own stories about their encounters with Val Kyrja.

No-one seemed to make the connection between the tall bounty hunter with her cropped blond and leather armour and the chatty mechanic, all frizzy blue hair and engine greasy. Why should they? Everyone knew Skater hit the big one in that poker match against that guy who pulled that job. Last I heard she bought a cantina in Tyrena. Or was that Kor Vella? We should look her up next time we’re there. What would that have to do with the arrival of infamous Val Kyrja?

She looked exactly like everyone expected from the stories – hair so short you could almost see her scalp, armour made from rancor hide; the one she’d killed herself. She was a Witch of Dathomir after all. Everyone knew that. She had spells, terrible force magic that she used to track down and defeated Jedi. As she strode through the market place, people got out of her way, whispering and pointing at the lightsaber she wore proudly and prominent as a trophy at her belt.

The Empire had issued a new bounty for a Jedi, a named one this time. They popped up from time to time, even a year after the purge, when a particular Jedi had surfaced or made trouble. And this one had to be something special or the great Val Kyrja wouldn’t be going after him. Gossip and stories flitted up and down the space port. The general consensus was that this D’rue Norseman must be the lover that jilted her all those years ago. Won’t want to be him for all the spice in Kessel!

Jedi Commander D’rue Norseman had surfaced at last and Sera was going to be damn sure she was the first one to reach him.

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February 2017

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