Tylan fell back against the chair, almost causing it to overturn. He caught himself and balanced as he sat down.
“Look, I don’t know who you people are or what you want from me, but you had better watch yourselves.”
I smiled, leaning in close to him. “Who we are is not important, what is important is that you tell us what you did with the artifact that you stole from the Blade Viper base.”
Tylan snorted. “So, she sent you to retrieve her precious artifact did she? Well, too bad because I don’t have it.”
I glanced up at Aiden and then back to Tylan. I could usually tell if someone was lying, and he didn’t seem to be.
“Well, why don’t you just tell me what happened to it then.”
“I..I didn’t steal it for myself or for my gang. They don’t know anything about it.”
I looked at him quizzically. “Well who did you steal it for?”
Tylan shrugged. “Some Twi’lek girl. She paid me a lot of money to steal it; said it was very important to her.”
My heart pounded at the words. Could the Twi’lek girl be Sinka? If so, what did she want with the artifact? Nothing good, that is for certain!
“How did this girl know where the artifact was at?” Aiden asked.
“She said something about feeling its presence, whatever that means. I met her at a cantina in the Blade Viper’s territory. I was already undercover there. My gang had sent me in to do some sabotage. The Twi’lek asked me if I could be bought. I thought it would be an easy way to make some extra credits.”
“How long ago did you give her the artifact?” I silently prayed that we weren’t too late to stop her.
“Two days ago.”
I felt my heart drop. Two days may not seem like a long time, but it is plenty long enough to get away from here and off to another planet.
“Did she happen to mention who she was or where she was headed?”
“ Do you really think she would spill out her life story to me, lady? I did her a service and I received my credits, that is all.” Tylan smiled slyly. “But that doesn’t mean that I did not do some sneaking around. She called herself Sinka. I followed her to the landing platforms and caught a peek at her hyperspace coordinates, as she was preparing to leave.”
“And why would you do that?”
“Let’s just say I had a feeling that someone like her was bound to have enemies. It is always a good idea to cover all of your bases. You never know when you will need information on someone to make a few extra credits.”
“Fine. How much are you going to charge us for this information?”
“Three Thousand credits, should do me well.”
“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!”
“Hey lady, I am providing you with a service, I expect to be paid what my knowledge is worth. Cut me some slack!”
I stepped toward him, eyes narrowed. “You are lucky I don’t cut off your head!” I reached for my vibroblade.
“Now, Now! No need for violence, lady! Fine, how about fifteen hundred?”
I took another step.
“OK lady, you drive a hard bargain. How about one thousand?”
As I took another step, Aiden spoke.
“Give it to him. It is worthwhile information.”
I grunted and made the exchange. I backed away from Tylan. “This information better not prove to be false.”
“It is not. I may be a criminal, but I am honest.” He gave us a crooked smile as he stood up. “Nice doing business with you.”
We watched him as he left the private room. Aiden and I walked out and regrouped with the others.
“Why didn’t you just make him give us the information for nothing, Aiden?”
“Because, Na’sha, you will not learn anything by mind tricking everyone you come across. Sometimes it is best to use other methods.”
I shook my head. “I will never understand how the Jedi work.”
“That my love, is only because you refuse to listen.”
Back in Blade Viper territory, we used Dak’s shop once again as a base. We stowed our gear and gave ourselves a moment to relax. Dak spoke first.
“Saving this girl from the swoop gang is gona cost us precious time we could be using to get to your Twi’lek friend.”
I nodded. “Yes, but saving this girl is what led us to her whereabouts in the first place.”
“So, now that we have no artifact to give the Vipers, what is our next move?”
“The only thing we can do, is break into the base and take Manias’s girl.”
“Well, why can’t we just pretend to have the artifact and use that as a means to get back in the base more easily. They will take us back there if they think we have it.”
“That is true, but they took our weapons last time.”
Aiden shook his head. “I would have to alter a lot of minds to stop them from taking your weapons, even more so once we were back inside the base. I think we can navigate our way in secret and take out the guards at the entrance. Once inside, it will be tricky, but between the four of us, I believe we can do this. I know where the prisoners are kept and it shouldn’t be a problem to get to her.”
I trusted Aiden’s judgment. He had not let me down yet and so I nodded in agreement. Now we needed to plan and rest. So far, luck had been on our side, but tomorrow was going to be a doozy!