Dinner with an old Friend otherwise known as plugging into the network
Posted on Wed Jan 27th, 2021 @ 6:03am by Lieutenant Aukil Secra
Aukil left the Cantina and the others to make her engagement with Zogrin. Both of their peoples were traditionally known as slaves throughout the galaxy, but some of them had risen above those labels by sheer determination. Zogrin was one that was free but chose to work for a very high wage for a wealthy trader. He also happened to know more about what was going on than anyone else Aukil knew when it came to the Imperials, his job depended on it to keep his boss's name off of their radar.
Zogrin had actually cooked dinner for them. It had been a year since the last time he and Aukil had spent any time together and he enjoyed her company. He thought about how she had lifted herself from the ranks of slavery through sheer grit and subterfuge. If anyone could get out of a tight spot, it was Aukil and she had helped him more times than he could count get out of tight spots.
She stopped outside his door and had to whistle softly to herself. Zogrin had done well for himself. He had a decent home, an almost mansion, here on Nar Shaddaa with security of it's own to keep out the unwanted. She had brought him his favorite wine from Alderaan and some spiced candied flyers from his home world as a gift. She pushed the button to let him know she was there.
Zogrin looked over at the security screen and saw it was Aukil at his door. With a smile, he let her in, but didn't leave his spot in the kitchen as he finished the meal. When she came around the corner, he picked up a spoon and held it our to her, "Does it need anything, Aukil?"
Laughing, Aukil took the spoon and dipped it into the pan and lifted some to her lips. It tastes wonderful but she it was the game they played, so she pretended to be critical of it. "Well, I think it has a little too much acid in it, it will give me heartburn for a week. And you are supposed to braise the meat, not turn it into charcoal chunks." She said and set the spoon down. She also set down the wine and the treat on the counter. "Don't you have a maid, Zogrin? This place is a mess, especially if you were expecting company." She finished and sat down at the impeccably clean table and looked at the fine china and crystal place settings.
Zogrin snorted. "What have you gone and done, Aukil? You are getting fat and flabby? Forget how to run? Hell, I don't think anyone would pay to spend even a minute with you now, they would have to be paid." He said, returning the compliments. The friends laughed and Zogrin joined her at the table. "So, what brings you to my neck of the woods?"
"I need information, Zogrin, on the current movements of the Empire. I've joined with some others who want to make life very unpleasant for our Imperial friends." She said simply.
"And just who might these "others" be, Aukil? There are groups out there more dangerous than the Empire."
"For everyone's protection, Zogrin, I can't tell you just now. I will tell you that they are good people though and conquest isn't their goal, a restoration of freedom is, however. I think you would like them." Aukil said, meeting his eyes so he would know she wasn't being forced in this and she truly believed she was doing the right thing here.
Zogrin nodded. "At the moment, the Empire is trying to consolidate power. There are rumors all over about a new Jedi order being raised up and they want that quashed and fast. There is also a supposedly rebellion alliance growing to fight against them. But you know how talk is when there is a faction trying to crush the people and they whisper of hope."
Aukil nodded. "Yes, I know. Where is this "supposed rebellion" gathering?" She asked, curious.
"Look, Aukil, I don't even know if it's true or not. But rumors say they are gathering at Naboo. Whispers from the Empire say they will destroy Naboo if even a single rebel is found there. But you know Gunguns, there is no reasoning with them."
"Yes, I know. I'm sorry for those on Naboo then." Well, that was half way across the galaxy from where Haven was, so that was good at the moment. 'Any other rumors?"
Zogrin shrugged. "The usual, riches to be found here and there, Empire building forces on certain planets, ignoring others, and a hope of a rebellion to free everyone."
Aukil smiled. "Okay, enough talk. I know you will keep me informed of anything do with the Imperial movements. I'll see if I can't keep you supplied with some hard to get goodies."
Zogrin rested his chin on his chest a moment and then looked at Aukil. "You know something, Aukil, about the whispered hope."
"There is always hope, Zogrin, never forget that. Even in the darkest night and coldest hell, there is always hope." She said and watched as Zogrin slowly smiled.
"I'll make sure you know everything I do, Aukil. The same code and same channels." Zogrin felt better now, his friend Aukil was fighting for this rebellion, there was indeed hope.
"Who's selling supplies now at the best price, Zogrin?" She asked as they started to eat the meal that Zogrin had made.
"Lambean, has the best live stock for the best price. Seeds and pollinators, you can get those from Po'tak. Food stuffs in bulk, Hutt Susa. Building supplies, you need to go talk to Nartin, he'll be tough, but he's fair and his goods are the best to be had. Did I miss anything?" Zogrin said.
"Just medical supplies. Can't bring hope if everyone is dead." Aukil said with a grin.
"Oh, right. I don't use em myself, but little folk like you need em. You need to go see Grandma Rosa then, best in the entire galaxy." Zogrin said. "I send my own guys to her and she patches them up a dream."
"Thanks, Zogrin." They spent the rest of the meal insulting each other and acting like enemies rather than friends, but it stopped short of destroying anything but pride and dignity. When they parted ways, both felt better, and were laughing. There is always hope, Aukil thought and headed to her ship for the night.