It’s been a few weeks since Randall Nebula saw Callia and the rest of the merry band of misfits. His life is probably running so much smoother when he doesn’t have to rescue their sorry asses, especially when one of his operatives isn’t getting nearly dead with them.
It’s sometime in the middle of one of those weeks when his rebel cell will receive an incoming transmission. Transmissions are all part of any day, though this comes with no call signs or on a frequency that identifies this individual as a fellow rebel.
If and when he chooses to answer it, he will see the 3D head of one Callia Colmill.
“Callia,” Randall says in surprise. “You missed me already?” The rebel commander was wearing a smile and seemed relieved to hear from the Jedi. Though the prisoner they left in his charge after their last encounter had been more trouble than he was worth, Randall Nebula generally felt the experiences with Callia had been positive, even lucrative. The rebels have made good use of the Imperial shuttle the Jedi and her friends had hijacked.
Nebula closed the door to his office for privacy and sat with a sigh at his desk. His knee was acting up again. Doc told him it would never be the same.
Callia offers a subdued smile in return. “Commander, it is good to see you. I hope things are faring well with the rebellion.” She replies. “I wish I could say this was a leisurely call, but I cannot.” Callia and her friends always pay lucratively to the rebels, it would seem. “We need your and possibly the rebellion’s help. I’m attempting to track down the location of a Bounty Hunter. Mandalorian armor, female I believe.”
Straight to the point, it seems. Her friend’s life is on the line, here.
The rebel leader turns in his chair a bit as he thinks. “I can think of a few women who fit that description,” he confesses. “The Mandalorian people seem particularly well suited to hunting. If only they felt as inclined to join the rebellion,” Nebula says.
He studies the flickering holo before him. Mandalorians are not the only people Randall Nebula feels would greatly help in the struggle against tyranny.
“Can you narrow it down? Where has she been? Does she have a ship? Heck, what colour is her armour?”
“Hunting has been one part of their history for a long time,” Callia agrees. “I’m sure there may be a few out there who would, but considering the upheavel Mandalore has been in for the past twenty years…”
She shakes her head softly. “Those who need to join the Rebellion will when they are truly ready.” She sees that look Randall. “Her last known location was Nar Shaddaa. I’m not sure what type of ship she has, but I know she has one. Her armour colour is a dark chrome, not with the usual blue or red you would see on Mandalorian armour. It’s all solid.”
Randall Nebula thinks on this, tapping his fingertips against his lips. He turns and reaches for a data pad, flipping through the pages until he finds the section he is searching for, and reviewing. “I see one here that matches that description. Dark chrome with marking of blue that are partially scraped off. Goes by the name Shard,” he says, eyes glancing up at the holo of Callia every few moments.
“She’s been busy,” he continues, sounding impressed. “Her activity has greatly increased in the past four months. She has been bringing in contracts for Black Sun, Zaan Consortium, the Hutt Cartel, and even what’s left of the Exchange. A brazen attack on a casino on Cloud City, as well. Does this sound like her?”
“Shard.” Callia repeats, her lips pursing into a thin line. Well, it’s nice to have a name to associate with the helmet. She lets out a soft sigh, indicated by the way her nostrils flare in the holo. “The attack on the casino was on us, specifically. She was after Zet. You wouldn’t happen to know where she has been in the past week, would you?”
A soft, dark grin crosses her features. “Thinking about trying to recruit her?”
That draws a chuckle from the weary soldier, “The Empire wouldn’t see her coming.”
“I’ll have my team look into it. We monitor some reports of bounty hunters and criminal organizations but we are generally more focused on the Empire,” he says. It isn’t meant to be dismissive but that is surely little condolence to someone seeking their friend.
Randall’s expression changes and he looks back at Callia. “She got Zet, didn’t she?”
“That is true. If she ever changes her tune, perhaps she can be directed that way.” Callia smiles.
There is an edge to that smile, though. “With good reason, I assume. Those organizations could be consorting with the Empire or trying their own methods to thwart them. I understand wanting to keep your fingers in all the pies.” She is good at keeping her emotions in check.
That is, until Randall asks the direct question. “She did, yes. For all I know, she may have already collected her bounty as well.”
Nebula’s expression becomes more serious. “These reports suggest Shard is a businesswoman. She’s efficient and clearly keeps busy. Depending on the destination, it’s entirely likely she’s collected on the bounty and moved on,” he explains.
His hands work at the data pad once more, then he shifts his attention to a console built into his desk. “Who posted the bounty would be more important,” he says.
Callia is silent for a long time. Her mind is getting away with her, the onslaught of worry and ‘what-ifs’ taking over. She cannot be in this mind space. She must be strong for her friends, especially for Santos. “Of course she would have…” She mutters offhand, a deeper sigh escaping her lips. “The Black Sun is who posted the bounty. They operate out of everywhere, though. I am not sure which chapter in particular was looking for Zet.” Though if we can match her flight logs from Nar Shaddaa to where-ever she landed next, it might help."
“I can’t tell from this either, but we aren’t exactly card carrying members of criminal organizations,” he confesses with a shrug. For all the shadiness Zetnu’ri attributed the rebel commander, Randall Nebula and many other rebels are fairly benign and lack the stomach for criminal enterprise.
“I don’t even have data on her being on Nar Shaddaa in the timeline you gave,” he continues with a shake of his head. “I will keep digging but we are stretched pretty thing. Do you want us to look for Shard or Black Sun locations?”
“Hmm.” Callia murmurs softly. “No, of course. It was a longshot, but I thought I would give you a try.” Callia replies. She rubs her temples. “She must be going well under the radar, then. I’m not surprised. If you don’t mind and have the resources to spare, we would appreciate it. In the meantime, I should allow you to get back to your work.”
“I’ll do what I can for you, Callia” Randall says in earnest. "But with my resources tied up in the war, I can only afford to look for one or the other. Do you want us to focus on finding the bounty hunter who took Zet or finding Black Sun hideouts Zet might be at? "
The Jedi can feel the weight of the force in this decision.
Callia swallows, weighing her options carefully. Either option isn’t the most promising way of getting things done and there are good sides and bad sides to most decisions. She stares away from the holo for a moment, eyes darting to one side.
“The Black Sun hideouts.” She finally replies. Whatever happens is the will of the Force. All she can do is follow it’s guidance and do what needs to be done. This isn’t truly her Trial, but she can help guide the path as best she can.