Geonosis is a pit. It isn’t much to look at from space, and it’s worse on the ground. It’s covered with dirty scum and filth, but that’s just the locals. The planet is a dry collection of dusty wastelands, with hive-like mounds that pass for cities.

“Why would I ever come here?” I wondered to myself as I dropped out of light speed. Then, I looked at the odds sheet for the next rounds of gladiatorial games and remembered, “The money.” The games attract a lot of attention. With that attention comes a lot of money. I’m not much of a gambler. I don’t like random outcomes. I’ll never lay a credit on the roll of a chance cube, but races and fighting aren’t gambling if you know enough about the people. You might say knowing about people is what I do.

I’m a detective.

In the Galactic Republic, that usually means I’m broke. I find enough jobs to keep my ship running, and I’ve been known to cross over to the Sith Empire for real spending money. If you’ve got the moral flexibility to work for a Sith, the pay is good. When I do have a few extra credits, I come to a place like this. I place a few carefully investigated bets on a pod race or a prizefight, collect my winnings, try not to get mugged, and get out of town before anybody figures me out.

I had a few extra credits, and there are some long odds on Geonosis this season. I thought it was a good match. I would learn better.

Things started out looking good. I got a landing pad adjacent to the arena. I figured it was my lucky day, so I’d try to get a couple of bets made before the windows closed. I was in a hurry. Nobody ever made a good decision in a hurry. I strapped my blaster to my hip and headed down the ramp.

I barely got off the landing pad when I heard the high shrill of a damsel in distress.


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