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Old 08-13-2006, 09:35 PM   #115
No One Liners
JasraLantill's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Scotland, UK
Posts: 2,389
Current Game: SWOTR
The Walking Carpets Guild Member  Alderaan News Holopics contributor  LFN Staff Member  Roleplayer 
Chapter 13 - Part 4

A large, colourful hologram of exploding fireworks suddenly spurted from the centre console, followed by loud and cheery, but flamboyantly cheesy, music and a computer generated blue-hued Twi’Lek announcer dressed in a sparkly sequin suit who spoke in smooth, sing-song baritone Basic.

“Hurry, hurry, hurry!” the announcer began. “Ti-ime is running Out, for the Greatest Gaming Extravaganza in all the known Galaxy!”

A passage of music played and an imaginary crowd cheered, while pop up banners with large flashing letters spelling out ‘Hurry’s and ‘Gaming Extravaganza’ in exceedingly bright splashes of colour as the scrolled up from behind the announcer.

“Tacky, I know,” Kye commented, catching Bastila’s eyebrows raising. “But it does grab your attention.”

“Indeed,” said Bastila.

“Bako, Lugjack, Tregald, aaa-nd Schickele!” the announcer continued, as a montage of pictures of happy people playing and winning each game appeared around him. “Uvide, Spinner Pits and everyone’s favourite, the Juuuu-bilee Wheels! Swoop Racing, Pit Fighting, and Dueling! And, don’t forget, the Largest Open Invitation Pazaak Tournament This Galaxy Has Ever Seen, with a Top Prize of FIVE MILLION GALACTIC CREDITS!”

“Don’t you just love the way this guy actually makes you hear the capital letters in the sentences?” Kye commented, as she casually leaned back in her chair to watch the advertisement.

“All Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Onderon Restoration Fund to Help Rebuild IZIZ! What better reason is there, I ask you, to Come and PLAY!” More applause. “It’s a Good Cause, Time is Short, Spaces are Limited, and YOU COULD WIN BIG!”

More music and more applause, and then the announcer continued his pitch. “The Planet is Onderon, the City is Iziz, and the Time is Now! Spaces Are Limited, but Registration is FREE! All Forms of Currency, ACCEPTED! No Credits? NO PROBLEM! Just bring along any items of value, and Trade Them In for Credits at the Valuator’s Booth!” A holographic blank form flashed on and off below the announcer, prompting the watcher to input their details and send it to the organizers. “So-ooooo? What are you waiting for?! Send in Your Registration Form TODAY, and YOU COULD BE A WINNER!”

“Then again, you could not be, too,” said Carth, as more music, applause and more pictures of happy, winning people collecting credits flashed everywhere around the virtual registration form.

“Shh! You’ll miss the best part,” said Kye.

In a very rapid tone, and decidedly lower monotone pitch the announcer said all in one breath, “Registration does not include antes, tournament fees, or any mandatory management charges for private games; odds of winning may vary; prizes shown here not typical of average winnings; trade-in valuations based on item’s current market value only; all games played in accordance with gaming code 4118.8.96; all fees final and non-refundable; organisers assume no liability for accidental injuries, dismemberment, or death during play,” as tiny, print scrolled rapidly across the bottom of the display.

“So-o, come to Onderon and Play! YOU COULD BE A WINNER!” The fireworks shot off again, and the announcer grinned broadly, as more banners with ‘Onderon’ and ‘Iziz’ and ‘Winner’ hovered around him. The upbeat music rose to a crescendo as the last fireworks exploded, then the hologram disappeared, leaving only the flashing form on the datapad screen.

“Well,” said Bastila. She cleared her throat. “That was… interesting.”

Kye grinned. “Notice, erm, anything…odd about it though?”

“You mean besides the guy sounding like a swoop race announcer on too much spice?” said Mission. “Sure had lots of disclaimers at the end.”

“Yeah,” agreed Canderous. “And what the heck is Gaming Code 4-1-whatever? I’ve sure never heard of it.”

“Rules, disclaimers, regulations. It sounds very… Jantessan,” said Rade.

Kye grinned. “Very. And that’s how I know Berland knows where to find the Gem. If he knew like you did that Co’Vanni had the Gem on Degos V, it wouldn’t take much effort to send a message ahead of you. And, it would take him even less time to find out that Co’Vanni likes to gamble and that he was in debt.”

“So, you’re going to help us then?” Bastila asked.

“For the moment,” said Kye. “But that doesn’t mean I trust you.”

“Fair enough,” said Rade. “Well, at least we know where to find for Co’Vanni once we get to Onderon.”.

“You mean, ‘look’ for him,” said Kye. “Finding him is going to be a bit more difficult. Even if there really is a gambling tournament going on.”

“But you said Co’Vanni was your business partner?” said Rade. “Surely you wouldn’t have any trouble spotting him.”

Kye was quiet.

“Okay, what are you ‘withholding’ this time?” Rade asked her.

“Well…remember when I said that Co’Vanni was tricky and sneaky?”

“Yes,” said Rade.

“And how I said he assumed the real Co’Vanni’s identity.”

“Ye-es,” Rade said slowly.

“Well, he’s a….” Kye paused. “Well…he sort of has this ability to….” She paused again. “Look, I’m really not sure exactly ‘what’ he is, or where he’s from. I never really asked, to be honest. It always seemed sort of rather…impolite to ask. At any rate, he’s going to be a bit difficult to locate. Especially if he… changes.”

Rade cleared his throat impatiently. “Changes?”

“Yeah, he does that sometimes. He’s a… shape-shifter.”

Rade slowly closed his eyes. “Great.”

Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)
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