Chapter 38, Part 3

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Daniah keyed a code and the Halcyon's boarding ramp lowered on landing pad 2471 with a thud. She walked down the ramp, followed by Ben, and was immediately struck by the humidity. Weather shield or no, it's like someone's always spraying you with a warm water bottle.

"So where's this Muru?" asked Ben.

"Just look for a chubby, turquoise Rodian, wearing clothes far too tight for comfort."

"At least an eye sore is easy to spot."

Daniah grinned. "I know. It explains why I've never struggled finding you."

Ben feigned a wounded look, which Daniah ignored.

She looked around the landing pads and their assortment of starships for her supplier, Muru Oja. Shuttle cars and cargo vehicles zipped by, and mouse droids scuttled along the ground. Little turrets demarcated the landing pads and provided light to ease landing. Through the background glow of cycling advertisements on the turrets, Daniah saw the pudgy face of a corpulent Rodian.

Muru was sitting on the back of a vehicle, eating--although it looked more like attacking--some snack. The fat Rodian looked up and motioned them to come to her. Daniah judged that no doubt Muru wanted to prolong getting up. But was that because she was lazy or was she hurt during the bombing on Nagobu street?

Muru plopped the crispy exoskeleton of some bug down and wiped her mouth. When Daniah got close, she pointed to another bug in her container and asked, "Voshti?"

"No thanks, Muru," said Daniah.

Muru smacked her forehead. "Oh, that's right! Cajalas can't eat this." She smiled. "I didn't really want to share anyway. I'll be burping this sweetness up all night -- a gift from the gods."

Daniah frowned. What a completely unnecessary detail. If the food was anything like that, Daniah didn't mind it not being edible. Of course, looking at the furry, gooey exoskeleton of the voshti, she didn't think she could stick it in her mouth. She stopped entertaining the idea before thought turned into vomit.

"Quite a pity," Ben said. "I've heard excellent reports of this Rodian delicacy." Daniah snorted. That comment could only be true if Rodian "specialties" were compared with Baragwin cuisine.

Muru seemed to notice Kenobi for the first time. "Daniah, baby! How long you been shacking up with this slab of meat?" Muru circled around Ben, her mechanical eyes zooming and adjusting to get different looks at him.

"Not shacking. Doing business, Muru."
"That what they call it now?"

Daniah ignored the comment. "This here's my payload specialist... Regar Waddlecock." Ben looked confused and Muru bust out laughing.

"That's some alias for your beau, Daniah. You don't have to tell me who he is or what you're doing here if you don't want to. Just like that crazy, awnry Bith you sent into my lounge earlier who wouldn't tell me anything. Baby, he really had something up a wind tunnel. Anyway, most clients prefer it that way. Can't snitch on what you you don't know."

"Sorry about your place."

"A minor setback, but thanks. Recent events have opened... opportunities."

Daniah's attention was pulled to an approaching autori soldier and droid. Pudu, not now.

"What is it, baby?"

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