Chapter Twenty-Two: Call To Adventure

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Today

As Olulm prepared the ship for the short journey to Coruscant, Ishti used the time to look over the details of Gan's message, which he had previously only glanced at.

"Mission on Coruscant
Ishti, I'm sorry to interrupt your stay on Corellia, but I have another mission for you, one which is incredibly important. I expect you're starting to get suspicious about why I keep coming back to you, and I promise that I will tell you. I owe you that much. Meet me outside the Ganrog Bar on Coruscant's 1604th level, and bring Nyron with you. I know I said that leaving him was a good idea, but this mission will require his particular talents. I understand your feelings about him, and so I'll pay considerably more than last time: 100,000.
Gan"
Ishti almost laughed at Gan's audacity. How dare he? How dare he ask him to go near the insane psychopath who may have killed the two friends he had just mourned? Oh, he would go to Coruscant, but only because 100,000 was too much to turn down. But Nyron would not be a part of this mission; Nyron would never be a part of any mission, because could do it themselves, no matter what Gan thought. He would prove that treff wrong.

It was not long before they came out of hyperspace over the shining spherical circuit board of Coruscant. They entered the pristinely maintained atmosphere and began their descent to the lower levels. At the speed they went, it was quite easy to notice the steep gradient of decay - from shining silver and vibrant blue down to forbidding black and sickly orange. Ishti knew that it only got worse, that the cheap, dirty neon lighting would be treasured by the zombie-like inhabitants of the very lowest levels. Ishti shuddered to think of such a world, to have no light, no help, no hope. He quickly cast the thought from his mind lest he forget what was important to him right now, and reminded himself that he wasn't even going as low as level 1313.

They landed on one of the small, crowded collections of landing pads that were so common in the Coruscanti underworld, and made their way to the Ganrog Bar where Gan had said he'd be waiting. The streets, the walls, and even the inhabitants of this level were coated in filth, and although Ishti had seen worse not much further down, he hoped that this Ganrog Bar was a little more savoury.

Naturally, the Ganrog Bar was as disgusting as the rest of level 1604. The smeared sign beside the arched doorway depicted a kindly looking old Bith and a scowling Devaronian, presumably the founders or mascots of this mess, a strange companionship typical of this world. The interior was far worse, filled with rowdy, drunk beings behaving like children. It was dark, like most bars down here, but the light given by the circular lamps around the room was of a pure white rarely not so common down here, and now that Ishti looked closer, despite their uncivilised behaviour, everyone looked happy. Clearly this was no ordinary underworld bar; those mismatched founders actually cared about this place. Suddenly, his eyes were drawn to the tall Nautolan waving at him from the corner: Gan.

Ishti, forced a smile - there was no need to let Olulm or Da'bral know about Gan's request for Nyron when he was going to refuse anyway.
"Hello, Gan." He said as he sat down opposite him at the dented table, trying hard not to speak through his teeth.
"Hello Ishti - Da'bral, Olulm." Gan paused. "I actually wanted to talk to Ishti alone, about something personal. Would you two wait outside for us? Maybe find yourselves some entertainment, I'm sure Ishti can call you afterwards, no?"
"Sure." Said Da'bral, although he looked concerned and silently checked with Ishti.
"Go, Da'bral, it's fine."
Da'bral and Olulm nodded and left, leaving Ishti alone with Gan.

"I don't need my nanten to know you're angry." Gan said quickly before Ishti could speak. "As I said in my message, I understand." He paused again, as he seemed prone to do when talking to Ishti. "Maybe once I tell you the truth you'll understand as well.
"What truth?" Ishti asked impatiently.
"The truth about everything. I mean that, I'm not just being dramatic. I can tell you the truth about everything, if you'll allow me."
Ishti sighed. "Go on."

"I'll start from the very beginning: when we first met each other."
"I think I can remember that."
"I'm sure you can, but I wouldn't blame you for being a bit hazy on the details. One does tend to forget things that happened nearly thirty years ago, unless... they're significant enough to define a person forever."

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