CHAPTER 3

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The Undercity, a quite different place from the levels above, was accessible through one of another network of extensive elevators. The first elevator down they found they had to abandon due to a Sith patrol guarding the way. Mission had led them to another elevator shaft that was unguarded.

Encased in a steel tube, the elevator brought them further into the dark depths of the planet-wide city. While everything in the Upper City looked pristine and was made for the rich, the Undercity was the exact opposite. The Lower City, though riddled with problems, when the gangs weren't warring was a manageable place to live.

The elevator finally arrived at the bottom and the doors opened with a hiss. Beyond them lay a dark world unlike anything Venar or Carth had ever seen. Bound in almost complete perpetual darkness, save for the lights from the higher levels and some orange looking lights off in the distance. The ground was made of mostly dirt and cracked concrete. Very few plants grew down here, probably due to the lack of light and the abundance of pollution.

"What... is this place?" Carth asked.

"It's where the poor come to die," Mission responded.

"You mean people live down here," Venar asked.

"The only people down here are those who have been banished from the up-world, criminals, and their descendants," Mission, "the people are the least of our problems here."

Carth and Venar primed their blaster pistols and looked about their surroundings. Venar noticed they were in a fenced in area made of a make-shift wall of scrap metal and old boards. The orange lights off in the distance, now that his eyes having adjusted to the darkness, he saw were actually campfires and torches of some sort.

"We're safe here," Mission said, "this is one of the outcast settlements. Just... follow me and don't touch anything... or stare at anyone."

"Whatever you say, boss," Venar said with a hint of sarcasm. Mission just rolled her eyes and began walking ahead.

"Sure you two aren't related or anything?" Carth asked before taking off to follow their new twi'lek friend.

"Very funny," Venar said shaking his head, then trailed up behind them.

Mission led them through a village of sorts consisting of ramshackle huts and lean-tos made of just about any piece of scrap these people could find. The people themselves were dirty and dingy, their clothes torn and tattered, coughing and watching the newcomers from the shadows of their make-shift homes. Most of them had pale almost gray skin from never being exposed to sunlight. Just the sight of these people and being down here for only a few minutes, was sapping Venar's usual cocky and sure-fire attitude. Carth just seemed even more pessimistic than he usually was. Mission, he observed, seemed to be used to the atmosphere.

They passed a fire pit around which a bunch of children sat, listening to a haggard old man rambling on about something called 'the promised land', whatever that was. Some of the children looked to be no more than five to ten standard years. This was no place for a child, let alone anyone to live. Venar felt it rising in his bones, he always cursed himself when it did. After all, these people weren't his problem, so why did he feel the need and the urge to help these people. He looked up to the lights from the city above. If only he could give the stuck up wretches that cast these poor souls down here a taste of their medicine.

A bloodcurdling cry for help suddenly shook him from his thoughts. A woman's voice cried out at the top of her lungs begging for help. They ran to the edge of the village, to the gate that lead into the untamed world beyond. There, a woman who looked to be in her late thirties, clung to the wire mesh of the gate as she looked out at something beyond the village borders. The gatekeeper rushed over to her side.

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