Ahoy at the Silverstorm Part 5 - The Tempest Rages

By Courtney Kraft, R.J. Miller, Dana Terry & Ron Wilcoxen

 Notice: This installment is rated PG-13 for mild violence and mild adult 

"Good word?" The Captain growled. "There's no good word, lass. Heln 
says there's no way we can take the prize we want." 
Ikara nodded thoughtfully. "There are other prizes out there, 
Captain. Maybe she's right. It's not the only ship in the galaxy. The 
richest right now, perhaps, but not the only one." 

"So, you're agreeing with the coward?" Roark asked harshly, slamming 
his mug to the table. 

"This time," Ikara said. "It's what she's good at. Good enough that 
you haven't shot her head off, no matter how annoying you find her." The 
First Mate crossed to a cabinet and pulled out a bottle of rum. She filled 
her Captain's mug and then poured some for herself before dropping into 
another chair. She propped her booted feet up on the table as she eyed the 
older man. "Besides, with all of the technology on that ship, C'Mos would 
risk practically anything. If she says it's not doable, it's not. Not now. 
Later, maybe." 

"Later will be too late," He grumbled. 

"The Empress enjoys these lavish displays. As long as she is around, it 
will never be too late." Ikara made a face. "There are always the smaller 
cruise vessels, bound for gaming planets. Not much in the way of interest 
for C'Mos, but enough financial gain to keep us happy for a short while." 
"I want a bigger fish," he said. "You were the one who said I needed to 
think big. I have and my own crew is cutting me down." His eyes were full 
of a dangerous fire. "I don't take kindly to that." 

"You were the one who advised caution." She set her own mug down 
carefully. "You have to make up your mind, Captain." 

"And you'd do well to remember who you're talking to." 

"I'm not in the mood for a fight," she snapped. "At least, not with 
you." Ikara fingered the knives in her boot top, just in case. "You're mad 
at Heln, mad at not being able to get the ship you wanted and you've been 
drinking. It's not a good combination." 

Within the next instant, a deafening roar filled the air as the far wall 
of the Silverstorm blow apart from the outside. Dust and debris flew 
everywhere as captain and crew took cover under their table. Being small and 
light of foot, C'Mos was the first to roll away from under the table and find 
cover elsewhere behind the bar. 

Above the clattering of falling timber the roar of a "swoop" or speeder 
bike could be heard. Ultraviolet laser beam searchlights preceded the swoop 
inside the Silverstorm. Other customers were either finding cover or making 
a run for their lives. The whine of the engine increased as the swoop and 
rider made their way inside the darkened chamber. The swoop made several 
insane circles about the room as the rider fired indiscriminate charges 
around the room, setting the Silverstorm afire. Roark knew only one madman 
who would dare ride a swoop indoors like that. 

At the same time behind the bar, Kyro had noticed C'Mos roll behind and 
under the bar. He regarded the small one as a minor annoyance in the midst 
of the chaos. The owner, Haruka Silverstorm, had been in the kitchen 
preparing an order. She had pivoted on the balls of her feet with the first 
explosion, dashing outside, wielding her wok at the sound of the crash; the 
rage on her face matched the fire now blazing along the remaining walls. She 
had paused for a brief moment to take in the scene and her eyes traveled up 
to the man on the swoop. Her left eye glimmered as she charged at the man. 
She leapt upward a good ten feet and brought her wok crashing down overhead 
and upon the rider's head with a resounding boooooong! Haruka, still in 
flight, twisted and somersaulted in midair to retain her momentum as she 
approached a wall and instinctively, with a panther-like movement, sprung off 
with a triumphant hehehehe escaping her lips. 

The swoop rider fired sporadically into the ceiling with his blaster as 
he yelled in a growling tone, "Ouch!" The next instant, Haruka's wok bashed 
the man across the temple as she flew by, then landed like a cat on the 
floor. "Nobody trashes MY PLACE!" Haruka's rage was still building within 
her like a volcano about to erupt as she leaped at the rider once again 
yelling, "Bakaaaaaa!" Unfortunately for Haruka, the man was not taken off 
guard this time as he dropped his swoop suddenly to the floor with a flip of 
a control switch. A look of surprise swept over Haruka's face as she flew 
right over him and headed right for Kyro! She crashed into the wolfman, 
shattering the mirror behind the bar. 

"Tarnation.... Where did that flying she-devil come from?" The rider 
flipped down a red tinted remote control sensor over his good eye, then took 
out a blaster rifle and twirled it around in three circles on his fingers 
before firing at the bar above everyone's heads; there was no doubt to anyone 
this was a deliberate warning shot. 

As the blasts landed well above the bar area, Kyro pulled Haruka under 
his body to protect her from the blasts "Stay down," Kyro whispered to Haruka. 
"Stay put and you won't be harmed" The rider tossed a data pad over the 
bar and it landed at the feet of the trio bunched underneath. "I'm looking 
for pirates today...not saloon keepers who smuggle bad Corellian hooch." 

"Smugglers!" Haruka started to get up. "How dare--" Kyro yanked her 
back down. "Don't. He's not worth getting your head blown off." 

"Take your friend's advice, neither are the scum I'm after. You can 
inspect the copy of the bounty warrant from both the Empire and Ord Mantell." 

"Roark, show your heathen hide. I've been trailing you for the past six 
months." The rider fired more random blaster shots as he yelled at the top of 
his lungs in a coarse voice. 

"Ah, it took ya that long to finally learnt how to walk hasn't it?" 
Roark chuckled as he taunted the rider. 

"I'd rather take you in dead anyway, Roark." The rider bit at his lip 
as he slowly circled with his swoop. 

Crouched under the table with Roark was his First Mate. "I see you've 
been practicing that wonderful diplomacy of yours, Captain," Ikara said 
dryly; even as she cringed at the sound of another blaster bolt hitting home 
somewhere in the Silverstorm. "Friend of yours?" 

"Do you 'member when you took a vacation on New Alderaan six months ago 
and we lost that load of spice we stole from some smugglers?" Roark took a 
swig from a bottle lying nearby. 

She nodded, comprehension dawning. "So, who's he working for, the 
smugglers?" Her hand dropped down to her blaster, pulling it free. 

"No, not exactly...That's just the last time he caught up with me." 
Roark rubbed his chin. "He's a slow one but a sure one." 

"Who in the seven Sith hells is he?" Confusion now replaced the 
comprehension on the first mate's face. 

"Butcher Quincy, a bounty hunter...He used to be in the Imperial Navy." 
He took another sip. 

Ikara swore viciously. "I've heard of him. You can't make easy 
enemies, can you?" 

"Well, let's just say I make easy friends with the wives of hard 
enemies." A gleeful grin flashed broadly across his face. 

She aimed a glare at him. "So, he's trying to kill everyone because you 
can't keep your pants zipped?" 

"He's a mite touchy...he caught us together in bed, but he missed me and 
ended up shooting her instead." The memory in Roark's mind was evident by 
the look on his face as his entire face smiled widely. 

Ikara leaned out, trying to see if she could get a shot. No such luck, 
the swoop was moving too quickly, too erratically. "You'd be better off 
paying for your wenches," she snapped, pulling back. "I can't hit him, not 
from here." 

"Look who's talking. Have you ever paid for anything you could just 
take? Let alone it being offered for free?" He folded his arms with a 
slight huff. 

She made a face at him. "It's not me he's aiming for." 

"Like I said, he never was a good shot." He tried to peer around a 
corner as a blaster bolt shot past. 

She shook her head. At least the firefight, as one-sided as it was so 
far, had cleared the man's mind of the rum-induced fog he'd been slipping 
into. "Well, any ideas?" she asked. 

"Don't move. Who's this here trying to make a run for it?" The bounty 
hunter hovered his swoop over to the bar after his scanners picked up a life 
form moving. He reached down and picked up C'Mos Heln by the scruff of the 
neck as she tried to scurry for the exit. 

Ikara swore again. "We need her." 

"I can tell from the wanted holo-vids this one is part of your filthy 
pack of dogs," Quincy hissed. 

"You stay put...and start working on plan B." Roark motioned to his 
first mate to stay down. 

"You've got a plan A?" Ikara asked in amazement. 

"Hey, Quincy, what's the bounty on me up to now?" Roark yelled in jest 
at the bounty hunter. 

"The Empire is only offering 50,000 Imperial credits for you, but the 
Governor of Ord Mantell is offering 250,000 in local credits, but I'll do for 
just the personal pleasure of having your hide." The bounty hunter said as 
C'Mos flinched from the blaster being pressed against her cheek. 

"Tell ya what, Quincy, take me to Ord Mantell and we can split the 
reward for me. If we're lucky, after a few nights I might be able to arrange 
with the Governor's wife to have you elected the new Governor." The 
captain's taunting seemed to know no end. 

"Show your blasphemous hide or this pup gets her head blown clear off." 
The bounty hunter was obviously losing patience with the pirate. 

"You don't want to do that!" C'Mos protested. "Look, he can do what he 

"Keep working on plan B." Roark looked at Ikara then started to raise 
his hands. "Do I got your word the squirt goes free if I give up?" 
"Plan B ends up with us all dead," Ikara hissed. "We don't need her 
that badly!" 

"No tricks, Roark. I know you!" He pressed harder against C'Mos' head. 
"I'll do you no harm at all afoot of this planet, you have me word. Now 
how 'bout yours?" Roarks tone became suddenly demanding as he pressed the 
issue about C'Mos. 

Ikara shook her head, trying to draw a bead on the bounty hunter as the 
Captain talked. He hadn't said anything about anyone else harming the 

"Show yourself," Butcher demanded, using C'Mos as a shield. 
Roark stood up with his hands in the air. Ikara spat a curse, certain 
there was no longer any way to get a shot. C'Mos tried to get away, 
squirming in the bounty hunter's grasp. 

"Now throw your blaster down," the bounty hunter said as he pulled 
chains and manacles from a side saddle bag and tossed them on the floor. 
Roark threw down his blaster and walked toward the chains on the floor. 
"Captain!" Ikara said, trying to stop him. 

"Is that another of your vile dogs, Roark?" The bounty hunter spat his 
words as if they were spoiled milk. 

"Never mind that one, you got me and we struck a bargain ain't we?" 
Ikara's eyes narrowed. She'd love to get just one clear shot of the bounty 

"Put the manacles on, Roark, and I wanna hear them close shut." The 
bounty hunter watched every inch of movement that his prey made. 

Roark looked over his back to Ikara and winked an eye at her before he 
placed the manacles on himself. Ikara was halfway tempted to shoot through 
C'Mos at Quincy. She had no idea what the Captain was up to. This was no 
way to get free. 

"I'll set the pup free once we're at my ship. Make sure we're not 
followed, Roark." Quincy was a devil of a bounty hunter and regarded 
throughout the galaxy as a ruthless killer, hence the name "Butcher." 
However, he was also known as a man of his word. 

"That one over couldn't find her way out of a Jawa sandcrawler," Roark 
laughed, ignoring Ikara's scowl at the insult. "Let alone learn how pilot a 
ship. You've got me. Now let's be off." 

With the manacles clasped closed the bounty hunter reversed his swoop 
out of the Silverstorm, dragging Roark in the dirt behind him. 

Has the Captain met his match? Will he hang from the gallows? 
Will the bounty hunter ever find true love? 

Tune in Next Time…Same Pirate Time, Same Pirate Channel. 
For the Misadventures of the Calico Star 

To Be Continued in... 

Ahoy Ord Mantell: Part One - Facing the Hangman's Noose 

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