Jonathon sat in a chair in front of an immense console of flashing buttons, knobs, and a yoke. He looked through a large window down onto a moon, that looked to be covered with buildings. The reactor steadily hummed in the background, the ship was otherwise relatively quiet.
“Dorian, commence landing protocol at site 1726.” Jonathon strapped himself into his chair.
“Yes, captain.” A high pitched male voice sounded from the computer.
“So do you really think this is an actual lead?” A woman asked from behind him.
“I’m not sure what I think Laura.” Jonathon sighed and turned to face her. “I do know one thing though.” He smiled. “This is one of the better bars around here. Kind of a hole in the wall, but definitely worth a stop on its own, so not really that much of a loss.”
“Why is it these guys always have to meet in bars? Why don’t they ever pick a shopping center or a concert hall?” She tried to hide her smile.
“That’s a good point. Alright, the next seedy criminal we need to meet, I’ll get him to meet us at a mall.” He laughed and turned back to the console.
“Landing protocol complete, captain.” Dorian chimed.
“Alright, are you ready?” Jonathon unstrapped his restraints and got out of his seat.
“Yeah, I’m always ready for a seedy bar.” Laura jumped to her feet and went out ahead of him.
“Hey! Hole in the wall doesn’t always mean seedy!” He called after her. He walked through the hall of the ship and out onto the platform.
Jonathon stopped and looked back at the ship. It was about the size of a large two story house. He looked at the name: The Nautilus II. “You know Laura? The Nautilus II is really warming up to me, feels like home, ya know?”
“Well, if you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” She laughed and poked him in the side.
“Well, honey, polygamy is still frowned upon, even in space.” He hugged her. “It looks like you’re stuck with me.”
“C’mon, we’re gonna be late.” She laughed, dragging him behind her.
They walked up to a medium sized building. The walls were a smooth gray on the outside, with a simple metal door. They looked up and saw a flickering neon sign that said: BAR.
Laura stopped and looked over to Jonathon. “So you’re saying that you wouldn’t call this seedy?”
“What’s that saying? ‘Never judge a book by its cover?’” Jonathon opened the door and they stepped in.
The bar was dimly lit by one light on the ceiling. Everything in the bar looked like it was salvaged from a junkyard, nothing was matching. The dim lighting almost managed to conceal all of the trash, crumbs, and spots on the floor. There was a vaguely humanoid blob laying in the center of the bar. It seemed to be moderately crowded, every table had at least one person sitting at it.
Jonathon walked up to the bar. Behind the bar stood a scaly humanoid, with a beard of brown feathers. Jonathon glanced over the bar and saw the man was in fact, quite small, and standing on a platform.
“What’ll you have?” The bartender spoke in a low tone, looking to Jonathon.
“Dealer’s choice.” Jonathon and the bartender both turned to Laura.
“I’ll have whatever you give him.”
The bartender nodded and pulled two glasses from the bar. He pulled two hoses from under the bar, and filled both glasses with half of each. He slid the glasses their way.
Jonathon dropped a few square coins on the counter and stepped away. He surveyed the bar. He saw many people, all of different species. He looked towards the back of the bar and saw a four armed humanoid wearing very bulky clothing, covering almost his entire body. He nodded to Laura and they both sat at the table with him.
The humanoid sat in silence as Laura and Jonathon both took their seats. His face was entirely covered except for his yellow eyes. Once they were seated he looked around, eventually seeming to be satisfied. “Do you have the credits?” He spoke in an almost normal human voice.
“Half now, half after.” Jonathon slid a fist sized bag over the table.
He inspected the bag for a moment and nodded. “Alright, I understand you’re in the market for… Valuable objects.” He looked between the two, trying to gauge his success, but their faces remained stoic. “I know where the horn of Magun-Viol lies.”
Jonathon laughed and began to get up from his chair.
“No! Wait!” He slid a card across the table.
Jonathon stopped and read the card. He looked up at him. “Lift your mask.”
The figure slowly lifted his mask and Jonathon saw a pale white face with red streaks. Jonathon had suspected he was Klax-On by his four arms, but the face confirmed his suspicions.
Jonathon sat back down at the table and slid the Klax-On his card. “That horn is a myth.”
“I am Gro-Unz, I was on the high council of artificers. They betrayed me and I made off with this, and some information.” He reached into a pocket of his bulky jacket and pulled out a roll of paper. “We discovered something.” He leaned in. “While Klax-On prime was ruined, it was not utterly destroyed.” He unfurled the roll of paper revealing a map. “Deep inside of his temple, you will find his horn, and Hurg knows what other artifacts.”
“And why would you sell me this instead of get it yourself?” Jonathon stared intensely at the map, trying to memorize it in case the Klax-On tried to pull something.
“Because, it is heavily trapped, and locked under several locks. Only a master could pull this off, so this map is of no use to me besides coin and revenge.” He rolled the map back up. “So, what do you say, Jonathon? This map tells you everything that you will need, without it, this would be impossible.”
“What’s your price?” Jonathon eyed the Klax-On suspiciously, he didn’t have the best of relationships with Klax-Ons in general, much less the high council of artificers.
“Five thousand credits and your promise to succeed.” He stuck out one of his hands for a handshake.
Jonathon shook his hand, rummaged through his bag, and slid him two pouches of coins. The man handed him the map and went on his way.
“So what do you think?” Jonathon turned to Laura.
“Well, we haven’t got much better to do, this seems like an excellent laying low activity.” She smiled.
“I agree.” Jonathon took a sip of his drink and promptly spat it out. “I believe that is actually piss.” Laura smiled trying to hold back laughter. “Okay fine, the bar is seedy.”