Few places in the galaxy were as known for their raucous entertainment, devilish delights, and obscene wealth as Canto Bight. A playground for the rich, famous, and downright dangerous, the city was home to all manner of criminals all here with different designs. It was to this pit of depravity that came the Five Syndicates, and they had a particular plan in mind.
Beneath the walls of Canto Casino was a vault so vast that its riches were scarcely countable. Fiercely guarded and monitored, anyone willing to try their hand at opening it had to be a real particular sort. And in this galaxy there were more than a few with that sort of ambition, and they'd gathered to try their luck in what could be the biggest test of their enterprising young careers. They had a plan, they had a team, it was time to put it into action.
First on the list was cover identities. Not just anyone was allowed to play a hand at Canto Bight's exclusive tables. That's where Tarsha Malder came in.
A reasonable name on the Outer Rim weapons scene, she had meant to come to Canto Casino to hob nob with a few peers and score herself a slew of fresh contracts that would move them up in the word. Marissa Hesse and Preef Callo had other plans for Tarsha,
"She still hasn't touched down, we need to get to Tarsha and her bodyguards before their scanned in at customs and their faces recognised by every camera. We take them out, take on their names, and pass ourselves off as them. From then on we'll have easy access to the Casino floor" Marissa smiled as she ran over the plan one more time as they rode the elevator down to the arrivals platform. Their targets would be arriving any minute. She looked over to Preef,
Preef nodded, "I just hope Tarsha doesnt wear a skirt,-" the poor rodian hadn't figured out yet that he'd be the bodyguard and not the human woman sharing similarities with Marissa. "-don't think I can pull off a skirt really well."
Before Marissa could reply the elevator came to a halt and the doors slid open to reveal a hall bustling with activity, which Preef stepped into, his blaster on his hip and eyeing his surroundings closely looking for security officers. He tried his best to look professional in Marissa's eyes, cause the job she hired him for was way ahead of his usual game of stick-ups and armed robbery. This was.. sophisticated, though Preef probably didnt know that word, and thus required restraint and brainpower... "So, eh-" the rodian hesitated and stopped before some signs directing people to various landing pads, "-maybe you should lead?"
One one of the holo-screens nearby the name Tarsha Malder showed up with the added info that her flight was delayed by two minutes but she'd arrive shortly on landing pad 15B.
"No we wouldn't dare make you expose yourself, those legs can probably stay under wraps I should think" Marissa replied, stifling a little laugh in her throat as she eyed the Rodian up and down. Gunslingers came in all shapes and sizes, she thought to herself, and said a silent prayer that this Callo did indeed have what it takes. Kriff, she prayed she had what it takes for this sort of job. She could guarantee she had the ambition, the confidence or she wouldn't be here in the first place. But there would be more tests to come as they got closer to the prize at the end of it.
Keeping Preef close as the began to move through the crowd, she agreed to take the lead and began to move through toward pad 15B. Security patrolled throughout the area, but for now at least with nothing to single them out from any of the other dime-a-dozen criminals in the crowd, they seemed safe enough.
The door to the platform was open, and moving in close it seemed they would make it through in time to intercept Tarsha and her thugs. So long as they weren’t intercepted first, of course,
“Take a look over there”, Marissa pointedly her left, a pair of guards wandering toward the door, presumably on their rounds. They couldn’t be nearby when anything went down,
“I’ll try and send them on their way, do you think you can get that door locked down behind us? I don’t want to risk anyone coming in. And it’d be a shame if someone caught us changing” her attempt at humour wasn’t great, but their jobs now were clear. This done they could get to the main event. @Ecclessey
Rebellious as a Rodian -if that was really a thing- Preef shook his head, "I have a better idea-" he said as he changed course, not towards the door, but in a direct line to those guards. "-you go ahead."
As he came closer to the guards the young Rodian grabbed his commlink and pretended to have a conversation in order to fool the guards and still have them listening in, "No, Nessa-" a seemingly agitated Preef said to an imaginary -but truly beautiful- purple Twi'lek with massive... "-you know that guy in 14A is a spice smuggler-" he tried his best, but was unable to remember the name he had read on the holo-screens about the soon-to-be departing flight from 14A. "-yes, I do want to be with you on-" Preef paused as he walked passed the guards, who appeared to have taken the bait and stopped. "-I'm just not-" he considerably lowered his voice as if conscious of the guards, but still not low enough so they couldn't hear it, "-catching a ride with a spice smuggler."
It was at this point that the guards looked at each other and nodded, clearly in agreement that whoever was soon to be departing from 14A was going to receive an extremely thorough surprise inspection, and then walked away. Preef watched them as they took the corner and disappeared from view and only then lowered his commlink and turned back towards Marissa with a grin and a thumbs up.
Piece of Cake.
Reaching the door and thus the landing pad 15B, the rodian kept watch while Marissa locked the door, before looking out for the spaceship to arrive.
Well, well, we’ll. The rodian has a bit of gumption, Marissa had to admit it. The kind of gumption that sent her packing to try her hand at slicing, at that was something she could scarcely say she even dabbled in.
Well, this ain’t really slicing no, this was more button pressing and making sure she could find an override somewhere. But to her it counted.
As the rodian made his ‘call’, Marissa skulked behind the guards backs and into the open landing pad, keeping an eye on her companion as she went.
Scanning the controls, found more or less what she needed. She certainly hoped it was what she needed. Watching the pair move away she let Preef back in before hitting the controls and locking it down with the manual control. For now they were closed off. And just in time.
From the sky outside a small freighter came down, well kept and polished, a more expensive model Marissa didn’t recognise. But it signaled that Tarsha had finally docked. Steam shot across the floor as landing legs extended and the ship thundered to a halt before them.
“I guess we ought to welcome our guests, perhaps we can keep this quiet?” Fingers crossed, anyhow. If they could keep a ruse up for just a little bit, they’d be able to make this go a lot more smoothly.
The young rodian's eyebrows rose, "You're the boss." There wasn't much reason to make a lot of noise, after all, especially considering they had already encountered one patrol in the five minutes they'd been there and one was a fool to test their luck on the matter. Thus, the rodian took a submissive stance and made his way towards the fancy freighter mumbling things like "mortgage" and "repair parts" until he was sure their target had noticed him; "Sorry I'm late! Need Refuel?"
For a moment it really did look he'd get away with the oversimplistic ruse, but then the bodyguard spotted the blaster on his hip and both drew instantly. While Preef had expected a bright flash followed by some version of the rodian afterlife, what he saw was a frightened look on the human's face. He had beaten the bodyguard to the draw by a good deal and the human's blaster was still pointed at the ground by the time he was looking straight into the barrel of Preef's blaster. "Now don't make any hasty decisions," the human said anxiously as his employer stood frozen to his right.
Preef looked at her and then at Marissa, (@Nightfall) this was probably her moment to shine.
Nobody suspects a Rodian it seems, and it was working out well for today's little escapade. As her companion moved in, even though his smooth talking hadn't worked out a second time, he still managed to get the draw on the bodyguard before anything further could happen.
Marissa quickly glanced up around the edges of the landing bay. There were still cameras, but for now they hadn't been caught doing anything wrong, Preef's blaster was obscured by the man before him. She needed to find a place that'd keep them out of sight as much as they could. Not that she had long,
"Now what exactly am I seeing here?" came the voice of Tarsha as she thudded down the deck to the landing bay floor. Marissa stood up as straight as she could and moved quick smart to the lady before she saw anything she shouldn't,
"Greeting party, here to check on a few things, nothing to worry about I assure you" she kept her hand movements light and her confidence up, as if this was all just customary "Here at Canto Bight we try not to take too many chances, not with the clients we get. I'm sure you understand" she said, putting her arm out in front of the woman and moving to guide her back on the ship,
"We just need to ask a couple of questions before we finish the procedure and we can all be on our way" she looked back at Preef as she went inside. Assuming she could subdue the woman, she was in the clear. Preef needed to dispose of that one and they were nearly done with this whole episode.
Before Tarsha could see either of them, Preef motioned for the bodyguard to follow him out of view of both the ramp and the camera's. His life on the line, the human followed submissively and once out of view handed Preef his blaster without a word of protest. The young rodian holstered his own blaster and held the other by the barrel so both knew what was coming, "This is going to hurt".
A second later the bodyguard fell to the ground, unconscious and a nasty bruise on the top of his head. His cooperation meant he'd survive, as was the rule between robbers and guards, which both were accutely aware off, so Preef let him be for the moment and focused on Marissa and her part. Once she had convinced Tarsha to not visit the casino and be impersonated by the heist leader, their job today would he finished. The rodian had his doubts whether or not Tarsha would agree willingly, but if she didn't then Marissa could proof she could handle herself when her plan didn't go as smooth as planned. After all, Preef had never been on a robbery that didn't require violence or the threat of it and he had no illusions the casino would be any different.
Though Preef might have believed that was her plan, she certainly did not. While Marissa might have hoped she had a way with words, she knew herself better than to think she could talk a pirate out of the kind of coin that could be made in Canto Bight. That said, she hoped at least she’d be able to distract her for a little while longer.
Keeping the ruse up for a little while on the inspection, she managed to manoeuvre Tarsha back to the drive room, even with the woman’s intense anger about the situation. Not that it mattered that much longer, as Tarsha rounded a corner Marissa used all her body weight to slam her against the wall, knocking her head back against the metal.
With her blaster already prepared, she held the barrel close to muffle the sound. A thwack was all that was heard as Tarsha fell to the ground unconscious,
“Time to sign in, don’t you think?” Marissa asked Preef as she came down the landing ramp, dressed now in Tarsha’s clothes. The plan it seemed was running smoothly.
While Marissa went to deal with Tarsha inside the ship, Preef went ahead and checked the bodyguard's pockets for anything useful. It didn't take long before he found a security i.d. that in contrast to all modern coreworld firms did not have a holographic mugshot attached to it. "Hm," the Rodian smiled as he pocketed it, "Guess my name is Seleno Swoft now." Making a few small adjustments to his attire, Preef was confident he could successfully impersonate a bodyguard and was ready for the next step by the time Marissa walked down the ramp.
Looking at her for a moment and noting the remarkable resemblance, Preef motioned for her to help him carry the unconscious guard inside. It was paramount that for the duration of their ploy and definitely until after the heist itself, both the businesswoman and her bodyguard remained sequestered onboard the ship. It took a moment longer than Marissa might've imagined, but about ten minutes later victims had been tightly secured in the hold and the impostors confidently locked the ship behind them.
"Miss Malder,-" the rodian bowed slightly, "Seleno Swoft, of Pepstor Security, at your service."
Marissa adjusted her outfit cautiously as she waited for Preef to lock away the pair of witnesses away in the ship. It was close, so very close, and hopefully with a tick or two in the right places no one would bat an eyelid as they came out. Though she had to admit she did a little at the rodians now,
“A pleasure Mr Swoft, always” she replied in turn, a cheeky smile on her face. It seemed they had pulled it off,
“Come on, let’s sign in before anyone thinks otherwise” she tapped Preef on the shoulder and began to move to customs. Opening the door once more, they were met once again with a roar of the crowd outside, and the thudding of footsteps all around. Among the many faces they were hardly to be noticed as any different. Though she made sure to keep away from the prying eyes of security, they managed to avoid any attention till they crossed the floor.
With a wave the customs official waved Marissa across, scanning in her face and taking a flash of her ID. Of Tarsha’s ID that was. Passing through the gates to Canto Bight proper she gave Preef a nod and a smile as she waited for him to come through. After he was, step one of the plan was complete.
Despite the i.d. and the thoroughness in which they had assured the indefinite delay of the real Tarsha Malder and bodyguard, Preef did feel rather anxious when they left the hangar and mixed with the commuters of the spaceport. Suddenly all faces, especially human ones, seemed to look at him in suspicion or disgust over his reproachable actions and lifestyle. Look at that dumb Rodian, he could all but hear them say, As if he could get a proper job with him looking and talking like a dumb extra in a Lone Ranger Holoflick.
His own perceptions aside, no one seemed to find the pair suspicious and a rodian was far from the weirdest looking alien about that day, or really ever, on Canto Bight. As they walked Preef even regained some of his confidence and when they finally reached the customs booth he decided to follow Marissa's example.
"Name?" the customs agent asked rather absentmindedly. "Seleno Swoft," the rodian replied with a well-practised smile. "From?" The agent directed him to stand in a specific spot and look at the camera, "Commenor."
A neutral expression and a flash later he was given back his i.d. and waved along. Surreal. So it was truly this easy? and she didnt even asked his reason for visiting.. oh right, it's Canto Bight. What was there besides the casino's?
Standing next to Marissa again, Preef shot her a cocky smile, now that he had the nerve again, and nodded in the direction of the nearest casino. "So we try our hands at some Sabacc?" he paused, he knew their mission for now was done but he couldnt really help himself, "Not like we'd stand to lose anything."
Marissa took it all in in one long breath, looking about the horizon to the clear view of Canto Bight proper. They had free reign over it now, passes secured and ID’s established just in case anything went wrong. They were in. And so when Preef suggested playing a hand, how could she resist,
“Who could say no to a little flutter? May as well have some fun while we’re here” and do it before they put everything on the line in the coming days. It was only now, in a moment of pause, where she remembered just how ludicrous an undertaking they were going for. That of course is what would make it exciting, make it such a big score when they pulled it off.
If they pulled it off, she corrected herself. Overconfidence would kill, but not enough would see them jailed for as long as it took them to rot,