On Bakura, a smuggling operation finds itself double-booked.
It is one year after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the Galactic Empire’s Death Star. Even as war rages, fringers do what they can to prosper in the Outer Rim.
Rigel Mereen, Melba Gravlax, and Feenam’ersu, the crew of the REDSHIFT RUNNER, find themselves on Bakura to negotiate a smuggling job.
Little do they know that their cargo has already been promised to another....
The backroom of a dingy warehouse on Bakura, a planet known for making repulsor lifts and harvesting the fruit of the namana tree. Three drinks sit on a dirty table, awaiting Rigel Mereen, Feenam'ersu, and Melba Gravlax. The pilot Rigel is nervous, wondering why their contact has yet to appear; Feena and Melba are more relaxed, assuming that he's just running late. A man with pristine gloves and golden vest sits down across from them: Sente Pola tells them he's eager to get a few more crates of namana candies out of here, happy he's found a crew to take them "off his hands". Rigel is happy to take on the contract, but when Feena hears that the last few shipments were intercepted by Imperial customs officers, she and Melba negotiate additional "hazard pay", which he pays them up front.
They start to head back towards the Redshift Runner, intent on getting off Bakura as soon as possible, only to discover that another group has taken the Namana candies themselves! Pentu claims that he and his three guards were also hired by Sente Pola, but in their case, they were to take and dump the candies, not smuggle them. Despite the fact that he doesn't seem to be lying, Feena pulls her holdout blaster, escalating the tension into a standoff. When they won't back down, Melba takes the first shot with her blaster carbine, and the shoot-out gets underway in earnest!
Melba takes off after Pentu, looking to knock him down, and takes a blaster bolt in the chest for her trouble. Jamming a stimpack, she manages to get a good shot off on Pentu, knocking him in the head. Feena and Rigel go for the goons, taking fire but managing to kill one of the them until Pentu calls them off. The crew of the Redshift strip them of their weapons, but are unsure what to do next: and where is Sente? Rigel steps out of the warehouse, searching for their employer, and a friendly noodle-cart owner points him in the direction of a gleaming, imposing building further down the road. Rigel takes noodles back to his friends as they prepare to take their shipment to Jakku. In leaving the planet, Rigel speeds off from an Imperial order to be searched, hoping that they won't bother to pursue them across the galaxy.
Onboard the Redshift Runner, the three spend a couple of weeks healing, playing, and getting to know each other a little better. Melba seems upfront about her desire to get away from home, her bounty hunting career an admittedly unusual choice but "it felt like me". Feena, too, set out to make a name for herself and hopes that being a member of the crew will give her that opportunity. Rigel feels a little lost: he's always been looking backwards but never forwards with any ambition, he tells them. But he does love to "fix up broken junk, make it better,"… the Redshift seems to take issue with being called junk, giving the crew a little bump.
Arriving on Jakku to meet their contact, Tina, the crew set off with Melba standing guard. A human with absolutely enormous hair is presiding over a large market. She is happy to meet them, but is surprised to learn that they have Namana candies from Sente. "He's sent three shipments now," she complains. "I don't have any use for these." Despite their best efforts, Tina is unwilling to pay them what they were promised, but allows them to take their half-cut directly from her. They hope that by not involving Sente, no one will have to get screwed over again… that is, until Tina mentions that Sente and his brother work for Malto the Hutt, a new up-and-comer in the crime syndicate/species.
Heading back to the Redshift, the crew debate their options. They stole from Sente, fine, but now they've unwittingly stolen from Malto as well, and no one wants to be in debt to a Hutt. When Rigel suggests they seek out intel on where to find Malto, Feena suggests they instead go directly to the source: Nar Shaddaa, the "Smuggler's Moon", largest moon of Nal Hutta, the Hutt homeworld, and definitely the place most likely to find Malto. Pinning any blame on their theft on Sente seems like an audacious plan, maybe even a stupid one, but the crew set off, hoping to survive the lion's den….