The holo springs to life with a familiar hexagonal lotus icon. A stirring theme plays on woodwinds and strings. An EV droid is seen on a bridge with space-fireworks going off behind him over Falleen Prime
“Welcome, sentients! I’m onboard the Merchantates, currently in the Falleen system. And I hear we have a story involving … am I hearing this right, a Gundark? Over to you, EV.”
Another, identical EV droid with a microphone is seen inside a busy bar and lounge.
“That’s right EV. I’m here at The Canopy Cafe onboard The Merchantates with bartender Avier de Crion (wave to the folks at home, Avier) to find out what exactly happened here last night.”
The ithorian barkeep scowls at the droid. “You said you had some questions. You never said you wanted a holo-interview. Scram.”
The droid continues, unabated “I understand there was a bit of a commotion in here last night. Can you tell us what happened?”
The bartender pays no attention to the droid, focusing intently on polishing the glass in his hand as he walks away.
“I see…” the droid. “Well, … um…”
“I’ll tell you what happened!” says a voice attached to a musician wearing a truly impressive number of sequins on her outfit. In a singsongy tone, she continues “I’m Daylana Atriedes, and I saw the whole thing. So, an Ithorian, a Falleen, and a Gundark walk into the bar – oh my goodness, that sounds like the setup for a joke, doesn’t it? – anyway, they walk in. I’m over there on the stage, of course, just finishing up a set. My band and I play a fusion of traditional ithorian throat singing and pop from the -20’s. It’s really amazing, you can check out our holosite at–”
“The gundark, ma’am?” The droid interrupts.
“Oh, right. Well, people are nervous of course, Gundarks being the brutes that they are, but the Falleen gentleman seems to have him on a leash of some kind. Banbl, our MC, introduces them as the next act. And I’m like I had no idea gundarks could sing! but that’s not it at all. They get up there and the Ithorian starts tossing the gundark clocks! Clock after clock after clock, and he’s just juggling them all with his four arms! You’ve never seen so many hands in one place! Then other objects – I couldn’t tells what all of them were. He must have had a dozen, no two dozen things up in the air at once! And while he’s doing that, the Falleen gentleman takes the mic.”
“And did he sing?” the EV asks?
“No, no. He just starts talking about how it’s someone’s anniversary and this is their performing pet, and how glad he is that the Merchantates is here opening up a trade station or something – I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention -”
“For crying out loud, Daylana,” the bartender reappears. “You never pay attention. Look here:
- “It’s King Jado Dur`rik’s 10 year anniversary ruling the Falleen Federation. They’ve been having celebrations on Falleen and at their Holosite.
- “That’s why The Merchantates is in the system, to be a part of the celebrations. It’s a symbol of the friendship between the Falleen and the Ithorians.
- “The Gundark is part of the collection at The Darot Memorial Zoo, which just recently joined the Galactic Parks Network. It’s named after one of the Federation’s great Ministers of Culture, Jargon Darot.
- “The Falleen are doing a grand re-opening of their trade station, The Brujah Bazaar, which Clan Brujah was recently granted after regaining their status as a Major Clan by the Sejm Council.
“There. That’s your story. Now go read a book or something.” The bartender puts down his glass and walks away again.
“Well!” exclaims the diva after a short, stunned silence. “That Avier is certainly a Mr. Grumpy-Pants. But anyway, you won’t believe what the gundark did next–”
The EV droid cuts her off, “I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for this story folks. Back to you at the studio!”
The holo cuts to another, identical EV droid with a mic. You can see The Canopy Cafe about 10 meters away in the background.
“There you have it folks. You can come visit us on The Merchantates, celebrating in the Falleen system for the near future. The Merchantates is proudly sponsored by these fine merchants:”
“Until then, I’m … wait, they never gave me a name…”
…the droid is cut off abruptly by the lotus logo and a stirring theme.