Star Wars - Han Solo and the Lost Legacy

Free Star Wars - Han Solo and the Lost Legacy by Brian Daley

Book: Star Wars - Han Solo and the Lost Legacy by Brian Daley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian Daley
in turn would have made recovery of the log-recorder impossible. Badure’s plan had circumvented all that.
    The building had a small rear door. Everything was as Badure had predicted—on a backward world like Dellalt, the landlord could ill afford expensive locking systems on each door. Therefore, this rear door and the larger hanging door were secured from the inside, with only a smaller door set in the larger one equipped with a lockplate. Not that that mattered. Han Solo had given Hasti a vibrocutter in case she had needed to force her way out. But she needed merely to move the bolt and then emerged into the light behind the building, shouldering the door closed again.
    Peering around the corner, she could isolate at least three different centers of furor. In one, Han Solo and Badure were squared off with the landlord, insulting one another’s antecedents and personal hygiene in best Dellaltian haggling style; in another, people were pointing at and debating hotly over Chewbacca’s origin; and finally, the landlord’s cousins were battling the crowd so Bollux could keep filling the building with the containers they would later confiscate if the offworlders didn’t meet the exorbitant rental fee. All the Dellaltians seemed quite happy with their unscheduled holiday.
    At that juncture another distraction, also planned by Badure, occurred. Skynx ambled down the ramp, ostensibly to confer with Han and the old man. An astonished shout went up from the crowd, and most of the people tagging along after Bollux went at a run to see this new wonder.
    Making sure her compact pistol was safe in an inner pocket, Hasti set off, keeping the building between herself and the field. She had draped the cowl over her head and went unnoticed. She had been in the city before, sent from the mining camp with Lanni to make minor purchases. Recalling the layout of the place, she set out for Xim’s treasure vaults.
    Pavement laid when the vaults were new had been chewed and disintegrated by use and time. The streets were rutted and hard-packed in the middle and muddy along the sides where slops had been dumped from overhanging windows. Hasti prudently kept along the middle way. Around her people ran, limped, or were carried toward the landing area. Two cadaverous oldsters, members of the local aristocracy, were carried past in an opulent sedan chair borne by six stooped bearers. A buckboard drawn by two skeletal, eight-legged dray beasts followed.
    Three drunks lurched out of a drinking stall, arms around one another; they were waving ceramic tippling bowls in the air, sloshing liquor. They regarded her for a moment, then elbowed one another. Under the native code of ethics a woman was fairly safe, at least in town, but Hasti kept her eyes to the ground and her hand near her pistol. But the celebrants decided that the starship merited their attention first, or they would be excluded from an event the rest of the city would talk about all year.
    Picking her way through a city that seemed to be falling apart before her eyes, Hasti as last came to the vaults of Xim the Despot. The vaults were contained within a sprawling, cameral complex of interlocking structures, immensely thick-walled and, in its day, impervious to forced entry. Still, thieves had gotten in over the years and, finding only empty vaults, yawning treasure chambers, and waiting bins and unoccupied shelves, had soon departed. Only the occasional wanderer or scholar of the obscure came here to tour Xim’s barren edifice now. The galaxy was rich in sights and marvelsworth the seeing and easier to reach; there was little of allure in the haunted emptiness here.
    In the vaults’ worn and pitted façade were engraved Xim’s insignia of the starburst-eyed death’s head and characters from an ancient language: IN ETERNAL HOMAGE TO XIM, WHOSE FIST SHALL ENCLOSE THE STARS AND WHOSE NAME SHALL OUTLIVE TIME .
    Hasti paused for a glimpse of herself in the gleaming stump of a fallen

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