I just saw them on the holo. What do you mean by ‘attacked’?”
“I mean attacked. An Imperial fleet is in orbit around the planet. Imperial forces occupy Coruscant. No one knows much else because the Empire is jamming communications out of Coruscant.”
Zeerid’s thoughts still could not quite wrap around the idea. How could the Empire have attacked any of the Core Worlds, much less the capital?
“How could they have gotten past the defense grid? It doesn’t make sense.”
“I neither know nor care about the particulars, Z-man. Though I gather it was a surprise attack that occurred right in the midst of the peace negotiations. If nothing else, one can appreciate the Empire’s boldness. You fought against the Empire, didn’t you, Z-man?”
Zeerid nodded. He had traded shots with Imperial forces many times, originally as a commando in the Republic army, then as … whatever he was now. For a moment, he flashed on the ridiculous notion that he should re-up with the army. He chided himself for stupidity.
“You can get the rest from the holo,” Oren said. “Meanwhile, start planning for this drop.”
The drop. Right.
“You want me to fly a ship full of spice into a freshly conquered world occupied by the Empire? You said they locked down comm traffic. They’ll have orbital traffic to a minimum, too. I can’t sneak through that, even flying dark. They’ll blow me out of space.”
“You’ll find a way.”
“I’m open to suggestions.”
“I have faith you’ll figure something out.”
“At the least we should wait until matters settle. The Empire will probably allow regular commercial ship traffic to resume in a week or so. At that point—”
“That will not work.”
“It’s got to work.”
“No. The cargo needs to move immediately.”
Zeerid was starting to like things less and less.