Mal'r "Mal" Brooken
Gunslinger, badman, gambler, Human
About 30 odd years ago, Jantoon and Lilac “Lilly” Brooken moved from Tatooine to the sleepy world of Saleucami. Jantoon was in the business of freighting, but had been slowly been drawn into business with the Hutts. Making a clean, but amicable-as-possible break, he went with his wife to raise a family away from “those who traffic in secrets”. With the savings they had, they bought a tract of land with a beautiful (and large) oasis that they named the Still Waters Ranch. They had five children in all, with Mal’r being the second child.
The Brooken’s worked hard and grew the ranch. They had a nice herd of desert goat-like animals called prolety’ns by the Wroonians., some nice farmland integrated with the oasis and some surprisingly good surface or near surface mines. This resulted in a bit of export for the family, which allowed them to grow a bit. Overall, the Brookens flourished and had a lot of friends in surround lands. Their famed Summer’s End Party would bring nearly another 200 colonists to join in the festivities. Outside the cities in the wildlands, the colonists prospered.
But not all who came to Saleucami were of the colonists’ frame of mind. Outside of the colonists, the big cities brought schemers, rascals and thieves of all brands and stripes. They generally kept to the cities as it is unwise to push those might push back. Eventually “civilization” came to the wildslands, and this brought government which brought bureaucracy which brought bureaucrats who always bring corruption. The local government was under the control of a minor Nautolan crime lord named Ang Mot. Ang was in the family of Gardulla the Hutt and the second youngest son of Trilar Mot, was known gunslinger, murder, villain and outright scum. Ang had a lot to “live up to” and he fully intended to match (and probably murder) his father. The employment of Hutts gave Ang quite a bit of leverage to work with.
With leverage and the active help from the local government, Ang began to build up his own estate. This was done by gambling, smuggling and out right theft. Ang was smart and moved against the biggest ranchers first knowing that if they fell, the rest would be easy pickings.
On a bright Primeday morning, he came with his brother, D’tl, the local government agent Dzyt’M and forty well-armed enforcers to the Still Waters Ranch. They also brought (very recently created) legal paper work showing the back taxes, liens and new ownership of the Ranch. The family was given 15 minutes to leave. To insure the point was taken, Mal’r was knocked unconscious and the closest herd of prolety’ns was destroyed. With no way to stop this, Jantoon gathered his family into speeders and headed out to the township of Brea’s Turn. He vowed he’d seek justice. Ang shot him in the leg and declared he was justice.
Once they arrived in town, Jantoon started to seek out his friends. It turns out that the government had been busy that day, and nearly 15 families had been forced off their land in the last couple of days. The day ended with the families looking to go the government center in the next township called of Agua Fria to get some help. A young colonist named Tallyor Mintset left early the next morning. His body was brought back in the afternoon. Bandits, unknown in the region, had killed him Dzyt’M claimed. The families were trapped and without any way of getting outside help.
That night, Ang came into the small encampment with newly manufactured ownerhship dataslates and a prideful smirk. “Put your mark these and all will this be over.” When no one stepped forward, he offered to shoot Jantoon again to show that this was the only choice available. He slowly pulled his pistol grinning all the time. The grinning stopped when he felt Mal’r put the cold, large muzzle of blaster against his temple. Mal’r offered to see Ang at noon the next day. “Meet me, alone, on the street.” Ang agreed to gun Mal’r down the next day and skulked away.
Guards were set, but the night brought nothing new to the camp. Ang could not have pleased about facing Mal’r. Mal’r had earned his reputation as a badman. A badman describes neither good nor evil intent, but is someone not to be trifled with. Mal’r was educated, fast and tough. He had been recruited to work the badlands close the southern pole as a ranger to clear bandits and scoundrels. In fact, the prior incarnation of Ang was a gangster named Billong Fettery who left town quickly when he learned Mal’r lived in the region.
Only a few refugees left the camp with Mal’r to go the gunfight. The rest stayed in the relative safety of the tents and speeders. Once the band got the center of town, they found no Ang but they did hear fighting from the direction of the camp. As they ran back they were ambushed by Ang’s men. It was a quick firefight, but it left several of the colonists wounded. As they fought their way back to the camp, they found many had been hurt and most of the camp was destroyed or burning.
A straggler from the ambushers emerged from a ditch, saw the crowd and tried to grab Lilly to use as a shield. No colonist has ever spoken of what happened, but the straggler was never seen again. Before anybody could stop him, Mal’r started out alone on a Fresian desert pony back into town. Ang had left for of Agua Fria where he had earned the moniker of Red. He now had a badman after him.
The next part of the story is best told by a folk song from northern regions of Saleucami:
To the town of Agua Fria rode a stranger one fine day
Hardly spoke to folks around him didn’t have too much to say
No one dared to ask his business no one dared to make a slip
for the stranger there among them had a blaster on his hip
Blaster on his hip
It was early in the morning when he rode into the town
He came riding from the south side slowly lookin’ all around
He’s an outlaw loose and running came the whisper from each lip
And he’s here to do some business with the blaster on his hip
blaster on his hip
In this town there lived an outlaw by the name of Ang Mot Red
Many men had tried to take him and that many men were dead
He was vicious and a killer though a youth of twenty four
And the notches on his blaster numbered one an nineteen more
One and nineteen more
Now the stranger started talking made it plain to folks around
Was an Saleucamin ranger wouldn’t be too long in town
He came here to take an gangster back alive or maybe dead
And he said it didn’t matter he was after Ang Mot Red
After Ang Mot Red
Wasn’t long before the story was relayed to Ang Mot Red
But the gangster didn’t worry men that tried before were dead
Twenty men had tried to take him twenty men had made a slip
Twenty one would be the ranger with the blaster on his hip
Blaster on his hip
The morning passed so quickly it was time for them to meet
It was twenty past eleven when they walked out in the street
Folks were watching from the windows every-body held their breath
They knew this handsome ranger was about to meet his death
About to meet his death
There was fifteen meters between them when they stopped to make their play
And the swiftness of the ranger is still talked about today
Ang Mot Red had not cleared leather fore a blast fairly ripped
And the ranger’s aim was deadly with the blaster on his hip
Blaster on his hip
It was over in a moment and the folks had gathered round
There before them lay the body of the gangster on the ground
Oh he might have went on living but he made one fatal slip
When he tried to match the ranger with the blaster on his hip
Blaster on his hip
The song is more or less accurate and Mal’r came back to Brea’s Turn hoping Ang’s death would have settled the issue. It didn’t. D’tl claimed murder and took to hiding in in the imperial station. Hiding in the Imperial station just put all the bad eggs in one place. An offer to let D’tl and remaining gang members leave was rejected enthusiastic blaster fire. The colonists stormed the station and Mal’r was caught by a old security droid coming in through the front door. It sent only videogram of the fight, one of Mal’r, before it was blasted. The fighting inside was brief and deadly. When D’tl and Dayt’M came out, they came out horizontal and boots first. Several other gangsters also left that way, but most just ran away, quickly, silently and were never heard from again.
The videogram, along with the gunfight in Agua Fria, brought new officials looking for Mal’r. The videogram was the only evidence that the officials needed. The colonists continued to know nothing. Ang’s gang was quick on its’ feet to leave the planet. The Imperial Station, along with the new ownership data slates, was nothing more than a burned out husk. It seems, to the not very great surprise of the officials, that no one tried to put it out. For good or bad, videogram from the blasted security droid was the only surviving evidence of the whole ordeal and it only had one face on it, Mal’r’s. So Mal’r was to become the chief and only suspect of everything that had occurred. He had two choices at this point. Choice one was to surrender, have a quick and fair trail and be executed. Choice two, which seemed a fair bit gentler, was to run. Besides, there were still more of the Mot family out there and they would not take kindly to the death of kin. Not out of loyalty, mind you, but rather as a challenge to their power. Mal’r, taking only what he could carry, kissed his family good bye and moved off. He was jumping into from the frying pan into the fire as we went to visit Mots on Tatooine and Eriadu.
It was not a straight line to Tatooine for Mal’r. He had some cash, but he couldn’t travel openly. Even leaving Saleucami required him to start hiding his tracks. He had no travel permits, so he took a job on the first ship he could find. Of course, the ship was traveling in what can be best described as the completely opposite direction of Tatooine. From that point on, he did what he needed to do get to Tatoonie. It was at this time the luck smiled as Mal’r meet a man named J’Walez. J’Walez is politely referred as his mentor by Mal’r. They meet in some seedy cantina over a deck of sabbaac. The total players in the game were six, including Mal’r and J’Walez. The other four were in cahoots and taking a bit of money from J’Walez. After the money grew short and the other four’s “luck” grew bigger, the playing stopped, acquisitions were grimly spoken and the blasters came out. J’Walez got three and was not shot in the back by a friend of the four who was standing at the bar. He was not shot because Mal’r had pinned the friend’s gun hand to the counter with a vibro-knife. J’Walez took the money from the table and emptied the pockets of the survivor as a sin tax. Seeing it was time to go, Mal’r made his exit with him.
J’Walez took Mal’r under his tutelage. He saw a kindred spirit and he did feel he owed a debt. Mal’r was still youth (only 23) and he learned a lifetime of lessons from J’Walez. They traveled together for 3 years, before separating. It was during this time that Mal’r learned the politics and treachery and simple rules that run Outer Rim Territories. Mal’r learned to aim real slow while shooting real fast, to plan ahead, to look around and to think real straight. During this time, they disrupted quite of the Mot’s business on several planets. It was practice for later and practical for Mal’r’s family. The two were smart enough to not be seen, but they were easy enough to track. The Mot’s just had to see where their money was drying up. And, most importantly, all this trouble distracted Trilar from troublesome death of Ang. Afterall, losing a son is one thing, but losing power is another thing entirely.
Some say J’Walez was killed by six gunfighters in a street fight, or that he was shot down from behind playing sabbaac. These rumors and legends live because if the truth that J’Walez was retired to the oasis nearest to Jantoon and Lily, some people might come looking. Time had caught up with J’Walez. He was bit older and more bruised up than he was before he meet Mal’r. Besides, with Mal’r taking the final run on the Mot’s, somebody would need to with the family if he failed.
Mal’r stayed on Tatooine for three months before he started to make his play. He studied the local politics, built out a couple of safe houses and finally Mal’r made a deal with Jabba the Hutt. He didn’t incoming fire from two sides if Jabba decided to “help” out Gardulla’s Mot’s. The deal was pretty simple, none of Hutt’s men would be harried, hurt or otherwise inconvenienced, but any of Gardulla the Hutt’s operatives were fair game. This arrangement also opened a few new opportunities for Jabba. And this opportunities lead to new money and power. Jabba didn’t make this a public announcement in his circles obviously. This was a private deal of the the quietest and lucrative sort, which is the best deal a Hutt can make. If a badman was killing Gardulla’s scoundrels, but not his, well that was just too, too sad. Jabba, of course, made a profit and profit makes Hutts happy.
Within four months, the Mots ceased to be a force of any type in the Gradulla’s organization. They dried up and blew away like dust. There are number of deaths associated within this time that are loosely linked to the Mots’ gang. In the end, someone came in the front door of the Trilar’s villa and shot the place to hell.
When the shooting finally stopped, Trilar looked up and faced the business end of a blaster. At this moment, to Mal’r’s surprise, Trilar begged for mercy and promised to leave, quickly and quietly. Ever so slowly, Mal’r pulled his blaster back and holstered it. “Fair enough,” was all that Trilar heard. Trilar received the mercy he would never had given. Something at moment changed Trilar. He watched Mal’r, the ghost he hated for sometime, patch up his son with a stimpak, turn and then leave. He just vanished. The stillness of the villa mixed oddly with smell of smoke. Trilar shook his head, gathered up his son and few possessions and left. He never looked back at the villa, the planet or life he was leaving as took off in a freighter that night. Trilar, with his only living son, quickly and quietly left as he said. His remaining lieutenants and thugs just moved to safer groups, let Mal’r leave and didn’t follow. Bravery and loyalty are not qualities often found villains.
The story from the point of his family was over. They had the ranch back, nobody was going to come gunning for them and the old man across the oasis was there if somebody did. Right now Mal’r wants to go home, but it that will be some time before that can happen. Wanted slates still have his name on them and somebody will want to collect. He needs more “friends”. Friends who can make charges disappear. Friends who can help him gain favors and make money. And especially friends who don’t want to cash in bounties.
Cap’n, you’ve been a Shepard to these people for a long time. You’ve fought, run, hid and survived. I know doing what’s right isn’t easy, it’s has to been done. And now, based on the ships, the noises and all this commotion, the wolves are here. They’re outside that gate and the running and hiding days are gone. We didn’t bring’m, but they are sure enough here. You knew this was going to happen on some sour day. I came for the treasure and that’s the truth. But now…but now….those troopers are coming in and I just can’t tolerate that. You’ve got the drop on me, but your aiming at the wrong man. We can save your crew, but you’re gonna have lower that gun and trust me. I came here for the treasure, sipping m’whiskey and killing Imperials. The treasure is out of my reach, my bottles dry, so that just leaves those bastards outside.