SOMEWHERE NEAR THE OUTER RIM
Two special operations commandos stood side by side on the observation deck. Not much was said between them, but there didn't have to be. There was a somber mood in the air. Always was before a mission. The worst part was the waiting. Always waiting. From their perch aboard The Steadfast, the two had an excellent view of the destroyers milling about, punctuated by the occasional scream of starfighter engines as another patrol flew by.
"Think they'll come?"
"You kidding? Boss offered to pay off the ship. They'd be fools not to."
The younger of the two folded his arms over his chest. "Think boss would still go through with it if he found out who they owe the money to?"
"You say that like the boss doesn't already know."
The elder commando shrugged. "What's the worst he's gonna do, though? Nuke another city? Actually glass a planet? Mando's aint never gonna change, kid. Best just to live and let live. They'll get their dues soon enough."
The younger opened his mouth to say something, but was stopped by a flash of light, and a scream of engines as fighters streaked towards the newcomers. The onboard IFF soon confirmed the presence of their guest. The Jaster's Sparrow. "Jaster's Sparrow, you are clear to land in the main hanger. All Nexu Squad personnel report to the hanger." The elder nodded at the younger, indicating it was time to go.
When the ship arrived, only the elder soldier was there to greet them. He was dressed in full armor, save for the helmet tucked under his arm. "Welcome to the Steadfast, Captain. Glad you made it out here in one piece. Lord Voph wishes to extend an apology for not overseeing this venture personally. I'm Captain Aklin, leader of Nexu squad. I'll be giving you the rundown on the mission, and providing whatever support you need to make it happen. We've got a briefing room set up just this way." He gestured to the door behind him at the back of the hanger. "If you'll all follow me..."