“It’s only been done two times,” Elmer said to the smuggler as several drinkers tried subtly to get the space tavern owner’s attention. They needed refills, but knew better than to be too aggressive in asking for them; Elmer served patrons when he was ready. If they were in a hurry they could head down to the busier end of the massive wooden bar at Argy’s where the hired help quickly dispensed beer, booze and cigarettes.
“And both times by Han Solo, I know,” said the smuggler, a cocky young human who had told Elmer his name was Rico and that his YT-1300 was docked at the mini spaceport connected to the tavern. “I can do it. And when I succeed I want half your winnings and an open tab for life.”
Elmer grinned, something the wizened old man rarely did, especially since the Tavern Wars began. He arched his white eyebrows and said: “An open tab for a year – that’s what I’ll pay. That and half the winnings will make you a very rich and very drunk man. Agree to that and I’ll place the bet with the bookie. Lew the Hutt will be happy to take the other side – and to send ships to shoot you down.”
And with that the smuggler had agreed to try to complete the four-square run.
Elmer’s grin grew into a toothy smile.
“You can even pick any pilot in this place to be your wing man. If you both live, I’ll offer your partner a year of free drinks as well.”
Rico finished his beer and placed the mug back on the bar. He turned and saw a growing number of pilots slowly approaching him. Would one of them be brave – or foolish – enough to join him?