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Thread: Star Wars: Tapestry, Volume III

  1. #61
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    Cali felt her mood sour, as she stared into the empty cocktail glass. A few minutes ago she had caught a glance of Reil hurrying off into the back rooms in the company of some old woman. Which was fine. Great, even. Reil was free to associate with as many aged, wrinkled harlots as he could find. Sunny was still at the buffet, though he had been over briefly to share with her the wonders of some kind of hot cheese. All in all though, this party was not turning out the way she hoped. She was tired of being ignored and stared at in equal measure, and she was fermenting serious plans about harming the lead singer of the band.

    The band was fine, and the girl actually had a decent voice but Cali felt a nerve twitch as the singer belted out song after song of poor lovelorn girls desperate for their men. It was wretch worthy. The latest song was the worst, some serious ballad about a Socorran girl who threw herself at some spacer as soon as he walked into a bar, and then gets all weepy eyed and teary when the spacer finally left her. What exactly had she expected to happen?

    Cali was so wrapped up in this that she didn’t hear the band call a break, and only noticed that the music had stopped when she saw the singer standing beside her ordering a drink.
    “What’s the matter kid, did anybody tell you it’s a party?”

    “Huh?”

    “You’ve been scowling since you sat down. Mostly at me, I might add.”

    Cali shrugged and finished her cocktail.
    “Don’t feel much like dancing with you moaning on and on about how much you miss your man.”

    It was the singers turn to shrug.
    “I just play what pays the bills. People like this stuff.”

    “Maybe if you were a better singer you could make money singing decent songs.”

    The girl took her drink from the bartender.
    “Owch.” She took a sip of the bubbling liquid in her glass, then she leaned backwards on the bar and grinned wickedly at Cali. “Did I touch a nerve?”

    Cali rolled her eyes.
    “No, you didn’t.”

    The singer kept grinning.
    “It really looks like I did.”

    Cali glared at the singer.
    “I don’t care what it looks like! I’m fine, shut up, and go away.”

    The singer put up her hands in mock defense.
    “Hey, my bad. How about I make it up to you?”

    Cali sighed.
    “By doing what?”

    “Just watch me.”

    The singer winked at Cali as she walked over to one of her band mates. At first Cali thought she was bringing the musician over to her, but they walked past the bar, and back on stage. The musician began strumming a slower tune, as the singer began.
    Vera flew the coop when she was only soft sixteen
    She hopped the first and fastest train with some lousy libertine
    He'd spun a pretty story and he'd stole away her youth
    And everyone was shocked 'cos Vera always told the truth
    Oh, her slip surprised them all 'cos Vera always told the truth

    Vera dumped that lying lout in the dust behind the train
    He'd angled for a child but caught a heartless hurricane
    He wasn't worth a blaster, she just pushed him off the side
    And she thanked him for her freedom, she was eternally polite
    Vera thanked him for his trouble, she was nothing but polite

    Vera ran with lawless men who trembled when she talked
    She never flinched, she never smiled, and her gun was always cocked
    At twenty-one she terrorized the whole of the frontier
    And they feared her faithful justice, they knew Vera was sincere
    Oh, they ran from Vera's posse 'cos she was perfectly sincere

    Vera rode along the whole of her ferocious life
    She never met a boy she didn't think deserved the knife
    Not a one of them was worthy in her steady steely eyes
    'Cos they are fright’ed for their flaws and Vera always sneered at lies
    Yeah, she found all men were liars and Vera couldn't live with lies

    It was not 'till Vera's dying days her hard heart bled desire
    The man who shot her through was the only man she could admire
    That mortal wound awoken her, the final balm could soothe
    And she said "I think I love you" and Vera always told the truth
    Oh, as she died she said "I love you" and Vera always told the truth

    The singer climbed down off stage and sat beside Cali again, with her eyebrow cocked.
    “So?”

    “Vera dies? Your only song with a decent female protagonist and you kill her off?”

    The singer rolled her eyes.
    “God, there is just no pleasing you is there?”

    Cali shrugged.
    “It was a pretty good song.”Then she extended her hand. “I’m Cali.”

    “Dixie Dawn”, she said as she shook Cali’s hand. “So, how long have you been a music critic?”

    Cali smiled.
    “I’m not, really, I just spent a lot of time with this singer. . .”

    “Anyone I might have heard of?”

    Cali’s grin widened.
    “She was nobody special.”

    The two talked for a while, but then Dixie had to do another set on stage. When she finished, the party was mostly winding down. The rest of the band took off permanently, but Dixie stuck around to chat with Cali.

    “So I’m stuck here until the river thaws, and I can find some work. And then I’m still stuck here until I make enough money to go somewhere else.”

    Dawn leaned back in her chair.
    “Like where?”

    Cali shrugged, a little more helplessly than she would have liked.
    “The core maybe? I dunno. I’m new to this space traveling on your own. I just know I want to get off Taanab.”

    “I know the feeling. So what kind of work are you looking for?"

    “Whatever pays. Truth be told, I’d like to get myself established in something better than menial labour. Something where I get to use my guns. Nothing stupid like a swoop gang, or petty stuff; I want to be a bounty hunter, or a mercenary or something more than somebody’s cook and secretary.”

    Dawn glanced askew at Cali.
    “Riiiight. So killing things is your first inclination in that regard?”

    Cali smiled ruefully.
    “We can’t all be singers.”

    “Musicians.” Dawn corrected. Then she looked pensive. “And, I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but if you’re looking for the rough kind of work, I might know a guy who’s hiring now.”
    **********************************
    Dawn led Cali through the maze of back rooms in the hall. Cali had thought about telling Sunny where they were going, but decided against it. She had the feeling he’d encourage her towards more ‘respectable’ work, and frankly it was none of his business what she did. Finally, they came to an office room. Dawn opened the door, and inside Cali saw three men. Two were listening intently to the third, a thin, wiry man, as he lectured them.
    “It’s got to happen soon; before Doyle makes a decision, one way or the other, we’ve got to show that we’re in charge, and it’s our ship. Now-”

    Dawn coughed loudly.
    “Uhh, Will? It’s me; I brought someone to see you.”

    The thin man looked up at Dixie.
    “So I see. Who the hell is she?”

    Dixie was about to introduce Cali, but Cali was already stepping into the room. She extended her hand, which he did not take.
    “Cali, Cali Bellum. I hear you might have work for me.”

    Will cocked an eyebrow.
    “I do? Somehow I doubt that very much. I already have a service that takes care of my cleaning.”

    Cali retracted her hand.
    “What?”

    Will made a gesture at her clothing.
    “You’re a maid right?”

    Cali recoiled like she’d been struck.
    “What? NO! Why would you think that?”

    Will made a confused face.
    “Because you’re dressed like a maid?”

    “I AM NOT!”

    Will sighed.
    “You really are.”

    “Yeah, that’s a maid outfit. I thought you wore it to the party as a joke or something.” Dawn chimed in.

    Cali blushed a deep crimson as she fought to keep her anger in check.
    “I. . .Fine. Whatever, that is not what I’m here for.”

    “What are you here for?”

    “Dawn told me you needed someone to handle some rough business.”

    Will rubbed his temple.
    “Dawn told you, while dressed in a maids uniform, that I needed help, and brought you here to be part of my nefarious criminal schemes.” He turned to Dawn. “Really, Dixie? Are you actually trying to humiliate me, or is this a legitimate effort? Because I’m not sure which would depress me more.”

    Dawn held up her hands.
    “She said she was looking for this kind of work, and I know you’ve got some kind of situation going on. I think you should give her a shot.”

    Cali was more intrigued than angry at this point.
    “What situation?”

    Will threw his hands up in the air.
    “Leroy Brown is the situation. He’s a pimp, and a sore loser, but he holds his nose in the air around me, gives me no respect. I caught his boys trying to boost a ship that was left to me, and he’s afraid to settle this like a man, and goes squealing to hide behind Doyle’s skirt. Well, I’ve had enough, and I want Brown out of the way.” Will looked Cali over one last time. “But I don’t think sending in a pink maid so he laughs himself to death is the message I want to sen-”

    Cali’s pistol was pointed right at his head.
    “I can kill a man just as easy in a maid uniform as anything else. Are you satisfied that I’m capable, or do you need a demonstration?”

    Will grinned.
    “I’m satisfied.”

    Cali put her pistol away and took a seat.
    “So do you want me to steal the ship or. . .”

    Will shook his head, still grinning.
    “No, I have a much better plan in mind for you.” He extended his hand, which Cali shook. “My name is William, William McCoy. It’s a pleasure to be working with you miss Bellum.”

    *********************************
    The plan was simple enough. Leroy Brown lived in an apartment above his own bawdy house. Cali could slip in the back, pretending to be one of the call girls. Apparently her dress was such, she could blend right in. She felt her face redden at the reminder. I can’t believe none of them ever told me. When this is done, I’m going to stab Reil.

    Once inside, the only tricky part would be getting into Leroy’s apartment. McCoy didn’t know where or how the guards would be situated, but he figured they wouldn’t bother a whore on her rounds, and it wouldn’t be out of character for one to go to Leroy’s room.

    About a block away from the bawdy house Cali stopped, took a deep breath, and checked to make sure no one could see her pistols poking out of spots they shouldn’t be. It’s going to be fine. Get in, shoot him in the face, get out.

    As Cali walked through the alley that led to the bawdy house, she noticed a few other girls hanging around the back door smoking. She started preparing stories in case they challenged her at the door, but none of them gave her a second glance. Inside it was much the same, the girls were busy working, and the men were busy giving the girls work. It suddenly dawned on Cali that she didn’t know what she’d do if someone approached her. She wasn’t going off into a private room with any of these losers, but if she refused someone, they’d probably cause a big stink, and the whole plan would go to hell. Cali did her best to look unappealing and unobtrusive, as she made her way up several flights of stairs, and luckily escaped all notice.

    It wasn’t until she made her way all the way to the top that she met someone who was very clearly a guard. He was standing outside the door to Leroy’s apartment, looking bored. Cali marched up to him with a confidence she was not feeling, and smiled sweetly.
    “Leroy’s expecting me. Could you let me in?”

    The guard gave a half smile and mumbled “sure”, and went right back to looking bored as he keyed in the entry code for the apartment. The apartment was dark, and when the door shut behind her, Cali felt like she was being swallowed by the shadows. She took a few minutes to let her eyes adjust, and to get her breathing back to normal. This was no big deal. She’d shot people before. She’d stabbed people before. Just never in their homes while they slept. Focus! This is the real thing. I do this right, and I won’t be breaking my back on some dock for crap pay. This is what I wanted, remember?

    Cali drew a blaster, and set about finding the bedroom. When she did, she winced at the sound the door made as it slid open, but the lights didn’t come on automatically, and that was something to be thankful for. The bed was curtained, and she could hear breathing. Cali tore back the curtain with one hand, and leveled the blaster in the other at. . . some girl lying in the bed.

    The noise woke the girl up, and for a moment, she and Cali were transfixed in time, as they stared at each other in confusion. Then she noticed the blaster in Cali’s hand, and her eyes widened. Cali saw what was coming, she knew the girl was going to scream, but she hesitated.

    When the scream came it was blood curdling. Cali was already backing away from the bed, when she heard the door swish open as the guard rushed in. Cali turned, pulling her second blaster out and-

    Cali didn’t feel the blaster shot cut through her stomach. She didn’t even notice dropping the blaster in her right hand. She just felt the strength leave her limbs, and she fell to her knees, facing the doorway. Then the pain hit her and her vision swam. Her other blaster was in her left hand, and she tried to point it at the assailant. He might have said something like “don’t” or “stop” but she couldn’t focus enough to make it out. She had almost leveled it with him, when he shot her again.
    Last edited by Ice Hawk; 01-25-2012 at 10:31 PM.
    Zealos Reil thought he was hot
    so he left the sim-pod cold
    on his eighth mission he got shot
    and that's all there is to be told.
    Draw your own conclusions rookies.

  2. #62
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    The sensation of a tiny tongue licking the tip of her nose startled Fi out of a deep but all-too-short sleep. The perpetrator, a tiny Fabool puffball called Mr. Mace, chirped in apology and floated upward, hovering above the bed. Fi held a hand over her eyes to block out the brilliant midday sunlight beaming in through the giant windows in the bedroom's ceiling and walls, gradually becoming aware of another body next to her own, warm and deeply asleep. Fi turned toward her companion, to nudge Whatsisname awake and tell him he was late for work again.

    Surprised she was, then, to see an avalanche of copper curls cascading over her white pillow, and a bare, pale shoulder pointing up to the sky - the holostar, Jyllis Tromso, deep in sleep and dreams. Fi groggily pieced the events of yesterday's late night/early morning together. She, Jyllis, and their dates Nox 'Whatsisname' Wexler and Helbert Strand had been joyriding in a rented speeder. After a brush with the authorities, they'd found themselves being tailed by an unknown party and had nervously set down at the rental outlet to return the speeder and shake their pursuers. The much-older Strand had bid them adieu, in search of after hours adventures of his own, while the remaining three revelers had taken public transport to Fi's apartment, where Nox, uncharacteristically silent, sat watching holos and smoking cigarras while Fi and Jyll retreated to Fi's bedroom to talk, share a bottle of something-or-other, and watch the sun rise.

    Fi supposed that she and the girl had crashed right here, while Nox had eventually made his way to his office. Rising, she dimly noted that she was still wearing last night's white sparkly dress, now rumpled and unkempt. She'd have to get something proper on, she thought. But first, food.

    She made her way to the apartment's kitchen, with Mr. Mace following close behind in hopes of a meal of his own. But the kitchen was not empty.

    "Good morning," Nox greeted her, holding a cold cup of caff and looking anything but cheery.

    "Hi, doll," Fi replied, yawning and trying vaguely to straighten her unruly dark brown hair. "Shouldn't you be at work?"

    "I called in," he replied, "took the day off. I thought we could do something together. Something special. You know, just the two of us."

    "Like what?" Fi asked, unintentionally sounding a lot more suspicious than excited.

    Nox's face tensed as he gripped his cup. "Blast, I don't know," he said, "what would you like to do?"

    "Babe, I don't know," Fi replied, sensing exactly how she was coming across, but too tired to really care. "That was a pretty late night, and I've got another show at The Blue Room tonight. I should probably just stay in. You know, rest the pipes."

    Nox nodded professionally, tossing the cold contents of his cup into the sink. "Right," he said sarcastically, "'you' should. Not 'we' should."

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    The young man placed the empty cup on the counter as gently as he was able and turned to face her. "Fi, sometimes I think you don't actually love me at all."

    Nox, sometimes I think you actually have a clue.

    "That's crazy," Fi replied, trying to smile, and failing. "You know how I feel about'cha."

    "How?"

    Fi tried to look at him, but couldn't. Keeping her gaze fixed on the kitchen's immaculate white floor, she said, "I think you'd better leave."

    Nox stiffly walked toward the apartment's front door, pausing there to look at her once more.

    "Is this it?"

    Fi sighed, still unable to meet his gaze. "Yeah," she confessed, "I guess this is it."

    And then he was gone.

    Fi seated herself on one of the kitchen stools, waiting for the ache of guilt to come. But it did not. Nox would survive. He was young, handsome, and lovable, in his way. Not to mention wealthy. And alive. There would be other girls. He'd do alright.

    She sat in silence for a time, until she became aware of another person in the room. Jyllis Tromso stood in the bedroom doorway, looking disheveled but resplendent in Fi's white bathrobe. "Did I just walk in on something?"

    Fi looked at her new friend uncertainly. "I think I just broke up with Nox."

    Jyll remained in the doorway, choosing her words carefully. "Is that... a bad thing or a good thing?"

    Fi laughed, feeling the tension drain away. "It's a good thing, I guess," she admitted. "In the long run."

    The actress nodded, smiled. "Well then, she asked, "how about some breakfast?"

    Fi grimaced. "Alright, but I have to warn you - I'm a lousy cook."

    Jyll laughed winningly. "Silly," she chided, entering the kitchen and flinging open the door of the refrigeration unit, revealing its contents, "I was making you an offer."

    Fi's eyes sparkled.

    "I'll make the caff!"
    Last edited by I. J. Thompson; 01-25-2012 at 10:09 PM.
    Star Wars: Tapestry
    A 6+ year campaign draws to a close...
    ForumGroupWiki

  3. #63
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    Imperial red tape. The process was never fun, efficient or quick. When you have a flight plan and land uneventfully at your destination the paperwork was generally short and easy. But if you emergency land after a pirate attack...

    "Sir, can you please tell me who attacked you and where?", asked the bored imperial customs officer sitting at a desk.

    This was probably the third time Tach had been asked this question. It was a typical tactic; keep asking the same questions over and over until the story changes. But by now the smuggler was getting tired of it. "Bennet O'Reilly. In a 3-Z light freighter over Zonju V.", Tach stated clearly frustrated.

    The officer appeared to make notes on his datapad. "And why would he want to attack your ship?"

    Tach was looking over his ship, assessing the damage he could see from the customs office window. And it looked pretty bad. "Why not? He's a pirate. And I will be filing charges against him with the Imperial navy. Now will you clear my ship for repairs?"

    "Not yet.", he stated flatly, "We still need to assess the condition of your ship for the investigation and perform a contraband sweep. Standard operating procedure, citizen."

    Ah, yes, I know this game. "I understand, sir.", Tach responded. He reached into his satchel and drew out a Pocket Secretary datapad, offering it to the officer. "I think this will help speed things up. It has all the information you will need."

    The officer cautiously took the datapad and quickly realized he was given something extra. From behind the datapad he pulled a credit chip. A hint of suspicion painted the officers' face as he inserted the chip into his own datapad. But a few moments later;

    "I can have your ship ready to leave in a couple days.", he announced. Tach smiled and nodded then turned back to look at the Dullahan while the officer busily worked his computer console, hacking at the red tape holding the smuggler down.

    "And tonight I'll finally be able to take the wife to The Blue Room.", the officer murmured to himself. This comment had caught Tach off-guard for a moment. An imperial officer engaging in small talk was not common.

    Taking a seat in one of the uncomfortable chairs he asked, "What's The Blue Room?"

    "One of the finest dinner and dance establishments on Cloud City. My wife's been aching to go since she heard Fiola Shaku would be singing there. Now that I can afford to..."

    Tach cut him off, "Fiola who?"

    With an incredulous glare the officer asked, "Where have you been for the last few years?"

    "One side of the outer rim to the other. I don't have the luxury of stopping by major cities long enough to find out what's new and popular, you know.", the smuggler stated.

    "Fair enough. I'll tell you what. You've been very... co-operative... in making this investigation go smoothly. And you will be here for a couple of days. So I'll set you up at a nearby hotel; with the Imperial discount, of course."

    "Of course!", Tach emphasized with a smile.

    "And I can arrange a reservation for you at The Blue Room tonight, if you are interested."

    "Absolutely! Can you make it a table for three? I want to take my passengers with me."

    The officer looked at his terminal thoughtfully for a moment, "Yes, I can arrange that. Here,". He handed Tach his datapad back. "I've uploaded your information. You are good to go."

    Tach stood up, accepted the datapad and shook the officers hand. "Thank you, Officer...?"

    "Lamek. Next time you visit Cloud City call me ahead of time, alright?"

    "Yes sir, Officer Lamek." Tach gave a friendly wave and departed.

    Once outside the customs building he drew a comm unit from his pocket.

    "TC, bring the girls to the merchant district. We're going clothes shopping."

  4. #64
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    He was lying on an unkempt bed, bleary eyes tracing the patterns on the ceiling. The room matched the bed, colorful and cozy, filled with leaning stacks of books and trinkets. A model Eta-1 hung from the cluttered shelf. The ship that Pablo-Jill flew when he came to the planet. The whole world was nearly lawless, he had learned at school, but the Jedi Knight was able to defeat the warlords and unite most of the continent behind his leadership. They all learned about Pablo-Jill here.

    They said that, because of Pablo-Jill, the Force smiled on the world and protected it, and also those who had to leave until they made their way back again. The thought gave him hope, and he whispered a short prayer, like his mother had taught him.

    “Bring him back to home and cradle, back to where he is meant to be. Guide his journey; grant him strength and wisdom to use it. And that all things are done as they must be . . . .”

    “Bring him back home, please.” The last bit was his own, and he bit his lip as he said it. He held the black military cap clutched close to his chest and curled up on his side, hiding his face from the pink-stained light creeping in through the window.

    He heard the door creek open and soft footsteps navigating his booby-trapped floor. A soft hand ran its fingers through his hair and caressed his face. “Hey baby,” she said in a voice that he wanted to bury himself into.

    “He said he wasn’t going again.” He clutched the cap tighter.

    She continued to stroke his black hair and lighted a kiss that felt like the sun peeking through storm clouds on his forehead. “I know. He didn’t want to, you know that.”

    He felt the stinging in his eyes and tried to hide it. “But he promised,” he demanded, his voice betraying the tears he wouldn’t show.

    “I know, baby. But he needs to be out there, to keep the soldiers safe. To keep us all safe.”

    “He promised,” the dark-eyed boy persisted, his voice breaking. Turning, he looked into his mother’s eyes, red-rimmed like his. “They don’t need him! They said that it was the last time. They said.”

    “Yes they did. But things changed, and now they need him again. They need the best,” she answered in her honey-toned voice, but not even that could sooth him.

    He shook his little head. “They have the clones, they should send them, not real people.”

    “Baby, don’t say that--”

    “But they don’t matter! It doesn’t matter if one of them dies, ‘cause there’s a billion more. But I only have one. . .” He couldn’t finish, and threw his arms around his mother instead, burying his face in her lap. “If he doesn’t come back . . .” He couldn’t stop the tears any longer.

    “Shhh, it’ll be all right, honey,” she said, cradling him in her arms.

    She held him until his sobs died down to slow, shuddering breaths. Gently, she lifted his trembling chin. “Luis, listen to me. Your father is doing something great. He’s saving people. We’re all creatures of the force, even the clones. And they need him as much as we do.”

    “He’s coming back, right?”

    She smiled the way she always did when father was gone. “Of course he is, baby. Of course he is.”

    --

    Anthan stood next to him in the subway car, watching him with eyes furrowed. He must been have for some time now. “You feeling up for this?”

    “Yeah,” replied the black-haired man as he fiddled with his jacket and stoop up straight. “Just thinking.”

    “Right.”

    He glanced over to the man who had once been his friend. Less than a year ago. And now it felt like a great divide separated them.

    He cleared his throat. "Did I ever tell you about how my dad fought in the war?"
    Last edited by Fingon; 01-27-2012 at 01:51 AM.

  5. #65
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    The atmosphere aboard the Inun changed when Tam arrived. The boy rarely visited the many stations of the ship, keeping either to the Nexus room or within his small, spartan quarters nearby. He didn’t have to; the crew talked about him all the time.

    At first, Doule thought it was because of Tam’s age. Young men weren’t a common sight on Imperial vessels, especially those within a specialized naval squad organized by a High Inquisitor. But the men on the ship weren’t scandalizing over the boy’s age; they weren’t scandalizing about anything in particular. They just talked about him. All the time. Topics varied, from anecdotes about him asking a pointed question in the cargo bay to stories about experiences they’ve had while standing guard at the Nexus room. It was never about any inconvenience at clearing out the mess hall so Tam could eat in solitude or compulsory extra-vehicular maintenance assignments on the boy’s say so. As far as the men were concerned, Tam Dawncaller could do no wrong.

    And that’s when Doule realized what was really going on: Tam was in their heads, perhaps literally. He remembered the explanation Tremayne had offered about the sphere in the Nexus room and its otherworldly abilities. Tam sat in that sphere often, enclosed within its ancient looking apparata. Again the disturbing imagery of the Inun’s crew functioning as drones in some alien hive society came to Doule’s mind, and he felt like he had to confront Tam about it.

    He couldn’t think of how to start. “Tam…”

    The boy was in the Nexus room, staring intently out of the aft-facing windows, and didn’t move as he responded. “The crew’s behavior is disturbing you.”

    The boy had articulated Doule’s exact thoughts on the matter, and that disturbed the captain all the more. “That’s an understatement, if I may say so.”

    “I like to think of this as the ‘adjustment period’ of the process.”

    “You’ve done this before?”

    “Not to this extent, but Tremayne ran several… experiments.” Tam’s voice was one of distaste and guilt. “It may ease your concerns to know that, of all the men on this ship—on all the ships of Morning Star Squad, in fact—you are the only one I leave outside my area of influence.”

    So everyone else in the entire squad was behaving as Doule’s crew was? Were they all talking about Tam like Doule’s men? And why am I exempt from his thrall?

    “I know it’s a lot to take in, and I hope you can keep all this to yourself. My connection with the crews is something on a less than conscious level, and I doubt that if you told anyone they would believe you. Your credibility in this squad and on this ship is shaky enough as it is. I’d hate to see that destroyed.

    “You’re my safety net, Doule. I’m trusting you to give me your outside view as I operate the squad. I’m in the clutches of the Empire now. I’ll play my part in its war machine until the time comes when I can show Tremayne and others what a mistake it is to try and control me. Watch me, Todrin, and make sure I don’t become a worse monster than they are.”

    As Doule stared into those tired, frightened eyes, he wondered if he was even capable of seeing such a thing and take measures to prevent it. He also wondered, with dread and horror, if he was already too late…

  6. #66
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    Cutting through the fence had been easier than Reil had hoped. Encouragingly so. The security around the hangars was so lax it was almost like no one expected anyone to really try. Reil corrected himself mentally. That’s because they don’t expect anyone to try. No one around here would be this stupid. Except me, apparently.

    The lights were off in all of the hangars, and the only real security protected the payroll in the main office at the front of the compound. Reil crossed the snow covered landing pad to the one that house the Concordia, and frowned. The silence of the night was broken by the crunching his boots made as he tramped through the deeper drifts of snow. It didn’t seem to matter how lightly he tried to step, the crunching sounded deafening. Finally Reil came to the right hangar, and was surprised to hear voices. He supposed he should have figured Doyle would station guards to personally watch over it. Reil moved around to the back entrance, which was wide open.

    Inside there were two thugs, trying desperately to force the sealed hatch at the ship’s entrance ramp, as well as the bodies of what had probably been the ship’s guard. Reil frowned as he looked at them. They had been shot at their posts, their weapons weren’t even drawn. The two trying to force their way onto the ship had their backs to Reil, and hadn’t noticed him yet. Reil drew his blaster.

    They hadn’t needed to kill the guards, Reil mused; the hangar was remote enough that no one would have heard the stun bolts. Reil aimed. The blue stun bolt caught the first thug and threw him backwards into the second. Reil caught the second one with a blast as he struggled out from underneath his comrade, and tried to draw his weapon. They both laid unconscious at the bottom of the Concordia’s ramp.

    Reil didn’t holster his weapon right away. His thumb played on the setting from stun to kill. It wasn’t too late to change his mind. No one would ever know. Reil sighed. He wasn’t here to play law man and dispense justice. Reil wasn’t even sure why he cared, for all he knew, he might have had to kill the guards himself, if they hadn’t beaten him to the punch. Reil shoved his pistol back in its holster, and walked towards the ship. He spared one last glance at the two would be thieves, and then stepped over them to key in the access code Meredith gave him.

    *****************************
    Reil inspected the interior of the Concordia, and was forced to admit; it was a damn fine ship. A Muurian transport that had been completely overhauled, and refitted with a faster hyper drive, better shields, and real Nerf hide on all of the seats. Whatever the trader had done to go so deep in debt, Reil hoped it was worth it because this was a fantastic ship.
    Reil settled himself in the seat beside the navicomputer and considered just using the computer to read Meredith’s disks, rather than stealing the ship and getting shot at. Reil supposed the point was moot, because she would probably try to have him killed if he skunked the job anyway. And it was a really nice ship.

    Reil’s thoughts were interrupted by a signal on his comlink. He checked the frequency, but he already knew there were only two people who would be calling him. It was Sunny. Reil considered not answering it. Cali had done something, and Saul wanted Reil to sort it out rather than get his own hands dirty. Maybe he should ignore it, and let Cali sort it herself. She was all independent now, right? Reil sighed and answered the blasted thing.
    “Wha’d she boost, and who’d she boost it from?”

    *******************
    Reil ended the call, and quietly moved to the pilot’s seat. He powered up the repulsors, and goosed the ship out of the hangar, and on to the pad. When he was clear of the hangar, he pointed the nose skyward, and punched the throttle, blasting off the landing pad.

    *************************
    The automatic doors swung open. Reil was jogging down the pristine white entrance hall toward the receptionist. He slowed, and finally stopped, as he saw Doyle move into his way, flanked by two officers of the TAR. The officers moved towards Reil but Doyle held up a hand.
    “Easy boys, you remember our deal. He’s all yours, after I’m through with him.”

    He turned to Reil and smiled.
    “You and your girlfriend have stirred up quite a hornet’s nest Zealos. Been taking lots of risks, making bold decisions. I think we had a talk along this vein earlier in the evening. That’s quite a ship you came here in.”

    Reil bit back his anger.
    “I’m just trying to get by Doyle.”

    Doyle smiled.
    “You look like you’re doing better than just getting by Zealos, it looks like you’re even getting a little greedy. Now, I know we’ve butted heads, but this is-”

    Reil cut Doyle off.
    “You misunderstand; I’m trying to get by you. You’re in my way.” There was a pause, then “Get out of my way.”

    Doyle frowned and stepped forward, to get right into Reil’s face.
    “You don’t seem to understand the situation you’ve caused. You’re not going anywhere until I get answers. And if I don’t get the answers that I like-”

    Reil poked the barrel of his blaster into Doyle’s stomach.
    “It’s been a long night Doyle, so here’s some friendly advice: Don’t push me, and I won’t shoot you.”

    Doyle smiled at that.
    “A belly wound, Zealos? In the middle of the hospital? Why not threaten me with a paper cut, it’d be just as effective. ”

    “The ship is on the landing pad; feel free to take it back. And we’ll talk, after I’ve seen her.”

    Doyle stepped back, and made a big show of graciously stepping out of Reil’s way. Reil approached the receptionist, when Doyle called out to him.
    “She’s still in Bacta. Down the hall, take two lefts.”

    Reil began jogging again, down towards the tanks.
    Last edited by Ice Hawk; 01-29-2012 at 02:25 PM.
    Zealos Reil thought he was hot
    so he left the sim-pod cold
    on his eighth mission he got shot
    and that's all there is to be told.
    Draw your own conclusions rookies.

  7. #67
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    The first thing Cali was aware of was the smell. Sickly and sweet, like fruit left out in Tatooine’s suns for too long. Then she could taste it, like it coated her mouth. She groaned and she struggled to open her eyes, but the light was blindingly white and her eyes began watering. She tried to sit up, but was rocked with pain. Then she felt a hand on hers and heard a familiar voice.
    “Hey, take it easy, they just brought you out a little while ago.”

    Cali struggled to stay lucid.
    “Reil?”

    “Yeah, I’m here.”

    Cali groaned.
    “Aw damn it, they sent me to the annoying hell. . .”

    She heard Reil chuckle.
    “You know it’s talk like that, that got you sent down here in the first place. With a cleaner mouth and a better attitude, you could have wings and a harp and the whole shebang.”

    She smiled at what she hoped was Reil. Her eyes still hadn’t adjusted, but she could sorta make out shapes.
    “And here I thought it was all the thieving and killing that would do me in.”

    “Nope, pessimism and casual blasphemy; gets ya every time.”

    Cali worked her jaw trying to get the taste out.
    “Reil, could you get me some water or something, my mouth tastes like-”

    “Bacta,” Reil said as he lifted the glass to her lips, “and you should be glad of it. It was a close thing for a while. If they had got you in the tanks any later, you might not have made it.”

    Cali drank greedily, but it only washed some of the taste away. She pushed the glass away when she was finished, and tried to sit up again, more slowly this time. The room finally came into focus as she did. It was white, white floors, white walls; the ceiling was made out of white panels, which the bright fluorescent white lights were interspaced between. There was a sheet to her left which partitioned off the rest of the room, and to break with the monotone it was an ugly peachy colour, with a barely visible floral pattern that had faded from so many washings.
    “Where am I?”

    Reil was sitting in a fold out chair beside her bed, looking haggard, and more than a little shabby. Quietly Cali expected that she should be grateful for the Bacta smell, because he looked like he hadn’t showered in days.
    “Greyson Medical Center, in Mordin’s Harbor. They had to air lift you out of Twillingate to get you here in time. You were in the tank for five whole days; they only brought you here a couple of hours ago.”

    “What happened?”

    Reil grimaced and folded his arms.
    “Two blaster shot wounds, through the stomach, the other in the shoulder. You went into shock after that, and the guard called emergency services. Or do you mean you want to know what you were doing in the penthouse level of a bordello? ‘Cause I got questions on that score myself.”

    Cali closed her eyes and laid back down. She was feeling woozy.
    “Wha’d he go an’ do that for?”

    Reil was confused.
    “Shoot you? Because you broke into someone’s home and pulled a gun on some poor girl.”

    Cali shook her head.
    “Call ‘smergeny crevices, I mean.”

    Reil took her hand and squeezed it.
    “I don’t know; but I’m glad he did.”

    Cali didn’t respond as the pain medication kicked in and she passed out again. Reil watched her sleep for a while, until his eyes started getting heavy, and it began to hurt when he blinked. Reil jolted awake when he felt someone lightly kick his leg to get his attention. Doyle was standing in front of Reil, holding two disposable cups of caf.
    “You know, if I was going to have her killed, I probably would have had it done before she reached the hospital. You should go rest in an actual bed,” he wrinkled his nose, “or take a shower or something.”

    He handed one of the cups to Reil, who took it and began sipping it.
    “As much as I appreciate your concern Doyle, and the caf, what are you doing here?”

    Doyle pulled up a chair across from Reil and sat down.
    “I thought we might have our chat now, since she’s out of danger and all.”

    Reil rubbed the sleep from his eyes.
    “All right, I guess you’ve been patient enough. What do you want to know?”

    Doyle frowned.
    “Did you kill my men?”

    Reil blinked, and tried to focus.
    “You mean in the hangar?”

    Doyle nodded. Reil took another sip of caf before answering.
    “No. Dead when I got there. Two guys trying to force the ship’s door. I stunned them, took the ship.”

    Doyle sat back and relaxed.
    “You didn’t do them any favours you know, those boys you stunned. My men found them, and were very unhappy about what happened to their friends. I thought maybe you hired them to do the theft with you, and then turned on them at the last second, but I guess if you were going to do that, you would have just killed them.”

    Reil grinned
    “I’m so glad you think so highly of my scruples.”

    Doyle shrugged.
    “Well Zealos, you did steal a ship. That’s kind of a strike against you.”

    Reil sighed.
    “I gave it back. That has to count for something.”

    Doyle smiled.
    “It does. Last question for you, why’d you steal that ship?”

    Reil drained the last of the caf before answering.
    “Nerf hide seats. Just can’t put a price on comfort like that.”

    Doyle stopped smiling.
    “Cute. You know what I mean, which one hired you?”

    Reil arched an eyebrow.
    “You sure you wanna know?”

    Doyle frowned.
    “Your question implies that I don’t.” He considered this, “Sometimes, not knowing is the better option.”

    “You’ve been married a while, h-uh?”

    Doyle massaged his temples in frustration.
    “For the record, neither Brown or McCoy hired you?”

    Reil leaned forward.
    “For the record, no one hired me; I just wanted a ship off-world. Are we done?”

    Doyle stood up.
    “You and I are done. I’ll still need to sort out what happened with Ms. Bellum, but she can rest a while longer.”

    Reil stood up, and tossed the disposable caf cup towards the garbage container on the far side of the room. It bounced off the side, and went rolling out into the hallway. He turned back to Doyle.
    “Are we square?”

    Doyle smiled.
    “Yes Reil, you and I are square.”

    Reil nodded his head in the direction of the door, where two TAR officers stood guard outside.
    “Would taking care of that be part of us being square?”

    Doyle shook his head.
    “No Reil, no it would not. You and Ms. Bellum are going to have to answer for violating your release, and Ms. Bellum will be facing attempted murder charges as well. The case against her is quite strong. For what it’s worth Zealos, I convinced them to drop the charges of grand theft on you.”

    Reil sighed.
    “Great, thanks. I assume you can show yourself out?”

    Doyle made his way towards the door.
    “Call me when she’s ready to talk Zealos. And make it soon.”

    When he left Reil slumped back into his chair, feeling more tired than before.
    Last edited by Ice Hawk; 02-01-2012 at 05:56 AM.
    Zealos Reil thought he was hot
    so he left the sim-pod cold
    on his eighth mission he got shot
    and that's all there is to be told.
    Draw your own conclusions rookies.

  8. #68
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    Cali groggily slipped out of sleep, and sat up. The pain wasn’t so bad now. She wasn’t sure if that was because she was healed, or was just under some really good medication. She tried to work her shoulder, and found that it was still quite sore. The skin around the wound was all red and swollen, but there wasn’t any actual trace of the blaster shot and it didn’t look like it was going to scar. Cali wasn’t sure how she felt about that. It hadn’t exactly been a night she wanted to remember, but still, a scar would have been kinda cool. She prodded at her stomach, and that hurt like hell. She assumed it looked the same, but she wasn’t about to strip off the medical gown and check with Reil sleeping near the foot of her bed.

    He was propped up between two folding chairs, resting his feet in one while slouched in the other. It didn’t look comfortable. She couldn’t tell what time it was, she couldn’t see any clocks, and the window at her bedside only showed more of the same, black skies, snowy grounds. This planet sucked. Reil grunted in his sleep, and turned precariously onto his side in his makeshift hammock-chair crossbreed. Cali was reluctant to wake him, at least when she didn’t know how long he’d been asleep, but watching him sleep was boring. And little gross, with the drooling and all. She cleared her throat.
    “Reil?”

    Reil rolled again, this time his foot caught on an edge of the far chair, pulling it out of place, and the whole set up collapsed on him.
    “Ahahow! Ow. What? What is it? More water?”

    Cali shook her head as Reil got up.
    “No, I was just wondering what time it is.”

    Reil arched his back, trying to work the kinks out of it.
    “And you woke me up for that?”

    Cali sighed.
    “Well I didn’t think you’d topple like that if I did.”

    “How exactly did you see waking me up suddenly working out?”

    “Well how did you picture waking up at all would work out, situated like that?”

    Reil rubbed his eyes.
    “Better than that, I suppose.” He checked his chrono. “It’s three o’clock in the morning. Anything else you’d like?”

    Cali considered this.
    “I’m kinda hungry.”

    Reil sat one of his chairs right ways up.
    “So, you want me to get you something to eat?”

    “If it’s not too much trouble.”

    Reil sighed, as Cali smiled sweetly at him, and batted her eyelashes. Kind of; really it looked more like she was just having trouble seeing in the dark, but Reil couldn’t help but grin at the gesture. The kitchen was closed, and he had to climb down three flights of stairs to find a vending machine, followed closely by one of the TAR agents who had been stationed outside of Cali’s door. Reil had considered giving one of them some money to go fetch it, but they probably would have just pocketed the credits anyhow. And then he’d just be sitting in the room for fifteen minutes with Cali waiting, until it became obvious that her food was never coming, and that would be awkward.

    Reil finally returned with a bag of something salty, and a can of carbonated syrup. Cali smiled as she took them from him.
    “Thanks.”

    Reil smiled back and took off his chrono, placing it on her nightstand.
    “So you can check for yourself next time.”

    Reil was about to sit down and go back to sleep, when Cali stopped him.
    “Reil?”

    “Yeah?”

    “Why are you here?”

    Reil shook his head, trying to clear it. Riddles in the dark weren’t really his thing.
    “ ‘Cause you got shot?”

    Cali frowned at the evasion.
    “No, that’s why I’m here. You were gonna do some deal with Doyle, and go back to your fleet. Why haven’t you?”

    Reil resigned himself to the fact that sleep just wasn’t in the cards.
    “Deal with Doyle didn’t go through. Actually, he laughed me out of the meeting, like Sunny predicted. After that, I heard you were shot, and they were taking you here, so I rushed over, to see that you were being taken care of.”

    “Well that was sweet of you, but as you can see, I’m right as rain. More or less.”

    Reil arched an eyebrow.
    “Are you asking me to leave?”

    “Nononono.” Cali held her hands up defensively. This wasn’t going as she’d hoped. Cali struggled for the words. “Look, it’s just that. . . You look awful Reil.”

    Reil frowned.
    “Thanks. Right back at ya.”

    Cali’s temper flared.
    “Well I was shot, what’s your excuse?”

    “It really does sound like you’re asking me to leave.”

    “NO.” Cali sighed. “Look, it’s just; I know you don’t wanna be here, okay? I made a big deal about going off on my own, and then I mucked it up and got shot, and now you’re stuck here babysitting me, waiting on me, no bed, sleeping on chairs. I’m grateful, don’t mistake that, but I know this is throwing a wrench into you going back to the fleet, and you don’t have to do this anymore. I guess that’s just what I’m trying to say.”

    Reil arched an eyebrow.
    “You say this, after, you woke me up to tell you the time and get you snacks?”

    Cali smiled sheepishly.
    “I was hungry.”

    Reil grinned in turn and shook his head.
    “Well, as much as I appreciate the sentiment, and it was big of you to say all that, let me tell you what I was doing while you were getting yourself riddled with holes. Doyle laughed me out of the meeting, and I was prepared to go drown my sorrows at the bar, when his wife approached, and made me an offer. Doyle’s lieutenants, McCoy and Brown, were fighting over a ship, and Doyle was caught in the middle of it. She wanted me to steal the ship, and take it far away, and in exchange for doing this, she’d give me two discs that would lead me to the Rebellion.

    Well I took the ship, and was about to leave this place in the dust, when Sunny called. Said that you’d ditched him, and he’d gone looking for you. He heard that you’d been shot, and moved here, to the hospital. Well I ended the call and flew right here. You were already here, by the time he called; they’d gotten you into bacta right away. Doc’s told me when I got here that you were in no danger, but I was terrified, watching you float in the tanks. You were like a dead thing, just bobbing up and down. That was awful.

    They brought you out of those after almost a week, and you were practically healed up, but you still weren’t awake, and that worried me. And then you finally woke up. I cannot fully describe the relief I felt at seeing you awake, but it was intense, like my stomach had been twisted, and knotted before, but suddenly it undid itself. But you had never been in any real danger, not once the call had been put in to the paramedics. I haven’t been waiting here for you because I was worried about you pulling through.”

    “Then why?”

    Reil sighed and sat on the edge of her bed.
    “I’m not ready to be without you. I just. . . I wanted to be with you. I still want to be with you. Even if that meant not going back to the fleet. If you still want me around, anyhow.”

    Cali leaned forward, and kissed Reil.
    “That was quite a speech. Did you rehearse it?”

    Reil smiled and kissed her back.
    “Once or twice.”

    *****************************
    Reil laid beside Cali, his back propped up against the head of her bed. Cali was beside him, resting her head on his chest. They sat in comfortable silence for a while. Cali finally broke the silence.
    “Do you still want to go back?”

    Reil turned to look at her.
    “Hmmm?”

    “To the Rebellion, do you still want to go back? I mean, not to stay, or rejoin, or anything. But if you wanted to go back, and explain to your friends. . .” She let the suggestion trail off. Finishing that statement would only spoil things. Explain what to his friends? That he left them for me? What am I going to do, stand there and smile like an idiot while he tells them he’s very sorry for abandoning them to fight on alone, but he can’t stay because of me? Why even bring it up now?

    Reil sighed, and shook his head.
    “Not really. Not that it matters now anyway.”

    Cali smiled, relieved that they weren’t going to dwell on the issue, but was confused by the last part.
    “Wait, what do you mean it doesn’t matter now?”

    Reil looked her in the eyes.
    “Well we’re under arrest now.”

    “What?” Cali asked sharply.

    “Arrest. The police came with the paramedics; they’ve got you on attempted murder, and found that you were wanted by the TAR for breaking your house arrest. The TAR caught me when I got here; I’m wanted for breaking the arrest too.”

    Cali practically bolted out of bed.
    “What!?”

    Reil jumped up and held her back to keep her from ripping and IV out or something.
    “The TAR, they’re outside your room, waiting for Doyle to clear them to arrest us. Listen, settle down. It’ll be okay.”

    “Why are you so calm about this? We need to get out of here! We need to-”

    Reil sighed.
    “Do what? Run? You can hardly stand. Just lay back down.”

    Cali would have fought harder, but she found she was exhausted from even that simple exertion. She laid back down and tried to catch her breath.
    “So what? We’re just gonna wait for them to ship us off to jail?”

    Reil sat back down.
    “There’ll be a trial first. Mostly a formality, since the cases against us are airtight. And then I’ll be going to jail. Looking at about three years, since my record’s mostly clean, and that other stuff about the smuggling and the shootings has more or less resolved itself, and I plan on co-operating with law enforcement. They will probably drop the parole violation with you, if you plead guilty to the attempted murder, which I suggest you do, because they will prove that quite easily in a court of law. And then it really depends on whether the judge decides to try you as a minor or as an adult. You’re facing a minimum of five years either way, probably not much more than that, since you never actually hurt anybody, but if you’re tried as a minor, you’ll spend it in a juvenile detention facility, and as an adult, you go to jail. Aim for being tried as a minor. But yeah, we just wait for it to happen.”

    Cali tried to wrap her head around what Reil was saying.
    “There has to be something you can do, someone you can call. . .”

    Reil shook his head.
    “Sunny came by, about two days ago, to drop off your stuff. The TAR is holding it right now. After that, he washed his hands of us. Life has become very hard in Twillingate for him, what with the ship theft, and the attempted murder. Everybody knows he put us up, right before we went and caused all this trouble. Between that, and breaking our parole with Virgil to go see Sunny, we’ve just about burned every bridge I had here. Doyle just wants the affairs sorted neatly, before he ships us off to prison.”

    Cali’s mind raced, as she tried to think of a solution.
    “What about the ship? We could try and make a break for space, we could go hide with the rebels!”

    Reil shook his head.
    “Doyle took the ship back when I landed here. Look, Cali, I knew what was going to happen before I ever touched down. I know this is a lot for you to take in, and it’s not a happy picture I’m giving you, but the alternative was that you bled out in the penthouse floor of a bawdy house.”

    Cali was quiet for a while.
    “This is my fault, isn’t it? We both got caught because I screwed up.”

    Reil didn’t know what to say, so he just held her.

    *******************************************
    The next few days were very difficult. Cali alternated between blaming herself for getting them into this situation, and blaming Reil for giving up and meekly accepting it. Reil figured she was mostly just scared, five years daunting prospect for anybody. Not that three years was looking much better. On the third day Doyle stopped by, and was given a brief overview of what had happened. All he was really looking for was confirmation the McCoy had ordered the hit, and went on his merry way. Then the TAR officers came, and took them away.

    Cali was put in the detention center’s infirmary, while Reil was given a cozy cell to himself. In solitary. He wasn’t in there more than a few hours, when he got his first visitor.
    Zealos Reil thought he was hot
    so he left the sim-pod cold
    on his eighth mission he got shot
    and that's all there is to be told.
    Draw your own conclusions rookies.

  9. #69
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    Fi was just putting the finishing touches on her makeup for the evening's performance when her comlink beeped for attention.

    "Yo!"

    "Fi?" the caller responded, her voice sounding tinny over the small device. "It's Jyllis."

    "Hey doll," Fi smiled, "what's up?"

    "Well, it turns out it was a lucky thing that I crashed at your place last night," the actress laughed nervously. "Somebody broke into my hotel room."

    "What?" Fi put her makeup brush down and sat bolt upright. "Who? When?"

    "They don't know who it was," the voice replied, "but the door was discovered forced open on the morning breakfast run. Crazy, huh?"

    "Too crazy," Fi agreed, looking in the mirror and noticing how wide her eyes were. "Are you safe? Where are you?"

    There was a momentary pause, and the sounds of muffled movement. "Oh I'm fine, don't worry. Actually, I'm here at The Blue Room right now. Me and Helly are just being taken to our table. Also, when my agent found out, he flipped and hired me a bodyguard. So I should be good."

    "Ooh, a bodyguard," Fi teased. "Is he cute?"

    "Depending on your tastes. Helbert sure seems to like him."

    Fi giggled nervously. "Well, you be careful, okay? Where are you sitting?"

    "House left, about halfway back. It's pretty dark back here, I don't know if you'll see us with the stage lights on."

    "I'll be looking for you. Be safe, okay? And enjoy the show. I'll come find you after."

    "Roger!"

    Fi snapped the comlink off, studied her reflection in the dressing room's mirror again, then stood and made for the door, which Marce was already on the other side of.

    "Oh, Fi!" The stage manager greeted her, "you're on!"

    Fi followed the Sullustan girl down the hall to the strains of the Count Xun Orchestra, already in progress, growing louder as she approached the backstage left area. "Knock 'em dead!" Marce said, compulsively adjusting her headset once more before disappearing into the darkness. The band wrapped up its number, and with a brief introduction from the formal-but-congenial Count Xun, Fi was on.

    The applause was a little louder tonight, the crowd a little larger. A good sign. A quick count-in from the percussionist launched the orchestra into the up-tempo standard 'Take a Good Look', Fi laying into the vocal part with confidence and ease, even despite the absence of her treasured mandoviol.

    It is getting easier!

    Knowing the lyrics by heart, Fi could concentrate on scanning the crowd. There were couples dancing, which was always a welcome performance-booster. A straight-laced Imperial cat and his wife, the woman looking adoringly at Fi and clapping her hands after almost every line she sang. Must be a Moonbeam Levels fan, Fi mused, surprised and delighted that middle-agers like this woman and her husband would have heard of (let alone been a fan of) her old band. There were others, too. A pair of leafy plant-beings, wearing no clothing to speak of but decked out in some of the finest jewelry Fi had ever seen. A pair of sexy, blue-skinned Twi'lek ladies dancing with a lone gentleman. He was interesting; well-dressed, but with a manner about him that suggested a more colourful life than the rest of The Blue Room's clientele. A pair of tipsy Gotals, struggling to stay on the beat but clearly having the time of their lives. No sign of Jyll and company, though. As expected, it was too dark in the seating area to make out anyone, even despite the small glowlamp that rested at the centre of every table.

    The song concluded, the Count Xun Orchestra segued into the ballad 'I'll Be Here'. It was one of Fi's favourites. She gripped the microphone stand aesthetically, smiled at the Imperial woman (who smiled back tenfold), and relaxed herself so she could hit the low notes.

    She was happy.
    Last edited by I. J. Thompson; 02-06-2012 at 10:11 PM.
    Star Wars: Tapestry
    A 6+ year campaign draws to a close...
    ForumGroupWiki

  10. #70
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    Reil groaned as the cell doors opened to reveal the same stocky detective that had interrogated him on their first arrest. He was smiling, so Reil took that to be a very bad sign. The detective motioned for Reil to get out the cell.
    “Well, would you look at that; after all your jokes and powerful connections, you wound up in jail again. What’s the matter kid, your friends didn’t think you were hi-larious either?”

    Reil grinned ruefully despite himself.
    “As a matter of fact they didn’t. I was so hurt I turned to a life of crime to deal with my frustration. How’s the hand healing, by the way?”

    “It’s just fine, funny man. How’s the biter?”

    Reil frowned.
    “She’s been better actually. Any chance you’re gonna take me past the infirmary, and I might check up on her?”

    The idea amused the detective.
    “You’re asking me for favours now? How do you really see that ending?”

    “Well if I’m really lucky, it ends wither her biting you again, and me being there to see it this time.”

    The detective glared at Reil.
    “No, we’re not going by the infirmary. I want you to see something, so we’re gonna take a little walk.”

    Reil sighed.
    “All right, but if this turns out to be a ploy to take me on a long walk across the beach, I’m going back to my cell.”

    The detective pointed down a long hallway.
    “Shut up and start walking.”

    As they walked through the detention center, Reil became acutely aware of the fact that the detective was the only one guarding him, and that he hadn’t bothered to shackle Reil’s hands or feet. This was probably as good an opportunity to escape as he was ever going to have. Good being a relative term, since even if he did get the drop on the detective, and managed to subdue him, he’d still be in the middle of a detention center, filled with cops, and designed to prevent escape. And that wasn’t even counting trying to get Cali out. Reil sighed, and resigned himself to prison life, when the detective told him to stop. They were at a window, overlooking the landing pad. Reil cocked an eyebrow.
    “Look, this has been fun and all, but if you’re done marching me around, I actually preferred sitting in my cell.”

    The detective grinned and checked his chrono.
    “Just keep looking out the window. You’ll see in a minute.”

    Reil looked out the window towards the empty landing pad. This was rapidly becoming a chore.
    “All right, I’m looking. I’m not sure why I’m looking but I am. What am I looking fo-?”

    Immediately, a Lambda class shuttle touched down on the landing pad. Painted on its central wing was the Imperial emblem. Reil felt his stomach sink, as he finally figured out what this whole thing had been about. The detective began to chuckle.
    “It seems that someone called in an anonymous tip about you having a connection to the Rebellion. The Empire apparently takes potential terrorist threats very seriously, and they sent someone down to investigate. Your case, and the girl’s, are going to be turned over to the Imperial authorities. While I am a little sad, that I can no longer personally be involved in sending you to prison, I am consoled by the notion that Kessel, or someplace just like it, is where you’ll be for a very long time.”

    ************************************

    Reil was put back into his cell, only to be taken to an interrogation room; only to be left to wait for an hour, until finally, an Imperial Lieutenant, flanked by storm troopers entered the room. He was a young man, his uniform pressed and neat. He was probably almost of age with Zealos, if not younger, and the fact that he outranked Reil was a little annoying. He sat down across from Zealos and smiled warmly, laying a recording device on the table, but not bothering to switch it on.
    “Hello Mister Reil, I apologize for not being able to address you by your rank, but unfortunately our mysterious informant did not know it. If you would share that information with me, I would be happy to amend my opening statement.”

    Reil smiled.
    “Does that really work?”

    The Lieutenant shrugged.
    “Sometimes, when the subject knows that they’ve been caught, and would like to start the proceedings with dignity. Would you like to start this way?”

    Reil was skeptical.
    “It’s hard to be dignified digging for spice. Or do you let them go, if they cop to being a terrorist right away?”

    The Lieutenant shrugged again.
    “I have no say in what happens to anyone, that duty falls unto the sentencing comity. I can only decide whether or not to charge you. As for being a terrorist, I always file Rebel cases under Prisoner of War.”

    Reil rolled his eyes.
    “Well that’s very kind of you, but since you send both kinds to Kessel it makes very little real difference. I’m starting to suspect that you may not be what I’m looking for after all.”

    The Imperial tilted his head in confusion.
    “I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

    Reil tried to explain.
    “Let’s say for the minute, hypothetically, that I was with the Rebel Alliance, and I was willing to co-operate with your investigation. Now just supposing that I had some very valuable information, that an Imperial officer, like yourself, only more useful, could use to buck for a promotion. What could I, hypothetically, get in return for my co-operation?”

    The officer eyed him suspiciously.
    “What would you want?”

    “Amnesty.”

    “Well based on whatever you gave us, I could certainly see not pressing charges on an Imperial level, and handing you back over to the local authorities.”

    Reil laughed.
    “Local authorities. You think I’d give up valuable information, promotion worthy information, in exchange for the privilege of rotting in a Taanab jail? Don’t they screen the applicants for your job at all?”

    The Imperial sighed.
    “Fine. What do you want? Hypothetically.”

    “Like I said, amnesty, not just for me, but for a Miss Cali Bellum, currently in the infirmary, under arrest for attempted murder. And I do mean amnesty, like you wipe our records clean, and drop us off on a planet or station far from here, and we never cross paths again kinda amnesty. Could you do that? Hypothetically.”

    The Lieutenant shook his head.
    “That’s asking a lot. I’d have to hear the information first, then get authorization to make that kind of deal.”

    Reil grinned.
    “I’m not giving you anything, until I have a deal in writing giving Cali and I amnesty.”

    The officer frowned.
    “Then we appear to be at an impasse.”

    Reil thought about this.
    “Look, call your superior, and tell him the information deals with an incident over Ryloth about four months back, and that I have information about the disappearance of the Interdictor Cruiser Disrupter.”
    Zealos Reil thought he was hot
    so he left the sim-pod cold
    on his eighth mission he got shot
    and that's all there is to be told.
    Draw your own conclusions rookies.

  11. #71
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    Select: Drink -> Brandy -> Dornean brandy

    Thank you, your drink will be delivered soon.


    The dim glow from the table's menu faded and Tach was able to focus on the entertainment once again. On the dance floor were the twins, still dancing with the crowd; all seemingly entranced with Fiola's music. It wasn't hard to see the allure of this singer. She has charisma, confidence and a melodic voice that refuses to be ignored while on the stage.

    Being pleasent to the eyes helps, too. Bet there are plenty of fans that'd like to..; his thoughts were interrupted by an attractive pantoran female stepping between him and the singer. "Your drink, sir.", chimed the waitress as she handed Tach a glass of brandy. He thanked her and placed a generous tip on the serving tray.

    As the waitress was turning to leave a borish voice stopped her. "Hold up, babe. I want a drink." The voice belonged to a foppishly dressed human; male, around his teens with well groomed hair. When he sat down at Tach's table, uninvited, the odor of his expensive cologne permeated the area. He gestured towards Tach, "Get me one of what he's drinking.", the noble ordered. She scowled at the teen and turned to leave, recieving an unwanted pop to the backside from the juvinile as she retreated.

    Tach sipped from his glass as he waited for the unwelcome guest to speak up. But no reason was given for the intrusion, all the teen seemed to want to do was stare at the dance floor. Pointedly the kid was staring at the twin Rutian's.

    "What do you want?", the smuggler stated in a tone that conveyed his distaste for the youth.

    The teen quickly turned around to face Tach. "Wha, ah, yes! Sorry, I was just admiring your shags. Quite a set you have there!", the teen spouted with zeal, "I've never seen you in here before. Are you new? What's your name?"

    "Yeah. Tach.", Tach replied flatly.

    A few moments passed as the teen seemed to wait, expecting Tach to say more. Once he figured out nothing more was going to be said he continued. "Uh, yes, well. My name is Jeffrey Kard Yonrem. Pleased to meet you, Mr. Tach.", he stated proudly as he flourished his arm about to offer a handshake.

    Tach ignored the extended hand and asked again, "What do you want?"

    Jeffrey retracted his hand with a hint of confusion and insult on his face. "Straight to the point, then. Very well, I am interested in your shags. Both of them, name your price."

    "They are not for sale.", replied Tach with practiced patience.

    "Oh sure they are! Come on, name a price. My father is CFO for the Cloud City Imperial Bank so you know I'm good for it! How much do you want for them?", he asked with authority.

    "Listen, they are not for sale. They aren't even mine, alright?", the smuggler stated, he finished the last of his brandy and continued. "I'm just transporting them."

    The teen looked confused, as if a thousand questions went through his head. "So... you're just a runner or something?"

    Tach glared at Jeffrey, "Yeah. Sure. I'm just a runner."

    All around The Blue Room applause had broken out as Fiola finished her ballad 'I'll Be Here'. The runner turned his attention towards the singer and joined in the applause. All the while the band had started leading the music towards an upbeat rock piece. Odd as it was, it sounded familiar. But he liked it!

    "A runner, huh? That would explain why your suit looks like you bought it off the shelf. Hey, I know! How much are they paying you? I can triple the offer! You look like you need the money, anyway."

    Tach was visibly aggravated by this point, "Sorry, kid, not going to happen. I have my reputation to keep."

    The noble kid chose to remaine determined, "Frak your reputation. You spacers do this kind of thing all the time. Just say you lost them or something."

    The smuggler leaned towards Jeffrey and fixed him with a steely glare, "Listen, kid. Reputation is more important than credits in my line of work. Unlike you, I don't get an allowance. I don't get to call up daddy and ask him to buy me a new toy. I earn my living based on my reputation. If that means turning your offer down so my future employers will know I'm reliable then I will gladly do it. But, just in case you don't understand what I'm telling you then allow me to sum it up in words you might understand. Go frak yourself!"

    Jeffrey seemed to take the tirade well. His eyes had narrowed, followed by a brief metallic sound and Tach felt the barrel of something pressed to his gut.

    Tach calmly kept his gaze on the kid, "Seriously? A holdout blaster?"

    Jeffrey nodded.

    "Nice. What kind?"

    "Model Q4."

    "Really? Good choice.", Tach replied politely.

    "I had it customized with a wrist holster."

    "Is that so?"

    "It's for defense.", Jeffrey hissed.

    "Of course. But you really don't want to do this right now.", Tach stated seriously.

    "And why is that?"

    Tach nodded his head towards the walkway, "Your drink is here."

    Jeffrey had only gotten a brief glimpse of a waitress with a shocked expression on her face. Tach managed to deftly guide his noble nose into the uncaring table, knocking the kid unconscious.

    "What the frell is going on?", the pantoran waitress demanded.

    Tach held up Jeffrey's limp arm with the holdout blaster. The blaster was attached to a sliding wrist holster. "Let's call it a... hormonally fueled poor decision."

    "I see. Well, is he..?"

    "No, he's just out cold.", the smuggler responded. "Sorry about the mess."

    "It's okay. I'll have security take care of it.", she stated while handing Tach the noble's glass of brandy, "I'd say it's on the house but the sleemo already paid for it."

    Tach smiled, "Thank you." The waitress returned the smile and winked before returning to her duties.

    The song was nearing its conclusion as Tach relaxed and sipped his drink. He watched with amusement as the bouncers carried Jeffrey out of the club when he suddenly remembered, "'Darling Reprobate'! I love this song!"

  12. #72
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    A Fit of Pique

    Leaning over the shoulder of the communications technician, Doule studied the information on the screen. Admiral Harmod had sent orders for the Inun to rendezvous with a shuttle in the Sistooine system. Why he had chosen to send his ship alone-- rather than one of the swifter, more heavily armed craft of Morning Star Squad-- was anyone's guess. The information memorized, he stood, clapped the crewman on the shoulder in appreciation for his work, and exited the bridge to go find Tam.

    He had decided some time ago that he would inform the boy of decisions he made on the ship. Perhaps this forthright behavior would serve to maintain and strengthen a sense of cooperation and exchange between them. Tam had been quite tight lipped about the purposes of Morning Star Squad, and Doule couldn't deny how that irked him. It's hard to work well in a military unit when your very purpose is unclear.

    When he was even younger than Tam, Doule's mother had always told him his insatiable curiosity would some day get the better of him. Doule couldn't help but wonder if his mother would laugh at how her prophecy had been fulfilled, but he also couldn't help but wonder what deeper gears were turning in these events, gears he was sure Tam knew about and hoped to learn about himself.

    Tam liked to roam the corridors from time to time, Doule knew, and a brief consult with a random officer confirmed that the boy had last been seen heading toward Deck Two, near the barracks. Doule made his way through the twisting corridors of the ship toward that area, but when he found Tam he stopped dead in his tracks.

    A crowd had gathered, murmuring and scandalized, in a major intersection of the hallway. At the center of it all stood Tam, pressing a crewman up against the wall. No, not simply pressing; he had clutched the fabric of the man's shirt and had thrust him up against the wall. The poor crewman, who was nearly a head taller than the boy and clearly outweighed him, shouted for mercy as his feet dangled more than a decimeter off the ground. "I'll have no such filth on this ship or anywhere else," the slim boy roared. "Understood?"

    Doule pushed through the crowd, shouting for everyone to go back to their duties. When he reached the center he caught Tam's attention. The boy's teeth were bared in a feral snarl; his eyes were twin blazes of yellow, like binary stars in the black of night. What could this man have done to raise such supernatural ire from Tam Dawncaller?

    The boy blinked, and slowly let the hysterical man slide to the floor, who crumpled there in a blubbering heap. "Doule," he said, coming back to himself, "I..." But there were no more words, and he ran down the corridor.

    Doule saw to the devastated crewman. There was no apparent mark on the man, but he would probably need to go to the infirmary for a checkup and at least a sedative. "What happened, Mr. Paisan?"

    Paisan collected himself before saying, "I don't know, Captain. He came out of nowhere and just attacked me."

    Doule noticed a crushed device in the man's hand. It was-- rather, used to be-- a datachip, commonly used to store video or audio information. But it was made of sturdier stuff than what Paisan could have crushed in his own hand. "What's this, Paisan?"

    "Just some holorecordings of a concert, sir. Moonbeam Levels, sir. I was just talking with Bolly about how my sister told me the lead singer was making a comeback and he said he wanted to hear some of her music. I was about to hand this over when it just went 'crunch,' just like that. Right in my hand. The next thing I knew..." The man's story ended in uncontrollable sobs.

    "That's alright, Paisan. Let's get you to the infirmary..."

    ***

    Doule found Tam in his quarters. The lights were off, but brilliant, kaleidoscopic blue shine of hyperspace came through the small viewport. The captain couldn't help but feel like he was walking into the den of some hungry beast.

    "Doule," said the boy from somewhere inside the room.

    "We've been ordered to make a rendezvous in the Sistooine system, in orbit over the moon Telti. We'll be taking on a prisoner of war for transport to Denon.

    "Tam, can I ask what happened?"

    Tam's silhouette emerged from the shadows. "Paisan will be asking for a transfer in the coming days. Grant it to him."

    "Of course, Tam, but a transfer won't simply erase what happened. The crew is rattled, and given that I see no offense on Paisan's part I have to admit that my own curiosity at your actions has been piqued."

    "Piqued?"

    "Yes. Piqued."

    "Well then," said Tam, brushing past Doule as he exited the doorway and walked down the corridor toward the Nexus room, "let's just call it 'a fit of pique' and leave it at that..."
    Last edited by Dawncaller; 02-12-2012 at 11:41 AM.

  13. #73
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    The sight of a limp form being carried out of The Blue Room's seating area caught Fi's attention. That was certainly out of character for the venue as she understood it. From the bandstand, she traced the path back to the table the unconscious young man had come from, and sure enough, there was that man, the guy who'd been dancing with those two Twi'lek girls, sipping his drink and looking pleased with himself.

    Fi was no stranger to rough characters (her recent adventures had introduced her to plenty), but she understood that The Blue Room was not the sort of place they normally frequented. Her thoughts turned immediately to Jyllis Tromso, here in the ballroom and pursued by someone, and her suspicions were raised.

    The orchestra wrapped up the final few bars of 'Darling Reprobate', a Moonbeam Levels song arranged for the ensemble by its leader, Count Xun. Fi smiled automatically and bowed, then stood and held an arm out to the orchestra, who stood and bowed also. After these Count Xun himself bowed formally, treating Fi to a wink and a rare, tight-lipped smile.

    In a moment Fi was backstage, stage manager Marce upon her immediately.

    "That was really good, Fi! Even better than last night!"

    Fi strode quickly down the short corridor that would bring her to the seating area. "No time to chat, Marce!" she apologized. "I have to meet my friend!"

    Pushing the door open, Fi entered the ballroom, looking desperately for Jyll and watching for the mysterious man who'd caught her eye.
    Last edited by I. J. Thompson; 02-15-2012 at 07:19 PM.
    Star Wars: Tapestry
    A 6+ year campaign draws to a close...
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  14. #74
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    It was not a pleasant shuttle ride to . . . wherever they were going. Reil was fuzzy on the details as the Imperial Lieutenant had been in something of a rush after receiving his orders. Apparently Reil had given just enough information to get him and Cali thrown from pan to flame, as they were to be moved from Taanab to a more secure location for further questioning immediately.

    Immediately worked out to be about two more days luxuriating in a very nice jail cell for Reil, as the Lieutenant frantically filled out paper work. Normally in cases like this someone high enough on the food chain, who had the clout and budget necessary to cut through the red tape would be handling the operation. Unfortunately for the Lieutenant, he had neither. Reil’s case of course was very straightforward, a simple prisoner transfer from local custody to Imperial. Cali was the real headache, which Reil felt was only appropriate.

    Not only did she have to be medically certified as fit for off world transfer, her whole file had to be created from scratch, since she legally didn’t exist. Birth certificate, medical history, criminal record all had to be created, luckily there was some data already available to be added to the last category. Somewhere in the bottom of a desk, Chuv Bartok might have had a report or an invoice that recorded Cali’s birth, but it had never made its way into any sort of government database. Assuming he kept records at all.

    And so the poor Lieutenant spent two agonizing days hunched over a writing desk filling out forms, with only the visions of his captain bar’s to keep him going. At least, Reil assumed that was his motivation. The Lieutenant hadn’t actually spoken with Reil since their interview, and Reil had to piece it together with brief conversations with his TAR jailers. Now, finally, that was all over, and the shuttle was off the ground and carrying them. . . someplace worse in all likelihood. No one had mentioned the deal Reil had tried to strike since the meeting, and every time he tried to bring it up, he was assured it would all be worked out when they arrived at their destination, which Reil took to mean that they probably weren’t going to uphold their end of it.

    He kept that information to himself though. Cali had been less than thrilled to hear that they were going to be co-operative with the Imperials. But the relief on her face had been palpable the moment Reil mentioned that he had found them an out. Watching the fear and anxiety drain from her had washed away any lingering doubts Reil might have had about what he was doing. He was under no illusions that he was selling Tam down a very dark river, and probably Tey, and Damon and anyone else involved, but that all seemed so distant now. Unimportant even.

    Well Reil had no doubts until now, as he sat in a cramped durasteel box filled with Storm Troopers, which was hurtling through space to bring them to a place filled with even more Storm Troopers. Now he was fairly sure he was going to be tortured until he confessed all he knew, and then he and Cali would be spaced. This plan seemed so much better on Taanab Reil mused.

    The shuttle shuddered slightly as it exited hyperspace. Reil couldn’t see into the cockpit from where he was seated, but there was some commotion, and the shuttle crew called the Lieutenant to the cockpit. He couldn’t make out everything they were saying but he did hear, “What the frell kind of ship is that?” Then the commotion died down, and the unusual ship made contact. Reil surmised that it ordered them to dock, because that’s what followed after a brief parlay over the comms. There was the usual docking procedure, and then Reil and Cali were escorted off the shuttle by the Lieutenant and his Storm Troopers down some narrow halls until they reached a much larger room, where the Captain of the vessel stood with his own security officers, waiting for them. The Lieutenant marched up to the Captain and saluted smartly as he came to a halt in front of him.

    The Captain returned the salute.
    “Lieutenant Fisher I presume?”


    The Lieutenant dropped the salute, and merely stood at attention.
    “Reporting, Sir.”


    “At ease, Lieutenant.” The Captain assumed a more relaxed position as well. “I am Captain Doule of the Inun, and I will be accepting the transfer of prisoners onto my ship. You’ll be debriefed, and then you and your crew can go on their way.”

    Lt. Fisher frowned.
    “Erm, yes Sir.”


    Doule arched an eyebrow.
    “Something wrong, Lieutenant?”


    Fisher was obviously becoming more uncomfortable.
    “Um, well Sir, I was under the impression that I would be still attached to this case. I was the one who discovered that the prisoner had valuable information, and was able to convince him to co-operate so. . .”


    Doule gave the Lieutenant a very hard look.
    “You were misinformed. The prisoner’s information is of a sensitive nature and is going to be handled discreetly. Where is the prisoner?”


    Reil raised his manacled hands over his head and waved.
    “Over here. Hi. There’s two of us actually.”


    “I see.” Doule motioned for one of the security officers, “Sergeant, escort the prisoners to brig for now, I’ll get this sorted out later.”

    Reil and Cali were led through the narrow halls of the ship, until they reached the brig, where they were placed in separate cells. Reil sighed as he laid down on the tiny cot his cell afforded him. This plan was so much better on Taanab.
    Zealos Reil thought he was hot
    so he left the sim-pod cold
    on his eighth mission he got shot
    and that's all there is to be told.
    Draw your own conclusions rookies.

  15. #75
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    The man who knew about the Disrupter

    The two prisoners were placed in the two separate brigs across the hall from each other. Doule wasn’t sure if such measures were necessary at first, but after looking at almost a decade’s worth of infractions and criminal involvement in the records of one Zealos Reil, and a much shorter but more violent criminal history of Cali Bellum, he felt it was better to err on the side of caution and keep them apart.

    Lieutenant Fisher had been adamant about staying aboard to ensure successful transfer of the prisoners, and it took some coaxing to get him to share the information he had gleaned from Reil to make him such a high profile individual. When Fisher mentioned the mysterious disappearance of the Disrupter, Doule was taken aback. That event had come up in his own investigations before his current assignment; investigations surrounding the disappearance of a young by named Tam Dawncaller.

    Could there be a connection?

    At his insistence, Fisher had grudgingly relented, boarding his shuttle to return to Tanaab. The Inun, in turn, set in a course for Denon for interrogation. Given that Reil may know something at least tangential information about Tam and his tempestuous history, Doule decided to conduct a small interrogation himself.

    “What can I do for your, Captain?” the man said, lounging on his cot with nonchalance.

    “I have a few questions for you.” He dismissed the pair of stormtroopers to wait out in the hall. “If you have a few minutes.”

    “I’ve got nothing but time.”

    “Tell me what you know about Tam Dawncaller.”

    The man’s eyes hardened with recognition, but only momentarily. They quickly relaxed and closed as Reil found a more comfortable position on the cot. “Like I said, Captain,” he said as he placed his hands behind his head and kicked his boots off, “I’ve got nothing but time. I meant, in case you didn’t notice, that I don’t have anything else. Especially answers.”

    “This isn’t an interrogation, Reil. It’s a… It’s an inquiry; a personal request. Once we arrive at Denon you’ll be in the hands of High Inquisitor Tremayne, who probably will interrogate you and cause harm as he does so.”

    “And you’re going to tell me that you’re not so cruel.”

    “I am willing to petition for leniency.”

    At that the prisoner gave out a short, sardonic laugh. “You’re new at this, Captain, I can tell.” He sat up and gazed through the durasteel bars. “I’ll tell you this much, and it’s the same I told that Lieutenant who brought me here. I know something about the disappearance of the Disrupter, and I’ll say more after a guarantee of release and an expunged record for both of us.” He pointed toward the bulkhead blocking the way to Cali’s cell.

    “Decimated remains of the Disrupter were found in several sectors, from Wann Tsir to Reytha. Can you tell me how or why this wreckage came to be stretched out as far from Ryloth—its last known location—as the Ootmian Pabol?” The prisoner remained silent, so Doule added, “I’m willing to tell you anything I know, and even provide you what protection I can, if you will just let me know what, if anything, this event has to do with Tam Dawncaller…”

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