Doctor Pilaq Tohan was enjoying a lovely
day on Rhinnal after guest lecturing at the Rhinnal State Medical
Academy. The aging Ithorian doctor had to rely on his walking stick as
he made his way the winding streets from the Academy to the marketplace.
He was glad to be rid of his Imperial handlers for the time being, as it
was the only time he felt truly at peace. He was wearing an elaborate
robe of varying shades of blues and gray, proper of his stature as one
of the foremost medical minds in the Oversector. He was looking forward
to a pleasant day of shopping and would try and remember to pick up
something for Htaere and the children.
Valeria adjusted the rear view mirror of
the rented landspeeder she now sat in. It was a convertible, the roof
currently lowered down as she observed the Ithorian moving at his
measured pace. Her eyes moved to look at her expression in the mirror,
appearing surprised as she saw the hesitation in her eyes. She was
wearing a black cloak over her normal clothing, something that was a
major change for her. Her leather jacket had been left behind at the
ship, but she wore her usual Thinsuit beneath the cloak. It seemed she
was not completely incapable of caution, given her compromised position.
As she watched him making his way along she would glance with
nervousness at her Karflo visual wrist com, reading over the file on
Ithorian biology. She would hate to accidentally kill the man. That was
not what she was here for. Valeria did not know what to make of this
situation in the slightest. Nervousness was not a normal part of her
personality, and what bothered her the most was that she did not know
why she was nervous. Even her own personal welfare being on the line did
not fully explain it.
Doctor Tohan stopped for a moment
beneath a fruit bearing tree and raised his staff up to began swatting
at a few pieces, which descended to the ground. He gave out a tired
groan as he reached down with his long, Ithorian digits and scooped one
up. He put one of the fruits into his left mouth opening and began
eating happily as he enjoyed the feeling of the sun on his brown flesh.
It was much more desirable then his life aboard the dim Star Destroyer.
Valeria looked into the rearview mirror
again and drove off, heading down a side street in order to come up from
behind the Ithorian. This gave her an opportunity to doubt herself. Her
body was trembling, and she was not really sure it was her physical
condition or something else that was causing it. In the end she
convinced herself to go forward with the plan. She would bring the
landspeeder up to within 75 meters of the Ithorian and cut off the
engines, letting it ride on forward motion with the aid of the
repulsorlift. The speeder, a convertible version of the Mobquet A-1
Deluxe Floater, complied. Once she had the landspeeder aimed in the
proper direction, Valeria would leap out the side and run alongside it,
her body screaming in pain as she did so. She was not used to running in
a cloak and it showed, but her physical condition was definitely a part
of her discomfort. By the time she reached the Ithorian she had managed
to outpace the still coasting landspeeder, which would hopefully make no
noise with its engines cut off. She would draw one of her pistols from
beneath her cloak and fire a stunblast, making sure to catch the good
doctor when he fell.
Doctor Tohan was oblivious to what was
going on around him and in mid-bite the stun bolt connected with him and
his large, bulbous eyes suddenly closed and he began to fall to the
ground like a sack of root vegetables. His large frame fell into the
Zeltron's arms, totally unconscious as the fruit and his walking stick
dropped to the ground.
Valeria let out a small yelp as she
caught him, her body protesting every last move she made. She had to
struggle to pick up the walking stick after slinging the Ithorian over
one shoulder, but she managed to get onto the still coasting landspeeder
as it finally caught up to them and rolled past her. Once they were both
inside she close the canopy on the landspeeder and darken the tint on
the windows. The whole job had only taken 20 seconds at most. She hoped
no one had noticed. If they had, she was not going to last very long
against the authorities in her current condition. Valeria began to take
the long way back to the spaceport, making sure she was not followed and
being careful to avoid anything like a traffic ticket. This was, she
reflected, totally unlike her. It was a terrifying thing for one
normally so uncautious. She had rented a private docking slip for her
ship, one where she would not be disturbed by others landing or taking
of, or pesky maintenance crews. In ten minutes she had arrived there and
parked next to her gunship. It could not rightly be called a gunship at
the moment, however. The dorsal turret was gone, and the only forward
weapon that had not been temporarily dismantled was the ship's ion
cannons. She was playing this one extremely carefully, not risking any
undue attention while on this Imperial controlled world.
Doctor Tohan's eyes began to open
slowly, revealing small orange irises in a deep sea of black. His head
felt very numb and he wondered where he was at the moment. His eyes
blinked repeatedly as he looked around, his training as a physician
alerting him to the fact that he had been stunned. He could not speak
yet, however, and weakly he attempted to move his arms around in a vein
effort to stir himself.
The Ithorian would find restrained by
binders, ones that looked to have been applied with great care. The
person who had abducted him had placed him on what looked to be a rather
large bed, and the bulkheads around him indicated he was inside a ship.
His apparent kidnapper sat in a chair across from the bed, a lightly
pink skinned humanoid female wearing only a black Thinsuit and armed
with two blaster pistols. She looked tired ... no, exhausted ... and
would be currently staring at the floor when he came to.
Doctor Tohan struggled against the
restraints to no avail as he became increasingly more aware of his
situation. "Release me!" he pleaded in his unique, Ithorian stereophonic
speech that emanated from each mouth simultaneously. The man attempted
to sit himself up and his eyes suddenly caught a glimpse of the woman
seated opposite him. "What is the meaning of this?" he again asked, in
his native Ithorian tongue, that sounded increasingly agitated. He
wondered if he had been kidnapped as part of a plot to get credits or
information from Admiral Rodney and his family.
"I just...want to talk." She stood
slowly from her chair, and walked over to him. "You speak Basic, right?"
The female looked quite fatigued and walked with a limp. It was an odd
defect considering her body looked like that of a toned athlete. A
rather attractive scent was heavy in the air, though the female's
mannerisms did not seem at all intent on seduction. The look in her eyes
expressed different emotions entirely: Nervousness, desperation, regret.
It took a while for the stun to work its
way out of his system and for his brain to even remember how to speak
Basic. "What is the meaning of this? Release me!" he demanded as he
struggled against his shackles and attempted to adjust his position on
the bed. He was becoming increasingly annoyed as he realized he was
aboard a vessel and could be halfway to anywhere, but he did not seem to
feel the ship moving. Perhaps he was stll on Rhinnal ... or perhaps he
was already on a nearby world. For once he wished he had his Imperial
handlers with him.
She turned away from the Ithorian as he
protested, the look on her face looking extremely..guilty. It was not an
expression you often saw on the face of kidnappers. "I'm...I'm not going
to hurt you." She turned back to face him, dark circles beneath her
silver-blue eyes,, and managed to force herself to remain facing him. "I
just want you to hear me out, and then I'll let you go. Agreed?"
"If you do not want wish to harm
me ... then remove these binders!" Pilaq said as he held the two binders
in front of his face and displayed an anguished look. He was not the
least bit interested in hearing her out as long as he was a captive. He
was not an aggressive sort, and Ithorians were known throughout the
galaxy for their pacifist behavior.
Valeria bit her lip, looking hesitant.
In the end, however, she could not take the man's anguished pleas any
longer. Her hand reached into a small pouch at her belt and retrieved a
key. She would move forward to undo the binders and then step away from
Once the binders were released he took
no aggressive action, not did thrust his hands up and down several times
as if to shake them out to relieve the strain. "Why have you abducted
me?" he asked, his large eyes blinking in rapid succession as he spoke
through both of his mouths in unison. He was quite annoyed by his
present situation and wondered how many were board this ship. "Are you a
Rebel?" he asked finally, it being perhaps the most obvious suggestion.
"No, I..." That heavy alluring scent was
thick on the air, one that a visitor to Zeltros would recognize as being
a pheromone produced by the species that lived there. She did not look
like she was trying to seduce him at the moment, however ... perhaps a
stress oriented reaction? Someone familiar with Zeltrons would also note
that her skin was a bit too light for a member of that species - that,
and her hair was wrong, though that could be dyed. "...You're a doctor.
A surgeon. The best one on this planet right now, according to my
sources. I...need you. I can pay you...a lot of credits, or...a donation
to some charity."
Doctor Tohan could smell the pheromones,
but it did not seem to have the effect on him that she might expect.
That part of his heart died when he left Ithor. "You do not need to use
ploys and parlor tricks on me, young lady," he said, as he laughed
slightly at her attempt. "I do not aid criminals," he explained, as he
folded his arms in front of his chest defiantly, and turned his head
from her for the time being.
"Tricks?" Her eyes showed genuine
surprise, and the smuggler clenched both of her fists as she tried to
summon some degree of self-control. "No...no tricks. I just need...your
skills...for myself. I have supplies, t-tools." She picked up a datapad
from a nearby table and tossed it to him. It contained a listing of her
inventory. "My medical droid can assist you. I even have an area set up
here, and...my credits are good. I can pay you." Suddenly one of her
hands reached to her chest near her heart, but she bit down on her lip
and lowered her clenched hands to her sides again.
"If you are sick why not go to the
hospital?" the Ithorian physician asked her, as his eyes looked over the
datapad carefully. She seemed to be well stocked ... stolen no doubt.
"You are not telling me the whole story. Sick people do not have to
kidnap their doctors," he explained to her, shaking his head in disgust
at her behavior. "Criminal then?" he asked inevitably, noting the irony
of her statement, as kidnapping were one of the most serious crimes
"My medical droid told me if he
tried...fixing me.. I'd probably die. He's better than most living
doctors, and all the big hospitals are monitored by the Imps." She
looked exhausted, like she had not slept in a great deal of time. Maybe
she had been pulling all-nighters in a last ditch effort to arrange to
kidnap him. "I'm sorry about...kidnapping you. I've never...done
anything like that before. Bounty hunting, sure, but.." She trailed off
she continued to pace, a muscle spasm going through her leg as she did
so. "...I'm sorry. This...is a new experience for me. I don't...get
"So you thought a good way to avoid the
attention of the Empire was to kidnap the personal physician of an
Imperial Admiral?" he said, as he rose from the bead and slowly walked
towards her. "You do not look ... well," Pilaq confided, as he placred a
reassuring hand on her shoulder and squeezed it reassuringly. "What is
the nature of your condition? Where are the readouts of the scans your
droid has taken?" he asked, as he realized he was inevitably got sucked
"...I...have credits?" Her large
silver-blue eyes blinked as she realized she had somehow convinced him.
Recovering, she would hand him another datapad as she moved to sit on
another table. "A..few years ago I had some cybernetic enhancements
done. Neuro-Saav devices. Cardio-Muscular and Hifold sensory packages.
They did not remove anything, but the enhancements are...laced
throughout my body." She winced and shook her head. "It seemed like a
good idea at the time, but apparently I have...unique medical factors at
Doctor Tohan's eyes went wide as he
listened to her report and he pulled away from her suddenly. "Why ...
why would you have such things done to you?" he asked, sounding a bit
startled by her admission. In all of his years he had never heard of
such elective surgeries used for these reasons. It concerned him
greatly, and he lowered his head dejectedly as each of his mouths
unleashed a powerful and sorrowful sigh.
"It seemed like a good idea at the
time." She smiled, though it quickly turned into a wince. "I'm a bounty
hunter, smuggler, gambler and all-around party girl. The enhancements
have probably kept me alive. My body...never failed me before, though."
She raised a hand to brush long red and gold tresses away from her face.
"MEV ... that's my droid, you see ... MEV says my body is trying to heal
itself of the implants. They can't be removed, but...MEV doesn't have
the right kind of skill to fix the implants - or fix me - so the two of
us will work together again." It was true that removal of the devices
was not an option. Her body had already healed around them to such an
extent that they could not be extracted or otherwise deactivated.
According to the scans taken it seemed that her body had a capacity to
heal far beyond what was normally seen in a human or a Zeltron.
"I do not know how that could ever have
seemed like a good idea!" Doctor Tohan protested as he considered her
predicament. "It is possible that I can treat the problem, but you
should know that there is also a chance the procedure could fail and you
could either become disabled ... or even pass away..." he explained
grimly, as he felt it was important to be honest and forthright with all
of his patients. "I cannot accept money for my services, however. I do
not believe I would be comfortable with where the money came from," he
said, as he shook his head at her yet again.
"A charity then? And maybe I could
perform a service?" Valeria seemed to be struggle to think of things
that were legal that she had the skills to perform. "I could
maybe...make a delivery somewhere, or a message? Or I could...write a
song for you?" It was obvious that the criminal was not prepared for a
kind of scenario in which she had no control.
"Promise me that you will never abduct
anyone in this manner again," Pilaq said, defiantly as he looked over
the young Zeltron. He had been a diplomat before a physician and long
learned how to tell when someone was lying to him. "I cannot in good
conscience allow myself to perform such a service just for you to turn
around and perform said action against another of gentlebeing," he
explained to her, as he rose from his seat and began to move towards the
MEV droid to check to see if it was programmed to assist him in such a
"Kidnap someone to perform a medical
procedure on me? I can safely say that." She nodded and limped along
with him as she led him over to the small medical bay that had been set
up. The MEV droid was there as she had described, with all the likely
tools he would need set out. "There's something which you should
probably know before you do this operation. I'm, uh...well...there are
no references you can use for treating me. I'm of one-of-kind. Not as
proud of that at the moment as I usually am."
"I can tell by your complexion that you
are not entirely what you seem," Pilaq said as he assisted in moving her
to the medical bay. "What is the other species?" he asked, as he lay her
down onto the bay and prepared to do one last readout of her before
putting her under. He wondered if they were looking for him by now. He
half wondered if the woman intended on releasing him when she was done.
He could have fled when she was under the affects of the medicine, but
he was too honorable for such a thing.
She unzipped herself from her Thinsuit
... the armorweave-reflec polymerg would obviously make the surgery more
difficult, let alone the climate controlled system that was a part of
the suit. Soon she would be left wearing a bikini manufactured by the
AthleticGirl brand. It seemed her skin was just as pink beneath the
Thinsuit, and flawless save for a Blazing Claw tattoo on one bicep.
Tattoos were rather easy to remove or add these days, but she had just
the one. Once she had stripped she would lay down on Kariel Thornwynd
the medical bed. "Firrerreo." She spoke the words softly, a distant look
in her eyes. That species had lost access to their planet forever. There
were few Firrreo still alive, thanks to the Empire. Those who had been
on their home planet when the Empire's Starcrash Brigade struck had died
horrible, victims of a flesh eating hive virus.
"Firrerreo?" Doctor Tohan replied,
sounding a bit amazed at the notion of such a rare species being in his
presence. "Then I shall endeavor to be all the more careful in my work.
The galaxy can ill afford to be one less Firrereo," he said with a
polite smile on both of his mouths as he brought the breath mask over
her face and be proceded to sedate her so that he could begin his
treatment. His hand gently brushed at her hair as he eased her off into
a state of peaceful sleep. "Sleep well, young one," he whispered, as he
attempted to put her at ease.
"I'd have never..." The dose of sedation
had to be heavier than it would have been on a human. Her metabolism was
already starting to fight it off. "...kept you...if you
weren't...going...to do it. I wouldn't..." Valeria did not even sound
sure of herself as she mumbled those words, her voice full of confusion
and guilt. Finally she faded out, her silver-blue eyes shutting.
The young woman had been asleep for
several hours and Doctor Tohan had never left her side. His long digits
stroked through her long red hair, comforting her in the best he could.
It had been a difficult procedure and at one point he feared he was
going to lose her, but with the droid's help he had prevailed. The
Ithorian had noted the presence of the R3 unit and likened it to a loyal
pet, concerned about its master. He expected
her to awaken soon as orange eyes looked to the chronometer.
Valeria's large silver-blue eyes would
eventually flutter open as she found herself lying on the medical bed in
the area she had designated for such care within her ship. She was naked
and likely covered in bandages, the cybernetics having been laced
throughout her body probably required a solution applied universally.
Valeria started to speak, before wincing. The pain-killing medication
she was filled with was being fought off by her body's immune system.
"How...did it go?"
The Ithorian tilted his head and
examined her facial features carefully. "You are alive, are you not?" he
said, as a loud laugh emanated from both of his mouths and created quite
the stir throughout the ship. He always attempted to put a positive
light on situations, and he was renowned for his bedside manner. "There
was a complication during the procedure, but there is nothing you need
to worry about," he explained with a firm nod of his head, as his hand
continued to stroke her forehead. "For now you must rest and gather your
strength. In time you will be your old self again ... although it is my
sincerest hope you have gotten kidnapping out of your system," he said,
with a firm nod of his head as he reminded her of the payment for his
She nodded almost imperceptibly, as the
fingers from her right hand start to move. The smuggler was starting to
recuperate. "I think...I could make a donation to some charity, if you'd
accept that. Or I could make a gift of song." She paused, pursing her
lips as she winced. "How soon before I can climb...into the bacta tank?"
"I do not know where your credits come
from, nor do I wish to know, young one," Doctor Tohan informed her as he
pulled away from her and moved to the bacta tank. He studied the control
panel intently and remarked it was nearly industrial grade. "Very
impressive facility you have here. Do you get wounded often?" he asked,
as he folded his arms in front of his chest and looked at her
disapprovingly. A few quick presses of the panel and the tank appeared
ready. "Do you feel up to it?" he asked, as he moved back towards her to
offer any assistance.
Evidently Valeria felt no shame in
letting an elderly Ithorian see her naked. After all, he had had plenty
of time to get an eyeful while she was a proverbial knife. Besides
which, she was not exactly sure what Ithorians had in the way of...those
kinds of parts. The smuggler nodded in response to his question and slid
off of the table, climbing up into the bacta tank with a burst of
energy. She floated up to her neck in the fluid, but did not put on the
breath mask so she could still talk. "I get wounded enough, but the real
reason is my medical skills leave something to be desired. When I have
people onboard here they've usually come onboard under heavy fire. I
tried to outfit it as thoroughly as I could with the space
considerations I have." She nodded towards the MEV-droid on the other
side of the small medical bay, hovering there. "MEV has been able to
handle nearly everything that's come up, but there's limitations when it
comes to thinking creatively." There was a slight pause. "On the other
hand, this ship probably has the most extensive database on treating
Firerreo-Zeltron hybrids in the galaxy."
"A droid is no match for a skilled
physician," Doctor Tohan said, as he turned and placed a hand atop of
the MEV droid and patted it lightly. He noted the cold metallic feel and
both of his faces fell into a steep decline. "Emotion is one of the
paramount skills in healing," he explained to her, as he walked back to
the bacta tank and raised a finger to scold her. "Now into the tank with
you!" he said, as his left hand raised to tap at the glass separating
"R3 will let you out of the ship. If you
don't mind, I might send you a holovid message some time. I'm hoping you
can think of an excuse why you were gone for...hours." She floated there
as she reached out to grab the breath mask. "And, um...thanks." The
smuggler looked very vulnerable at that moment, obviously feeling
uncomfortable about thanking someone she had previously kidnapped. She
placed the mask on her face and would submerge fully into the task, her
eyes open in the fluid, their nictating membranes protecting them. The
R3 unit had instructions to launch as soon as the Ithorian was off the
"I am sure they did not miss me at all.
I am just an inconvenient Ithorian to my Imperial handlers," Doctor
Tohan replied as he offered a polite bow at the waist. He took one last
look at the woman before moving away from her and following the droid to
the exit of the ship. It certainly proved to be an interesting day, he
thought to himself as he struggled to descended the ramp without the aid
of his walking stick. Once he was on the ground he turned to watch the
ship fly away, holding up to wave a single hand at the ship. "Now about
that fruit..." he murmured, as he looked around, wondering where he was.