Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Sean Brandt, Rachel King, Christopher Levy, and Nikolai Wisekal.
Zero years after the Battle of Yavin (35:7:29) in the Essesia system: Darkened Oblivion, Esseles (Calamar: Marketplace and Spaceport), Shrike, and Warspite.
Chuvlak, Captain Serra Eona, Apprentice Inquisitor Kia Kaen, Delan Sartori (death), Tonric Serev, and Flight Captain Randi Trainor.

Nervous, eager, determined. The teenage Inquisitor was all that and more. Dressed in what most had taken for her normal uniform of black slacks and sleeveless long style tunic, the dark charcoal grey armorweave jumpsuit added almost no bulk to her. She wore two lightsabers at her right hip, and nothing else visible. As she walked in to the Warspite's hangar, she immediately headed for the Darkened Oblivion as Serine had insisted, hoping that Captain Trainor had seen fit to reply.

Captain Randi Trainor had arranged for the Darkened Oblivion to be made available for Inquisitor Kaen during their upcoming mission down to Esseles. She was still bitter over the fact that Inquisitor Thanor had not allowed her to pilot her on her journey. At least Kia still valued her as a pilot, and when she saw her enter the hangar bay her face lit up, and a bright smile came upon her young, energetic face. "Kia!" she shouted gleefully, as she puffed her chest in an attempt to look professional. "I get her powered up and ready for takeoff," she announced, as she scampered up the ramp and hurried into the cockpit.

"That's great, Captain. Let's get planetside then." Kia settled into a seat, she didn't have her usual backpack with her, that made the young Inquisitor in training apprehensive but her Master's words rang in her mind, she was part of a new crowd, she needed to stop acting like an on the run data specialist.

"Hang on!" Randi announced, as she activated the controls that would lift the Darkened Oblivion from the flight deck with a sudden jolt of forward motion. Despite the regulations prohibiting anything more than maneuvering thrusters while within the belly of the Star Destroyer, she began to accelerate with the throttle and send the Lambda-class shuttle moving dangerously fast around the other docked craft. After several tense moments the shuttle emerged from the hangar bay and into the space surrounding the planet Esseles. "I'll put us down where they found the shuttle Jelly stole," she announced, as she began descending towards the capital city of Calamar. As they entered the atmosphere, guilt began to fill her mind as she remembered teaching Jelena how to operate a craft and as a result she felt partially responsible. It did not take much time, nor effort, to successfully navigate down through the planet's atmosphere and touch down in the spaceport.

Kia frowned thoughtfully, she didn't have the same terror that others seemed to have when being piloted by the reckless Captain. She was far too lost in her own thoughts to notice the crew and others scramble out of the way. The planet below then dominated her thoughts, and the person she was ordered to... apprehend.

Kia stepped off the shuttle's boarding ramp, this was the first time she had been back to this too familiar planet since she had been taken aboard the Warspite. The place she grew up looked a little alien to her, but she wasn't here for old times sake or nostalgia. She brought up the image of the traitor, the woman's features had been memorized long before reaching the surface. "Stay here, Randi. You have my comm frequency for emergencies."

Randi unstrapped herself from the harness that kept her secure in the cockpit of the shuttle, and she had prepared to follow Kia off into the spaceport before being ordered to stop. She slowed so suddenly that her pigtails swayed back and forth, as if she were about to get whiplash. Like a child, she kicked her booted foot against the deckplate, feeling left out once again. "Aww. I never get to go anywhere," she said in a pout, before turning back towards the cockpit to wait for further orders.

"I need you here with the ship in case something goes wrong here." With that the teenager slipped into the crowd, unaware of the slight bubble that her new training was affording her. People seemed not to want to get within a few steps of her. Kia was making her way to the Imperial garrison to begin the hunt for the traitor, Jelena Rodney.

Tonric had been waiting around the corner for the correct shuttle. After visual confirmation he kept moving with the crowds, but always keeping the bounty in sight. She matched the description, but that uniform made him wary. Silently he wished the beskar armor was not so easily recognized. If it was not for the berth the crowd gave her, he would tranq her now, but fortunately like every planet there was an easy way to buy assistance. When she cut through the market one of the vendors he'd paid off would trip and cause her to pause, and then give the perfect chance to immobilize her.

Protocol said she was supposed to check in, but did those protocols really apply to the Inquisitorius? Kia was near stalking the streets of her youth, well childhood, her senses extended around her in a crude, unpracticed manipulation of the Force to sense dangers around her. Blue-green eyes swept the familiar market place, and she fervently hoped no one recognized her. About halfway down the row, she spotted one of her favorite vendors, he always had dried fruit treats from her native Corellia. This was likely to be an annoying and long process, stopping for a fruit snack wouldn't mean the difference between capturing the traitor or not. Her steps slowed to a halt and she dug out a battered looking credit chip. Scooping up two of the pama fruit snacks, she offered the chip to him with a conspiratorial grin.

Delan Sartino blinked, he had not been expecting to ever see the young woman standing at his cart again, he had heard that she had been killed by the Imperial forces. He gave her the ghost of a smile, not saying anything, but setting another fruit snack next to the ones she had picked.

The vendor had done his job drawing Kia in, now his pace picked up. Eventually Tonric was right behind her tranq gun in hand, and swings at her neck.

Kia started to turn, her senses alerting her an instant too late, looking between the vendor and the person who seemed to be suddenly behind her. The surprised look that was split between the vendor who had been her friend for all those years and the masked stranger, she didn't think to use either lightsaber or the Force, her mouth opened to call for help as the tranq gun hit the side of her neck.

Catching the girl as she crumpled to the ground Tonric looked up to Sartino "Well done old man!" Tonric's faceplate concealed a smile, silently wishing most jobs were this easy.

"If you harm her..."

"My bounty will be affected or worse I'll be imprisoned." Following the statement by tossing a bag of credits to the pointing finger. Binding hands and feet, while looking for weapons a pair lightsabers come into view. A small whistle escapes as Tonric gingerly handle them.

"It seems she's more volunteer than victim." The weapon causes Delan to recoil a bit, and start mumbling that eventually developed into an exclamation "Those are jedi sabers!"

Ignoring the babbling merchant, Tonric sighs and looks down "You're not gonna be an easy job are you?" Wiping away the small bit of drool from the cheek and slinging her over the shoulder he begins to walk back to the ship. "Docking bay 75, this is Captain Serev and I'd like my ship cleared for launch." The curt but formal voice seems to draw some ire from the engineer on the other end.

"We're still installing the latest upgrades to your FTL, if you don't want it we'll take out all the parts, but don't expect a refund"

Tonric just rolled his eyes, Toydarians good engineers, but the worst species to deal with. "Alright I'm wiring another 5K credits your way, I want it done in an hour."

The Toydarian's voice carries a little obsequious smile over the link "Very good, we'll get it done Mr. Serev."

"Good it'd be tragic if you started disappointing customers." Tonric severs the link before Chuvlak can respond. Eventually he makes it back to the docking bay. Finally he saw the black and silver of the Shrike. The ship he had won in combat was a distant memory, in ways sad to see the final piece of his clan gone, but in other ways a relief to have a proper battlecraft. With that FTL enhancement he could jump on a dime. Something every bounty hunter appreciated. Then a loud growl drew his eyes, "Hey Sirrick." The Sand Wolf was his only partner a cunning beast that he had saved as a pup from the clutches of a Hutt's cook. It had cost him a pretty penny but Sirrick was invaluable at tracking. His three eyes could see at different frequencies, follow scents through almost any environment, and bite into solid metal. The tawny coat meant he couldn't camouflage beyond the desert but enough bodies had been left in the beasts wake that Tonric did not worry about that anymore. It also helped that he liked to be scratched behind the ears. "Got our bounty boy!" Sirrick almost seemed to grin at that. Before walking in he tossed the expectant wolf a small treat. "If Chuvlak tries to squeeze me again, eat him" That got a wag out of him. "For now help watch her." Trotting behind him, while Tonric lays Kia out in the prison cell taking extra care to remove all subtle and obvious weapons. "If she breaks out knock her out, don't rip her throat out." Finally deciding he was done investigating, and set off to find the supplies he had ordered.

The teenager was a dead weight, Kia had finally started getting to what Serine considered a normal weight for a teenager, mostly muscles from the time spent training with both Sanu and her Master, currently under the effects of the paralytic poison in the tranq, she let out a small whimper as she was dumped unceremoniously in the prison cell aboard the ship, she had not even had time to get a message to Randi, hopefully the woman would realize something was wrong when she didn't show back up in a few hours. Hopefully.

An hour of loading the ship and hearing raunchy Toydarian jokes Tonric felt more than ready to leave. Mentally running through his list: Foodstuffs for him, Kia, and Sirrick, more tranquilizers, more ship laser ammunition, sent off the communiqué to Corellia, and acquired some sonic grenades. Happy with it, he took some time to investigate Chuvlak's work.

"You don't trust me?"

"Nope, you remember that time my turrets shorted out because the batteries you sold me were used?"

Chuvlak gave a very loud swallow and rubbed at the white scar across his throat. "No I haven't, is why I give you a good deal all the time"

Tonric stopped to smile at the weasely Toydarian and smiled. "Well done, here's an extra thousand to erase the record of me docking here."

Chuvlak looked like he wanted to argue but shut up when Tonric's eyes took on a malicious quality. "Is done already."

Tonric pats a leathery cheek and makes for the cockpit. Pulling away from the dock and making jump with FTL as soon as he could.

It had been *hours* past the time that Kia was supposed to have been back aboard the shuttle, no emergency comms had come through, no distress beacons had been activated.

Randi had spent the past eight hours in the cockpit of the Darkened Oblivion listening to music, as she struggled to pass the time. She found boredom to be insufferable and she much rather would have gone with Kia to look for Jelena, or been back aboard the Star Destroyer. Suddenly her blue eye became transfixed on the chronometer and she realized exactly how much time had actually taken place. "She should be back by now," she said to herself, as she began to activate the comm frequency Kia had instructed her to use. "Kia? Kia?" she asked repeatedly over the comm, but to her dismay she received an alert that she was out of range. She froze for a moment as she considered her options ... Serine was gone and the Grand Moff was too focused on his daughter to do anything to look for the Inquisitor. It was up to her!

The most obvious path to the garrison, where Kia should have went was through the Marketplace, which even at the later hours was still rather busy. Plenty of shops and carts were still open that could be questioned, or the garrison was where Kia should have been headed to check in. Including a small exotic fruits vendor who did not seem very keen on shouting his wares.

Randi stuck out like a sore thumb as she moved from the spaceport into the marketplace. Her black Imperial uniform immediately identified her as a member of the Galactic Empire, and the non-Humans present were less than cordial to her. She looked over the array of vendors with her blue eyes, looking for any sign of Inquisitor Kaen, but there was none to be seen. In her left hand she held a small, handheld holo projector that contained a representation of Inquisitor Kaen. One by one she went down the line of vendors asking if anyone had seen her, mostly with limited results, until she arrived at the exotic fruit vendor.

Delan Sartino looked up from his cleaning, obviously closing his cart for the evening. The older gentleman had a fringe of salt and pepper hair and kindly sea blue eyes. "Ah, I am sorry. I have already closed for the evening, miss. Please forgive me. I do hope to see you tomorrow? "

"Just a moment," Randi said to the man, as she ignored his statement, and pushed forward towards him. "Have you seen this girl?" she asked, as she lifted the small projector and showed him a rotating image of Inquisitor Kaen. Instead of looking at the man, her eyes lingered on the fruit ... she had not eaten during her long stay in the cockpit of the shuttle. "Mmm," she murmured softly, as she moved her other hand to grab a piece of fruit, while she waited for the man to reply.

Delan looked at the young upstart of an Imperial with indignation. "Those are not free, *miss*." His attention then went back to the holoprojector, recognition lighting in his eyes even as he shook his head. "She looks much as any teenager from around here. Is she missing?"

Randi paused for a moment, thinking over her past conversations with Inquisitor Thanor, and decided to try something that was decidedly out of character. "Think of it as a display of loyalty to the Emperor!" she said menacingly, before bringing the fruit to her mouth and taking a large bite that caused the juice to squirt all over her face. It was a humorous attempt by the young woman to seem menacing. "Yeah. She's missing. So, you seen anything?" she asked, spitting out fragments of fruit, juice, and spittle as she continued to talk to him while eating.

Delan looked less than pleased at the young woman's comments, frowning deeply at her. "I am sorry to hear she is missing. Have you filed a missing person report at the Garrison?" Something in his tone was off, he kept looking back at the holo almost regretfully. "I have not, miss. If you don't mind, I am trying to close my cart for the evening." He looked from Randi back to the holo and shook his head slightly.

As Randi finished devouring the fruit, she allowed the pit to fall to the ground, as she tried to exert more of her dominant personality. She could sense something was off with the merchant, but then again something was usually off with her as well. "You sure you don't know something?" she asked again, her head tilting slightly as she more closely examined he man. "Look more closely!" she demanded, as she held the holo image of the young Kia directly in front of the merchant's face.

Delan looked at the image then down at the pama fruit snacks, "She was here earlier this afternoon. You are too late to go after her, he said he wouldn't harm her if I helped him. I thought she was dead..." His voice sounded infinitely sad.

"Who is *he*?" Randi asked as she reached for the DH-17 holstered on her side. "By the authority of Inquisitor Thanor you are under arrest!" she announced, as her hand pulled the weapon up towards Delan. Unfortunately for her, the glove was slippery from the residue of the fruit, and she could not maintain a steady grip on the weapon. "Oh no!" she exclaimed, as the weapon slipped from her grasp and fell to the ground below. Upon impact with the ground the weapon misfired, sending off a deadly blast of crimson energy heading towards Delan's feet.

Delan looked shocked as the weapon fell, then a look of horror spread across his face as the weapon went off, sending a blast of energy into his left shin at point blank range. He shrieked in pain as he fell, upsetting the cart as he tried to grab for some support.

"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" a panicked Randi screamed as she witnessed the poor man get shot by her errant blaster pistol. It was then that a squad of Imperial Stormtroopers arrived on the scene, having been on patrol, and heard the unmistakable sound of blaster fire. When she saw them approaching, she immediately did her best to stand at attention and look as professional and authoritative as possible. "This man is under arrest! Bring him to my shuttle," she announced, with a commanding nod that caused her pigtails to bounce up and down repeatedly. The troopers approached Delan, and without much care for his wellbeing or regard, grabbed him by the shoulders and proceeded to drag him towards the transport.

Delan's leg was mangled, and burnt, the shock of the wound sending the poor old man into an unconscious stupor as he was roughly drug from the marketplace back to the waiting transport.

Randi felt out of her expertise in dealing with matters such as this, but she was confident she could find someone properly equipped to deal with this aboard the command ship. She kept four of the Stormtroopers with her on the shuttle to guard the prisoner, who was fastened into a harness in the rear compartment of the shuttle. "If only Serry was here..." she muttered to herself, as she strapped herself into the cockpit. She frowned dejectedly, genuinely worried about Kia, as she began the process of flying the shuttle back to the Warspite. She just hoped she would not be held responsible for the lost teenager.

Interrogations had never been her thing. Captain Serra Eona much preferred field work to such methods, if only because they required more spontaneous planning and immediate, creative problem solving. She enjoyed challenges. In truth, the challenge of a difficult assignment was perhaps one of the very few things that gave her any sort of pleasure in life. Interrogations were a math problem by comparison, almost algebraic; pick a few options and plug them in to see what produced the desired solution. Boring, tedious work, but necessary. She'd requested the prisoner be transferred to an interrogation cell and strapped to a table, arms and legs spread. It was a medical table, not unlike the one Serine had used; they were, after all, common place in this sort of thing. It would be a full twenty-four hours after he was placed on the table that she would come in. No food, no water, the table at an angle that forced him to support himself or risk snapping his wrists on the restraints. No contact, of course; the first person he would see after being left there would be Serra herself, walking through the door in her uniform, hatless as usual. She waited for it to shut behind her, the room lit with a single, narrow beam that illuminated the table. It made it rather difficult to see her, though the brief flicker of fire followed by the glowing ember of her cigarra made it easier. After a drag and a puff of smoke, she stepped forward, her cold, apathetic eyes focusing on his. "Delan Sartori. A simple man, with a simple living, who made a simple mistake. Correct that mistake, and you can save us both a lot of time. The option is yours." She took another drag, letting the exhale wash over his face.

Delan coughed repeatedly, the smoke only adding to the stress he was feeling, he had long since given up trying to free himself from the table, and barely seemed to have the strength needed to keep his wrists from breaking. "Pl-please, I didn't know what he was ... going to do. I thought Kia was dead! I swear I didn't know..." He was rambling, this was obviously not a hardened criminal, he probably had never even been off of Esseles in his entire life, he was also trembling like a leaf in a high wind.

Serra sighed. The man was going on like he was making sense, like any of what he was saying made a difference at all. "I can see I'm going to need to make this simple. Alright." She let a hand slip out, the cigarra balanced between her lips as she took hold of his own hand with her gloved one. It was an almost tender touch. "The name of the one who took Kia." Her hand shifted ever so slightly, fingers moving to one of his own...and with a small and sudden movement, she snapped the finger backwards, giving a twist that tore bone from socket.

His shriek filled the room, and didn't stop for a few minutes, he was panting and looked like he was about to throw up even though he had nothing to throw up. "I don't *know*! I don't ... please I don't know. He was a Mandalorian! A bounty hunter. He never.. never told me a name." Delan looked down to his hand and the now broken finger, white showing all around his eyes as he tried to not pass out, fearing what he'd wake up to.

Serra kept her hand with his, idly toying with the broken finger while her other rose to take control of the cigarra, from which she took another drag. "I see. It's well known that Mandalorians often customize their armor, so why don't you describe it for me. In detail. If you know what sort of ship he has, feel free to include that information as well." Her hand slipped to his middle finger now, cradling it in her grasp, but not yet doing anything unpleasant to it.

Delan began to babble again, going on in detail about the various bits and colors on the bounty hunter's armor, he had only ever seen the man three times, so it was a little bit of a sketchy description, but good enough that if he was seen, he'd be recognized, he was staring at his middle finger, hoping this crazy woman was not going to break it too.

Serra took it all in, his rambling words being recorded of course but also committed to the Intel Officer's memory. It wasn't the best she'd ever heard, but the man was giving it up pretty freely, and given his obvious nervousness and fear, she had little reason to suspect he was trying to hide anything. She didn't break his finger yet, instead keeping it resting within her grip for the time being. "Where is he taking her?" This answer, if he knew it, might be somewhat more difficult to pry free, but she was prepared to retrieve it by whatever means necessary.

"I think Corellia! That's what it was for wasn't it? Kia's family ... please ... just let me go home ... I won't say a word about this. Any of it." He was still shivering, but a blind person would be able to see he was telling the truth.

The family. Of course it was the family. As soon as he said it, a slight hint of disappointment crossed her features. Kia had not handled this, and now it was in the hands of Imperial Intelligence. It was precisely what Serra had warned her about...and now it was coming to fruition. "I see. You're positive this is tied to the family, then? Do you know this for a certainty?" She released his finger. There was no need to terrorize the man further, he was speaking quite freely as it was. Serra wasn't a fan of prolonged suffering when it could be avoided.

Delan seemed to relax just a bit as her attention left his hand, nodding his head rapidly, "I remember him saying Corellia! Kia loves pama fruits from there, it's a native fruit. I would get it for her when she was little, and she kept buying it from me, always overpaying me, especially in the slow seasons. Good girl." he was babbling ... again.

"She is a good girl. That's the problem." Serra assumed Kia had some hand in her grandparents believing that she was still alive. Why would they continue with this search if not for some hope of their grandchild's continued existence? It could just be blind faith, of course. Either way, though, they were still clearly a problem. The death certificate hadn't been enough and therefore more overt methods would be necessary. Serra would have to consult Serine first, but that did not mean she could not put the gears in motion. "Thank you for your cooperation. May your life in the force be more peaceful than your life among the living." She could offer some kind condolences, right? Either way, she drew the concealed blaster pistol and, with skilled and swift movements, brought it to his head and fired. Whatever protests he might have offered were simply ignored.

Delan realized what was about to happen the instant before the blaster came up, he thrashed in the confines of the table as the blaster fired, and it was eerily silent in the interrogation room, as Delan was no more.

Serra holstered the pistol and stared at the body for a moment, eyes focused mostly on the burnt hole through his forehead. She looked down at her cigarra, then, taking a long, slow drag. The smoke rested in her lungs for a moment before rolling past her lips. She tucked the cigarra into Delan's pants pocket, patting it a couple of times to put out the cherry, then turned to leave the room. There was work to do.

Kia woke up in stages, dimly remembering that she had been on the planet's surface, looking for someone...Jelena...that was who she was supposed to be looking for. Where was she now? A cell...somewhere. She tried rolling over and found herself unable to move much further than where she was, a quick glance down showed the cuffs securing her wrists and another further down showed the same restraints on her ankles, and recollection flooded her. Esseles, the fruit vendor, the armored person, and being hit with some type of tranquilizer. Red hot anger swept through her, erasing the last vestiges of the poisons in her system. "Hey! Let me out of here! If you want this poorly designed, scrap heap of bolts in out piece, let me out! I demand you release me at once!" shouting at the prison cell did not seem to be working. Sure it was likely being monitored. She glared at the Sand wolf, "Go tell your keeper to get his sorry armored ass down here and let me out!" A gnawing fear was starting to creep in at the edges of the anger, she knew why a Bounty Hunter would be after her and not Jelena. She couldn't let him take her back to Corellia.

He was enjoying maintaining his armor and weaponry when the ruckus echoed through the halls of his ship. Polishing and dismantling lethal weapons was a meditative, but the trance failed to take effect when Sirrick padded in, ears flattened against his skull. "Was it the pitch of her voice or do you want me to go down." Three cerulean eyes stared down the mirth, and eventually stepped aside. "Very well, let's see what the little murdering heiress has to say." Tonric marched down the steps and met Kia's glaring eyes unconcerned. "In the future you may not want to insult a ship. Captains less practical than me might jettison your prison cell into space." Tonric deftly tossed a remote from hand to hand play acting it's fall on the big red button. (A little sadistic smile crossed his features if Kia involuntarily flinches.) Coming closer but still out of arm's reach to the cell and squatting at eye level he continues "So what did you want to talk about?"

"It's not up for discussion! You are going to let me *out* of this cage right now. *Then* you are going to turn around and return me to the Warspite. Or face the wrath of the Inquisitorius." She certainly sounded full enough of herself, anger blazed behind the blue-green eyes, and she had rolled up to at least somewhat sit against the wall of the cell. Kia's eyes followed the remote at the mention of jettisoning her cell into space, her chin coming up to stare daggers at him. "You ... wouldn't dare. You went after me, not Jelena, that means you are taking me back to my misguided family ... and endangering more than you could possibly comprehend! You will not be taking me back to Corellia. You will be taking me back to the Warspite. If you do this, I'll pay you double what the price on me is. I *really* don't want to go back to Corellia." The teenager did flinch at his toying with the button that would presumably kill her. "You don't get paid if you kill me. You also don't want to know what happens if I go to Corellia."

"This counts as a discussion, my dear. The Inquisitorius no matter how vast or mighty won't expend endless resources for my capture. Certainly not after the Death Star's demise." The snarking smile met with a favorable reaction. Lying back and pouring some Corellian whiskey from a flask before he continued shrugging off her demands. There was a moment of satisfaction when she flinched primarily because it told him that while she had lightsabers she wasn't a suicidal warrior, but still in part a child. "No idea who this Jelena is but if you intended to murder her that could be worth something, thank you. Always good to acquire profitable information. As for your bounty I wouldn't consider anything short of triple. The extra amount is going to be used for hiding from that overreaching band of merchant thieves you call relatives." Before addressing her final demands Tonric paused to see her reaction.

"You *obviously* don't know who you're dealing with, or you wouldn't have even bothered capturing me in the first place. Jelena Rodney is the target you should have been going after, as a loyal subject of the Galactic Empire in service to his Majesty, Emperor Palpatine. She is a traitor and a defector to the Rebel Alliance. I didn't intend on murdering anyone! I was sent to bring her back for trial." Kia just glowered at him, she'd done her research on her family and they were far from thieving merchants. "Awww. Did they wefuse to fix your wittle ship? So you got hurt fewwings?" She had shifted her tone to seem like she was talking to a child, "It's a piece of scrap anyways. I would have refused to fix it as well."

"I know you're an apprentice of the Inquisitorius, I know you have jedi sabers, I know you either had a hand in their deaths or chose not care about them, I know you are worth a lot of money, and I know..." Pausing to move his thumb to the button. "That I don't care if you kill every single one of your family members. What you are offering would mean no other client could trust me to fetch a bounty, and I would never be able to work in any civilized sector again. As for Jelena's allegiance why would I care. His majesty 'Emperor Palpatine' is nothing but a Sith who seized power. Like every Sith lord before him he'll fall, it's in their nature. The fact that his cohorts are turning against him is already a sign of his demise." Taking a long drink and feeling the golden liquid's tingling effect in every inch of his body, ending with a relaxed sigh. "Finally a trial? Is that you call an execution hearing these days?" The last comments were amusing, but still irritating "My ship was never broken, just got an upgrade, and while I have no doubt you could fix a speeder; what makes you think you can fix Mandalorian tech?"

"Correct, I am. Incorrect, one of the sabers is from an arrogant fool who blew himself up instead of facing death like an actual Jedi, the other was..." she paused for a moment trying to think of the correct word, "...presented to me. It is the saber of someone long dead. Guess you don't know *everything* huh?" Kia's comment had the implied threat of sticking her tongue out in verbal sparring. She did not actually ... but the tone was certainly there. "As for my being worth a lot of money... I'm set to inherit an entire shipyard, duh?" The teenager bit her lip seeing the threat of being turned into space dust again, "Ok ... how about this, so you don't break your precious 'honor'. Let me hire you ... and let me out of this cell." She seemed to be calming down a little now that it seemed inevitable that she was going to end up on Corellia anyways.

"Yes, a trial. She is a traitor, even traitors get trials before they are sentenced." So she was still a little tiny bit naive when it came to some things... "Even if she's executed, she attacked people aboard an Imperial Star Destroyer." The comment about the ship just getting upgraded got a genuine laugh out of the teenager, "Oh... Oh! What did they do? Let me guess ... you don't have to turn a handle to lower the ramp now? Seriously, I could design something better than this in my *sleep*. I probably *have*." Her focus turned inwards for a moment, she had given him ample chances to remove the cuffs, she had even asked *nicely*. The anger that she'd felt at being betrayed by the fruit vendor, and at this Mandalorian for shooting her full of tranquilizers, was more than enough fuel for her concentration on the Darkside of the Force. Her danger sense may have been shoddy, but she had a fine tuned control over her abilities with telekinesis. A few gentle probes with the Force and the cuffs around her wrists and ankles clattered loudly to the floor of the cell, kicking them towards the door of the cell angrily. A dark shadow seemed to take residence behind those previously amused blue-green eyes. She had the look of someone who had killed, even if she seemed far too young for it. "I'll ask again, let me out of this cell, and we can talk. Properly. Who knows there might even just be an actual upgrade in it for you, if you keep your end of the bargain. Kia opened her mouth, closed it, thinking about her words then started again, "If you had a choice, would you choose a quick death at the hands of someone you thought you could trust or a slow tortured death at the hands of complete assholes, who like hurting people to prove a point and to teach lessons to initiates, which would you choose, that's the choice you've given me by taking me back to Corellia. You already signed their death certificates by sending that communication. It's either me or the Citadel that will be faced with that decision. We had everything planned out. The death notification to them, 'proof' that I was gone." The darkness faded from behind her eyes as she released the Force, drawing her knees up to her chest, and actually seeming more like the teenager she was. "I'll hire you for the triple you wanted, plus designs for a new ship if you'd like, and you collect the money from my fam- from the Kaen's for my safe return. All you have to do is not leave me on Corellia. Stay in the spaceport until I come back to the ship." It wasn't said in a threatening or even malicious tone, more resigned and dejected.

Tonric cursed inwardly, and made a hasty decision. "No thank you." Finally pushing the red button and...nothing. There was no dramatic hiss and scream enveloped by the vacuum of space. Just nothing. "Never. Ever. Trust a Toydarian." Crushing the remote and allowing the fragments to spill between his fingers, his eyes met Kia's down the barrel of a hand blaster. "Can you use the force before I laser your brains against the wall?" There was no menace or malice, it sounded like a genuine query.

Her blue-green eyes had gone almost a big as saucers when she saw him push the button on the remote, "Hey! What the hell! I just wanted the cuffs off! Ass!" Kia was glowering up at him, before realizing he was now pointing a blaster at her head. "You are a total ass you know that!? I hope your rust bucket falls apart after we get to Corellia!" She was terrified he was going to shoot her and that was bleeding into her tone. "I'm just starting to learn about dissipating energy, but I probably could enough to make *your* job harder if you want to kill me, ass."

"Your dossier never mentioned Force powers all my clients are informed that unknown parameters may justify terminating the target. So again you perceive malice where there is none, just pragmatism. It's amazing how few people grasp the difference." The tone was even and calm, but Tonric honestly wished he had brought a sonic grenade, the Force could not deflect sound. Sirrick was still on the stairs but he was tensed to pounce if she got through the bars. "You keep calling it a rust bucket? That's just rude, I am surprised your trainers don't discipline you more often, and thank you it's good to know that I could overwhelm you with a barrage." Tonric normally didn't have to play with intimidation this hard, but clearly this girl had little fear for death or perhaps just a complete lack of sense. As he mused a plan began to take shape. "What if there was a way to get us both what we want?"

"My dossier says what it needs to. It's not malice to disregard someone offering you money and try to space them!? That's mean! I may be rude but you're an ass. I *asked* you to remove the cuffs. Nicely. Repeatedly. Master Thanor would be disappointed I hadn't reduced you to a pile of armor shaped pieces on the floor, I'm not quite as blood-thirsty as she can be though, not usually. Had you done as I had asked, I wouldn't have had to use the Force to remove the cuffs. You'll notice I haven't *moved* towards the door of the cell. I don't want to get shot. That really *really* hurts." Kia had not moved much to be honest. "Compared to the ships I've helped design, and the modifications I know I could do to this ship, just from the limited amount I've seen of it. It's a rust bucket. As for discipline. Sugar, you wouldn't know the first thing about it." After living with or in close proximity to Serine and Sanu the last few months, there were not many things that could actually frighten her. She was more scared of being shot than the person holding the weapon. "Oh ... you mean like the plan I already laid out for you? Yeah. I think I'd like a way for both of us to get what we want. You rewind time and don't shoot me full of a paralytic poison, and tell the Kaen's their granddaughter is dead and they need to move on. Ohhh wait ... you can't do that, can you? What is your grand scheme anyways?"

Tonric never lowered the blaster, but kept his finger off the trigger...for now "I can report your death. You don't have to kill your family with a falsified video, and enough DNA they won't look twice through the tears." Tonric didn't wait for her to interrupt "In exchange I want triple your bounty, repairs to my ship, and those upgrades you mentioned." Slowly lowering the blaster and seemingly lost in thought he quickly added "Also the Toydarian that screwed me with this upgrade! He plays both sides of the war. Who knows what he could tell you! Hell I'll even help you bring him in."

Kia stared unblinking up at him from where she was sitting. " I don't care about some shady Toydarian giving bad repairs. Esseles isn't my concern anymore." Her gaze went to the blaster as it lowered. "So you think you can fake my death better than Imperial Intelligence? Seems rather cocky of you." She crossed her arms atop her knees, "I will not involve the Inquisitorius in paying your additional cost. In return for the repairs and upgrades, you will help me hunt down Jelena, since you are the reason I'm not doing my mission, that seems fair. Unless you'd like to explain to my Master why I'm not following out her orders? I'm also not spending anymore time in this.. cell. I want my weapons returned. Please."

"The Toydarian is a potential informant, something you should start collecting if you want to have a career in the Inquisitorius, or are you planning on begging for scraps from your teachers?" Tonric's patience had frayed and Kia's following comments were sharpening his voice. "I think your death gives you more options than outright murder, and will your business last if no one will trade with you? As for Jelena handle your own assignments. I think your Master would focus more on your capture than on the one who returned you. Your weapons will be yours when I see the back of you not before."

"The Toydarian broke something on your ship. Something you felt you needed. Yet you would be willing to trust his information?" The teenager finally moved, pushing herself to her feet, and making a show of straightening her tunic, and checking the rest of her outfit. "How I run a business is no concern of yours. As for begging. I have never begged for anything in my life. I don't plan to start now." Satisfied that her clothes were in place, Kia stood with her back straight, staring into the faceplate of the bounty hunters armor. "I'll repeat it more slowly for you. I ... am trying ... to hire ... you. Standing contract. I will pay you credits. You will help me with jobs if I need it. One of those jobs is Jelena Rodney."

Kia's voice returned to normal and she gave him a half grin. "Right now, my treatment is all that stands between death and a prosperous future for you. So I will ask again. Let me out of this cell, and return my weapons. Please. The sooner you do. The sooner I can start fixing this thing that you call a ship.."

Tonric holstered the blaster and tossed one lightsaber to her "You can have one. The other stays hidden. Final offer, and if you want effective employees it'd be good to start building a network. Oh and if you continue to use that obnoxious tone, I will kill you, slice you into strips, and save credits on Sirrick's food. Apart from that it'd be good to have a reliable employer and get the upgrades I need. Consider me your first employee." Tonric releases the cell doors and offers a hand to Kia.

"One will do for now." Kia stepped forward catching the hilt from the air with a slight scowl. She shifted it from hand to hand testing the familiar weight. She wouldn't activate it until she had a chance to ensure it hadn't been tampered with. "I know how to run a company, you keep assuming that because of age or something that I don't. It's a bit annoying. If you are my first 'employee' who the hell are you anyways?" Ignoring the offered hand, she stepped out of the cell, giving him an imperious scowl. "I don't see why you are against my resolution to this problem? I don't want the Citadel to get a hold of them, this is your fault by by the way. You sent them a message. You ruined all of that planning." Giving the cell another dubious look, "do you have a spare body lying around? Or are you planning on using me for this farce? I can probably find footage I could use to edit..."

"Glad we have an agreement." Watching her running a basic test for tampering. "Don't tell me CEO is another skill in your arsenal? I make assumptions because you act based on your age instead of the station and role you have been given." Tonric says this without malice or patronizing. Sighing when the inevitable question of his origin came around. "I was the son of nomads who found purpose in the legacy of the best mercenaries the galaxy has known, and that is all I will say." Setting down the hand, but keeping the stun function active just in case. "I object to implicating my ship with serial murders, among my other objections." Facing Kia's eyes before continuing and allowing Sirrick to wander to her back. "What would the Citadel do? My fault that you joined an organization whose price was your sycophancy, and your choice to ineffectively sever the ties to your past they would inevitably exploit?" Wondering what she saw in her former prison Tonric rolled his eyes at the following statement, "Yes follow me to my freezer of preserved bounties I use in the event of low funds. As for footage trust me I have plenty you can use."

"You keep 'preserved' bounties? That's gross! I have been selling my inventions since I was eleven. So yeah. I know how to run a company through a proxy. It's not *that* difficult." Kia continued to shift the lightsaber hilt from hand to hand almost in a nervous gesture. "You're weird for a bounty hunter. Why do you care if I kill people? I'd rather kill them than let them be taken and then forced to kill them for the whims of the Citadel Inquisitorius. Doing something on on my terms. Not theirs, save them from possibly years of torture until I'm ready for my next trials..." Kia let out an irritated huff, "I didn't *know* they were looking for me! I told Master Thanor that. I told Captain Serra that. Now you. I'm just going to record me saying it." She continued grumbling for a moment and then looking around the hold. "What do you need from me for your little scheme? Good job answering but not answering my question. If I'm paying you. I want to know your name."

A drawn out sigh joined his sarcastic response "There is no flesh locker, have you never heard of sarcasm or do they train that out of you in the Inquisitorius." Leading her to the video archives of past bounties "That explains how you're going to afford me, and be wary of proxies they might overthrow you." Tonric kept the sensors in his helm active if that saber went off, Sirrick and he would know it. "I like to think of myself as a pragmatic professional. It has been an invaluable state of mind. As for who you kill, it doesn't matter but the effect on me would be rather immediate when investigations connect my ship to the crime scene. Furthermore your family may be one of the few allies you have; best not to burn bridges if you need one to run across. Also don't most Inquisitors die because they are so isolated?" Shuffling through the holo bytes of data until he found the tapes, and stepping aside to let Kia see. "Not my proudest moment, but a learning experience." The Corellian woman had been unleashing kick after kick on the beskar plate, and while the impact was reduced Tonric still remembered how difficult it was to get up. Eventually he grabbed her ankle stunned her, and snapped the bitch's neck. The bounty had been pitiful but completed. In the end that's what clients depended on. Dead or Alive was an most. "Whatever works for you, my dear. Now to make this work we need some excellent video manipulation and internal wear and tear. As for the name call me Tonric."

"Oh. Well how was I supposed to know that? You're the one who kidnapped a teenager off a crowded street for money. You might have had a flesh locker." She still had not activated the lightsaber, "Since I'm going to be paying you.. tampering with a lightsaber is dangerous, do I need to give this back so you can remove any little surprises? As for the proxy, it's a droid I rebuilt or refurbished." She remembered what Serine had said about one of her trials, "I'm afraid one way or another three fates are sealed. If it's me that kills them, I can buy out the company legitimately and absorb it into what I already have. If the Citadel gets to them first, they will destroy it all. That's all they know. Pardon me for not wanting everything of my past destroyed. I was trying to save what I could." Kia followed him to the video archive, and watched the video in near silence. "Sketchy, but I can work with it. I need my datapad back, and holonet access to remote into my system on the Warspite. And a few hours to work. If you don't mind, please." She was at least attempting to not order him around.

"If I was truly that macabre would you still have a tongue or be able to walk around for that matter? Runaway family members are usually the easiest bounties, you'd be surprised how often we get hired for it." Stepping aside to let her get closer. "As for your saber only thing I did was polish it, I don't tamper with tech unless I have a basic understanding." Silently watching her reactions to the video and twinging slightly as he remembered bruised ribs and battered groin. "Smart move on the proxy, and I'm sorry to hear that." There was a genuine touch of regret in his voice, Tonric hated when his actions led to unforeseen consequences, largely because they tended to be explosive, but this was just unpleasant. "Was that mindset taught or did you always have the ability to be that...calculating? Good maybe this will buy your family time, and take all the time you need." Turning the corner and unlocking the holonet, but running the signal through his helmet to monitor activity. Last thing he needed was the Inquisitorius coming down on his head. If she fully intended to do it as soon as possible likely he'd need to provide sniper support. The circumstances were unpleasant but something inside Tonric grinned at wielding his favorite weapon.

Kia dropped into the seat at the holonet receiver, and her fingers began tapping a quick cadence, entering a complex authentication key. Within moments she was tied into her system aboard the Warspite, she was speaking while typing, copying programs into his local drive that she would need. "Growing up as an orphan on a world driven by designs and research taught me that mind set." She was switching through screens and programs at a blurring pace even if she were trying anything funny it was not likely to be clear. "I don't have to go through this trouble, it won't implicate you. All you would have done is your job. As distasteful as it is. What happened after wouldn't be any of your doing. If wouldn't be your fault the bounty you dropped off took matters into her own hands once you were clear. All I'm asking you to do is wait for me in Tyrena." It sounded like a genuine request, something she knew had to be done whether or not it would hurt her. "Do you mind if I include a message to Captain Serra to let her know that I am relatively unharmed?" She had finished copying the programs she needed, but was looking over her shoulder, she wasn't underhanded enough to try and bring troops down on them.

Tonric understood an orphan's mindset, his clan had kept the identity of parents a secret and taught that the clan's survival and wealth was there beginning and end. All the adults saw to them, but none admitted parentage. Ironically that distance led to Tonric's departure. Scavenging scrap was hard miserable work. If he was to live and die better with scars and fortunes on his hands. Absentmindedly he watched and listened, at least his new employer owned the skills she claimed. Hard locking the transmission and records of reporting the bounty before responding to her request. "Understood Inquisitor, do what needs to be done. Also should I just call you Kia?"

Kia motioned him over as she composed the message to Captain Serra, it was short, to the point and very plain spoken. She knew trust was something to be built not demanded: "Captain Serra, I've found the need to make a slight detour from my mission, please inform the Warspite that I am not in immediate danger, and will be returning to Esseles at the conclusion of the personal matter I have to attend to. -Apprentice Inquisitor Kia Kaen" She took a moment, then nodded, sending the brief message before completely logging off, and closing out the console. "I'll leave the editing software here in case it's needed. Please resume course to Corellia. As for what to call me. Inquisitor Kaen will do." Kia blinked again, a flicker of a sad smile crossing her expression.

"As you wish Inquisitor Kaen." The words touched her face, and twisted the features for a moment, but went on. Politics aside Tonric did not relish the thought of the Inquisitorius trying to take command of him. Even if Kia objected her superiors might not care, either distance or insurance would have to be kept. Silently Tonric decided to employ both. Going over the edits she made Tonric appreciated the detail she went into. A few tweaks and it was ready. (Calling the family and reporting went as smoothly as he imagined. Tears and disappointment, were followed by demands for the body, and Tonric complied informing them they could expect it as soon as possible.) "One more condition for my employment." Waiting for her to turn before continuing "I will not enter the main headquarters of the Inquisitorius, or be made freely available to your superiors. I am your agent, not theirs."

Kia silently watched the exchange, finally starting to understand how her Master had learned to keep an impassive expression. She did not deserve that grief she heard from her family. When he turned to her, the condition he set made her blink a few times, her blue-green eyes were far more expressive than the rest of her countenance. "The Citadel Inquisitorius is for initiates and full Inquisitors, Tonric. I wouldn't ask or order you to go there. Not for every credit I own." She started to turn away from him, then turned back to face him. "Where can I sleep, or at least meditate. And how long until we arrive at Corellia?"

"I'll make sure to keep my supply of rockets at peak capacity." Tonric's matter of fact tone, seemed to echo through the halls, but beneath the face plate there was a small predatory smile, precision demolition was one of his very few vices. "Down the hall to the left, guest quarters. If you need food or drink opposite way down on the right. Oh, and this Jelena she have any combat experience or just a civilian? As for Corellia we'll be there in two days"

"Think you'll need them? Or just being paranoid? Besides, there are better explosives than rockets.. We can talk later." Again, she sounded like she knew something from personal experience, age be damned. "Down the hall to the left, got it, thank you. Jelena Rodney is a noblewoman who grew up as a privileged and untouchable member of society. So in other words, she should be a cakewalk."

"I like having them, and I am always open to learning about more effective explosives." Tonric was happy to see she hadn't tried to betray him, perhaps this could be a profitable arrangement after all. "Sniper Rifle, paralytic, snatch and grab? What is your preferred method of extraction Inquisitor Kaen, for Jelena? Oh out of curiosity in the event one of your superiors tries to terminate you do I have your permission to return the favor?"

"Explosives are great! We definitely need to talk about them..." Kia gave him a genuine grin that betrayed the girl she had been just a few weeks prior, the darkness didn't seem as stark in her and she seemed like a teenager, before that window was slammed shut again. "As for the target, she has to be taken back to the Warspite, so a paralytic would work. We can work out non-lethal rounds for your rifle if you'd like." His last comment made her blink repeatedly, "Why would Master Thanor try to kill me? I don't think she'd try to ... but if she ever does, I guess? Uh ... yes, you have my permission. You probably won't ever need to though, Master Thanor isn't *all* that bad..."

"With the right timing I agree." That grin was amusing and worrisome, but some part of Tonric said that he'd get to live and die by his motto following her. "That sounds good, maybe blend in some sort of seizure inducing compound to get her moving to a hospital and get her in transit." Tonric desperately wanted to pinch his nose "My dear if you truly wish to commit to the Inquisitorius, at some point you'll climb the ladder, and the higher you go the more enemies it will make, even this Master Thanor could end up being one. So do I have permission to act on behalf of saving your life from these inevitable enemies?" Tonric's tone finally took a turn for the sarcastic professional pragmatism had been exhausted.

"*Only* if it comes to that, yes. I kind of like being alive. It's useful." Kia tilted her head studying him. "As for the seizure inducing stuff, spiking her food or just hitting her with something would probably be easier? Aren't seizures dangerous?"

Locking that recording in his database, for future uses before responding, with a professional tone again. "It certainly allows us to be more effective." Giving a pause to think about that valid point "Maybe something that makes her froth at the mouth or just looks bad without the any negative physical effects?"

Kia had already half turned back down the hallway, looking back over her shoulder, "Yeah.. that sounds good. Let me know when we're a few hours out from Corellia, if you wouldn't mind? I'm going to rest and get any remnants of whatever you gave me out of my system."

"Can do."

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