El-Nay could feel the
sensation of the man's vibroblade against her knee, and
the slightest of tremors could be seen flowing through
her young body. Beneath the helmet she was a ball of
nerves, and she began looking around without moving her
body to count just how many guns were drawn upon her.
But even if she did manage to take out a couple of them,
there was still the issue of the blade being held
directly upon her knee. "I suppose it's too late to
apologize?" She asked, turning her helmet slightly to
look at Tycho from beneath her visor. Her breathing
began to increase rapidly, her heart racing, as she
began to have the onset of an anxiety attack. She had
been hurt before, and injured through carelessness, but
certainly nothing that could constitute a beating. Not
by any stretch of the imagination, and imagining was
just what she was doing as she anticipated the horrors
that might be to come. "I'll pay for the dress!" She
suggested, tilting her head slightly, and raising her
shoulders as if to say 'oops'.
Oops indeed. Tycho sighed as
he reluctantly watched his possible evening's
entertainment leave. He hadn't even gotten a comm
channel to contact her on. The Force filled him as he
took in a breath, and he could sense the girl much more
strongly. She was terrified and looking for a way out.
She wanted to pull away, but she was afraid. He actually
felt sympathy for her. But, he had a job to do.
"Here's what we're going to
do," he said. "You're going to take *all* your weapons
and place them on the table. Do it slowly and don't try
anything. Trust me, you'll lose that kneecap if you do."
His voice wasn't angry or demanding, just frighteningly
El-Nay breathed slowly, but
each breath seemed to be deeper than the one that
preceded it, as she desperately sucked down air. She
nodded her helmet slowly at the man, but did not utter a
word, as she could sense he was not easily amused. Her
right hand moved to the DT-57 heavy blaster pistol, a
relic which was older than she was. Her hand trembled as
she moved it towards the table, and then dropped it ...
not as part of any disrespect or diversion, but out of a
fear so palpable she could no longer hold it. Next she
moved to a section of various explosives she kept in a
small satchel, and placed them down on the table as
well. Inside were a thermal detonator as a last resort,
and more useful flash grenades for disorienting her
prey. "I'm going to have to reach down for the next
one," she explained, before bending down to pull up an
old beskad, a blade of Mandalorian iron. She was not
properly trained to use it, but had been in her clan for
generations. "I'd ... I'd kind of like to keep that one,"
she said, despite the fact it was unlikely she'd make it
out of this alive. "It's important to me," she
explained, doubting that he would care, but it was the
Tycho watched her like a
hawk as she took out her things and placed them all on
the table. For a moment, there was indecision,
especially when she asked to keep one of her items. The
blaster pistol was a nice one, but he didn't desire it.
The blade, however, looked like it could rake in dough.
He frowned slightly, then peeked into the satchel,
eyebrows raising. He took out her 'last resort' and
added it to his belt. "I've always wanted a thermal
detonator," he told her. After putting the pistol in the
satchel, he slowly stood, keeping his knife right where
it was. Then, he found a gap in the armor plates at the
side, near the back. He quickly pressed his blade there
instead. The weapon would go right through and into the
kidney. Carrying her satchel and blade in one hand, he
started forward, giving her a nudge. "Walk slowly and
keep moving. We're going out back."
El-Nay took in a sharp
inhale of air, and began to sniffle, fighting back the
desire to cry as she felt the blade pressed against her.
As they began to move through The Speakeasy none of the
patrons seemed to care, and the Gamorrean she had
assaulted was actually applauding as she was led to her
fate. "Please..." she said pathetically, as they moved
through the preparation area, which revealed just how
unsanitary the food was prepared by an assortment of
aliens and droids. If he truly wanted to injure her, he
might have just force fed her some of the raw food that
had been sitting out far too long. They finally emerged
in the dark alley behind the structure where garbage was
taken to be dumped before the refuse droids came to
collect it. "It doesn't ... you don't have to do this,"
she said in panic, wishing she had listened to her
father about not going off on adventures without proper
training. Worst of all at the moment was the realization
that he had been right; she could not stand for that.
She closed her eyes when they stopped moving, and a few
tears began to flow, with soft whimpers beginning to
escape the domed helmet she wore.
Tycho could feel it all. How
was it possible not to empathize with a person when he
could feel their pain and fear? He didn't like it one
bit. Hell, he didn't even want to do this. That wasn't
going to stop him, unfortunately. He tossed her satchel
and blade aside, a good distance from them. "You chose
this life," he said. "You stepped into the path of
danger. There are consequences. Take them and deal with
them instead of whimpering about it. Now, off with your
armor, helmet first."
Her gloved hands came to the
side of her helmet, and with some bumbling she managed
to detach it and reveal what lay beneath. She was barely
an adult, with a face that could be considered beautiful
if she properly took care of it instead of gallivanting
about the galaxy. Her hair seemed blonde at first, but
the shaved sides of her head revealed her brown roots,
betraying the cheap dye job that covered the rest of her
hair, which was cut short and styled upwards. She turned
her head to face him, exposed for the first time, her
gray eyes looking at him helplessly, as they began to
well up with tears. Her hands then moved to the plates
of armor that covered her small, 1.65 meter tall frame.
As each one of them was placed upon the ground she found
herself become more vulnerable, more exposed, more
afraid. It was as if she was digging her own grave, and
by the time she finally removed the last shin guard she
was a broken wreck. She was trembling and then she
thought there was nothing worse that could happen, the
muscles of her bladder suddenly gave way and she felt
the warm flow of urine between her legs, and then down
them, until they formed an odorous puddle at her feet.
At some point he had to
remove the blade enough that she could get out of the
armor. She was left in nothing but the snug body glove
underneath. He looked down at the puddle she was forming
and sighed. "Seriously?" He had seen people piss
themselves before, but not often, and he certainly
hadn't expected it from her. The level of cowardice
didn't mix well with her line of work at all. He punched
her hard in the gut, then put the knife away. He had no
desire to cut on her. "This is humiliating and
frightening," Tycho said, understanding the situation,
apparently. "But you need to get your shit together." He
punched her again, not holding anything back. This time,
the blow came to her ribs. "You think you can be a merc?
This is pretty pathetic."
El-Nay gasped for air the
instant his fist connected with her stomach, causing her
to bring up some bile that she spit up. The bile
dribbled down her lips, and then down her chin, as she
weakly turned to look at him. "Is this..." she tried to
talk to him, before that second shot came in contact
with her ribs, knocking the wind out of her, and causing
her to drop helplessly to her knees. She closed her
eyes, placing a hand out in front of her, to keep from
collapsing, as she knelt in her urine. "Is this what a
merc is paid to do?" She asked, weakly, coughing, as she
brought a hand to her face to wipe away the mess. Her
eyes were barely open, and she was panting like a beast
of burden, doing her best to catch her breath.
"A merc gets paid for
whatever job they accept," Tycho said calmly. He gave
her a solid kick to knock her onto her back, but he was
careful not to knock her unconscious. "This isn't my
job, really, but when you're making a deal with big
people and getting paid big creds, you do favors asked
of you." Tycho shrugged, then knelt down beside her,
giving her a rough slap to the face. "I don't like doing
this," he admitted. "You need to learn a lesson. Either
get out of this business right now, or toughen up and
get smart. You're not a merc. You're playing a merc."
Suddenly, he seized her by the throat and stood,
displaying impressive strength as he brought her up with
him and slammed her into the wall. "Are we getting the
message yet?" He snarled.
As she lay on her back the
words her father repeated inside her head, scolding her
to give up such foolish pursuits and ignore her heritage
until the time was right to return to Mandalore. Now
this stranger was saying the same thing, but with a far
more deliberate hand. The slap in the face caught her
off guard, and a mixture of saliva and blood flew from
her mouth, as her head was snapped to the side. She
gasped for air, choking as he grabbed her by the throat,
the blood running down the corner of her mouth and down
onto his hand. She let out a desperate scream when she
was slammed into the wall, her spine sending waves of
pain radiating throughout her young, diminutive body.
"Ye..." she tried to speak, but was finding it difficult
with his hand wrapped around her throat like it was. She
brought her hands up to his, trying in vain to give
herself some space to breathe, and more importantly, to
speak. "Yes!" She murmured, between desperate gasps of
air, her head thrashing from side to side as she
struggled in his grip.
Tycho would normally get
excited about this kind of brutality. It was something
deeply ingrained in him from his life on Nal Hutta.
However, he pushed that down, using some of that
discipline he'd been learning lately, and forced himself
to calm down. He couldn't help squeezing her throat a
little tighter, though. A little longer. He held her
there, choking her, taking her breath from her, staring
into her eyes and feeling her fear.
"No," he said, dropping her
and stepping back. He breathed in deeply, then let it
out again. "I'm not going to kill you. We're done. You
seem like a nice girl. Naive, too. But you're going to
die. Not by my hands, but it'll happen. Soon, unless you
learned something today. Tell me ... did you learn
Her eyes began to roll back
in her head as he nearly crushed her windpipe. She was
just about to lose consciousness when he released her,
and she collapsed to the ground like a sack of tubers.
She was on all fours, barely able to keep herself from
collapsing face first onto the filthy ground. He had
nearly killed her, but she had survived, and found
herself gasping for air. It took several moments to
regain some of her composure, but eventually her
breathing began to normalize and she calmed down.
"Yeah..." El-Nay said, as she shifted her position so that
she was seated on the ground, her knees bent upwards,
and her arms resting somewhat on them. "Don't ruin
another woman's dress..." she said with a smirk, and short
laugh, revealing that despite the ordeal, he had not
broken her of her sense of humor, despite the trouble it
often got her in.
Either he didn't appreciate
humor, or this wasn't the right time for it. Tycho
rolled his eyes, turned, and walked away. He knew she
might shoot him in the back (he left all her items there
on the ground, save for the thermal detonator he'd
stolen), but he knew that the Force would let him know
if he was in danger. As long as he remained focused on
it, that was.
"Good luck out there, girl,"
he said, not looking back. "You'll need it."