Kerrie Kiley was dressed in
her cold, black Storm Commando uniform as she moved
through the bowels of the Imperial I-class Star
Destroyer Warspite. She had been considering the
situation that El-Nay Darr had informed her about, and
while she new she could not appeal to the Grand Moff for
assistance, she could attempt to confront the Intel
Major who was the cause of all this. As the governor's
aide her code cylinders gave her access to every area of
the command ship and she had no trouble entering the
suite that had been assigned to Major Traebor and her
staff. There was a bit of confusion among the Intel
officers when she entered, but she paid them no mind,
and walked directly into Traebor's office.
Min Traebor had her back to
the door when Major Kiley entered the room, and quickly
spun around on her chair to see who had dared enter.
"Get out of my office!" she snarled viciously, rising up
from her chair to get a better look at the woman. She
was dressed in her olive-grey uniform, and her reddish
hair was styled so that it hung down over one side of
her face. She brought a hand up to her face nonchalantly
to brush it aside, before moving around the desk to
confront the interloper.
"I don't know what your game
is, Traebor, but it stops now!" Kerrie demanded, as she
turned to face the oncoming woman. Her feet were planted
firmly and she was ready for a fight, but she did not
think the meddling bureaucrat capable of such an action.
"El-Nay Darr is not to be touched. Not unless you want
to deal with me," she warned her, raising a gloved
finger towards the woman quickly. She extended her hand,
poking her on the chest as hard as she could twice.
Min turned her head to study
the Storm Commando intently, surprised that she would
come before her to petition for the lowly Mandalorian.
"Oh. Is that what this is about?" she said, laughing at
her, before moving back towards her desk. "It's sweet
that you care so much, but I think she's found someone
else," she said, before moving towards one of the
monitors on the wall. Turning back to face Kerrie she
pressed the button that showed the recording from the
hotel on Calamar where they had been staying. The sexual
interlude between the two appeared on one monitor before
eventually expanding to play on all of them. "Sorry,
sweetie. But I think your girlfriend has a boyfriend,"
she said, before pulling open her top desk drawer to
grab at her cigarra case.
Kerrie reached to her
holster to produce her KYD-21 blaster pistol, quickly
raising it at Min Traebor, and held it there for a
moment. "I ended Major Zevrin. I can end you," she
warned her, before moving the barrel of the blaster to
the right, squeezing the trigger. The crimson bolt of
energy impacted with the monitors, shattering them in an
explosion that sent shocks of electricity everywhere.
"El-Nay Darr is not to be touched," she repeated,
holstering her sidearm, having hoped that she had more
than made her point.
Traebor momentarily flinched
when Kerrie drew the blaster down on her, and when she
actually pulled the trigger she was mortified. But when
the bolts connected with her monitors a sensation of
relief came over her and she shifted back into her
normal personality. She turned her head slowly to look
at the damage that had been done, before looking back at
Kerrie. "There's the famous Kiley temper we have all
heard so much about," she snickered, plucking one
cigarra from the holder before bringing it to her lips.
She moved her face towards the electrical fire, allowing
it to spark the end, before taking a quick drag. "Bring
me the Nerf Herder. Then I'll forget all about El-Nay
Darr," she said to her, before exhaling a toxic plume of
smoke in her direction. "Well, as much as one can forget
a bumbling imbecile in bright orange armor," she added,
before sitting back down at her desk.
"What do you want with the
Governor's brother?" Kerrie asked the Major, as she
moved towards her desk. She placed both hands down upon
her desk, leaning forward to glare across at her.
"Whatever is going on between you and him need not
involve the girl. We both know she doesn't stand a
chance. What does sacrificing her gain you? It does not
gain you him!" she yelled at her, raising her hands, and
then slamming them back down in fists upon the polished
black desk. "Are we just pawns to you black hats?" she
asked, angrily, almost snarling at the woman. It was no
wonder they were losing the war what with all the games
Intel and the ISB were playing.
"So you've seen the file?"
Min asked her, holding her cigarra in between two
fingers of her right hand, the smoke rapidly rising from
it. "The Nerf Herder was hired to do a job for me. On
your recommendation if you remember. He failed. Now he
must pay," she said, before moving the cigarra back to
her mouth for another drag. "I don't want the Nerf
Herder dead. I want him to suffer. Death would only end
his suffering ... and my fun," she explained, before
blowing out a cloud of smoke at Kerrie. "Now that you
know who he is you know his heart. You know that he does
not kill for sport or profit. But when your precious
El-Nay shows up he'll have no choice but to kill her.
Her the young girl whose innocence he took. He'll have
that on him for the rest of his days," she said,
laughing at Kerrie, before pushing the button to call a
maintenance tech to repair her monitor.
"You are a monster," Kerrie
said, but not before bringing up her gloved hand to slap
her across the face. Somewhat satisfied, she turned on
her heels and moving from the office at all possible
speed. She would have to get to El-Nay before she left.
She would not allow her to fall victim to some Intel
mindgame. She had only hoped she would not be too late.
Tycho awoke with a languid
stretch and a yawn. He squirmed around in bed for a bit,
unwilling to emerge from sleep, but something nagged at
him. He reached out for El-Nay, but she was not there.
When he opened his eyes and glanced around the room, he
saw that there was no sign of her. "El-Nay?" He called.
The suite was not only silent, but felt still. In fact...
he reached out with his senses and felt no life around
him except for in adjacent rooms. He sat up on the edge
of the bed and found his feet. There was a sense of
worry that he could not banish, but surely she was
simply out getting some food or something. They did have
leftovers from the restaurant... but maybe she just didn't
want to eat something so heavy for breakfast. Despite
the fact that his mind was playing over these thoughts
and searching for any number of logical reasons she
wouldn't be there, he knew something was wrong. When he
saw that her belongings were all gone, his heart rate
started to increase. Had she really left? He pulled on
his pants and went into the living area. Prominently
displayed on the coffee table was a small holoprojector.
He went and sat in front of it, watching the blinking
light to show that there was a recording. She had left
him a message. There was no reason to do that other than
if she left. He pressed the button. As he watched and
listened, his stomach dropped and he simply stared on.
He felt sick. He didn't know what to feel aside from
turmoil and confusion which he tried desperately to work
through. Why did her goddamn honor have to matter so
much? Why would she risk leaving him, letting him be
alone again? How could she do that? His stomach hurt and
fear rose in him, quickly followed by anger. He suddenly
stood and flipped the table over with a roar. There was
a crash and the sound of things breaking, but he didn't
stop there. He kicked furniture, he swept decorative
items from tables, and all the while he cursed.
From the corridor Kerrie
could hear the noise from within the room and grew
concerned, drawing her blaster pistol. She stepped
towards the door, lifting her booted foot, before
kicking it forward to open it. "El-Nay?" she called into
the room, not sure if she was attacked or being
attacked. For what was to come she needed her armor, and
therefore had cast aside her Imperial uniform, and
replaced it with her black suit of armorweave. Her hand
moved to the metal helmet that sat atop her head,
bringing down the targeting scanners over both of her
eyes. "El-Nay?" she again called out, unwilling to go
any further, as she was unsure of what she was walking
into or what she could be walking into. The amount of
crashing she had heard convinced she might have been
dealing with multiple attackers, which caused her to
worry her confrontation with Major Traebor might have
caused her to have the Black Sun send a couple of thugs
to deal with them.
Tycho heard the crash of the
door. He hadn't the slightest idea who it was, and
didn't have the presence of mind to tell it was a
familiar presence. Even if he had, he wouldn't have been
able to work it out after meeting her just once. It was
a moot point, being that he was seething with rage. He
snatched up his blaster pistol and stalked toward the
next room. As he swung around, he raised his blaster
toward the door, and found that he had it leveled on
Kerrie. The look on his face, the rage and betrayal and
pain, was unsettling if not downright frightening.
Wearing nothing but his pants he was at a disadvantage,
but he wasn't shooting anyway. "El-Nay... where is she?
Where did she go!"
When Kerrie saw that it was
Tycho, she holstered her blaster pistol and took a
couple of cautious steps forward. In his eyes she could
see something had gone terribly wrong, but he seemed
just as confused as she was. "Tycho. We met the other
day. My name is Kerrie. What has happened here?" she
said in a calm, non-threatening voice. She had dealt
with all sorts in her travels and she liked to think she
knew how to speak to people by now.
"I know who you are," he
snapped. Though his hand was shaking, he lowered his
pistol too. "I thought you'd be with her. I thought you
two would be off taking care of this Nerf Herder
together. She wanted your help with it, after all!" He
threw the blaster pistol across the room onto the couch.
He wasn't handling this well. "She snuck out while I was
sleeping... left me a message about honor and respect and
bullshit." He knew that it made sense. Even then, in his
furious state, it made perfect sense. The problem was,
it hurt, and knowing logically why she'd done it and
understanding it, didn't change the way it made him
feel. It wasn't just that she'd gone. It was the fact
that she'd disappeared on her and didn't want his help.
It was the fact that she might die and he'd never see
her again. It was the fact that she'd rather die than
stay with him. "It's over there." He motioned vaguely in
the direction of the little holorecorder that lay on the
floor near the broken table.
"She didn't..." Kerrie said
weakly, the color rushing away from the human face she
had worked so hard to mimic all those years ago back on
Zolan. "She couldn't..." she said, taking her hands to the
top of her head, before throwing her helmet to the
ground in a combination of disgust and anger.
"She did!" He interrupted,
Kerrie moved towards the
holorecorder, but she had a feeling she knew what it was
going so say ... and she dreaded it. She watched in
silence as the young Mandalorian girl she had known
since she was a child relayed the flawed logic behind
her hairbrained actions. She lowered her head in defeat,
bringing both of her hands to the side of her head to
hold it up. "Oh, El-Nay. I failed you..." she said, as her
mind remembered all of the time they had spent apart
these years, with El-Nay believing she had died rather
than re-enter Imperial service. "She's playing right
into their hands. This is all part of some sick game.
They're watching right now. Laughing," as her blue eyes
scanned the room for any trace of their recording
For a moment, Tycho thought
she was being paranoid, but he quickly realized that
this was not a woman prone to idle paranoia. The look in
her eyes instead displayed that she was searching for
something with cool precision and experience. "This
place is bugged?" He asked, eyes widening. In the scheme
of things, it didn't matter all that much, yet he looked
back toward the bedroom and said, "They watched us..." He
trailed off, figuring it was best not to mention the
sex, though he knew she'd probably figure it out.
"You don't get it. This is
what people like them do. They sit around and move
people around like it's a game of Dejarik," Kerrie said,
as she moved closer towards him. "Yes. They had the
place up. They've seen everything. I've..." she paused,
not wanting to look at the man right now for obvious
reasons. "I've seen too much," she added, as she bent
down to scoop up her helmet. "I am going after her. I
owe her that," she said, as she placed the helmet back
upon the ornately braided hair that kept her lengthy,
flowing hair up about her head.
Tycho glanced away. He knew
she'd seen somehow, judging by what she'd said and her
attitude. He, too, became uncomfortable and decided he
needed more clothes ... and a shower. He could smell sex.
Then his eyes snapped up to her, suddenly intense. "Not
without me you're not," he said. "Wait here ... I'll be
quick. Then, we're going to find her and I'm either
gonna kiss her or kill her. Haven't decided yet."