Ask  Nar Shaddaa No Good Deed

Discussion in 'Outer Rim Territories' started by Keira Zale, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Keira Zale

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    She knew this was a bad idea. She had been told that by every single one of her advisors. Nar Shaddaa was a cornucopia of poor decisions, scumbags and absolute filth. Yet it was also where most of the citizens lived beneath the poverty line. While the Hutts and Mandalorians were in power, slavery still ran rampant and countless were forced to work in illegal fields to get by. With her entire platform based around the impoverished, Keira couldn’t fathom where else she could begin helping as a Senator.

    She hadn’t been assigned anyone to be her dedicated bodyguard. For the moment, she had a guard with her that was fresh out of the academy. He remained quiet, ignoring her bubbly chatter entirely till she stopped trying. It wasn’t in Keira’s nature to be silent and reserved, and she had to pretend as if he weren’t even there. He followed her like a shadow, and she tried her best to keep her thoughts on the task at hand.

    Against the better judgment of her advisors, she wanted to host a volunteering effort to feed the poor in a district in the underbelly of Nar Shaddaa. Even her local point of contact here had scoffed at her, but she agreed the nonetheless. Her contact was a twi’lek with tattered clothing that was puffing on a cigarra. She smelled terrible, and she scowled at Keira as she approached.

    “Thank you so much for having me here, my name is-”

    “Yea yea, go on’ do whatcha need,” The woman waved her hand impatiently, stepping aside to allow Keira and the guard through. Keira said nothing, though her smile never disappeared. She gingerly walked past the woman, out into an open street area that was right next to the smelly gutters. None of this fazed the young senator, as she herself had grown up in poverty.

    Without a word, Keira got to work, putting together meals from the supplies she had brought over here. She glanced over to the guard to help, but he conveniently reminded her that it wasn’t his job. With a sigh, Keira continued to work, hoping that her ad for the homeless to come and partake in the meals would yield a crowd of volunteers.

    “Ya know,” The twi’lek woman nearby said as she scratched the grime between her lekku, “It ain’t gonna be pretty. People here get real nasty. I ain’t gon’ be ‘round to save your ass if shit hits the fan.”

    “Oh that’s all right,” Keira said cheerfully, “I have a guard with me.”

    The twi’lek looked the man near her up and down and began to laugh. The guard bristled, but said nothing. Today would be a long day...

    @Painus
     
  2. Leandros Solus

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    Why was it so hard to find the perfect present to give to her?

    Leandros racked his brain as he walked along the streets of Nar Shaddaa, his footsteps silent against the chaotic din of underhive life. Raz wasn’t a particularly difficult person to please, but she was temperamental and had very specific interests – namely, she would never do with any sappy, romantic presents that others had tried, and failed, to offer her – and Leandros was on the hunt for the perfect thing to surprise her with. Narrowing down his options to either something explosive or something shooty, he opted to go for more shooty than explosive. She had a disruptor and plenty of bombs already, but she was lacking something that packed a bigger punch than the QuickDraw he gave her so long ago.

    That is precisely why he was down here in the seedy part of an already-scummy planet-city. He wanted to procure a heavy blaster of some kind and knew that legal channels would mean that the weapon might come vanilla when he wanted something modified and befitting both his lover and ruler of their people. Illegal weapons dealers always hung out in these impoverished districts so as to avoid suspicion from whatever law enforcement or gang enforcers were in the area and looking for trouble. Leandros avoided most of the trouble by simply wearing his armor, which people either recognized and opted out of picking a fight or feared on the principle that the Mandalorians controlled this planet and could do as they wished. He was armed lightly today; only his dual pistols, violator, beskad, and usual assortment of grenades. He didn’t want to spook the arms dealers but also figured that going unarmed was a recipe for disaster, so his compromise involved just leaving the heavier stuff behind.

    Leandros was walking through one of the poorer areas of the district when he chanced a look upon some well-to-do woman unpacking supplies and preparing meals. Clearly a stranger to this place, she went to work as a small gathering of the homeless approached her, eager and wary of the woman’s selfless generosity. A few volunteered to help, though most simply milled about and waited for their turn to be fed. Rare was the sight of someone helping out the needy in such an area; so rare that Leandros found himself stopped and staring in wonder for a brief moment. Who the kriff would expose themselves to such danger without regard for their own wellbeing?

    The guard with her didn’t inspire much confidence in Leandros in his ability to protect the woman, but people were surprising. The man’s moment to shine came to fruition minutes after the woman began her work. Among those gathered, a more ragtag group of vagrants wandered by in a small pack numbering around five or six. Each sported a similar facial tattoo and series of piercings on their faces – the sign of an organized hive gang. Their sort preyed on the naïve and the helpless, and this good Samaritan was the perfect target.

    The group gathered to the side of the woman and her supplies. Though none of them outwardly brandished weapons, Leandros knew they likely had them handy and hidden, just in case their intimidation by numbers didn’t work. ”Hey, lady!” one of them called out, ”We heard you’re givin’ away food to the needy.” They took a few steps closer, causing the guard to stand between them and her, hand on his weapon, his face contorted between concern and uncertainty. ”We’re gonna need the food. All of it,” the leader finished, keeping his hand suspiciously by the inside of his jacket pocket. By now, several vagrants had backed away and gotten their space from the gangers, fearful of the violence they may cause. Leandros watched from behind the anonymity of his helmet, taking a step closer to the group, but was otherwise intrigued by how the woman would react.

    @Sreeya
     
  3. Keira Zale

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    Keira was thrilled to see some folks to help volunteer, though she had to ignore how some of them stole an ingredient every now and then. She had to remind herself that this district wasn’t used to anyone helping out like this. Even the ‘volunteers’ weren’t so much better off than the people they were helping.

    She was smiling and waving to the homeless that more or less growled at her in return as they received their food. Nothing dampened her spirits as she kept doling out food, speaking to the guard as she did so, “See? Isn’t this wonderful? It feels great to really make a difference. A small reminder that someone cares goes such a long way.”

    The guard said nothing, standing still as a statue.

    Keira returned to what she was doing, turning her back right as the thugs arrived on the scene. She turned back to see them, noting the facial tattoos. When they began about giving the food away and then asking for it all, Keira stepped forth and put her hand on the guard’s shoulder to stop him from doing anything drastic.

    “Friends,” Keira said with a smile towards the ‘leader’ of the thugs, “There is enough here for everyone. We are only here to help. If you just wait a moment, after I finish serving these other folks, I will be happy to-”

    “God this bitch talks a lot,” One of the thugs from the back groaned.

    “‘Aye she’s pretty cute tho,” Another called out, “Would fetch a solid price with a Hutt.”

    Keira’s eyes went wide, not used to such talk or being referred to as merchandise. The guard jerked out of her grip, and she raised her voice slightly towards the thug leader, “Now, please, that's really quite rud-”

    Before she could finish her sentence, one of the thugs had drawn a weapon and fired directly into the guard’s stomach. Keira screamed and jumped back, terrified as the situation escalated out of control. The people nearby began to scatter, but many of them actually jumped towards the food supplies to steal them. Keira rushed behind a stack of boxes, her heart pounding against her chest as fear took over.
     
  4. Leandros Solus

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    Leandros continued his passive observance from the street, behind the majority of the vagrants and likely only in the periphery of the thugs themselves. Despite the demands from the thug leader, the woman stood defiant and worked to calm the situation down as best she could. The attempt – and it was nothing more than that – failed to take purchase within the minds of the thugs dead set on taking the supplies for themselves. Even from where he was, Leandros could hear their remarks and he frowned. Even if the woman was naïve, she was still trying to do a good deed down here among the lost and destitute. Her cause was noble, even if her methods were infinitely risky without the proper protection. One guard could not stop what would come at her, no matter how confident he was in his abilities.

    Leandros did not catch the end of the negotiation, but few could miss the gunshot that went off. Even if he was not involved before, he felt a kind of obligation to intercede on her behalf. This was a Mandalorian world, and he was a just Mandalorian. The guard looked down at the bleeding hole in his stomach, looked back up at the thug who had shot him, then stumbled backwards. He fell to the ground beside the crates the woman hid behind, his head lolling to a side as he let out his final gasps for air.

    The thugs, meanwhile, had just gotten rid of the one thing stopping their robbery. With a shout in their gang slang, the group began to force the vagrants away from the supplies they were trying to steal themselves. The thug who had shot the guard stalked over towards the stack of crates Keira hid behind, an impish grin on his face.

    ”Come out, little girl, we wanna talk,” he called out, pistol raised and aimed at the boxes, ”Don’t try and fight bac-“

    Two bolts bored through the side of his head with deadly accuracy and the man slammed against the side of the crates, shuddering violently as his brain flicked off. After a moment of convulsions, he crumpled to the ground like a sack of vegetables and laid on top of the dead guard, joining the man he had killed just moments ago in the afterlife. Leandros had begun moving forward even before his blaster was in his hands, the other drawing his beskad in one fluid motion. The thugs, momentarily stunned by the sudden attack against them, turned to look at the shooter. Not knowing just who they were against, they drew weapons of their own – lead pipes, vibroknives, old blasters – and began to encircle him. They were little threat alone, but packs of these thugs could bring down anyone foolish enough to get trapped by them.

    Leandros fired another pair of bolts at a gun-wielding thug. The shots slammed against his chest and forced him to fall to his back, dead before he even hit the ground, but not before he got a shot off himself. The bolt grazed along the inside of Leandros’ bicep, bypassing the plating and scarring the flesh.

    He grimaced beneath his helmet and grunted in pain but kept his guard up right as a thug pushed in for an attack. He swung a wrench in a scything motion towards Leandros, but he was too slow. Leandros’ beskad met the man’s arm and took his hand off at the wrist with a visceral slash. Blood spurted out and the man dropped to a knee, screaming at the loss of his hand. A swift knee to the head put the man out for the count as the small bones in his face shattered and sent him to sleep.

    Two thugs remained on either side of Leandros, much more wary after watching him massacre their comrades in a matter of seconds, but he had no idea if they had more friends on the way. Around them, emboldened by his interjection, more homeless vagrants moved towards the supplies, taking this opportunity to loot to their heart’s content.

    @Sreeya
     
  5. Keira Zale

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    Keira was absolutely terrified. She had been near shootings before, and she had been taught to always duck for cover. This was the first time she saw someone get dropped in front of her - someone she knew. The guard was coughing and sputtering near her, and she could do nothing about it. Tears were streaming down her face and she tried to shield him from fire, trying to slowly hoist him back into cover. He left a trail of blood behind, and she felt absolutely helpless.

    She managed to glance up quickly to see a man in action, amazed by how he moved almost inhumanly fast. She was working to quickly staunch the bleeding of the guard. It was to no avail, his eyes glazed over as he struggled to speak. She ignored the thugs that scrambled over to steal some supplies. The day had turned into an utter disaster, and the man that was tasked with protecting her was now giving his life. This was all her fault. Her advisors had warned her against coming here, and she hadn’t listened. Now this poor man paid the price.

    Keira could see the man that was fending off the thugs was a Mandalorian, and she half wondered if he’d be angry at her for being here. She cowered behind the boxes, tears freely streaming down her face. By now, the guard went limp in her arms, blood staining her hands. She was shaking like a leaf, her hair a mess. She wasn’t prepared for situations like these.

    The last two thugs dropped their weapons and bolted in opposite directions. They knew this was a serious Mandalorian, and they knew better than to mess with them. The homeless folks that were in the middle of stealing the supplies realized that the Mandalorian had no distractions, and they also fled the scene to avoid his wrath.

    Keira remained where she was, hugging her knees to her chest and sitting behind the boxes. She was still shaking, drawing shuddered breaths as her tears flowed. How could setting out to do something good end up like this?
     
  6. Leandros Solus

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    Leandros kept his blaster raised at one of the thugs and his beskad pointed at the other, his eyes flicking back and forth between the two combatants. He knew that as soon as he went for one, the other would take the opportunity to strike, so he remained on the defensive. His face was frozen in a grimace, though only because these thugs were beneath him. There was no honor in killing common criminals, but there was honor in saving the life of an innocent, and so Leandros found himself tied up in a little bit of that good old-fashioned vigilantism.

    Just as he was expecting an attack, the two thugs shared a knowing look and dropped their weapons, fleeing the scene. He squeezed the trigger of his blaster once, feeling a slight press against his arm as the weapon discharged two bolts in quick succession. He wasn’t about to just let the both of them run away. The shots knocked the thug to the ground in a heap of garbage, never to rise again while his comrade ran the other way.

    Leandros lowered his weapons, searching the area for any further threats. After he had concluded that the coast was clear, he holstered his pistol and slid the beskad back into its sheath. He raised his arm to inspect the blaster wound, sneering at the glancing blow. The flesh was mildly burned and bleeding, but he would live. His wellbeing wasn’t his concern, though – it was the woman he saved that he was worried about.

    Like a predator searching for a wounded animal, the Mandalorian approached the boxes Keira hid behind, listening to her piteous sobs to close in. He stepped over the body of the first man he killed and looked around the corner, finding her clutching her knees and sobbing uncontrollably. For a moment or two, he simply stared at her in disbelief. This was Nar Shaddaa, people died all the time. The few times he had seen someone cry, it was usually Raz and she typically got over herself quickly.

    Leandros continued to loom over the poor woman before realizing that he probably wasn’t helping her fear. With a sigh, he kneeled beside her, putting his helmet level with her face. She was young, that much was certain. Probably trying to just better the community before she got involved in this mess.

    ”Stop crying,” he said sternly from behind the anonymity of his helmet, ”They can’t hurt you anymore. They’re dead.” His tone was, in his mind, pretty gentle, but that was gentle from the perspective of a Mandalorian who’s killed more than his fair share of people, not from the perspective of a traumatized young woman in the underbelly of Nar Shaddaa.
     
  7. Keira Zale

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    Keira shuffled back as she realized the Mandalorian was coming towards her. He terrified her even more than the thugs. She moved back till she was pressed up against some boxes behind her. Keira pulled her legs closer to herself, trying to make herself as small as possible. He crouched down before her, and she could see nothing but a cold helmet and the trademark T visor. She had only seen Mandalorians on Holonet, and they were always portrayed as barbaric.

    When he spoke, she gasped in fear, blinking at him. He informed her casually that the thugs were dead, and she slowly peered over the boxes to see the dead bodies in the streets. The twi’lek woman from earlier was casually going through their pockets. Keira slumped back down, shaking her head. Why was no one concerned by all this death? She glanced up at the Mandalorian again.

    “You think you’re some sort of hero?” She barked at him before she could stop herself, “What gives you the right to decide who lives or dies? Why not hand them over to authorities?” Keira’s voice cracked slightly, tears of frustration now falling down her face. She hugged herself tighter, looking away, “Just because you control these planets doesn’t mean you can parade around like some sort of god...deciding who lives or dies,” She looked down at the dead guard, “How are you any better than the thugs that killed him?”

    Keira remained silent after that. She expected him to simply walk off, or even try to kill her for it. She had gotten this far because she was stubborn in many ways. He hadn’t given killing multiple men one after another a second thought. He didn’t think about how each of those thugs probably had reasons why they became thugs. They were probably forced into that life. They probably could have changed their ways. Now they would never have that chance because he put a bullet in their brain. Because he decided that they needed to die.
     
  8. Leandros Solus

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    Most people would, you know, thank him for saving their life. In fact, that’s exactly what people who’ve had their lives saved typically say. Normal people didn’t give their rescuers a lecture. This woman, on the other hand, gave him an earful. Even as Leandros remained crouched down, he couldn’t help but recoil slightly at the sudden outburst. Did he think he was some sort of hero? Well, yeah, actually. Why not hand them over to the authorities? There were no authorities out here. How was he any better than the thugs who killed her guard?

    Well, he was alive, for starters.

    Leandros blinked a few times in utter confusion at the end of her tirade, the awkward silence between them growing quickly. After a few seconds of simply staring at her and trying to figure out what the kriff was going on, he cocked his head sideways. ”Did…” he began, turning to look back at the dead thugs, ”Did you want me to not save you?” His tone was genuinely confused; he had never run across this problem before. People tended to like being alive.

    ”I’m… Uh, I’m sorry?” he apologized, furrowing his brows from beneath his helmet, ”It’s just- did you miss the part about them selling you to a Hutt?” He gestured ambiguously to the first man he had shot whose corpse lay nearby, ”Or… the guy with a gun right there? The one who shot your friend?” The galaxy had a way of throwing new challenges his way, but he didn’t anticipate dealing with a suicidal Samaritan on the streets of Nar Shaddaa; he just wanted to go buy a new gun. When he heard the commotion and violence, his natural instinct was to intercede and save the day. Was he not supposed to do that?

    ”Not even a ‘thank you’ for keeping you safe?” He looked back at the site of the massacre, the toppled supplies, then back to the woman, ”I mean, I even got shot. Are you hurt at all?”
     
  9. Keira Zale

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    Keira stared at him incredulously as he asked if he didn’t want to save her. What? She could hear the confusion in his voice, and she couldn’t understand how he couldn’t understand her meaning. She stopped crying by then, and she wiped her face off, scowling at the helmet. Mandalorians were notorious for always keeping their helmets on so you could never really tell them apart. On top of that, it made it more difficult to humanize them. The way he killed those men without a second thought validated all those stereotypes she had heard.

    She glanced down at the guard as the Mandalorian mentioned him being shot. Keira still felt awful about that. He had been so determined to do his duty that he hadn’t even told her his name. Keira looked back up at the Mandalorian, still scowling, “I mean there’s no reason to go around acting like Raz Solus and just leaving a mess where you go!” Keira fired back, dropping the only Mando name she knew who was notorious across the galaxy for destruction. She slowly began to get to her feet.

    “Well...Thanks...I guess,” She muttered quietly, looking around. Food was scattered everywhere and there were dead bodies in the streets. No one looked concerned, and the twi’lek woman was happily counting the credits she nabbed from the dead. Keira rubbed her temples, sighing and shaking her head.

    “People only behave like thugs like that when they’re compelled,” Keira said quietly in a much calmer voice, “No one starts off like that. If no one bats an eye at citizens being killed in the streets, there is something seriously wrong with the system in place. Your people have control of these planets. Why aren’t you working to improve things around here?” Her tone was accusatory, and she sighed again, “Never mind, you’re just another soldier. Thank you for your service and all that,” She waved her hand flippantly.

    Keira stared at him for a moment longer before turning away from him. She started to pick up the mess that was left behind, wondering how she would get off the planet now. The guard had the keys to the ship, but she certainly wouldn’t dig through his things to retrieve them. She would have to find a way to get him a proper burial and notify his family.

    Today was horrible.
     
  10. Leandros Solus

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    Leandros smiled when the woman mentioned how he couldn’t act like Raz and go around destroying things. Not too long ago, he confronted that very woman about burning down a village and crucifying three men all because one had hurt him in the past. All badgers were impulsive and stubborn, but she exemplified that more than the others, and that was partly why he loved her so. He nodded knowingly, his helmet hiding his face. ”I like to model my actions after that other Solus, Leandros,” he said, shrugging lightly as he invoked his own name, ”Not quite as destructive and sometimes he helps strangers in need.” The woman in front of him had no idea who he was, so he figured he might as well keep up the charade. Who knows, maybe he’d find something out about himself or Raz that the people believed?

    She went on the lament the fact that people did not act like criminals unless it was out of necessity; that people would, if able, be kind to one another. Leandros chuckled slightly at the notion before catching himself and growing quiet again. They were in charge here, so why didn’t they try to stop the rampant crime and suffering? ”Well,” he began, his tone measured and calm to match hers. He leaned back in his crouch, adjusting his weight to be more comfortable. ”What would you do? To improve things around here, I mean. I can pass the suggestions up to our leaders.” He remained crouched even as she dismissed him, his eyes following her with curiosity. The gun could wait, this seemed more interesting.

    After a moment or two of watching her pick up the mess, Leandros stood up and walked nearer to her. ”Let me help,” he stated, not intending it as an offer to be considered, before reaching over to help sort the scattered supplies. It would look good on their people to help out, and this woman looked like she needed the help, even if she wouldn’t admit it. He worked silently for a few seconds, picking up and stacking boxes, moving them into a neat stack. Where she ignored the bodies, he worked over and around them, moving things she refused to touch. ”It’s not that easy,” he said after a while, ”The entire planet’s one big city. We’re not an infinite empire. Hard to police it all.”
     
  11. Keira Zale

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    She had heard the name Leandros, though it was often tied with the name Raz. He had become infamous in his own right, and his name had come up as one of the parties involved in assassinating Vrael. He was also known to have aided in the rebellion evacuations before the Empire could come down on those planets. She only knew such details due to her connections as a Senator.

    Keira said nothing on the topic, quietly picking things up where she could. When he asked what she would do, she had to pause, gazing up in surprise. He had caught her off guard by asking her her opinion. She had known Mandalorians to be brutish and not particularly interested in the ideas of others outside of their culture. Keira realized she was simply staring at him awkwardly, and her face began to heat up.

    “I...well…” She chose her words carefully, “For one, I would abolish slavery. Hutts in power still carry on the practice and humans and other species are trafficked from all over the galaxy. It will hurt the economy, but I’m sure that can be made up by engaging in foreign trade in other industries. The Hutt planets have their own resources that don’t necessarily have to be illegal or black market all the time,” Keira continued to pick things up, gathering the scattered mess off the ground.

    “Education could be improved, along with a system to aid those living below the poverty line. Children born in poverty are put into a single track for the rest of their lives here with no way to deviate from that path. If they are just given an opportunity, they can go far beyond what they were born into,” Keira didn’t explain that it was how her own story went. She came from poverty and rose to become a Senator.

    She was once again taken aback as he stepped up to help. He casually stepped over and around the dead bodies, knowing to go right where she didn't want to. How did he know? Keira simply watched him for a few seconds, confused by his actions. She helped wherever she could, picking up and stacking boxes. She had no choice but to ignore the dead guard for now, but she would make a point to take care of him later.

    “You delegate,” Keira mentioned after he pointed out it was difficult to maintain order, “Put people you trust in power. The best leaders are those that earn the loyalty of their followers. Mandalorians understand that. Your people would die for Raz or Leandros Solus,” She looked at him with a faint smile. After a while, they did the best they could with the clean up.

    “Um… what happens to the bodies?” She pointed at the thugs. She had no idea how things operated around here. Did people simply leave dead thugs on the streets indefinitely?
     
  12. Leandros Solus

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    Leandros matched her stare with his own, though she couldn’t hide behind the anonymity of a helmet. Where he was concealed, and thus could let his facial expressions go uncontrolled, her face was on full display. He watched her begin to blush before she began to explain how she would help improve the conditions here. He listened to her silently, picking up more supplies from farther out. The twi’lek woman tried to take a few smaller boxes, but Leandros glared at her from behind his helmet. She shrugged and tossed a few towards him, to which he responded by tossing one back for her to keep. This woman was out here trying to help these people, so giving away one box of food and minor supplies to the needy wouldn’t kill them. The woman nodded a thanks and walked off, whistling a tune and jingling the few credits she had looted in her pocket.

    ”And how would we abolish slavery?” he asked, curious as to how this woman planned on ridding the sector of its most profitable trade, ”The Hutts would go to war over that. Wars kill people, cause more of the suffering you’re trying to stop.” He paused in his labor for a moment to look at her, folding his arms over his chest. ”What you want costs money and effort – a lot of it. People are too busy looking out for themselves on this rock to care about what the people beneath them are doing to get by. They only know what they’ve always known – survival. How do we do the things you want without causing more harm from resistant citizens?”

    Before she could retort, he resumed cleaning. They were nearing the end of their work far sooner than she would have alone. ”You’re right,” he replied when she had mentioned that their people would die for Raz and him, ”I would die for Raz. We all would. Nobody here would die for their rulers because they live in constant fear. What you propose means completely upheaving the way things are, and that's something my people can't focus on right now.” She smiled at him and he simply nodded, finishing the cleaning. When they were done, the remaining supplies were neatly organized and back where they belonged.

    Leandros looked around at the bodies when she asked him what happened to them and shrugged. Frankly, he never stood around long enough to see what happened to the aftermath of his conflicts. He turned back to the woman and gestured nebulously around him. ”They’ll be cleaned up by street cleaners or taken away by… others,” he said, unsure. He stared at her quietly for a few seconds before he spoke back up.

    ”You sound like a politician,” he finally accused, having pieced together what her angle was for all of this. Charity, proposing solutions to fix rampant problems – she was someone concerned about their image, or perhaps their constituency. ”Or like someone trying to become one. People out here don’t just help out unless they have another motive. What's yours?”
     
  13. Keira Zale

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    Keira was surprised yet again as the Mandalorian took the time to debate with her. Not only that, but he had a pretty good understanding of how things worked around here from a logistics side. She hadn’t expected that from a common solider, but she mentally chided herself for always buying into stereotypes. To say that she was impressed by this man was an understatement: Not only had he swiftly taken out an entire group of thugs, but now he was proving to be quite intelligent as well.

    “It will take a long time,” Keira agreed at last, “But it is possible. It’s not meant to be an overnight change. It has to be a mental and cultural shift. It starts with rulers and those in power making the right decisions,” She looked at him for a moment. What was his story? Was he raised on Mandalore and brought up to hate Force users and be wary of anyone that wasn’t a Mandalorian? Whatever his story was, it didn’t stop him from showing her courtesy - much more than she would ever expect.

    As he mentioned that the bodies would be taken away, he trailed off to confirm her suspicion that he never actually stuck around to see the aftermath of such scuffles, “Don’t you think they should have a burial?” She asked, looking over to the guard that was dead, “I’m going to have to notify his family. He died protecting me…” She sighed, still having a hard time processing that fact. This was all her fault.

    She was distracted by his comment about being a politician, though she was mildly offended at the accusation of a hidden agenda, “I am Keira Zale, Senator of Tirahnn,” She said as she looked at him, “I’m a politician, but a very stupid one because my platform is focused around the poor. I try to improve welfare and living conditions for those living in poverty. I came here to hopefully change things for the better,” Her gaze drifted over to the guard, “But I obviously didn’t think things through…”

    Keira looked at him again, “Are you uh….stationed to patrol these streets or something?” His timing had been impeccable. She shuddered to think what would have happened to her if he hadn’t arrived.
     
  14. Leandros Solus

    Leandros Solus Character

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    Leandros shrugged listlessly at the woman’s suggestion that the dead ought to have a burial. In his culture, those worthy of joining the Manda were tossed into a mass grave so that their souls could join the shared oversoul that watched over them, but he hardly considered such petty vagrants worthy of such an honor. The guard who had given his life, were he Mandalorian, might have earned it. He also would likely still be alive if he were a Mandalorian, so the dilemma wouldn’t exist in the first place. Still, the woman in front of Leandros seemed adamant about the fact that they deserved a burial of some kind.

    ”Look around,” he said, ”Not much dirt for burial. Your man’d have to be shipped home for that.” He looked down at the guard’s corpse, studying the gut shot, before turning his attention back to the woman. She went on to explain that she was Keira Zale and, as he suspected, she was a politician. It was pretty obvious once he had spoken to her that she was involved in politics, but it did surprise him that she was so concerned with the wellbeing of others. So concerned that she was willing to put herself in danger, obviously.

    ”Takes a noble sort to want to help these people out,” he admitted, nodding at her, ”But it was stupid to come with only one man. These streets are dangerous.” He folded his arms across his chest and shrugged again when she asked what it was that he did. ”I go from place to place,” he said vaguely, ”Not really… stationed anywhere. I go wherever my people need me.” He looked her up and down, noting how young she was, how naïve she appeared, before continuing, ”You’re lucky I was in the neighborhood,” he reminded her, ”You must be shaken up. Let me escort you somewhere safe, at least.” He smiled beneath his helmet, knowing that his generosity and kindness would catch her off guard. He was all about winning the hearts and minds of people, and changing the opinion of a Senator would have benefits. ”It’s the least I can do, Senator.”

    If she accepted, he would begin walking along with her, wary for any additional threats, heading for an upper level. Or, if she didn’t have her fill of adventure yet, wherever she wanted to go. He could buy the gun later.
     
  15. Keira Zale

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    Keira didn’t need to be told twice that it was dumb to come here with just one guard. She wouldn’t be able to show her face to her advisors any time soon. In fact, would she get fired from her position? This was horrible, and she knew she would be in the news for this. Keira looked around, wondering if there were any reporters lurking around the corner. To her surprise, there was no one paying any heed to the massacre that just occurred.

    As he mentioned he went wherever his people needed him, Keira quirked an eyebrow, “You sound like one of those superheroes from the Holomovies,” She couldn’t help but grin, “Do you have a signal in the sky? Maybe a T-viso-” Keira cleared her throat, shifting awkwardly as she realized she was going off on a completely inappropriate tangent in front of a serious warrior. Keira looked down at the ground and kicked a rock, “Uh… I’m sorry. I get awkward when I’m stressed,” She had a habit of babbling entirely too much or laughing at inappropriate times when she was nervous.

    She looked up as he mentioned something about escorting her to a safer neighborhood. Keira straightened up then, “I’ll be okay, I think. I’ll just clean up around here and be on my way,” She looked over at the dead guard. How was she ever going to lug that dead body around? Their ship wasn’t parked nearby, and she would literally have to hoist him around for over a mile, “Thanks for your help though! It was nice to meet you Mister….?” She left the question hanging for him to answer.

    Before he could answer, she heard the sound of gunshots nearby. Keira whipped around to look, hearing more yelling and gunfire. The sun was going to descend quickly, and she would be on her own. Keira quickly swallowed her pride and picked up the pace, catching up to the Mandalorian soldier, “Okay never mind, I think I’ll take you up on that,” She nervously glanced over her shoulder, “This place is so unforgiving…”
     
  16. Leandros Solus

    Leandros Solus Character

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    Leandros stared at her in silence as she began to nerd out and compare him to a superhero. When she had caught herself, he gave a mirthless chuckle and shook his head while she apologized. ”Not quite a superhero,” he admitted, ”I just rescue damsels in distress sometimes.” On the bright side, it appeared that her mood had grown better since the trauma just minutes prior. On the down side, she was now starting to get a little weird, and Leandros had no idea how to combat stress-awkwardness.

    When she rejected his offer for an escort, Leandros merely nodded. If she could handle herself when it got dark in the underbelly, then so be it. He had done his good deed for the day, so he really ought to be on his way anyhow. Before he could reveal his name, several gunshots and shouts rang out in the distance, providing Leandros his cue to start walking away from the woman. He briefly considered wishing her luck, but she’d likely reject that as well. She seemed naïve to the point of stubbornness, and he wouldn’t get in the way of that death wish.

    He casually strode off, waving his hand behind him as a farewell. Shortly after he began moving, however, Keira sped up and matched his pace. Leandros looked over at the woman, rolling his eyes beneath his helmet. At least she had some brains on her. ”It only gets bad after dark,” he said, gesturing towards the setting sun, ”That’s when the real party starts out here.” They passed by a nightclub with techno music so loud and booming that even his bones began to vibrate from just walking in front of it. Outside, a burly Gamorrean bouncer snorted and huffed at them, staring the two down. Leandros paid him no mind, but kept a hand by one of his blasters just in case. The thieves and scum of this planet came out in force when it grew dark, and now he was consigned to protecting this little Senator from Tirahnn.

    After a while of walking in silence, he finally piped up to answer her previous question. ”Some people call me Lee, by the way,” he said, finally revealing a part of his name. He figured she would freak out or… nerd out over learning who he was, so he wanted to avoid doing that until they were in safety. It wasn’t everyday you have your life saved by one of the most infamous Mandalorians in modern times, and it certainly was even more of a rarity to have them escort you through the streets of Nar Shaddaa.

    Of course, that reaction was provided she figured out what the symbols on his armor meant and pieced together the puzzle before he told her, which he thought was unlikely. Together, the two walked towards a nearby freight elevator that would take them to a higher level and relative safety, though he was unsure where precisely the woman wanted him to take her.

    A group of figures lurked outside the freight elevator, smoking some kind of substance, but the lighting was too poor and they were too far away to see who they were. That was never a good sign down here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2019
  17. Keira Zale

    Keira Zale Character

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    Keira was glad to see him not be a complete stick in the mud about her little tangent. When he mentioned rescuing damsels sometimes, she felt her face heat up, her cheeks turning a shade of red. Keira looked down, “I’m not...used to knights in shining armor unless they’re getting paid I suppose,” She thought back to the guard. This Mandalorian made it all look so effortless. He was walking by and casually decided to save her life, and he wasn’t even concerned about it. This was something she would remember for the rest of her life.

    As they passed the nightclub, Keira looked over and spotted the Gamorrean. She felt the bass booming even from here. She had partied every now and then, though she normally had to disguise herself to avoid the press. One of the biggest downsides of being such a young Senator meant that she almost always missed out on partying, “Party? Must be nice,” She muttered as she gazed at the clubs, “If I tried drinking in public, it’d be in the papers tomorrow to prove everyone right that young Senators are immature and only know to party.”

    She waved and smiled at the Gamorrean who snorted and looked as if he were about to charge. Keira’s eyes went wide and she shuffled closer towards the Mandalorian, “Man… and I’m trying to work on getting the first elected Gamorrean diplomat…” She muttered under her breath. Keira began to wonder how many more of her goals would need a second look with how often she ran into walls.

    She looked at him as he mentioned his name, “Lee,” She replied with a smile, “Nice to meet you, Lee,” She said. They walked for a moment, and she could tell they would be going to the upper levels and higher class districts. Keira spotted the figures in front of the elevator. She felt uneasy upon seeing the group, and they took note of her.

    “Awww yeah, there she is,” One of them said.

    “Ay,” The other one called out, looking at Lee, “Can we make a deal with ya? Let us take the Senator to Gorba the Hutt and he’ll get you a fat cut of the credits.”

    “You won’t wanna turn this down, boss,” Another man agreed and nodded, looking at Lee, “We did business with Fett a few weeks ago and they’re happy as clams. You’ll be taken care of.”

    The first man hadn’t said anything in a while. He appeared to be squinting to look at something, focusing on the markings he was seeing on Lee’s armor. Meanwhile, Keira felt very uncomfortable and uneasy. She looked from the men to Lee and then back again. Was he going to hand her over? She didn’t know what to expect on this planet anymore.

    “We don’t want no trouble with you, boss,” They piped up again, “Hell, Gorba will probably be happy to get you your own harem if you want! Anything you want. Girls, credits, spice, you name it.”
     
  18. Leandros Solus

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    Leandros continued to look straight ahead as they passed the nightclub and the Gamorrean bouncer intimidated Keira closer to him, watchful for surprises. He turned his helmet slightly, just enough to glance at her and keep the pig-man in his periphery, before panning his gaze back to the fore. Gamorreans were stupid, but they were smart enough to not try and pick a fight they didn’t need to pick. The pig-man huffed and snorted once he had scared Keira away and went back to trying to intimidate a group of patrons waiting to get into the club.

    ”Likewise, Keira,” he replied after she told him that it was nice to meet him. A few moments more of walking and they were a few meters from the group loitering by the elevator. Almost right off the bat they appeared to know who Keira was, and Leandros felt his hand instinctively drift by his holster, prepared to defend her as necessary. He remained quiet while the bantering went on, turning his focus to each ganger in turn as they spoke.

    The first man drew his attention, though, because he went quiet for quite some time. While his fellows were content to try and convince Leandros to hand the Senator over, he seemed to be focused on the Mandalorian’s armor sigils. ”Nah,” he interrupted his fellows, ”Nah, nah, boys. I done some stupid stuff in my time, but this ain’t worth it.” The others gave him confused looks, but he kept shaking his head.

    ”The hell are you on about?” one asked. ”Yeah, you good, mate? Mandos are always good sports about this type of stuff. Makes everybody happy.” The thug looked over at Keira and shrugged, ”’Cept for her.” He puffed on his cigarette and the minor flame illuminated his face enough to show the red, dilated eyes of a spice addict.

    ”This ain’t some pushover,” the first man retorted, ”See them marks on his armor? Never seen somebody with so many of ‘em. Remember Corellia? Mando who took it over was jus’ like that, lotta symbols. Only reason we’re still breathin’ is cuz he’s givin’ us a chance.” This entire time Leandros remained quiet, hand on the grip of his blaster even as it was holstered. His muscles instinctively tensed as they prepared to spring into action, but he hesitated. The Senator chastised him for killing the thugs earlier without question, so he was giving her the chance to see that Mandalorians weren’t just killing machines. That, and he was curious to see how these idiots would react.

    ”Your friend’s right,” he finally said, nodding to the reluctant thug, ”She’s with me. Walk away. And tell Gorba that if he wants to threaten one of the big three again, we’ll turn his little palace into rubble,” his tone, though calm and measured, was highly threatening, and he wrapped his fingers around his blaster grip, ready to emphasize his point. After a few tense moments and hushed discussion among the thugs, the loudmouthed one finally spoke back up. ”We ain’t mean nothin’ by it,” he apologized, ”Thought you was… nevermind. We ain’t stickin’ around.” They flicked their cigarettes to the ground and scampered off, occasionally looking back to see if Leandros was going to kill them anyways. He wasn’t.

    He turned towards Keira and gestured towards the elevator, ”After you, Senator.” He would follow her to the elevator and press the button to go up a few levels to where it was safer and more populated by less seedy elements, far more visibly relaxed now.
     
  19. Keira Zale

    Keira Zale Character

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    Keira could only stand and gawk in surprise as the situation progressed in a way she couldn’t have imagined. As one of them started talking about the markings on his armor, she turned to look. Noticing them for the first time, she saw how decorated his armor was. As the man mentioned Corellia, Keira’s eyes widened. She forgot about the thugs and turned to simply stare at Lee. Corellia was infamous for the Mandalorian takeover there, and it was especially historic because it was a major Core planet victory for them.

    To her surprise, Lee kept his cool and talked things out, the shady men quickly scurrying away. Keira was frozen in place, staring at him without shame as she tried to work out who he was. She nodded weakly and stepped into the elevator, turning to face the doors as they closed. She kept shooting him glances, looking at the markings on his armor. Keira was almost comically short next to him, and he cut an imposing figure. Back at the crime scene, he hadn’t stood this close and she couldn’t immediately tell how tall he was.

    “Th-Thanks again,” She said weakly. She despised needing so much help, but he appeared to take it all in stride. As the elevator rose, Keira awkwardly stood there before making conversation, “What do the symbols on your armor mean? Were you on Corellia?” She was probably being nosy. Most soldiers that she had ever come across despised talking about their experiences. Anytime she had asked her mother about her father, she reminded her that her father was tight lipped about everything regarding his job.

    The doors opened and they stepped out into the upper districts. Keira decided she would take a shuttle off the planet and send for help in picking up the guard. Up here, the shops and restaurants were classier. There were people from all over the galaxy milling about, and she could see a fighting arena far in the distance. Arenas like that were banned in a lot of the galaxy, but they reigned supreme out here.

    As they continued to walk, Keira noticed any Mandalorian that came across them giving some sort of salute to Lee. She thought she heard the word ‘alor’ a few times. Keira didn’t ask any other probing questions, though she was bursting with curiosity.

    “I suppose I owe you a great debt,” She said after a while, smiling at him, “I’m not exactly wealthy, despite what people may think of Senators, but I could certainly buy you a drink….” Her eyes went wide, “Or lunch or something..” Keira cleared her throat, terrified of making the wrong impression.
     
  20. Leandros Solus

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    ”It was no issue,” he replied curtly to Keira’s uncomfortable thanks. He wasn’t sure if he intimidated her or if she was simply traumatized after the day’s events, but he didn’t blame her for her awkwardness. The elevator ride was remarkably quiet for a while, the only noise being the whirring gears as the thing lumbered upwards. Leandros stood still, watching the young Senator from beneath his helmet or glancing around their moving little cell. He was busy watching the level indicator above the door shift as they rose when Keira broke the uncomfortable silence and asked him about his armor and Corellia.

    ”These,” he said, gesturing towards his jaig eyes and other assorted sigils, ”Are some of the highest valor marks a Mandalorian can earn. For killing Sith and furthering the cause of my people greatly, I was given the honor of wearing them on my armor.” He turned his helmeted head towards Keira and looked down at her, regarding her briefly for a moment. ”I was on Corellia,” he stated, remembering the immense shame and guilt he felt for not killing the Sith harpy who engaged them in open battle. ”I was… in the assault on the Imperial garrison.” Saying much more about his role would likely reveal who he was, and he rather enjoyed this little game of his. As far as Keira knew, he was some faceless soldier with a mysterious reputation, and he could practically hear the gears turning in her head as she tried to figure out who he was.

    They arrived in the upper districts shortly after and Leandros breathed in the cleaner air. It was still heavily recycled, but it was crisp, and it didn’t smell like a back-alley drug shop like the lower levels, so he couldn’t really complain. The duo walked along for some time, passing by several Mandalorians in the process. Each of them offered a salute or other courteous greeting to their superior and Leandros always responded in kind, never ignoring his comrades. He knew Keira would likely be perplexed by the attention he received, but that just made his charade even more comical.

    She finally spoke up again and he halted, turning to face her as she blubbered about owing him. He chuckled softly and shook his head. ”No, you don’t owe me anything,” he said, ”We both seek to help others in different ways. I will, however, take you up on that lunch offer.” He smiled beneath his helmet and motioned for them to continue walking along. ”I know a place that serves traditional Mandalorian meals. It’ll be my treat.” He turned his head to look at her as he led the way, quirking a brow beneath his helmet, ”That is, if you’re not afraid of more Mandalorians.”

    If she accepted, he would lead them into a small, out-of-the-way restaurant called Haran b Beirapr, or “Hell’s Kitchen” in Basic. When he entered, several Mandalorians turned to look at him and several raised their fists or their drinks in greeting, then squinted to look at the woman, confused. Leandros paid them no mind and took a seat in a small booth in the corner, grabbing two menus from the hostess’ little podium himself. He gestured for Keira to sit down and slid a menu over towards her, opening his shortly afterwards.

    ”This place makes the best tiingilar casserole,” he said, ”It’s pretty spicy, though. Burns the nose just to smell it. Alcohol’s not bad here either because everything’s homemade.” He kept his helmet on for now, but knew that his anonymity was soon to be at an end. The waitress was busy with another rowdy table, so they had a few minutes.