Lorcan could accept that because, hey, sometimes it happened. Shite hit the fan and suddenly everything was on fire. He could understand and accept that because it was just how the chips landed sometimes. Hell, some of his most fondly remembered nights started with shite hitting the fan and only ended when the flames had died down and he had made sure he had an alibi. But there was a hell of a difference between some hi-jinks as a teenager and this level of absolute calamity.
And all it had left Lorcan with was more work, a bigger headache and a temper that was already razor's edge thin. So when he had called ahead the people at the temporary office on Corellia had told him to swing on by and he had done. Apparently the Jedi would be joining him shortly and that would be great fun.
Odd that he was the one being outnumbered during an interrogation but he didn't mind it much. He wasn't exactly new to these types of situations so he was just going to play it as normal.
Sat in the interrogation room on one side of the table, there were two chairs set up for the Jedi for when they arrived. In the mean time?
Riz'kacha arrived shortly after Lorcan began to have his smoke, her droid in tow. She was a bit worried about how to handle an interrogation, and it showed on her face. So far she had been able to negotiate her way out of most situations, but trying to get information out of people was another matter entirely. Judging their words and passing a verdict was a part of the process, but doing it to other Jedi made her a bit uncomfortable.
Still, she needed to prove herself. She felt as if she was doing well on her Jedi training, and if she did this successfully maybe she would be further along her path to a promotion within the order. It felt strange for the Twi'lek to be much older and taller than most of her equals. Kriff, she was even taller than some of her superiors, as her time with Mila had shown.
When she got within sight of the Sector Ranger, she did her best to keep a neutral expression, though her nervousness still probably was evident. Still, she spoke with her best professional tone as she got close, "...Sector Ranger Lorcan, I presume? My name is Riz'kacha. I have been assigned to assist you in interviewing the Jedi Saul Devan. This is my droid, BD-9." She figured that the droid could introduce herself, though she didn't factor in that the droid's old binary dialect may or may not be understood by the Ranger. Time would tell.
For something as official as this, BD-9 opted to walk. His small frame could make the droid easy to miss, but Beedee's speed allowed it to stay close to the Twi'lek Jedi without the two tripping over each other. The little droid was fully aware of Riz'kacha's reservations with the impending interrogation and knew that his presence would be beneficial to keep Riz'kacha on track. It is not that the droid believed the Riz'kacha would lose her nerve, but rather the result of the interrogation would trouble her. Either scenario is fully within the parameters of Beedee's intended programming.
When Riz'kacha introduced Beedee, the droid pattered to the side to make himself visible.
// Hello, sir! // BD-9 whistled as he offered a wave of his limb.
The motion off-balanced the little droid, in no small part due to a heavy head module, but BD was quick to straighten himself before falling over. He looked up expectantly, waiting to see how the Sector Ranger would respond.
Parts of Saul's body still were soar from the battle that had occurred in the Ranger office a few days prior. The cut on his leg was healing nicely, but the shame at being bested again by these Knights of Ren was not something so easily forgotten. He consoled himself that he fought until he could no longer stand, and by the time it ended it was three against one, respectable odds to go down to.
Still, that they were all still at large did him no comfort, he didn't even know if he'd managed to save anyone that day or just joined the calamity as it went down.
Today was the day he tried to explain that.
Entering the sliding door to the interrogation room, he was reminded of his first time in one with Lieutenant Aran. Hopefully this time he'd start off on stronger footing, though the situation had him doubt that somewhat. Taking a seat on the other side, he began,
Skkk-bhrk, his rebreather coughed
"Good morning, everyone" he almost sighed as he said it to the room, if only there were better tidings "I'm sure you've all seen the security footage at this point, though I'm ready to offer what I can" the chase for these dark siders would seemingly not be ending any time soon.
Lorcan watched as the cavalcade of weird wandered into the interrogation room.
Into His interrogation room.
He didn't say anything as he took another pull from his cigarette as he eyed them all one at a time. Blowing the smoke out deliberately into Saul's respirator, Lorcan held the silence for a few beats more before he decided that it was probably better to get this over with. But first there was one thing that was bothering him already and that needed to be addressed before he proceeded with the interrogation.
"You, tin-man, you're a Knight." he gestured to Rizkacha with his cigarette without looking away from Saul, "So want to tell me why you've got the intern here as your advocate? If she was shaking any more her damned head-tails would be flying all over the place so what does she exactly add to this?"
He blew more smoke at Saul before tossing his cigarette away to the side.
"Whatever." he grunted as he instead tossed a picture, a physical one, across the desk to the Jedi. The picture was of one of the killed Rangers, "So who killed my buddy right here, hmm?"
Well, that was unnecessarily rude. Riz'kacha watched the man speak with a hardly hidden look of offense plain on her face. The respirator was there for a reason! And what did the fact that she was a Twi'lek have to do with anything? She shot a look to BD-9, who had apparently been ignored, before looking back to the other Jedi.
"Please do not make this hard for us. I, for one, do not want to be here as much as you do. We are simply trying to collect information, so anything you can give us will further your case as well as help others." She gave a glance to BD-9, before adding to no one in particular, "My droid here can play back camera footage from the event, if it would be beneficial."
Really, she felt bad for Saul. As far as she was concerned, he was in the wrong place in the wrong time, and had merely been blamed because of some of the recent broadcasts surrounding the Jedi and the Sith. It seemed to her, at least from the way that Lorcan acted, that many still didn't know that the Jedi were supposed to be good guys. That they were supposed to help keep the peace.
Sk-sk-sk-bhrk, Saul wheezed as the cigars smoke blew across the confined little room and choked up his rebreather. It lingered too in the air, hovering in the half light of the interrogation room. It was hard enough to breathe at times, this didn’t exactly help. Good thing then that Riz spoke up when she did, it was important to let Padawans speak for themselves. And she was right, she was hear to make sure both parties had a place in the talk, not to be his handler. But when she mentioned the footage, Saul nodded in agreement,
“She’s representing the Jedi today, I’m only speaking for myself now”
He went to consider what footage to display, though that stopped quickly when Lorcan handed him the photo. At first he didn’t recognise the Ranger. Light had been dim, his focus elsewhere. And there had been so many bodies. But the footage, this one had been broadcast,
Skkk-bhrk, the smoke still picked at his lungs,
“The one dressed like the Kage, would you mind?” He looked to the droid, to see if it could bring up the footage of that particular man “he seemed like the leader. I had tried to catch him but was intercepted by another” he tried to bring his mind back to what he could remember of that figure in the dark, he’d seen his form on the holo too many times now,
“Suspect One dressed like a Kage too, but I’m certain it’s not the same man. Different build, different weapons. My guess is that, at least explicitly, they don’t affiliate, though their end goals and motivations might be similar” for Saul, everything they turned up so far pointed at the Knights of Ren being only one group among others, there was more going on. He only wished he could say more about it.
When Riz'kacha gave BD-9 a look, he responded in kind with a tilt of the head and a flick of his antennae. It didn't bother the droid at all that his presence was ignored. It simply is not within BD-9's programming to respond negatively to neglect.
When Saul requested Beedee's archival footage, the droid was eager to help.
// Right away! // he beeped.
Turning away, the droid powered up his holo-projector. After a momentary flicker as Beedee loaded the footage, the opening scene began to play. In another moment, Beedee fast forwarded to where a figure, similar to what Saul described, was visible on camera.
The figure was in the process of walking from the first set of stairs to the second when he (or she or it) paused, as though he has locked eyes with someone off-camera. A few moments pass before the same figure continued his way up the next flight of stairs. Saul rushed into frame in apparent pursuit, but was immediately stopped by a second incoming figure, clothed in black and wearing a helmet. The scene would have followed with Saul engaging the second mysterious figure in combat, but Beedee paused the scene there to allow the others time to digest the scene thus far.
As they discussed the scene that played out before them, Beedee ran preliminary match tests on the clothing worn by these intruders. As it ran further and further tests, the results pointed closer and closer towards a dark side order of old. The droid allowed the others to converse among themselves before finding a moment to interject with his findings.
// Preliminary analysis indicate that the helmet of the second intruder is a 88.5691% match to helmet designs associated with the Knights of Ren. // the droid chirped.
Huh, the tin-man coughed like hell because of the cigarette smoke. Lorcan could admit to himself that it hadn't actually be expected to work like that but it amused him in a dark kind of way. Toying with the man, making it harder for him to catch his breath, for his part in the loss of those Rangers and for his failure to stop the red-sabers.
If he wasn't working with them.
He spared the Padawan, the Twi'lek, a look as Saul explained that she was representing the Jedi today. Flicking some of the ash from his cigarette onto the table between them carelessly, he eyed her as she spoke before grinning.
It was an unkind expression.
"Wrong. You're here because this is an investigation into how some of my friends and colleagues ended up dead. You're not here to collect anything; you're here to prove that the tin-man has a heart, that he didn't play any part in the deaths of several Sector Rangers in an act of Galactic terrorism. We're here to see what part he played..." he sneered at her before glancing back to Saul, "You know, aside from his failure."
Looking over the data from the droid, he nodded to the little thing. Lorcan had literally no issue with droids. They were smart, they were usually sassy and they were loyal to a fault. Sure, he might think it's Master was an incompetent mess but that was not the droid's fault. He looked over his notes.
"Right. Knights of Ren." he drawled, flicking some more ash from his cigarette at Saul, finding some pleasure in the way it landed on his clothes, "So tell me Knight Devan... Who are they to you? An order of your Jedi's Knights who decided they wanted to grab power by the short and curlies hmm? Friends? Mortal enemies? Better yet - how about we get onto the main question."
He tapped the desk with a finger.
"Why were you there at precisely the same time as they were?"
Riz'kacha frowned deeply at the man as he spoke to her, clearly starting to lose her temper by the way he spoke to her. She was trying to help. Still, she could get why he was upset. If those among the casualties really were his friends, then it'd be easy to see why it'd be a blow to him when they ended up dead. Still, she couldn't help but feel like this guy probably didn't have a lot of those and that he was just playing that up to try to tug on the heartstrings in some way.
With the rest of his demeanor, it wasn't working too well on her. Before she spoke, she took a moment to collect herself so she didn't sound annoyed. Instead, her voice came out as an almost eerie calm, "I can not speak for this man personally, but the Jedi are not on friendly terms with the Knights of Ren. If you knew about the history of the war the First Order took part in at all, you'd know that their leader and their namesake was enemies with the former grandmaster of our order, and they clashed several times." She jerked a thumb at the Jedi in front of her, "If this man worked with them, he is no friend of the Order."
His interrogation with Lieutenant Aryn was friendly compared to this. Lorcan was clearly someone who knew what he wanted and one way to get it. At this point he’d be content enough just to defend himself let alone anything more.
Riz made a point, the last Great War was against the Sith, though it hadn’t spread round the galaxy like that. It felt strange how the narrative had gone in the end, but he could remember himself not long ago thinking the same things. Still, when she finished he took his moment to speak up,
“Knights of Ren are a sub set of the Sith. The Sith are... well, you could call them our evil twin if you liked, our shadow” he looked down at the desk as he tried to describe them, thinking how to make the divide clearest,
“They split from the Jedi a long time ago, using the Force to their own ends. The Knights use it slightly differently, thinking they’re following its will, working for its glory in their way” Saul’s eyes shot back up at Lorcan “and if you plan ask if I think they’re wrong about that then I most certainly do” the Knights he worried too were the least of their problems,
“Why I was there? After my debrief with Lieutenant Aryn I was to visit Corellia and share our data on the Knights with the captain there as well” he let his interviewer take it in, before continuing,
“Too bad I never got to meet him” he prayed Lorcan could hear his sincerity. And if he wanted to check there’d be a record of their scheduled meeting in the Corellian offices databanks.
Beedee dutifully stayed where he was, waiting for the others to indicate they are ready to review more security footage of the incident. He did not even make a sound, but his antennae flicked back and forth in anticipation of further instructions. The little droid even ran searches on his database if the others wished to reference specific tidbits of information about the Knights of Ren. At least, in case the sector ranger did not trust the Jedi's version of the history.
Lorcan took another drag on his cigarette before humming a little bit and exhaling, the smoke billowing around Saul's rebreather again even though he was focused on Riz for the moment. Taking his time for a long moment, Lorcan enjoyed toying with the woman who was very obviously trying to contain her anger at him. He flicked some ash in her general direction.
"Careful intern, that almost sounded sassy." he teased her with a smirk, "I thought you guys had to keep yourselves fresh and clean from all bad emotions? Including a sense of humor."
He hummed a little bit.
"Droid - BD 9 was it? - bring up whatever visuals you have on the known members of the Knights of Ren." he instructed the droid politely before handing it a connection chip, "Then share those with our network if you would be so kind. It'll help get the word out on who they are and what they're here for."
Eyeing Saul for a long moment, Lorcan nodded once before stubbing his cigarette out with finality.
"Your statement of events that you wrote up matches what we cobbled together from what was left of our security footage. Sorry to play hardball with you ladies but the fact of the matter is my people are dead and from where the people I report to are sitting?" he gestured to the two Jedi, "We have two groups of magic space wizards with laser swords running around. And unlike you they can't tell who's a 'good' one or a 'bad' one by your special feelings. So we do this kind of thing."
Staying silent for a moment, he stood from his chair and would offer to shake Riz's hand.
"Sorry if I rattled you, Rook." he joked before going to shake Saul's hand, his eyes hardening slightly, "Knight Devan... you did all that you could. Next time make sure it's enough and we're all good."
He would pat the droid on the head almost fondly.
Riz'kacha watched the Ranger speak as he paraded his cigarette around the room, a soft frown making its way to her face as she got toyed with. This wasn't a feeling she enjoyed particularly. In some ways, it wasn't her fault she hadn't been incorporated into the order earlier. Considering her initiation came from a chance encounter with Oren, she was lucky to be in at all. At least with rangers you could work towards getting in on your own merit.
Still, it seemed that he had lightened up a bit as he asked Beedee to bring up the records. At least, it seemed, he had believed her. As for his explanation for his demeanor, the Twi'lek could understand where he was coming from - to a point. She still believed he had gone a little too far for her tastes, but at the very least she knew that it came from a sincere place. The frown faded as he stood to shake her hand, and likewise she reached out to shake his, "It is understandable, Ranger Lorcan. These are tough times, and I feel that they will only get tougher. The need for higher security is great; and investigating problems as they arrive is just as important." Still, she couldn't help but get a little annoyed at how chummy he seemed to be with her droid.
At the sound of his name, BD-9 cut the footage and turned around to face Lorcan.
// Right away sir! // he twittered, pattering over to the sector ranger's outstretched hand.
The droid opened a socket for the ranger to insert the communication chip and got straight to work, stiffening as the droid focused on his internal processes. His antennae shot straight up as Beedee focused on creating dossier files for each Knight of Ren that could be discerned from the surviving footage. There were four confirmed figures in total with potentially more, but the quality of the footage made it difficult to tell. These others were given their own dossiers for the time being, with records stating their probabilities of being identical to the other Knights of Ren.
Once completed and uploaded to the rangers' network, Beedee became animated again. Additionally, the communication chip popped out of Beedee's chest socket for the ranger to retrieve. // All done! //
The droid gleefully accepted the ranger's pat on the head, completely oblivious to his partner's annoyance. Beedee completely missed the irony of the conflict of programming when it comes to jealousy.
When the tension finally let up it was a god send to Saul. He didn’t like this kind of interrogation, and over events with the Dark Side he’d faced it too many times in recent weeks. This new one only brought to mind the words of Lieutenant Aryn asking him about Mimban, the Council doing the same, and both reminding him of his failure.
Here had felt no different.
And despite Lorcan letting up momentarily, his steely eyes looking at him as they shook hands, he felt it once more.
He appreciated Riz and BD being there, even if the of us had been him, they’d defended themselves and the Order, Saul had been too busy in his own head to try that. Hopefully the next time he saw them it would be in more cooperative circumstances.
If nothing else he took one thing from today. That if he ever faced the Sith again, he’d need to be ready to give his all once more.