Talak's investigation wasn't going all that well. His first order of business after leaving the hospital was to head to the hotel building that he knew the Barabel had spent time at. Some "persuasion" on the front desk man revealed some information about the Barabel, but he suspected it was all fake names and IDs.
Something about this thug told Talak that he wasn't from Coruscant, though. High end weaponry and assassins didn't have a tendency to come from Coruscant itself. Sure, he could have been from the underbelly, but he was even more likely to have come from the Outer Rim. The Five Syndicates had killers like that on their payroll, and the black markets out there flowed much more freely with that kind of gear.
Moreover, that was what his feelings told him. While there was a piece of him that hated the idea of simply taking his feelings on blind faith, he also knew that the Force was powerful. Far more so than he had even yet fully discovered.
So, he decided that even though the name might have been fake, it may have still been linked to a ship that might have docked here on world. If he could find docking logs, flight manifests, or even a ship transponder code, he might have a clue. What better place to start than the docking bays near where they'd last seen the target. It might be a slow process, but maybe his "feelings" would have some help with that, too.
As his mind mulled over all of his leads, it wandered briefly toward why he was doing this at all. Focusing on an individual like this wasn't the way of the Sith Eternal. The death of a single Bothan was inconsequential in the grand scheme, but something about the death just didn't sit right. Talak wanted vengeance, even though he couldn't fully understand why.
He arrived back at the warehouse and checked his datapad for nearby space ports. There were several others mulling the streets, but the Legionnaire hadn't a clue that Trys, too, had returned to the warehouse. They were both in for a surprise, it seemed.
The Sector Rangers were severely underfunded no matter which planet. As a result, they wore cheap blaster vests and had weapons with poor range. She could hold her own in combat, but she wouldn’t consider herself an expert by any means. Her forte was more crimesolving than heavy duty encounters with perps in violent settings.
“I see some movement,” She said as she saw two guards step out. They were armed to the teeth, and carried rifles and even something that looked like a grenade launcher on them. Trys sighed and shook her head, looking at the man next to her, “We are badly outgunned. This might be beyond us…”
Trys looked through the binocs again, more than a little defeated. They had scoped out the Bothan’s shop and found a chamber below that led to an underground lair. In it they had found a spice cooking lab. From looking at all the DNA samples, it was clear the Bothan had never entered there or touched anything. The chief motive appeared to be that he accidentally stumbled upon it and was violently killed as a result.
It bothered her that the people responsible would likely not see justice, but she couldn’t send herself and her people into slaughter either, “I think we either need backup or hand this off to someone else,” She said quietly.
Just as she was about to move, she noticed that one of the guards were looking directly towards her and her group through a rifle scope. Trys jerked back right as blaster bolts began to be peppered their way. Within moments, three more men rushed out from the warehouse, all armed and ready to engage.
Talak took a deep breath. A stench of cigarra smoke and sewage filled his nose, and he immediately regretted taking that breath. His face scrunched up as he moved to the shadows of the side of the building. With the datapad still in hand, he closed his eyes and reached out to the Force. He planned to pick one of the locations and...
Blasterfire erupted and his eyes snapped open. He instinctively dropped low to the ground and looked for the source before realizing that it was both around the corner and not directed at him. Adrenaline flooded his bloodstream and the datapad went back into his belt. He suppressed the urge to reach for his lightsaber, once again cursing himself for not having purchased a vibroblade yet. He was back to bare hand fighting if this... wait, who were they shooting at??
He peeked around the corner and frowned, watching the trajectory of the shots and trying to determine what they had seen that he hadn't.
I sense.... something, he mumbled. It had a vague sense of familiarity to it. Was it the detective? Oh, this was great. He was going to need to come up with a reason to be here again.
That was going to be another one of those problems to be dealt with after the shooting was over. His eyes darted around to look for something to use as a weapon or some way to intercept the attack. Five thugs. Blasters. No explosives. Can't use a lightsaber, the thoughts flowed through his mind.
Blasters, his mind settled on. With a great deal of effort, he reached out to the Force, pulling free one of the blasters in the holster of a thug. It floated there behind all of them for a moment and then fired into the man in front of him before dropping to the ground.
Confusion broke out as one man went down wounded, and another turned in utter confusion to see what had happened. A blaster malfunction? Betrayal? Another attacker behind them?
The two furthest to the front had failed to notice the commotion at all, and continued firing and running. It was clear they weren't military as there was little strategy outside of "running and gunning." They were beginning to close on the officers, though, and if they got close enough even they wouldn't be able to miss.
Trys ducked for cover and then hopped up again to fire a shot or two. She could see the stun bolt impact a guard, and he dropped to the ground. Trys ducked under cover again and spotted a young, babyfaced officer near her. He quickly pulled out a grenade and lobbed it over, Trys finding a sense of relief that they at least had some explosives with them.
The guards scattered away from the grenade as it landed, and it gave Trys and the others an opening to fire a few more shots. However, she quickly noticed the grenade wasn’t going off at all, and she turned to look at the young officer, “Was that a dud?”
“Oh...uh..no..I...didn’t…” His words got quieter and quieter as he spoke. Trys’ eyes widened slowly in horror as she watched one of the guards walk up and simply pick it up and press a button to cook it with a sick grin on his face.
“..Didn’t pull the pin,” Trys finished for the officer right as the guard hurled the grenade over.
“INCOMING! EVERYONE DUCK!” She screamed at the top of her lungs, terrified beyond belief. Trys didn’t know if they would have enough time to get away, and they were certainly not wearing armor that could tank a grenade.
Talak was relatively satisfied with how his attack had worked. It had either incapacitated or distracted three of the thugs. Unfortunately, he needed to find another way to deal with the others. His eyes were looking for another route again when suddenly there was an explosion from across the street. It looked like it had been in the area of the officers.
Oh, kriff... he whispered, hoping that they hadn't all been killed in the detonation. His sense of urgency turned to near desperation as he looked for a way to attack the remaining thugs.
Shab, shab, shab, shab... he continued to curse, before he saw something that could help. There was a speeder making its way down the side street he was standing along, not having yet realized that there was a gunfight at the end of it.
Perfect! he said to himself, rushing over to the speeder and opening the door much to the surprise of the woman inside.
I need your speeder. Medical emergency, he said, holding up a medpack as if that actually meant something or was in any way significant. The woman's shock combined with his forcefulness and a hint of the use of the Force actually managed to get her out of the speeder, staring bewildered as her speeder raced off.
It tore across the open space, accelerating as it went and slammed into the one of the two lead thugs. A sickening crack and thud was all Talak could hear as the body bounced off the front of the speeder, sailed thirty feet through the air and slammed into the ground only for the speeder to hit it again.
Talak was both lucky and unlucky. He was lucky that the thugs - who were now opening fire on the improvised attack speeder - didn't manage to hit him, but he was unlucky that their shots punched straight through the speeder's repulsor generator, sending it flopping to the ground. With a ear-splitting grating sound, a shower of sparks, and puffs of smoke, the speeder came to a halt along the ground and the remaining thugs started opening fire. Talak curled up low in the seat, trying to open the door on the far side and crawl out of the line of fire. Hopefully the distraction would give the rangers an opening.
One of her men died from the blast, but the rest of them sustained minor injuries.The distance and her warning had allowed them some measure of dodging the attack. Trys turned on the young officer, backhanding him across the face, “You KILLED ONE OF OUR OWN! Give all your explosives to someone else before wipe us all out!”
Fuming with anger, she quickly moved back to the original position to fire back at the guards. That was when she noticed that a speeder came out of seemingly nowhere and began to mow through the thugs. Their screams and yells echoed, and the speeder promptly crashed.
“Come on! Fire at will!” Trys yelled as the rangers used the distraction to pepper the thugs with bolts. Her own stun blaster hit several targets, and she saw men collapse to the ground. That was the cue for them rapidly move in towards the warehouse and finally advance.
She had called for backup and medical support already, and they would arrive any moment. Trys rushed down with the others, though she skidded to a halt as she saw the speeder. From the rising smoke and flames, it appeared as if the speeder would explode any moment now.
She rushed over and used all her might to yank the door open, coughing up a lung through the smoke as she did so. She could see a figure inside and reached a hand to help them out. Trys hoisted him out probably hard enough to dislocate his arm, and it sent them both toppling backwards and on the ground. She quickly began to roll away, sending them into a tumbling mess as the speeder exploded behind them.
Trys finally rolled and found herself on top of the man. She pulled back and looked to see a familiar face, “YOU?!” Trys had no time for questions and used his shoulder to press herself off and get to her feet. She didn’t look back as she rushed towards the warehouse - entirely unconcerned about having just saved someone’s life. It was all part of the job.
Talak was shoving against the door, trying to force it open from his awkward angle, but he couldn't. Blaster bolts pumped into the speeder and punched straight through the door in a couple of points. Hot metal burned against his clothing and he was yet again incredibly aware that death was circling.
Then the door ripped open, the smoke poured out, and someone was grabbing him. He tried to reach up and throw them off, thinking it was one of the thugs, only for the pair to go rolling across the ground. When they came to a stop, he was about to punch whoever was on top of him only to realize she was a friend. Or... an ally at least.
She shouted at him, and he was glad she started rushing off because he didn't know how he was going to explain this. Again, that would have to wait.
She was already rushing off and back toward the fight. I need to find a weapon, he thought. Preferably a sword... Unfortunately, swords weren't all that common anymore in the galaxy. But knives were at least slightly more typical. He was sure that Trys would have told him to stay out of the line of fire, but that went against his instincts.
He scrambled back to his feet, heading toward the downed thugs. Unconscious and cuffed by one of the Rangers, his weapons had been pulled from him and Talak found a combat vibroknife among the contents. It would have to do. He hefted it in his hand and activated it, running toward the warehouse as well. He was worthless from a distance, but he might be able to find a side entrance and hit them from behind.
Meanwhile, the gunfire from the warehouse began to slow. It seemed that the criminals were escaping through said back door and were perfectly content to run now that they knew the authorities were after them. One poor lad who drew the short straw remained behind, taking potshots at anything that moved, but not actually hitting anything he aimed at.
Trys rushed in with the others, happy to pass by a few cuffed thugs. The men ahead of her shoved the doors open and were able to break in. She wasn’t used to this much action from a job, and she wanted it to be over as soon as possible. Thankfully, it appeared that the warehouse was mostly empty except for one lone fool that stayed behind.
“We need him alive!” She shouted as the men rushed forth to quickly subdue him, kicking his gun away. After a moment, there was no blasterfire, and she could hear sirens signaling the arrival of medical speeders and more backup. Trys heaved a sigh of relief as the remaining thug was quickly cuffed. They also had another man that she had stunned lying outside still knocked out.
Trys wiped the sweat off her brow, realizing that she was sporting injuries on her arms and shoulders. She glanced over to finally spot Talak among the men, scowling at him as she saw him standing there with a knife. Tryst walked past the others and made her way to him.
“What the hell are you playing at?” She called out to him, glaring, “You could have gotten yourself killed. Moreover, we did end up losing an officer. Why the kriff did you pull a movie stunt like that? Running a speeder in and charging in here like you’re some sort of action hero? You’re becoming an extra liability I don’t wanna take on!”
Trys realized she was yelling at him while her men turned to watch. She sighed and finally lowered her voice, her expression softening slightly, “Look, it’s pretty obvious the Bothan was very, very special to you. And you loved him dearly and probably had a future planned out. But you can’t keep being reckless like this and jeopardize our operations.”
The blaster fire stopped and Talak took a seat along the curb, setting the knife down next to him and flexing his hand. It was still shaking ever so slightly as the adrenaline finished running its course. The process of coming down off that high got a bit easier with time, but only a little.
He hadn't even noticed Trys coming over until she started yelling at him. He had expected more questions, even a bit of frustration, but he hadn't expected this... strong of a reaction. He chalked it up to the death of the officer, though, whose bloodied and charred remains he saw being carried away from the scene.
He was still trying to formulate a response when her tone softened up and she was back on the Bothan-lover angle. He was caught off guard again, but this time it was him trying not to smile or laugh at the idea. It would have been entirely inappropriate, so he put his hand to his forehead to cover it up. Of course, this would likely be mistaken for him getting emotional over the mention and only feed the flames of her theory further.
Look, that wasn't... he started to try to object again. There's no reason for me to lie about that! he said emphatically before starting to shake his head and wave his hands. You know what, just forget it. That's not true, but whatever... he said.
He realized as soon as he'd moved on that he probably should have stuck with that conversation topic. He also realized it might have helped to lend a cover story to this weird obsession he had taken over.
He also knew that arguing that he was helping wouldn't get him anywhere, so he changed the topic. What exactly are you? he asked, realizing he hadn't actually asked yet. You're not Coruscant Security Force, are you? Does that mean if this leads off world you still have some sort of jurisdiction? he didn't actually know anything about Sector Rangers, but he had a feeling that this was going to lead them off world to some nasty planet like Nar Shaddaa or Nal Hutta. This topic may not go over well either, but he seemed to be full of "not going over well" moments when he was around her. Actually... just in general.
He got excessively defensive, and that only bolstered her argument. She crossed her arms over her chest, quirking an eyebrow at his antics. He was putting on the most unconvincing act when it came to deflecting that he wasn’t in fact the Bothan’s lover. Trys was completely convinced that he probably planned to propose and all his plans had been derailed. She actually felt bad for him.
However, he struck a nerve right back by questioning what she was and her jurisdiction. Her jaw tightened, and she looked as if she were going to deck him in the face, “Look, I understand the loss of your fiancee is hurting you and you’re lashing out, but this is getting out of line.”
Trys paused for a moment, “For your information, we are Sector Rangers, and we operate within this planet’s territories and its districts. We also have operations out in other planets. However, when something gets out of hand,” She gestured towards the warehouse, “It requires more militia type support, and we then reach out to the Free World Alliance for aid.”
She watched as the thugs that were handcuffed were shoved and walked over to speeders to transport them back to the station. Trys looked back at Talak, “You look hurt,” He had taken some burns from what she could see, “We have some medical support that can patch you up. After that, you really need to stop butting in.”
Trys scowled at him, “On that note, what are you? It’s my job to be here. What’s your grand reason and authority then?”
At this point, Talak was just doing everything he could not to laugh about this whole misunderstanding. It was pretty clear that he wasn't going to be convincing her.
Sector Rangers, he thought to himself. Interesting. He wasn't familiar with the group, but they sounded useful. Also they could be a pain for him if he ended up going down the road of doing terrorist-like things in his work. He wondered how long it would be until one of these days Trys would be coming after him. And then they'd be trying to kill one another. That was something he'd rather not think about, particularly given the size of the galaxy. Really, what were the odds of it being the two of them?
I appreciate that, he said, as she offered him medical attention for his burns. Even if it was laced with a "butting out" comment, it was appreciated. A part of him wondered if he really should have taken her advice and left this alone if for no other reason than that he didn't want to be arrested for obstruction or something.
That was when it struck him: he was doing this because he was... having fun. Wow, you're weird, he thought to himself. No one in their right mind came out to get shot at and solve crimes because it was fun, did they?
Authority? he repeated after her. Well, evidently I'm a Bothan-lover, he said, scrunching up his mouth and shrugging.
And a contributing citizen who likes to help... and I am helping, he insisted, almost smiling as he stood and walked over to the medical speeders. The truth was that he didn't have a great reason other than the thrill and for some reason, the death of the Bothan bothered him. Maybe it was because there were so few places in the galaxy that Talak enjoyed, and that little shop had been one of them.
Maybe I just really want to be a volunteer deputy. Do you have those? he asked as he took his upper robe off, careful to make sure that as he took it off it would cover his lightsaber. He took a seat and waited as the paramedics started patching up his burns, glad he didn't have to do it himself like normal.
Trys stared at him as he spoke, her arms still crossed, “Helping? You’re about as helpful as a flare up of genital herpes,” She grumbled, walking over to flag over some medical speeders so they would come to him instead, “Sit down and stay put,” She hissed at him as he began to wander off again. At this rate, she didn’t know what new disaster he was going to bring on.
She brought over some supplies for her other officers, walking back and forth till she came back towards Talak. Trys took off her own jacket, waving off the medical staff and snatching a stim injection and jamming it into her arm. She had no time for bacta patches and other nonsense and wanted an immediate boost. Her arms were fully covered in tattoos, something not common of people in her line of work.
As he asked about volunteering, her knee jerk reaction was to say no. However, she pondered that for a moment - wasn’t that how she came into the field? She had been nothing but a small time criminal in the past, and she more or less fell into this job because she was given a chance. Who was she to snatch that away from someone else?
Trys sighed, “We will take all the help we can get,” She shrugged, “But you can’t do your stupid hero theatrics. And you need to learn how to shoot a gun and…” She had to fight not to smile, “Keep your personal feelings out of things.”
Trys put her jacket back on, thinking on how to even work with a volunteer. He was eager to help, and he seemed to be more of a hazard when left to his own devices. Perhaps giving him a chance to do something with some guardrails would curb his flamboyancy.
“Why don’t you come by the station and shadow some of the officers as we deal with the perps we caught today? We need to track down that barabel still.”
Genital herpes! That was uncalled for and false! Slanderous! He glared at her for a moment giving his best unamused face.
He was relieved to have the cool bacta across his back moments later, and the burning pain was replaced by a cool sensation spreading from the injury. It was clear from his torso that this wasn't his first burn or his first scar. A spider-web like pattern of burns wrapped around his torso with other, isolated laceration and burn scars elsewhere. Perhaps the fact that he'd been wounded so many times would only serve to reinforce her idea that he was incompetent.
He slipped his clothes back on and ensured his lightsaber was hidden the whole time before standing again. Blasters... his face kind of contorted up a bit. He didn't like blasters... or maybe they didn't like him. He'd take a sword - even a non-lightsaber - over a blaster any day.
So... uh... he started scratching his head in a way that screamed "I'm guilty" ...the Barabel. I went to that hotel and got a name. Probably fake, but I thought about going and running it against incoming docking ships to get a point of origin if he's an off worlder, he said. He could practically feel her annoyance already that he was poking his nose around again, but at least he was telling her.
Trys walked over to toss the stim injection away, and that was when she took note of his state of attire. He was shirtless and his back was covered in severe injuries. He certainly had the build of someone that wasn’t a couch potato, and his injuries seemed to suggest...combat? That or repeatedly getting into stupid situations that got him hurt.
“The hell happened to you?” She asked quietly, though it was none of her business. She wouldn’t linger on the topic if he didn’t, and she certainly hoped he didn’t notice her catching a few glances at him. Trys sighed and pulled out a cigarra to light it, drawing it in and blowing out a plume of smoke.
When he began to explain about how he followed up with the Barabel. She almost crushed the cigarra in her hand, her jaw tightening, “You what?” She stammered in exasperation, “You got your prints all over potential evidence, broke into a place without any kind of legal right or warrant and…” Trys rubbed her forehead. However, she simply took another long drag from her cigarra.
“How exactly were you going to cross reference against incoming docking ships?” She asked suspiciously, “How would you have access to any of that data being a random civilian?”
Trys turned to face him entirely, “If you’re going to be a volunteer, I’m going to be able to trust you. There are a lot of holes in your story so far, so start filling them.”
She asked him about the scars, and he didn't have a great answer. Torture at the hands of his master and duels against other trainees followed by subsequent time spent actually in the field fighting for the Sith Eternal. It was difficult to imagine which part of that story wouldn't fly.
Some bad luck in my past, he said, yet again cryptically. It wasn't going to fly as an answer, it seemed, and combined with his explanation about the Barabel, it seemed she wanted some actual answers.
She stopped and turned to face him, asking - or maybe demanding was the better word - that she be given some answers.
He gritted his teeth together, but only a small part of it was acting. His story - his real story - wasn't a nice one, and he could use enough pieces of that story to sell it as a legitimate one.
The teeth grinding turned to chewing his tongue, and the silence hung there long enough to be uncomfortable. It was obvious that this line of questioning had gotten under his skin, though what exact emotion he was experiencing was difficult to read, even for an experienced detective.
I was born deep in the Outer Rim on a stupid little backwater world that no one gives a kriff about. I was recruited into a warlord's army to fight when I was... young. I got out of that life and worked freelance ever since. Mostly odd jobs: security, bounty hunting, and whatnot, he said.
It fit the pieces to the puzzle quite well, and that was because although the setting had been changed, most of it was true. He had been raised in the Unknown Region to fight since he was a child, and only a few years ago he had gotten out from under the thumb of his now-deceased master before setting out into the wider galaxy.
I don't like crime, and I'm pissed off that someone killed one of the few people I've met in the galaxy that I actually liked and ruined one of the only places that I liked, he said.
Are you satisfied now? he asked with a little more snap in his tone than he had intended. It was obviously a nerve that he didn't like to touch. The demons of his past - and even his present - were things he preferred to either ignore or work out on his own. Very healthy coping mechanisms.
He pulled out the small holoprojector from his belt and activated it. A picture of the Barabel popped up along with the fake ID number and name. Look, do you want the information or not? he asked, deciding that changing the topic was preferable to dwelling on something he had no interest in thinking about any further.
Trys listened as he gave her a summarized version of his lifestory. She believed maybe about a quarter of it, but none of her face revealed this. One thing she did believe was that he was involved in bounty hunting or security, because he did seem to have a keen sense of at least tracking people. She said nothing as he spoke, blowing out smoke from her cigarra.
She blew a whistle after he ended his mini rant, silence hanging between them for a while. Trys broke the silence after a bit, “Well,” She muttered, “I was just beginning to warm up to the image of you and the Bothan walking down the aisle together,” Trys drew in the cigarra again.
“I still don’t trust you,” She said flatly, “But I do want to see what information you dug up,” Trys looked at the Holoprojection, and she knew he wasn’t lying about what he unearthed. She brought out her comlink and spoke into it for the others to handle the interrogations and report back to her.
“All right,” She said to Talak, “Let’s follow up with the ship information,” Trys said, waiting for the medics to clear him as he popped his clothing back on. He was annoyingly distracting with it off.
Trys beckoned for him to follow as she made her way to her speeder, a standard issue ranger cruiser. In other words, it was a piece of crap, but it was fast. Trys hopped inside, waiting for him to pop in as well, “After your stunt, I hope you know I’m never letting you drive. Ever.”
With that, she took off towards the the nearest spaceport, “You conveniently still haven’t told me how you know to just access and dig up information. Were you a part of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild?”
The Bothan comment elicited an eye roll as would be expected, but her comment about not trusting him struck him as interesting. It was at first mildly annoying - yes, annoying despite the fact that he was lying to her - but something about it stuck out to him.
I get the feeling the list of people we both trust can go on one hand, he said. It was something they had in common or at least that he thought they had in common. A life of suspicion of everyone and everything. Part of it might have been born into people, but most of it was learned behavior, usually as the result of a great deal of unpleasantness.
He got into the speeder and she mentioned that she was never letting him drive after the speeder stunt. Yeah, you're welcome, he said, almost smiling. That was more than likely to get more annoyance from her, but he had taken out a thug and drawn fire away. But she'd pulled him from the speeder afterwards, so he figured they were even.
I mean, it's not like I did anything fancy. I went to the hotel and poked around until I found something, he said with a shrug, his mind running through how to explain getting the information without "mind trick."
I'm not some fancy slicer. But no, I wasn't part of the Guild, either, he said. People will talk eventually if the right pressure is applied, he said. He was hoping to make it so that his explanation of how he got the information didn't sound like he had beat the man up either. In the underworld, that can be as simple as bribing someone, he said with another shrug. Corruption and crime was something he was confident she knew all about.
Okay, so if we're going to play twenty questions, I think it's my turn to ask four or five questions, he quipped, diving into his first question without waiting for the inevitable rejection of his premise.
What got you into the Sector Rangers? he asked. A nice easy softball question... at least assuming that you weren't a Force user from a dark side cult that was trying to commit selective mass genocide.
Trys didn’t respond to his comment about them both being untrusting. He was right, and she especially didn’t trust people she only just met. She shook her head as he described poking around in a hotel room, “Uh huh, and you just casually happened to have a keycard to get into the room? Seduced the hotel receptionist like in the Holomovies?” Trys tilted her head to give him a ‘gimme a break’ sort of look. However, she wouldn’t press him further on that.
His methods made him sound like a mix between a bully and a crafty sort of criminal. However, his actions were almost….heroic from what she observed. He had risked personal injury to give her and her team and advantage, and he even helped call medical help for downed officers before. He was very puzzling, and she simply couldn’t crack him.
Trys was surprised when he decided to turn the questions on her. At first, she remained silent, almost suggesting they play the quiet game instead. It was something her son absolutely hated but was still young enough to put up with if she recommended it. She had a suspicion it wouldn’t work so well with Talak.
“I actually used to be on the other side of the law,” She admitted truthfully. Trys wasn’t getting any real information from him, and she hoped that breaking the truth ice would help him ease up, “I used to live in the lower districts of the planet. I ended up being well connected in the criminal circles, and the information ended up helping solve cases.”
Trys glanced at him and smiled, “I suppose I also began to volunteer and found myself in the business,” She gazed ahead as she drove, “And I wanted a better life for me and…” She trailed off, almost letting it slip about her son. Trys didn’t want to reveal any vulnerabilities just yet, and she cleared her throat, “It’s always better to get out of those districts.”
She kept her gaze trained ahead as silence hung for a while. She finally broke it after a moment, “It’s a thankless job, you know,” She said quietly, “You see horrible things happening to good people, and many times they get away with it. There are no thank yous, no pats on the back, the pay is shit. Hell, even doing this as a job feels like free voluntary service sometimes.”
When Talak asked her about herself, she didn't say anything. And then she didn't say anything... and then she didn't say anything. He actually got a little smug over the fact that as soon as she was asked questions about herself she clammed up. Well that told him where they stood at least.
And then she actually told him something about herself, and he was surprised. He didn't sense any dishonesty in her, but frankly, he found her quite difficult to read, so he could have been wrong about that. He hadn't really expected that she had been a criminal herself. An interesting turn of events that she had ended up where she was.
He noticed that she caught herself mid sentence, but didn't press her for what she had been about to say. He almost filled in the end of her sentence with "...my Bothan lover" but the topic seemed serious enough that it might not have been the right time.
There was a weight to her words as she spoke, especially as she talked about what she did. It was the weight of carrying around a lot of horrible things she'd seen.
But it's a duty, he said quietly as if more to himself than to her. As insane as it would sound to most people, he felt similarly about who and what he was. He didn't enjoy it or what it did to him, but he saw it as his responsibility. His role.
I think the first docking bay is up here on the left, he said, diverting attention away from that topic or the line of thought that he - yet again - didn't want to broach. For the briefest of moments, he considered what would happen if he actually told her the truth. Violence and bloodshed. Nothing good. As always, you are alone, he reminded himself. He felt like an island among normal people and an island among other dark siders.
He shook the thought from his head as they came in for a landing. Something in his mind whispered to him about this place, and for the first time, it whispered something good. He felt like they were going to find their first answer here. Surely they couldn't be that lucky.
A Rodian stood at the dock station, giving orders to a small team of pit droids who were repairing and refueling docked ships. If Talak had to guess he was the dockmaster. Waving his hand around and using the Force as out of the question now, so he hoped that her badge worked as well for opening up people's mouths.
Trys noticed he completely shut himself off, and her truth bait didn’t work. She wouldn’t press it for now, and she kept her gaze trained forward. The rest of the journey was in silence, and she decided it was best to keep him at arm’s length. Something about him didn’t sit right with her, but she couldn’t identify what it was.
She saw the docking bay coming close, but she could see some flashing lights and medical speeders parked up ahead. Trys cursed under her breath and pulled into the parking area, quickly hopping out of the speeder and rushing towards the bay. She flashed her badge at them before running in, spotting the medical personnel putting the covers over a body.
“What happened here?” She asked one of the nearby guards.
“A barabel came through and shot up the place. He shot a civilian getting into their ship and took off in the aircraft,” He grimaced.
“Is there a way to track that ship?”
“We’re trying, but it’s looking pretty slim,” The man shrugged, glancing over at Talak curiously. He looked out of place and certainly didn’t have a badge or uniform of any sort.
“Shit,” Trys muttered quietly, “He slipped right through our fingers. He could be anywhere.”
The fact that he shot up random civilians made him even more dangerous than the case they had been working on. He was potentially looking at a bounty at this point.