CHRONICLES PRESENT, 6: In which Niselle throws some stuff away
Time period: Settled in after Quinn's return to life
Niselle called. She had her full god-awful yellow makeup on, festooning her face ridges in a smear of bright fake yellow pigment that thinned through orange to the faint natural red left beneath her heavy Dark Side corruption.
“Nis, you look awful,” said Nalenne.
“Lenny,” said Niselle. “I was in a bit of a hurry this morning, had to clear out of Dromund Kaas faster than expected.”
“That’s very exciting, dear.”
Niselle’s upper lip curled. “The husband got whiny. I decided to leave him behind.”
“I don’t suppose he was enclosed in something at the time? A ship, a suit, a coffin?”
“An escape pod,” she said casually. “It was the best I could do on short notice.”
“So you just left him there.”
“Well, now Andronikos is drifting in a decaying orbit with a limited oxygen supply.”
“You’re his wife. You fix it.”
“The boy is intolerable. I’m sick of him.”
“So we’re coming around to why did you call me?”
“I thought you were fond of him, that’s all. Thought I’d give you a chance to keep him.”
“I would yawn if I thought it were worth the effort. Splash your drama elsewhere, Nis.”
“He would be touched to know how much you really care about your family. Ugh, anyway, there’s my ten o’clock. Ciao, darling.” The holo cut.
“What was that?” said Vette.
“Nis hoping I would freak out on camera. Jaesa, course for Dromund Kaas, now. Quinn, I want anything we can use to track an escape pod from Nis’s ship, Broonmark, have some medpacs and an adrenal ready in case he’s already in bad shape. Vette, Pierce, you’re on call ‘til we’ve got this sorted out.”
They made it to Dromund Kaas quickly enough. How long had Niselle delayed before calling? It would be just like her to trick Nalenne into rushing to rescue a corpse.
“Milord,” said Pierce, “she’s probably just tricked you into rushing to rescue a corpse.”
“Or a total absence of any kind of escape pod at all,” said Vette.
“Hey, it might be my brother-in-law,” said Nalenne, hurrying to the door. “Found it? We docking yet?” she yelled. “Airlock, Quinn. Hurry it up.”
The door finally pulled open, revealing a considerable expanse of sealing walls and a very small entrance to a very cramped pod. Andronikos Revel took one suspicious look up at Nalenne, then started pushing himself out onto the Helicarrier’s floor.
She helped him up. “You okay?”
“Yeah, yeah. But when our 2V kept saying he cleaned the vessel stem to stern? He definitely skipped the pod.” He coughed, hard. “That was disgusting.”
“What the hell did you and Nis fight about?”
Andronikos shrugged. “Not much. If she were really mad she’d’a killed me outright.” He rolled his shoulders and shook out his arms, then checked the blasters strapped to his legs. “All the same. Think I’ll strike out elsewhere for the time being. Any chance you could drop me on Nar Shaddaa?”
“You could stay here a while.”
“I can certainly get us to Nar Shaddaa,” volunteered Quinn, and hurried away.
“You could stay here a while,” repeated Nalenne. “We’ve got a spare bunk. You know our itinerary’s kind of tight a lot of the time, but I’d love to have you along for the work.”
Andronikos looked around the hallway, the airlock, the escape pod beyond. “You do make trouble like no one I’ve ever met. I could be convinced. For a little while, anyway.”