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09.20.2012 , 10:42 PM |
: Sha’ra’zaed (operative), Vector cameo.
No spoilers. Timeframe early Agent act 3, but again no spoilers for class story.
Grr, behind on thread again; must comment in morning.
I have to thank the last couple of prompts for this story. That, and a diplomacy mission of all things.
I haven’t thought much about Sha’ra’zaed’s family. I don’t have any other Chiss PCs to relate to her. I had a thumbnail sketch for Scheh, and especially after the ‘New Paths’ I knew there were more of them around. And then, this older brother just sort of popped in there. As the pirate for whom your companion obtains a privateering license.
Sha’ra’zaed carded open the interrogation cell. Her clearance was easily more than the cell’s security protocols required; it didn’t even bother with secondary identification. She made a note to mention this to station security. Even high-level clearances could be forged.
The prisoner sat at a bare metal table, the only furniture in the room save a pair of matching bare metal chairs, one of which he occupied. Binders kept the prisoner’s hands on the table. Blue hands, Chiss hands, no gloves or jewelry. No other finery, just bare-bones practical shirt and trousers, both rumpled and several days past clean. Scuffed boots, secured to the floor. He raised his head as Sha’ra’zaed entered the room.
“So, she comes when called,” he sneered in Cheunh. Stringy indigo hair fell away from his face, revealing all hard lines and planes. Two scars marred his lips, another cut through his eyebrow and continued down his cheek, though he still had the eye. Someone had broken his nose. Not recently.
Sha’ra’zaed activated a jammer in her pocket. The cell’s cameras and recorders would receive nothing but static for five minutes. She took the seat opposite the prisoner. “Schehe’pou’larane,” she said.
“Lovely to see you again Schehe’ra’zaede, dear little sister,” he continued, still speaking Cheunh, “Is the Empire treating you well? I can’t tell from your insignia, it seems to be missing. Was that for me? I’m flattered you think I’d pay attention.”
She had indeed. Because he would pay attention, and who knows how he’d use the information, “Do you have any idea the trouble you’re in?”
“You’ve been around Humans too long, little Haraz. This isn’t how we do things. There should be pleasant conversation first.”
“You have four minutes thirty seconds, Hepoul. If you’d prefer to waste it on small talk I can oblige,” Sha’ra’zaed said.
“Touchy touchy,” Hepoul said, flipping his hair put of his eyes, “I don’t care about your Empire’s rules.”
He was worried. Hepoul always fiddled with his hair under stress; a bad habit their mentor had never been able to break. “You should. Between your cargo—all your cargo, they found the little hideaways, Hepoul—and your ship’s logs you’re looking at spacing. Your crew? Kessel or Sevarcos II.”
Hepoul jerked forward to the limit of his restraints, “They’re your family too, Haraz,” he hissed, “will you send them to Kessel? Should we all have stepped up and become honorary Humans like you did?”
Sha’ra’zaed stayed calm. Hepoul was always good at playing emotions, at picking at a target’s weak points. “Emigrating was an option. You chose otherwise.”
Hepoul’s eyes narrowed, the scar crinkling, “Oh, I did try. I could not stomach the propaganda. Humans, superior? A government ruled by insane mystics? Whose only claim to power was their seeming invincibility? Sith are not invincible, Haraz. One well-placed shot from very far away…”
“Why not go to the Republic, then?” she asked, “You had a ship. Go there if you hate the Empire so much.”
Hepoul lounged back in his chair, flipping his hair again, “More Humans. All holding hands and pretending to be friends, while stabbing each other in the back. And more mystics, all refusing to use their supposed powers, because they fear
“I don’t care about your politics, Hepoul,” Sha’ra’zaed said, “only resolving this situation.”
Hepoul picked at his fingernails, “Your emissary was already here. The Human with the black eyes, what was his name? Ve-something. I don’t remember Human names.”
“That might have been the name, yes.”
“Have you considered his proposal?” she asked.
“We hunt what we like,” Hepoul said, a feral grin on his scarred lips.
“Hunting what you like netted you a hold full of glitterstim, recorded attacks on Imperial-flagged vessels, one scrapped hyperdrive, and a week in the brig.” Sha’ra’zaed leaned forward, pressing her advantage, “the only reason you’re not breathing vacuum right now is because the Human whose name you can’t remember understood
naming conventions well enough to realize you might be related to me.”
“If he is your underling then it is his responsibility to know,” Hepoul said with a flick of his head.
Sha’ra’zaed ground her teeth in frustration, “I have obtained a Letter of Marque and Reprisal for you and your crew.”
“And this means what? Chiss have no such laws.”
“You agree to pursue only non-Imperial beaconed ships,” Sha’ra’zaed said, “and the Empire will take no action against you. For past or future deeds, so long as you leave Imperial shipping unmolested.” She withdrew a datapad from her pocket and slid it across the table.
Hepoul perused the contents, “And what must I do to accept this…license? Kiss the Emperor’s as*?”
Fifty-nine seconds, “Accept. That’s all.”
He glared at the datapad, then initialed it and flicked it back across the table, “I want my things back. My clothes, all the things they took from me.”
Sha’ra’zaed stood, “They’ll be on board your ship.”
“Why do you do it, Schehe’ra’zaede?” Hepoul asked, “Bend knee to these freaks? They aren’t your people, they aren’t Chiss. They’ll always hate you, you know. You’re better than this.”
Keeper had asked her much the same question. She still had no answer she could put in words. “If you violate the terms, Hepoul, they’ll space you. All of you. I cannot intervene for you again.”
“I hunt what I like,” Hepoul repeated.
The counter ticked to zero. The cameras would be recording again, “Then you’d best prefer Republic shipping,” Sha’ra’zaed said, leaving the cell and closing the door behind her.
Vector met her in the corridor beyond, “We are sorry, Agent, but we could not ignore—“
“It’s all right, Vector, you did well.”
“Did he…accept the terms?” Vector asked.
Sha’ra’zaed fought the urge to look back at the cell door, “Yes. He’s an Imperial privateer now. For the time being.”
“We do not understand why he would be displeased with the arrangement,” Vector said, “He can continue doing what he wants as before, with only minor alterations.”
“What he wants,” Sha’ra’zaed began, “is to live in the Ascendancy again. I cannot give him that.”
Vecrot nodded slowly, “Would you like us to monitor his activity? Alert you of troubles?”
Sha’ra’zaed sighed, “Yes.”
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