Back on track, at least for a little bit. This portion of the game's story was giving me writer's block for a while but I finally punched it. Maybe the next part will be along sooner than later. >_>
Record 004: Alderaan
There was really no better word for it, she had to admit to herself as she sat in an absurdly over-stuffed chair, a glass of Alderaan Ruge in her hand. She and Tyresius—no, Gault, she reminded herself—were waiting for another chance to talk to her contact, Baron Zacar. Waiting around for a stuff-shirt noble was bad enough, and the slights, insults, and unwanted advances from various members of his family were worse, but the other nobles here, talking about her behind her back, knowing she could hear them, were the real slime at the bottom of the pit.
Bloody cretins. She didn’t dare lay a hand on any of them—not for simply talking—and they knew it. That left them free to discuss her as if she were some sort of half-tame beast wandering around off-leash.
For a moment, she wished she had her mother’s gift for Chiss-style hauteur. She wondered what these overdressed mynocks would make of a quiet, icily polite CEDF officer in their midst, rather than a rough-looking bounty hunter with a short temper. She knew at least some of them found her irritation gratifying—although if they were wise, they’d stop poking this particular akk hound before it snapped.
Then again, I’m pretty sure some of these idiots would be willing to push me that far, just to confirm all their nerf***** about me being some kind of dirty savage.
So, instead of giving them the satisfaction, she sat, and sulked, and drank. At least the liquor was top-notch.
“Hey, slow down on the Ruge, huh?” Gault muttered to her out of the corner of his mouth. “I feel for you, I really do, but the last thing you need to do is...” The Devaronian paused to search for tactful wording.
“Make a drunken *** out of myself?” Kjara supplied with a disdainful snort. “I can handle my booze, you know.”
“I bet.” Gault knew better than to argue the point, but the short reply spoke volumes. “Can you handle the booze on top of the urge to strangle a few of these bantha-brains, though?”
He probably had a point; she almost never drank to the point of physical impairment, but a loosened hold on her temper today would probably be a bad thing.
“Stop making good points, okay? It’s really irritating.” Of course, she was joking, and Gault knew it, but he had been almost annoyingly helpful so far on Alderaan. He had a more pragmatically diplomatic frame of mind than Kjara—which made sense, for a grade-Aurek con man. Since she had to tiptoe around these nobles for the sake of both the Empire’s goals and her own, having someone to talk her out of breaking a few faces was useful. “If you keep it up, I might finally have to admit that hiring you was a good idea.”
“Can I say ‘I told you so’ without getting shot?”
Heaving a put-upon sigh, Kjara drained her glass and set it down on the table next to her. The sound caught the attention of a few of the nobles nearby, who turned to look at her warily, as if expecting her to leap up and start shooting. When she did no such thing, they gradually resumed their gossiping.
At least the Sith nobility usually have some teeth to back up all their strutting airs, the hunter thought sourly. She certainly didn’t enjoy being looked down on by them, either, but she had a healthy respect for anyone who could fry her with Force lightning or deflect her blaster fire with a single lightsaber. These pompous twits? Not so much.
Heh. Puts Tarro Blood in a whole new light, knowing this is the world he comes from. The other bounty hunter’s self-assured arrogance, which had nearly brought the two of them to blows in front of the Huntmaster on Dromund Kaas, seemed to be ingrained here, at least among the nobles. No wonder a bunch of other Mandos took him out. He was probably insufferable from the word ‘go’.
But... ah, there was a good reason to endure these idiots. If she could get a handle on the way they thought, their tendencies (especially under fire), and their habits, that could help her if she had to track down Blood in one of these rounds...
Kjara restrained the urge to roll her eyes. She should never have encouraged Raffid Girard’s flirting, but she’d made the mistake once and now he seemed to have decided he had a chance with her. Creepy git.
“Can I get you another drink?” the young nobleman asked, the politeness in his tone doing nothing to camouflage the leer on his face.
“No thanks, I’m good for now,” the hunter said with a shake of her head. Aside from the fact that she was taking Gault’s advice, Raffid was pretty much the last person she’d want to accept a drink from. Wouldn’t put it past the little weasel to slip something in it. That’d be about the only way he’d get me in bed.
“Courtesy demanded that I offer,” Raffid said lightly, shrugging. He glanced up at the ostentatiously elaborate chronograph on the wall, then towards the closed door of Baron Zacar’s office. “I believe my father should be with you shortly.” Catching Kjara’s glance, he smiled in a way that made her skin crawl. “If you find yourself at liberty later, however...”
“Pretty sure I’m gonna be busy shooting people,” the hunter said brusquely, crossing her arms. “For a good long while.”
“Well. I suppose that is what you’re employed to do, isn’t it?” Raffid finally seemed to accept the dismissal for what it was, but refused to lose hope. “Be that as it may, the invitation remains open, advocate,” he said over his shoulder as he sauntered off.
Gault coughed politely—in a clearly mocking fashion—as Kjara silently ground her teeth in exasperation. All right, class is in session. Course of study: “How to think like a petulant, spineless tool with too much money.”
Maybe, just maybe, her downtime here wouldn’t be utterly useless...