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Formal Request of the Galactic Underworld (IC)

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content > Roleplaying > Roleplay and Play-by-Post
Formal Request of the Galactic Underworld (IC)

LogicLoup's Avatar

10.20.2012 , 07:40 PM | #21
(( Cross-posting for Gelly ))


Serlynne finished yet another cup of caf and let out a frustrated sigh.

Damn… this is going nowhere. Perhaps coming here wasn’t the best idea in the first place.

In all fairness, it wasn’t the first time the assassin had to wait for her target in an ambush, but before she had always known who she was waiting for and for how long, not to mention she always had a clear contract for the target’s head. This time Serlynne was here because she was simply curious and thought something interesting might happen… only it didn’t. Instead, all she had was the endless boredom of waiting for something unknown to occur. There also was the whole matter of dealing with Rainbird afterwards. It was only a matter of time before he would find out that someone used his name to gain trust from Coruscant Security Service, and Rainbird wasn’t the kind of guy who would be fooled by some stupid makeup and a fake ID.

I’ll have to stay clear of Coruscant… no, from the whole of Republic space, until I can get in his good graces again (read: kill a few high-ranking Imperials). Hope there won’t be any Sith among them…

Serlynne’s sober thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a low “beep” from her datapad. She almost jumped out of surprise… and relief.

Finally! Someone got in their system!

It was a small but useful perk of Serlynne’s own backdoor – it could detect another unauthorized attempt to enter the system it was installed in. After all, you never know who else might be interested in your target…

Serlynne quickly started to process the data her program was able to get about this mysterious intruder. It turned out to be much more difficult then the assassin had originally thought: not only was the unknown hacker damn good, she also had to keep her own presence hidden from the security programs. And this was where Serlynne had her greatest advantage – no matter how skillfull her opponent was, he had no idea she was in the system too and was looking for him, so his major concern was to stay hidden only from the system itself.

So it was only a matter of time before Serlynne was able to pinpoint her target’s location – not the exact coordinates, of course; the data she obtained were very vague, but enough to start searching.

In any case it’s better then just sitting here and waiting for Rainbird to send his goons to arrest me.

However, before leaving, Serlynne took some time to look at the camera footage, that the hacker worked so hard to hide: a woman with light-brown hair tricking a guard and escaping the building. She couldn’t help but smile.

Nice job there, sister.

Even before Serlynne could finish this thought, she was overwhelmed by a brief memory from her own past.

“Your little 'sister' is dead now, and it is all your fault! Are you happy now, bi*ch?!”

Serlynne furiously shook her head to drive the unwanted memory back. She had no time to relive the failures of the past. Her future quarry was waiting.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them."

meanken's Avatar

10.20.2012 , 08:41 PM | #22

Mean was sitting outside still, bored out of his mind, when suddenly a bunch of alarms went off in the building. Mean did not react, but kept an eye on the door, watching as a woman in an officer uniform walked out as if nothing at all was wrong. Mean reached over to his wrist to load a tracking dart to fire at her, only to have the thing jam. Damm it, why does this shi* always happen at the worst times? he thought. by the time he cleared out the jam, she was already gone. Great, now zero is never going to let me forget how I let her get away clean

Oh well, he thought, let’s see what you were up to. He hacked into the republic database like zero had earlier, and viewed the security tapes, taking a few minutes to do it as it seemed someone else, allied with the woman perhaps, did not want him to see it. He smirked as he saw the guards get taken down by that skinny rod of a woman. Amateurs, he thought. However, it appeared the woman did not get her hands on the object, so it was still inside the building. Heck, this may have nothing at all to do with the object, he thought. Arrest records he viewed seemed to show she was arrested in a bar fight. Maybe she just didn’t feel like spending a night in the slammer. Oh well, looks like it is back to the stakeout for me. He sent Zero a message with an update on the situation, deciding to let her decide what to do about the woman

Zero was touring the local landmarks of coursant, also rather bored, and growing angrier with each passing moment. These people held themselves up so high, pretending they were so much better than everyone else in the galaxy. Zero knew the truth. She had seen their corruption firsthand.

"Run, now!"

"No! I am not going to leave you!"

"Don't be foolish! They will kill you too!"

Zero wiped away a tear that had come, pushing those thoughts away. She couldn’t show weakness, not in the heart of the enemy. Suddenly, her holocom went off, and she looked down

Interesting, she thought. Is she somehow connected to the object, or not? Regardless, they could not afford to ignore her. Zero typed out an encrypted message to keeper, updating him on the situation thus far, and recommending he do a full background check on whoever this person was. At the least, she might get a name when her picure was run threw a facial imaging database. After the message was typed, she continued her walk, as if nothing had happened

drfumblez's Avatar

10.28.2012 , 03:54 PM | #23
The Boisterous Hutt Cantina, Coruscant

"I don't believe you," Nayar grumbled as he eyed his friend. She only smirked at him, slipping him the datapad as she took a sip of her own drink.

"Doesn't matter if you do or don't, Captain, the facts are there," she waved his protest aside. "I did my homework throughly. The only thing I discovered about this artifact is that it has no information. "

"Not a single thing, though? Not even who might want it?" Nayar pressed. "Come on, Princess. You're hanging me from my own noose here."

"Sorry, Captain. Whatever this thing is, it was either recently made, or history didn't bother to take note of it."

Nayar pinched the bridge of his nose, then sighed, shook his head, and reached for his Reactor Core drink. "Well, kriff. Thanks for trying, I guess."

"Hey, I saw the reward money. If I really had anything, I would have told you."

"Yeah. Say, how's that treasure hunt of yours going?"

"impossible, that's what. I might even have to talk to your friendly neighborhood b*tch if i need to get things done," she complained.

"You really don't like each other, do you?" Nayar grinned.

"She set my hair on fire and blew up my ship!" his contact angrily retorted.

"After you sucker-punched our contact, and incinerated our other droid. Rest in pieces, UM-4D," Nayar whispered solemnly, suppressing his laughter.

"That's besides the point," she grumbled, crossing her arms. Nayar shook his head and grinned at her cheekily. She glanced at him, and sighed, "You've got that look on your face. . ."

"You could always hire me. . . after all, with my handsome looks, witty comebacks, endless charm, and all-around bad-@ssery, how could you fail?" Nayar queried.

"When you meet someone who has all of that, let me know, Captain. Until then, keep working on that charm," she snarkily replied, and slid out of her seat, running a hand through her pinned up hair.

"Touché, mon petit fleur," Nayar chuckled. "Thanks for the info, though. Or lack thereof."

"Anytime, Captain."

LogicLoup's Avatar

10.28.2012 , 05:27 PM | #24

Soleta stood on the street corner opposite the headquarters of Republic Security, exuding an aura of creepiness composed of roughly equal parts dark Force and simply being ethereally pale, dark-haired, and dressed all in black. She waited patiently at the edge of the pool of light dropped by a nearby streetlamp, watching the front doors of the Security building, her eyes narrowed in concentration. Eventually, a cluster of uniformed officers trickled out the door, exchanging laughs and easy chatter amongst themselves. End of their shift, Soleta whispered to herself, pleased at having made the observation.

A moment later, a solitary officer trudged out the door and stopped at the bottom of the steps, waiting until the others had passed out of earshot. Her curiosity piqued, Soleta studied the loner more closely. He was human, reasonably good looking for a middle-aged man, though a sense of exhaustion and defeat hung over him like a stormcloud, bending his back and hanging his head as he shuffled along on the sidewalk. Soleta nodded as she crossed the street; this one would do nicely. As she approached the man, she began to sniffle, working her way up to barely-restrained sobs.

"Oh," she murmured as she contrived to trip on a nonexistent crack in the sidewalk. "I'm... I'm sorry." She swiped the end of her sleeve across her eyes in a calculatedly useless effort to wipe away tears. Hunched down in her oversized tunic, with tears trickling down her cheeks, she looked like a pitiable waif. "I guess I just wasn't watching where I was going."

The man straightened almost instantly, attempting to present himself as sturdy and reliable; it was all Soleta could do to keep from rolling her eyes in disgust. "Hey, it's alright. No need to apologize, it's okay. Here." He dug into a pocket and drew out a handkerchief, which he handed to Soleta. She caught the glimmer of light reflecting off the worn gold of his wedding band, and the mental image of the man's daughter, a girl about Soleta's age, pushed up to the forefront of his consciousness on a wave of sympathy.

"Thank you," she replied, dabbing at her face with the cloth. "I'm sorry about..." She trailed off, gesturing vaguely at her tearstained face. "It's just, he seemed so nice, you know? But since we got back from holidays, he's been all —" She broke off suddenly, staring in wide-eyed fear back in the direction she'd approached from, then started walking quickly in the opposite direction. "I should go."

The officer turned to look, and Soleta settled the vague impression of a looming, dangerous presence on the edge of his consciousness, letting the man's own imagination fill in the details. He caught up to her quickly and laid a protective hand on her shoulder. "Does he know where you live?" he asked in a firm, paternal voice. When she gave a tense, anxious nod, he continued, "Is there anywhere else you can go? Somewhere safe?"

"I... I think so," she whispered. "A friend of mine lives just a few blocks from here."

"Alright. Good. Here's what we're going to do," he said. "We'll head for your friend's place, but we'll walk an extra couple of blocks. If he's still following us, we keep going till we lose him. If he's not, we backtrack and I'll make sure you get in safely. Once you're inside, you don't go out again for anything until morning, and even then you don't go anywhere alone. Understand?"

"I understand," Soleta replied. She gazed up at the officer with a look of grateful adoration as she tucked herself under his arm. "Thank you so much. I don't know what I'd do if you hadn't been here."

As the pair made their way toward the hotel where Q and Soleta were staying, Soleta continued to nudge gently at the image she had planted in the Security officer's mind, gradually moving the shadowy pursuer further and further away before letting it vanish altogether as they passed the hotel. At the same time, she pulled the memory of the man's daughter closer to the front of his mind, drawing lines of association between herself and the other girl. As planned, the officer escorted her all the way up to Q's room.

"I hope you have everything ready," Soleta called as she let herself into the room. "I've brought a guest."

"Everything is ready," Q nodded. "I trust our guest is... comfortable?"

"Just a moment." The officer gave Soleta a puzzled look as she guided him to a nearby armchair. Before he could give voice to his confusion, she plunged into his mind, surprised for a moment at how little resistance he was able to rally against her. If this were Korriban, or even Dromund Kaas... With a shake of her head, Soleta pushed the thought aside, concentrating on the task at hand. She brought forward remembered moments of perfect trust — his marriage, the birth of his child, countless times standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his brothers in arms — and tore the emotions from their remembered context, refocusing his trust and solidarity on herself and Q. She wrapped his consciousness in the image of a whirlwind — picking him up, tossing him about, trapping him in its eye. The man swayed a bit in his chair, his body twitching involuntarily in the imagined storm, but made no attempt to stand up.

"There we are," Soleta proclaimed, smiling. "Alert but disoriented, largely immobile. Do you mind if I watch you work?"

"Why, not at all," Quintus smirked as he unhinged the locks on a chrome briefcase and set it on the table next to him. His sharp gaze shifted to the man before him. "I trust today has been somewhat of an odd day by the looks of it?"

"Review board," the man muttered. "Prisoner escape last night, on Merritt and Weil's watch." He stared off into the distance past Quintus, his gaze vague and unfocused.

"Surely there's more? You are speaking as if you don't like us." Quintus frowned as he slightly cracked his briefcase open and fumbled with a series of objects.

"It's alright," Soleta said soothingly, resting a gentle hand on the officer's shoulder. "You've had a rough day, I understand."

Some of the tension seemed to trickle out of the officer as he breathed out a sigh. "They're gonna put her on paid suspension. Merritt, I mean, 'cause she was the one in the cell when crazy drunk girl made a break for it. Brass has a bug up their butts about everything now, ever since that box showed up. Even sent a special inspector yesterday."

"Special inspector for a mere box, you say?" Quintus raised an eyebrow. "Surely this box has high value if all this is going on?"

"I guess so... probably," the officer replied. "I don't know, I haven't seen the thing up close."

Quintus nodded while curling one side of his lips in a frown. "And why not? You are among the elite of the Republic Security Forces."

The officer gave a close attempt at a shrug. "Even I've got superiors. Orders were, once the thing was locked down it was to be left alone till further notice. No physical examination, passive scans only." He gave a derisive snort. "Worse than Mom was with the cookie jar."

"Must be a tough cookie jar, even for you to crack open," Quintus sighed. "What happens if one of you messes with it?"

"Best case, a pro forma review with a recommendation for suspension. When that's over, supervised night watch for the rest of your career. Worst case..." He shuddered. "I don't know. I don't want to know."

"So, it is that well-guarded," Q mused.

"The outside of the box..." Soleta leaned forward, her expression intensely eager. "What does that look like?"

"Some kind of metal. Brass, maybe." The officer frowned, his face creased in concentration. "It's not solid, there's designs cut into the sides. Symbols, never seen anything like them, don't know what they mean. Something like colored glass behind the metal."

As the object's image formed in the officer's memory, Soleta let out a squeal of giddy delight, lacing her fingers together to keep from clapping. "A holocron! Q, they've gotten their hands on a holocron! This is wonderful!"

No wonder the Sith are so intrigued, Q thought as he turned his gaze on Soleta. "Indeed. Holocrons are intriguing treasures." He then returned to staring down the officer. "Yet why go through all this trouble for a mere holocron?"

"I don't know," he replied, frustration in his voice.

"This doesn't make any sense," Soleta murmured, obviously confused. At Q's questioning glare, she continued, "He's thinking about... mushrooms? He thinks he's been made into one, and he doesn't like it."

Q's eyebrow raised, then his lips curled into somewhat of a smirk as he faced the officer. "Of course, they wouldn't tell a mushroom why it is so important. Just hand them instructions and credentials. Pity."

"So," Soleta asked, "do we need this one for anything more?"

Quintus nodded. "Did you find any passkeys on him?"

Soleta rolled her eyes. "Yes, because patting down a security officer on a public street is not at all suspicious." She stood and held out a hand to the officer, her voice softening into the gentle tones she had used for him earlier. "Stand up for me, there's a dear. This won't take long." As she eased back some of the pressure against his mind, the man rose shakily to his feet and then stood still. Though Soleta was obviously unpracticed in this kind of procedure, her search was quite thorough. Within minutes, she had found a small metal case tucked into a hidden pocket between layers of the officer's uniform.

Quintus' eyes rolled at his own stupidity as he pulled a silvery needle-esque pick from a hidden pocket in his labcoat and examined the metal case. The locking mechanism was simple enough: a five-pin chamber that did nothing more than hold the case closed. Inside the case was a collection of four keycards, each a different color. While the white, green, and red cards all showed varying signs of use — the white one in particular bore numerous shallow scratches from being pushed carelessly in and out of card readers — the black one still looked as new as the day it had been pressed, its surfaces clean and its corners sharp. The scientist took the four cards and inserted them one by one into a small terminal embedded in his briefcase. As he was finished, he returned the cards and slipped out two silver cards, one for himself, and one for Soleta. "That should suffice."

Soleta returned the officer's keys to their hidden pocket, then tucked the silver card carefully into her bag. "We have everything we need, then?" she asked Q, a grin stretching slowly across her face.

Q returned her grin with a smile as he stealthily injected a serum into the officer. "We do."

"Alright, then, I'll get things sorted with our new friend here." Soleta nodded as she guided the officer gently back down into the chair. "You're welcome to watch, if you'd like, but I can't imagine it will be terribly exciting from out here."

"Nothing better to do," Quintus shrugged as he returned to his seat.

Soleta reached out and rested a hand on the officer's forehead, her eyes narrowing in focus as she began sifting through his mind. Devotion to his duties and to the Republic ran strong and close to the surface, already starting to erode at the trust she had grafted into him; in the back of his mind, regret and shame were starting to grow. She pulled at the disappointment he felt for the punishment leveled as his colleague, blending it with the frustration of knowing there were secrets withheld from him, urging it to grow and develop into a seething mass of righteous indignation that occupied nearly the whole of his mind.

"You had to work late tonight, because of the review hearing," she said aloud, narrating the false memories as she slid them into his consciousness. "You were angry, so you went to the cantina to have a few drinks, try to cool off. But the more you thought about it, the angrier you became. It was wrong, all of it. Wrong and unfair but there's nothing you could do because they just don't trust you anymore." The man tensed, his face contorting into a harsh scowl. "You took a walk to give yourself time to think, and that's when you came up with the plan. You're going to show them. Show them all just how wrong they were to ignore you, to punish your people." The plastic of the chair arms groaned faintly under his grasp, as his fingers clenched with white-knuckle fierceness. Soleta smiled as she restored his ability to move freely. "You know what you need to do."

The man stood up suddenly, knocking the chair mindlessly aside. With a low, wordless snarl, he drew his sidearm and stormed from the room.

"As much disdain as I have for the Sith, I still find that impressive," Quintus commented nonchalantly.

"Oh, it's nothing," Soleta replied. "We all just make the best we can of the talents we have."

"I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them."

meanken's Avatar

10.28.2012 , 06:40 PM | #25

Mean and Zero walked out of the hotel room they had rented out for the duration of the mission.

“So, how long do you expect me to keep up this stakeout? Someone is going to wonder who the heck the chiss is hanging around eventually.” Mean said

“Yes, I have taken that into account. They can’t arrest you for sitting outside their base.” Zero pointed out

Meanken glared at Zero “You know what I mean.”

Zero waved her hand dismissively “Yes, yes, I know. Today, we are going to have a romantic breakfast outside the base. These is a restaurant within viewing distance of the base, we will eat there.”

“and if no one shows up? How long are we going to wait?”

“As long as it takes. Darth Jadus is not going to take any excuse for failure. Now, get ready, we are at the restaurant.”

The two walked in, Zero putting her arm around Mean “Hi” she said “My husband and I want a table for 2, please.”

“Special occasion?” the waiter asked

“It is our 5 year anniversary” she kissed him on the cheek

“Congratulations. Indoor table or outdoor?”

“Outdoor, please.” The waiter lead the two to the table “Drinks?” he asked

“Water, please” Zero said

“Nothing for me” Meanken said

“Wonderful, it will be here shortly.” He walked away, and the two began looking over at the building.

“Anything different?” Zero asked

“No, nothing at all” Mean replyed

“Your drinks” the waiter came and placed the drink on the table

“Thank you, we need a few minutes to choose an order” the waited nodded and walked away, leaving the two alone
“You know, we kind of stand out just looking at the building.” Zero said

“Well, what are you going to do? We stand out, no helping it”

“Maybe…..but we may stand out less if we look natural and just sitting here doing nothing is not natural. So, play along with me, ok?”

“What are you…” mean was stopped as zero pulled him to her, and started kissing him. Mean was shocked by this, until he figured that this probably meant nothing to her, and was just part of the job. The two continued, keeping an eye on the building, watching and waiting

LogicLoup's Avatar

11.02.2012 , 05:47 PM | #26

Unsurprisingly, the data Serlynne gathered have led her into one of Coruscant's many spaceports. It was a large, busy place, with a lot of ships constantly arriving or leaving by their own schedule. Hiding a ship here was easy, especially if you didn’t know what vessel you were looking for in the first place.

Fortunately for Serlynne, like any other important public place, the spaceport had its own security and surveillance system which wasn't all that hard to slice into. Once inside, all she had to do was to check the list of captains and passengers who had arrived on the planet in the last few days for anyone matching in appearance with the woman that Serlynne have seen on the footage from Coruscant Security Headquarters. It was only a matter of time before the assassin found out that her name was Nerama Sundrift and she had arrived here on the ship known as Fortune's Folly.

There. Got them. Now it's time for a closer look.

And here was another problem: as eager as she was to watch Nerama stealing the artifact, Serlynne didn't want to interact with the woman or to reveal her own presence, which meant getting closer could be risky. The whole affair was supposed to be a source of Serlynne's personal entertainment – like a holovideo, only real. Getting actually involved in any way with what was going to happen wasn't part of the plan, but the only alternative was returning to the diner and resuming the watch.

Not gonna happen.

So Serlynne found a quiet place inside one of the spaceport's warehouses, where she now was sitting on a small metal container and looking in her datapad, which showed her target's ship. After a few hours of a familiar boredom (but this time without caf) Serlynne's patience was finally rewarded by a sight of Nerama leaving the vessel. All the assassin had to do was to follow her – quickly and quietly.

And if she spots me… well, I still have an ID of the security inspector, don't I?

Somehow that thought didn't calm Serlynne at all, making her even more alert instead. But it was okay – after all, adrenaline was a large part of why she liked her job so much.

Nerama paused at the bottom of the gangway, waving back to someone still on her ship before setting out. She whistled a bright, cheery melody as she strolled through the hangar, flipping a stylus end over end before jamming it through a knot of her hair, pinning it up into a messy bun. She walked at a relaxed, leisurely pace, and didn't spare more than a passing glance to her surroundings. To all outward appearance, she hadn't a care in the world.

Serlynne followed from a discreet distance as Nerama wandered through the port district with a wave and a friendly greeting for nearly every dockhand and corner vendor she met. Nerama stopped for a while at a shabby little cart with a brightly-colored but much-mended umbrella and bought a pastry and a cup of caf – Serlynne had edged close enough to see her slip an extra credstick into the till as the Nautolan cook counted out her change. The pair chatted amiably as Nerama ate, her gaze wandering aimlessly as they discussed friendly trivialities.

In the middle of a teasingly heated debate about the Rotworms' chances in the playoffs, Nerama fell suddenly silent, frowning as she looked toward Serlynne's hiding place. After a moment, she shrugged and, after a muttered apology to the Nautolan, took her leave. When Nerama set off again, she started whistling her happily off-key tune once again, but the tempo picked up to match her quicker, more purposeful stride.

Serlynne almost instantly noticed the abrupt change in her target's behavior and shrugged.

Well, here goes my stealth approach. Got to admit, sister, you are good. The question is, what are you going to do now? Fight? Run? Talk? Lead me to some kind of ambush?

Judging by Nerama's purposeful pace, it was anything but running away. Serlynne briefly considered leaving the woman alone and returning to her ship instead, but decided against it.

Now, when she knows that I am after her, Nerama will expect me to appear again at any time, making it much harder to follow her unnoticed. So I may just as well step into the light… in a way.

According to the lessons of the Hutts, when the hunter was spotted by his future victim, he had either abort mission and change his cover (in especially hard cases, leave the mission altogether) or spring into action. For Serlynne, the former was not an option while the latter usually meant either killing her target or making it an asset; the choice usually depended on her contract and the circumstances of the case. Some people, given enough motivation, were eager to provide access to whatever person or place the assassin needed. Others were either too stubborn, devoted, stupid, or their death was useful by itself.

But this time, everything was different. Nerama was neither the subject of a contract nor a stepping stone to it. Not a person to kill or to break, but in fact quite the contrary. For Serlynne, it was indeed new and interesting experience.

Well, sister, lets see what you have in mind.

Serlynne continued to follow Nerama, but now the assassin was only pretending that she was hiding. Nerama led her through back streets and narrow alleys on a path that seemed to be chasing its own tail. At the end of a squalid, trash-choked alley, Nerama hopped up to grab hold of the bottom rung of a rusty fire escape ladder. She hung there for a moment, kicking her heels to build momentum, and then swung herself neatly through a shattered window into an abandoned warehouse.

Inside, the wide-open dusty space was lit only by the thin streams of sunlight trickling through grimy windows. Nerama stood facing away from the window she had come in, her hands hanging visible and empty at her sides. Her whistling shifted from the bouncing, improvised melody to a military call-to-arms – a wordless dare.

Serlynne watched Nerama's jump from the distance. When the woman disappeared inside the building the assassin’s first impulse was to jump after her in the same window, but Serlynne suppressed it despite what all her instincts were telling her.

No need to rush inside. If she really wanted to get away, Nerama would have tried it already. No, she’s just teasing me, wants to see how I will react. Well, she will be disappointed.

Serlynne quickly moved to the back of the warehouse. There was a rusty door, which was locked, but the locking device was old and broken. One silenced shot from Serlynne's blaster was enough to disable it completely. Only then the assassin dived inside, making a somersault very close to the floor in process, but all precautions were in vain – no one tried to attack her. Serlynne shrugged and returned her weapon to the holster – she had no intention of using it against Nerama unless there would be no other choice.

Moving slowly and soundlessly, Serlynne went ahead to the room where her quarry must have waited.

"Hey there," Nerama said, turning to face Serlynne as she approached. "It's good to finally meet you in person." Nerama flashed a bright, guileless smile as she pushed her sleeves up to her elbows, revealing nothing but bare stretches of stick-thin forearm. Then, almost as an afterthought, she reached up slowly and pulled the stylus out of her hair, dropping it to the floor and kicking it toward Serlynne.

"Likewise," replied Serlynne, ignoring the stylus and slowly reaching for her own trophy knife instead. "By the way, nice stunt you pulled with that guard. He must be really sorry he met you."

"Oh... that." Nerama glared down at her toes as she raked her fingers through her hair, dislodging the loose knot that had begun to fall uncoiled when she removed the stylus from it. "Not really proud things ended up that way; they both seemed like decent people." She looked back up at Serlynne, smiling again. "But you! Looping the feed on that last camera was just brilliant! I almost didn’t catch it on the playback."

"Thanks." Serlynne returned the smile while crossing hands on her chest so her fingers slightly touched the handle of her knife. "I had really good teachers... just like the guy who covered your escape. Let me guess, it was someone from the Fortune's Folly or whatever that ship is really called, right?"

Nerama nodded. "Got it in one. Just 'tween you, me, and the four walls, Boss is pretty damn good at fiddly techy stuff like that." Her smile faded into a look of disappointment as she noticed Serlynne's fingers stretching toward the knife. "Is that how this is gonna go down? I was hoping we'd be able to talk this through."

"As was I," answered Serlynne with a calm expression on her face. "Call this a force of habit. I am not used to talking with dangerous strangers without having my weapons nearby. Besides, nothing stopping you from attacking me in any moment."

Serlynne reluctantly put her hands down, leaving the knife where it was.

So be it. My body itself can be a weapon if needed.

"I hope that's better. So you and your boss are really going to steal the item?"

Nerama hooked her thumbs through her beltloops, rocking gently back and forth from her heels to her toes. "Funny thing about that. Before we found out about you, I'd've said sure, we grab the whatever and run with it. But now...?" She shrugged. "You were right there, could have taken the prize before anyone else had a shot on it, but you walked out of that vault empty-handed. Before we make any kind of call on this, I think we need to know why you left that thing where it was."

Serlynne only shrugged. "If you think I know something about the artifact that you don’t, then you are mistaken. Just like you and your boss, I received an anonymous offer. Stealing things isn’t my style, nor do I like taking suspicious jobs, no matter how well they pay. However, I must admit I was somewhat intrigued by this one, so I went to check out the object of the offer. Unfortunately it did nothing to satisfy my interest, so I decided to stick around to see if anyone else would come for it and what would happen to them when they took it. That's when I saw you, Nerama. You know the rest."

It was not the whole truth, naturally, but Serlynne had no intention of confessing that in the end she intended to pick up the holocron from the corpse of its latest dead owner. Sure, the original plan to sit and watch the unfolding drama was blown, but the assassin was already thinking about a new one: she could take part in the fray as an ally for some of the thieves and make sure they would win… only to betray them by stabbing in the back in the last possible moment.

As they say, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

But since Serlynne had no friends to begin with, she could forget about the former part and concentrate on the latter.

"Besides," added the assassin, "my cover within Coruscant Security only goes so far. Taking the artifact out of the building without unnecessary questions being asked to some very important and powerful people would be almost impossible. It’s not worth it."

"Like you said," Nerama replied, grinning, "it's almost impossible… that just means it'll be kinda hard, which means it'll be fun. As for being worth it, I think we can come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. Pick a time, pick a place, and boss and I'll be there to talk things out."

"I like the way you think," admitted Serlynne, and it was indeed so. "As for time and place, how about your ship, tomorrow, at 12 o'clock in the afternoon? I would have gone there right now but all this spying stuff has exhausted me. It's night already and I really need some sleep."

That and to think what and how much to tell you and your mysterious boss tomorrow.

Nerama nodded, her grin wide and bright. "Tomorrow at noon. It's a date. Oh, and thanks for opening the back door for me. Getting up to the window from inside is a pain." She whistled cheerily as she sauntered out of the warehouse.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them."

LogicLoup's Avatar

11.08.2012 , 07:34 PM | #27
Centurial Hawk

"Heeeeeeeey Boss!" Maneera called as she walked into the common, a bottle in each hand. "Got an unbirthday gift for you!"

A single blue light on TR-0L's head flickered to life. "TR = need recharge // Organic = loud," the droid hooted indignantly as it withdrew its power cable from a wall socket and trundled off toward the engine room. "Air recycler = quieter."

"Good riddance, you piece of scrap metal," Nayar growled after TR, "and I suppose 'Unbirthday' is a trademarked 'Man'-erism now?"

"That was awful." Maneera scowled and tucked the bottles close against her chest. "I don't think I'm going to give you these, now."

"After all I've done for you? For shame, Mans," Nayar shook his head in mock disappointment.

"From under the counter at the Mynock," Mans replied, her tone just slightly frosty as she set the bottles down on the table before flopping down onto the couch. "Found the woman from the security video, by the way. She'll be stopping by at 1200."

Nayar stopped and blinked at those words. "I'm sorry, fly that by me again?"

"You remember, the one we both decided couldn't possibly be with Republic Security? I ran into her while I was out, we talked, and she'll be coming here in a few hours." Maneera arched an eyebrow. "That's not going to be a problem, is it?"

"Uh, yeah, there might be! We don't have any info on this broad, Mans. You didn't even bother to ask my opinion."

"Look, she wasn't gonna talk without a show of good faith, so I let her pick the place for a meet. She already knows where we're parked, and all she knows about us is my fake record, so it's not like I spilled anything crucial." Maneera looked up, her tone turned pleading. "Come on, Boss. This is our best shot to find out about the competition and maybe get one of them on side."

"And how many times has that worked for us, Mans?" Nayar responded incredulously. "I don't like this one bit, and no amount of booze, women, men, or sweets will change my mind- Oh, stop doing those crocodile tears, they don't work on me!"

Maneera stood up suddenly, mouth open to start a reply, then held in a breath instead. "Okay, look," she finally said. "There's only one of her, compared to two and a droid of us. She's meeting us on our home ground, and we still have more than enough time to prepare. Yeah, okay, it's a risk, and maybe I shouldn't have signed us on for it without running it past you first, but this is pretty far from the dumbest risk we've ever taken."

Nayar stared at her for a minute, then sighed heavily. "Fine. But if she makes so much as a glance at my weapon collection, I will boot her @ss off this ship before you can say 'Kessel Run in 12 parsecs,' got it?"

"Understood, Boss."


It was exactly 1155, and Serlynne was standing just outside the Fortune's Folly. She was in her usual black costume with two twin blasters resting in the firearms on her hips. Nerama could talk about friendly meeting all she liked but as far as Serlynne was concerned, she was about to venture into unknown, hostile territory, so the only thing assassin left at her ship was the sniper rifle, and only because it was pretty useless for shooting at short range in closed space.

Naturally, Serlynne did a background check on her new acquaintance, but hadn't found anything major, just loitering and public nuisance, a few minor assault charges, in and out of drunk tanks throughout Republic space. Which left the assassin with a distinct feeling that Nerama's criminal record was as real as her own cover in Coruscant Security, but Serlynne simply had no time to reach her contracts for any actual info. There was also the matter of Nerama's yet-to-be-named boss, but that would have to wait until after the meeting would be over.

Speaking of which, are they going to invite me in already or what?

Suddenly tired of just standing there and doing nothing, Serlynne moved closer to one of the ship's outer cameras and gave it a look the assassin usually used on people she had to drag intel from.

If that doesn't get their attention, I swear I'll just slice the door to their cargo hold and screw the rest-

"Lady, it's called knocking. I assume someone as skilled as you claim to be understands the concept?" a rough, masculine voice answered through her portable radio.

"Damn it, Boss, be nice!" chimed a second voice — Nerama's. "Sorry about that, Miss Lyris. We weren't really expecting you to be early."

Serlynne suppressed a brief urge to tell the owner of the voice just where he should shove his opinion regarding her skills. Instead she offered the ship’s camera a sarcastic smile and said evenly on the radio: "If I wanted to show my skills, right now I would be greeting you while standing right behind your back. But I assumed you would be a gentleman and open the door for the lady without me asking for it. Alas, I have overestimated you."

"Okay, let's hold that thought for a second. You arrived to the meeting early, waited near the only place of the ship without a camera, and made no attempt to even notify either of us you were here, and it's my fault for not opening the door for you? Riiiiiiiight," the male voiced dripped with sarcasm. "Add to that the nice idle threat you just made, and not only have you just managed hurt my manly feelings, but you've also managed not to endear yourself to the owner of the property you're about to set foot in. You graduated top of the class, didn't ya, thief?"

Around the side of the ship, a gangway deployed and a door hissed open. A moment later, Nerama was at the bottom of the ramp, waving. "Over here! Sorry again about Boss, he's always a little —" She made a goofy face and flailed her hands around her head. "— around strangers."

"Your manly feelings are your own problem, buddy," replied Serlynne, both unwilling to let it go and not wishing to provoke the man any futher. "And as far as I am concerned, I was the only one in my school who passed the final exam." Which was true... in a way. No one else dared to leave the Hutts by their own will.

Serlynne reached the ramp and extended her hand to greet Nerama. "Nice to see you again. Glad you are keeping him in check."

"I do what I can," Nerama laughed as she reached out to shake Serlynne's hand. She turned, starting back up the ramp. "Come on in and we can start getting things hammered out."

Which reminds me of one little mystery I left unsolved.

"By the way," said Serlynne. "With all this running about, I almost forgot to ask the most trivial thing about your boss. What is his name?"

"Oh, did I forget to make introductions for him? Sorry about that," Nerama replied with an anxious chuckle. "Alecs Beval." She led Serlynne into the common where a man — presumably her boss — stood glowering. "Miss Lyris, meet Alecs Beval. Boss, this is Aziure Lyris. Be nice."

"Alecs" glowered for a few seconds more before sighing, putting his hand out to shake hers. "A pleasure, all that nice meeting stuff, blah, blah, blah."

Serlynne shook his hand. "So you are the mastermind behind that little invasion into the mainframe. Tracking you down was a pain in the ***, but the results were worth the efforts."

"A simple anti-trace program I hacked together from scratch. Not particularly advanced, but it does the job for a fraction of the cost," Alecs shrugged. "I'm more interested in how I missed your signature when I accessed security. Perhaps I was focused too much on deleting all footage of Nerama. In any case, not bad."

"I have my ways to stay hidden," simply said Serlynne. "Now, if we've done with niceties, let's cut right to the chase. You want to steal the holocron and get the money, it's fine by me. In fact I am ready to assist you whatever way you'll choose. What I want, is to know who and why wants this artifact so badly. Call it a whim, if you wish, but I really would like to know that more then I am interested in the reward itself. So, what will you say?"

"Wait, hang on," Nerama blurted out. "The thing's a holocron? You're absolutely sure about that?"

"What, you didn't know?" Serlynne said with a mix of disappointment and sincere surprise in her voice. "I just assumed you have seen it on the footage. Yes, it is a holocron with a few strange markings on its sides. I haven't risked opening it though, so don't ask me what's on it."

She didn't bother mentioning a transmitter now hidden there - holding this little secret could still prove to be useful should Serlynne fail to ally herself with Alecs and Nerama.

Nerama's expression shifted sharply; calm, easy cheer was replaced by angry focus with no visible transition between. "Boss, sidebar," she said as she grabbed Alecs by the elbow and dragged him aside. "This changes everything."

"How so?" Alecs questioned.

"This is Robe sh*t," she snarled. "Black robes or brown, I can't tell and don't really care, but I'm not letting them play me— us for chumps. We can't just give this thing to Master Three Hundred Large."

"Sure we can, just like every other job before. Let them have it," he shrugged. "Creds are creds."

"For the non-existent record," Nerama grumbled, "I think this is a rotten idea." She turned and stalked back toward Serlynne.

The assassin waited patiently while Nerama and Alecs had their private conversation. Nerama's strange reaction to her words left Serlynne somewhat puzzled.

Just how does it change anything? I sure hope they do not have some stupid moral reasons for not stealing any important knowledge. And given the price, this one has to be very important indeed. But for whom?

"Okay. So we're in it for the creds, while you," said Nerama, pointing to Serlynne, "want to find out who's holding the purse strings — which, I've gotta say, is a much more interesting question now than it was a few minutes ago. I see no compelling reason for us not to pool our efforts."

"Neither do I," smiled Serlynne "So, Alecs? What's your verdict?"

"My verdict? 'Why are we standing here when there's creds to be had?' is my verdict."

"I may be on the side of the angels, but don't think for one second that I am one of them."

drfumblez's Avatar

11.10.2012 , 12:55 PM | #28
An Unknown Number of Years Ago. . .

"Master, just hear me out. The Jedi could do so much more if we spent less time meditating, and more time healing, or beating the Sith," Arthen Cole explained. "We are wasting far too much time trying to find 'balance'."

"Patience is a virtue, Arthen," a male Miraluka replied, "you would do well to remember. If we rush into senseless slaughter, we would be no better than the Sith."

"'Senseless' implies there is no point to fighting, when defeating the Sith has a point all by itself! The Sith seek only to dominate, to destroy. There's no reason not to wipe them out, Master," Arthen vigorously pressed on.

"But if we merely destroy first and ask questions later, what would separate us from them, padawan," the Miraluka shot back. "Why destroy all of them when we have the opportunity to redeem them and bring them to our side? How do we do that? We prove that our values are better than theirs."

"The Sith have proven countless times they care naught for our values! Our codes are irreconcilable, and Sith do not care for redemption," Arthen argued.

"Not all Sith are your everyday typical Sith," the elder Jedi retorted. "It is never fair to pass such judgment to each and every Sith, and even so, we must not falter and stoop down to their level. Doing so would defile every principle of our code more so than pacifism."

"So, we continue to let them murder and torture, just because a few aren't rotten apples? That's madness, Master," Arthen angrily blurted out. "I've been a part of them, and I promise you, there are very, very few worth saving, if at all. If the defilement of a restrictive, out-dated, ineffective code and a few good apples is the price for the removal of the Sith, that is a low price, Master."

"You are avoiding my question, Arthen," the Miraluka growled. "Say you are on the Jedi Council and directed the war effort of our order, we fight the war your way, and indiscriminately kill every Sith and Imperial we find; men, women, and children. That is exactly how the Sith fight this war, young Padawan. Now, I will ask again, what makes your approach more virtuous than theirs?"

"You assume that I want the Imperials dead as well? I care naught for their destruction, only the Sith. In answer to your hypothetical question, Master, our approach is different for this reason: We aren't doing for ourselves. We are fighting for the Republic, for civilization, for justice. The Sith fight only for themselves and their power," Arthen pushed.

"Do not get me wrong, my apprentice, I wish to bring the Sith to justice as well." The Miraluka sighed, "but we must be reasonable. Anger and hatred will only expedite your path to the Dark Side. Genocide is what they seek. We will not sink to the levels of the Sith to bring them to justice when there are more honorable ways to emerge victorious."

"Master Xon, honor is a word that doesn't exist for the Sith. They cannot grasp its meaning," the Mirialan heatedly exchanged. "but it appears that my words fall on unwilling ears. The Council will not listen to I, my colleagues misunderstand me, and my own master disregards my intentions. Good day, Master." Arthen turned, his footsteps quickly carrying him from his master's room.

"Good day, my apprentice. The Force will be with you, always," Xon answered with a hint of disappointment in his voice.

Coruscant, Present Day

Although it has been some time since Arthen Cole has left the Jedi, Jedi Master Xon Rainor has vivid memories of his padawan's final days in the Jedi Order. While he does not regret defending the order's code and convictions, Xon has viewed that day as one of the worst in his life, as Arthen was more than a mere padawan to him. Arthen...why didn't you listen? I believed in you, though you had all the wrong convictions. How things would have been different..., Xon lamented. The Miraluka, now no younger than fifty, has not taken a padawan for quite some time after the incident with Arthen. Xon sighed as he proceeded into a high-security blast door, flanked by two Coruscant Security operatives. The three halted as they entered a checkpoint.

"I need your name, sir," the Security Officer said sleepily, purple circles under his eyes.

"Jedi Master Xon Rainor," the Miraluka nodded as he handed the guard his credentials. "I am here by the will of the Jedi Council to examine the plunder, as they put it."

"Oh, you're that Jedi they sent to look at the dang thing. Officer Weil, Master Jedi," the security guard offered his hand. "Sorry for the sloppy introduction. Things have gone absolutely insane around here since that artifact showed up. Doesn't help that my bosses won't tell us anything about it. They seem almost wary of it, if not downright terrified."

Xon shook Weil's hand, "So it seems. Coruscant Security does indeed live up to its reputation. Even with what little information we have, the Jedi has been excited about this Artifact. What else can you tell me about this artifact?"

"Someone wants it bad enough to pay 300k creds for it? Other than that, it's got some weird symbols on it, and it's a box," Weil answered. "Listen, I haven't been cleared enough to know what it is, let alone what it does. My orders are just to get you to that stupid thing so you can examine it."

Perhaps it is a holocron? Certainly would peak the Council's interest. Xon pondered. "Very well. Unless one of your supervisors wants to talk to me, lead the way."

Weil quickly led him to the where the safe that held the holocron was, and deactivated the security guarding it so that Xon could move to take a closer look. The Jedi Master promptly took out the holocron; an ornate silvery device in a cubical shape; nearly larger than the Jedi Master's right hand. Xon paid close attention to the runes etched onto the holocron, and copied them down onto a sleek piece of Flimsiplast, so he can study them in the Jedi Archives at a later time. Once finished, he examined the holocron for any unlocking mechanisms. Finding none, he set the holocron on a flat surface. Xon took in Force energy with his right hand and waved his hand in a prying motion. To his surprise, the holocron did not budge. The decorated Jedi tried pushing and throwing the holocron with the Force, but still nothing would activate it.

"This is no ordinary holocron," the Jedi gasped profoundly. "Not many are like it at all!"

"Even the Jedi doesn't know anything about it? Ok, this thing officially creeps me out," Weil sputtered. "I'm going to lock this thing up, and then I'm going to file for a transfer to another part of the city. This is not worth the pay."

Xon, still in some shock, passed the holocron back to Weil. "I presume I cannot capture the holocron in a holophoto? The Council will certainly want to at least see what it looks like."

"Sorry, Master Jedi. No can do."

"Not a problem, then. I will report my findings to the Council." The Jedi Master nodded as he pocketed the Flimsiplast with the holocron's runes. "I hope everything works out for you in the long run," the Jedi said with an empathetic tone as he started out the room.

"Yeah, I kinda hope to live through all this," Weil muttered, "Security will escort you out, Master Jedi."

Xon merely waved a hand in acknowledgement as he left the compound under the watchful eye of two other security officers.

drfumblez's Avatar

11.19.2012 , 10:47 PM | #29
Deep in the Forgotten Recesses of Nar Shaddaa

"Hmm. . . If I put the Magnesium Sulfate with the. . . No, no, no, would cause liver failure with Twi'leks. Perhaps Lithium Dioxide? Would counter the boils with Zabrak. . ." A wiry, muscled Mirialan removed his gloves with a sigh, placing down a test-tube into it's holder. He slipped the goggles from his face, and turned to face the door, where a human male had just walked into the tiny laboratory. "Ah, Cadmus, good. Tell, did the mixture fuse correctly? Was certain that too much Xenon was added, but-"

"Sir, they're onto us."

Arthen blinked at having his thoughts interrupted. "Who? Hutts? Sith? JEDI?!" The last word slipped out with a hint of fear.

"Perhaps my statement was a bit alarmist, sir. They don't know exactly who we are, but SIS and Imperial Intel have dedicated agents to finding out who's willing to pay the money for the Holocron," Cadmus soothed.

"Ah, whew. Thought for a moment. . . Nevermind, who's onto us?"

"Unknown, sir."

"Then find out. Now, need that mixture-" Arthen turned back to the table.

"But sir, you spend all your time in here, experimenting with chemicals-" Cadmus began.

"-so that the experiment continues-"

"-when if you would just take command-" Cadmus' face began to grow red with anger.


"WE'D HAVE THE DAMN HOLOCRON BY NOW!" Cadmus shouted. The force of the shout rattled the small room, causing the test-tube from earlier to sake from it's holder, crashing to the ground. Cadmus blanched white. "S-sir, pleas-se, sir, I d-d-didn'-t-t-"

Arthen turned, glancing at the broken contents of the tube. "Spent last 7 days brewing that. Rare concoction, one slip, ruins formula." He gave a sniff of disdain. "Will have to start anew. Irritating. Mr. Cadmus?"

"Y-yes sir?"

"Dispose of mess. When done, sample tonic on burner to the left. Simple throat medicine for cough you mentioned fortnight ago," Arthen dismissed, turning to the left wall to hang the white lab coat. Cadmus swept up the broken vial and it's contents in record time. He then moved quickly, grabbing the vial and making his way out of the door before Arthen could change his mind.

Five minutes later, Arthen gave one last look towards his makeshift lab, and looked confused. "Was Kinrath venom on left side? Or right? Ah well. Will see if Cadmus shows up tomorrow." Arthen whistled a non-chalent tune as he made his way towards his chambers.

drfumblez's Avatar

11.26.2012 , 02:42 PM | #30
Nar Shaddaa

The ramp of the stolen Fury-Class Interceptor lowered, falling the last few feet and slamming into the hard ground. The ship had clearly been through a lot recently, as blaster damage was apparent across the bow of the ship. Dredd stepped down the right side of the ramp, suddenly jumping off the side about halfway down, turning his attention immediately to the Hydraulics that allowed the ramp to raise and lower.

Kriff it. Lose my last ship, and get stuck with this piece of junk. He gave the ramp a swift kick and shook his head in disgust.

"Well...suppose I'd better let Arthen know I'm back." The tall warrior thought aloud as he loosened the straps on his armor, paying no attention to the surrounding area.

"Already here, been wondering when you'd get back," Arthen spoke aloud, coming from the door. "How went mission?"

"Cole, you're speaking fast again," Dredd sighed, turning towards him.

Arthen paused, shook his head, and looked back at Dredd. "I apologize. My mind works faster when I ignore pronouns and 'fluff' words. It's quite useful during experiments."

Dredd smiled slightly at that, his scientist friend definitely hadn't changed a bit since their last meeting.

"I bet it is." Dredd responded as the smile slid from his face, the look replacing it was all business. "Things didn't go exactly as expected, and Senator Y'Zen now lies dead."

Arthen arched an eyebrow. "I believe I ordered the assassin to fail. What exactly happened?"

"I killed Y'Zen." He replied instantly, a slight trace of contempt in his words.

"You killed the Senator. Not the assassin?"

"Stop Assassin from killing the Senator. Exact words." Dredd retorted without a flinch. "I did that."

"So, you did the killer's job for him?"

"Essentially." He admitted in an unapologetic tone. "She was playing us, and was working with her own interests in mind, and would have turned on us in a second. I removed the threat."

"Do you have proof of this? Did you at least frame the assassin?" Arthen quietly asked.

"Y'zen met with a Sith the night before her death. She turned on the Republic, and she would have turned on us. Who knows what she said to that Sith, about me, or about you." He turned directly towards the Scientist. "I made a judgement call, Y'zen is dead, the result is permanent." Dredd continued, still no apology in his voice. "After her death I stole the Sith's ship, and it's sitting right behind you."

"The Assassin?" Arthen asked again, unblinking.

Dredd sighed, this part of the mission had been a terrible failure.

"There was no time to frame him," Dredd sighed, disappointment obvious on his face. "Or end him. He'll collect the blood money, and won't be an issue. Let's hope that is enough to get any interested parties off of my tail, and onto his."

"Unacceptable." Arthen moved away from Dredd, walking back towards the entrance, pausing halfway. "The Assassin was not to succeed in his mission, and the Senator was to live. Both objectives were failed, one quite spectacularly," he continued. "However, in light of the Senator's newfound loyalties, I've decided to only dock half of your pay. I expected better of you, Dredd. Especially after I lifted you from that pisshole of a city."

This comment set the warrior's teeth on edge. It was an attack, and it hit close to home, but losing Arthen's favor was the last thing he wanted, without the odd little scientist and his goals he didn't know where he would be.

Actually I do, I'd be long dead...likely in a gutter somewhere.

"I don't need your credits." Dredd scowled, blood rushing to his face. "You of all people know that."

"Indeed. So, why do you wish to disappoint me so?" Arthen sighed, "Enough of this. I have another assignment for you, when you're ready."

"I'm ready now." The scowl instantly leaving the tall man's face. "Give me the target."

"A holocron, covered in Rataka symbols, letting off a faint lavender glow. I recently let the whole galaxy know I wanted it, so there's bound to be others reaching for it. If any freelancers have it, get them to me. Alive. If anyone else has it, pry it from their hands, warm or cold." Arthen turned to leave, tossing a hologram of the holocron towards Dredd. "Don't disappoint me."

Dredd caught the hologram, and stared at the rotating holocron, the rotating symbols were almost mesmerizing.

"I won't."