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Flip of the Coin


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MishaCantu
08.03.2016 , 03:50 AM | #1
Author's Note:
Spoiler


Flip of the Coin

Some are born blessed, with linear lives propelling them from birth to death with little or no deviation. Some are born cursed, with lives that spiral out of control no matter how hard they fight the maelstrom of fate. Some are born to live on the fringes where one decision can flip the coin and the future is left to chance.

Chapter One

She let her mind wander as she entered the cabin on the Thunderclap to pack what little was left. The resignation had been accepted, the discharge papers signed and the rest was just formality. She had already handed in the uniform, armor and ordnance; surprised they didn’t want the government issued underwear as well. She would miss the assault cannon but it was just another yoke she was no longer willing to wear.

For the first time, in a very long time, the road ahead was uncertain; no orders, no direction, no expectations, just freedom to float in the black and choose a random point of light as a destination. It would take some getting used to, but she was way past ready.

It felt weird to be in civvies, but a lot lighter too. Simple khaki pants, linen shirt, jerba leather boots and utility vest that she had picked up on Tatooine. She just needed to find that sweet spot on her hip for the TM 59 blaster. She was getting tired of poking new holes in the holster belt.

She had saved every credit she could during her stint with the Republic Army and Special Forces, but then, army life didn’t require her to spend much of her own funds. Everything was provided, from food to gear, hell, even the ship was gratis, all it had cost were her ideals.

Her mother had died two years into her enlistment and she had sent what she could afford until then. There was no funeral and cremation didn’t cost much. After that, there was nowhere else to spend her wages except the occasional bender, where she bought way too many rounds, a couple of trinkets, some clothes and her personal sidearm.

The muster out pay was not a fortune, but it was better than nothing, an extra rank or two had probably helped out with the final tally. They could have kept the medals, the plating wouldn’t melt down to anything worthwhile and the meaning had turned to ash.

She had already put a down payment on a ship. An aging light freighter she had found on Nar Shaddaa that had probably started out as an XS class but had undergone some surgery in its life. It even came complete with two droids, cheap models with bad attitudes, but memory wipes could cure a lot of ills. The payoff would leave her damn near broke, but she suspected there were things about the old girl that even the seller didn’t know.

Finding work might be a problem. She could probably get some contracts from the core worlds hauling regular cargo, medical supplies, food, but she didn’t want to rely on her reputation or previous affiliations if she didn’t have to. Being the ex-commander of Havoc Squad could either open or close doors, and on that front, one day at a time seemed prudent.

If things went south, she still had some names that had come up on the radar in her old life. That Riggs kid on Ord Mantell had some underworld connections along with that guy, Okarr, she had bumped into somewhere in her travels. Nikki Revel from Tatooine was another possibility, though she heard he was banging some Sith lord now, good for him, if he survived it.

She might even get an inroad to Port Nowhere. Not that she wouldn’t prefer to stay legit, but if she had to straddle that line to keep fuel in the tank and food on the table, so be it. And, there was always Jonas Balkar. Damn, that man still made her nether regions tighten when he crossed her mind.

About to close the lid on her foot locker, she took one last look around the room and noticed Aric Jorgan standing in the door. “Still the silent one, even in combat boots. You had the wrong calling, Aric, you should have been a spy. Come to say one last goodbye?”

“No Tal, I came to ask you one more time to stay. You belong in Havoc, hell, you are Havoc. The team needs you, I need you.”

“You don’t need me Aric, and Havoc will be just fine with you as their CO. You always were better at taking orders than I was. Hell, I broke protocol so many times during our missions, we just barely covered our asses half the time.”

He took a couple of steps into the room and she backed up just enough to stay out of his reach. “Aric, we have had this conversation before. We had some good times. I was lonely, you were lonely, war is stressful and we let off some steam in my bunk. I still carry those scars from your teeth and claws. I enjoyed it, you enjoyed it, then it was done. You got clingy.”

“Yeah, so you keep reminding me. I just thought there was more, but there never is more with you, right Tal?”

“Don’t get all bitter on me, Aric. You’re a good man. But, life mate just never registered in my plans. Go find yourself some nice Cathar woman, settle down after the war, have a couple of babies, or kits or whatever. I am finished here.”

“I suppose you’re off to meet Balker? I always knew that man was trouble.”

“Oh, great balls, Aric! No! Jonas is a no strings attached port of call. We screw when I’m in town. I leave, he gets on with his life, I get on with mine. It’s a good arrangement. That what you want to hear?”

“Always go for the gut, huh? I get it, I just thought maybe someone had touched that durasteel heart of yours.”

“You really want to trade low blows, Jorgan?” She took a deep breath to calm down. “Look, I did not change course on a whim or for the sake of some hard one I bumped into. Don’t insult me by insinuating that I could be swayed by anyone. You, of all people, should know better. I don’t want to fight with you, there’s nothing left to fight about.”

He leaned back against the door frame, his head down, looking at the floor. “I know, it’s just so damned hard to see you go, I just never thought you’d leave Specforce or the team.”

“If you want to blame someone, blame Saresh. I was there on Taris, I know what she did. I should have resigned when she released Rakton. We lost some damn fine people on Corellia, and for what? Makeb just cinched the deal. If it weren’t for the Hutts, thousands would be starving somewhere in space. Now, please, move aside. I have a transport to catch.”

“You said goodbye to the others yet?”

“Said my farewells yesterday. Dorne kept asking if I had filled out all the correct forms, so like her. I think she’s a bit hurt, but she saw it coming. Yuun didn’t seem surprised and mentioned something about a mountain with only one way down, whatever the hell that means. Forex and I did the pat on the back, job well done, it was an honor routine. They’re a good team, Aric, take care of them.”

He stepped over to touch her arm. “If you ever need me…”

She shrugged off his hand, picked up her foot locker and walked toward the door. “Ditto.”

She didn’t even look back at the ship as she left the hangar. Some doors shouldn’t be closed unless you were willing to lock them. She stood there for a minute and turned the key.

She found one of those baggage cart rentals not too far down the concourse and put a credit chip in the slot. The carts all looked beat to crap and the one she got had a wobbly wheel, but it was better than lugging the foot locker all the way to the departures hangar.

Walking along, her mind skipped from one thing to another, being distracted is never a good thing. She almost didn’t hear the footsteps coming up behind her. The reflexes kicked in and her hand reached up, automatically, for the assault cannon.

Damn, gotta break that habit, it’ll get me killed.

Letting her hand fall to the sidearm, she heard an all too familiar voice. “Heya, boss. A little twitchy ain’t ya?”

“Tanno Vik. A warning would be nice, unless you like dying to friendly fire.”

“Avoided it so far, although I am pretty sure there are plenty that would have liked to make it a permanent condition.”

As if on queue, her personal holo beeped. It was Aric. Again. Going against her better judgement, she picked up.

“What now, Jorgan?”

“I just wanted to say…….is that Vik? Really Tal? You and Vik?”

She wanted to throttle the man. “You know Jorgan, if you worried as much about your crotch as you do mine, you might have a girl by now. Tanno doesn’t swing that way, I hope the irony isn’t lost on you.”

“He what? Are you saying? Oh…..”

Seems the cat was finally speechless, about damn time.

“Gotta go, don’t make me block your calls.”

I really need a drink, maybe several.

Vik chuckled. “How’d ya know?”

“One: you looked at Jorgan’s a.ss but never at Dorne’s or mine and you don’t even like him. Two: no grown man would be caught dead talking about his mother as much as you do. Three: I caught a glimpse of the pin ups on your datapad. Your reflexes were a little slow that day.”

He was still chuckling when they entered the departures hangar. She transferred the handle of the cart to Vik’s hand, “Stow my stuff will ya? I have one last goodbye to say.”

She proceeded down the winding concourse past the various hangar bays and watched the people scurry about, engrossed in their own affairs. Diplomats, businessmen, families and refugees, all moving inch by inch into their futures, a bit like her.

The drone of traffic reached her long before she walked out into the open air of the spaceport terrace where the sound became an persistent whine. Never ending caravans of vehicles buzzed by, keeping to their assigned lanes as far up and down as the eye could see. Smaller speeders, limos and taxis kept to the lower tiers, while larger transports filled the upper, either waiting to land or take off.

Over the top of the taxi terminal, the round Senate Building loomed. The bastion of Republic freedom, democracy and justice. She once thought it the most beautiful sight she had ever seen, now it just seemed like a giant metal leech, sucking the soul out of the people it was meant to protect. She had never been so disheartened or angry as she was at this moment.

She gave the one finger salute to Saresh and the idiot government that would drive the Republic into the ground and ruin the only home she had ever known. The gesture was silly and futile, but it made her feel a damn sight better.

Turning on her heel, she walked back into the spaceport. For better or worse, the dice was thrown and she could either let Lady Luck kick her a.ss down the street or make her own luck. She preferred the latter.

On the way back to departures, she had the niggling feeling of being watched, but when she looked around there was nobody following or paying any attention. Maybe it was Jorgan peeking around a corner to get a final look. Shrugging it off, she moved on.

An attendant met her at the door of the shuttle that would take them to the spaceliner waiting in orbit. Vik had saved her a seat and she plopped down beside him. She still needed that drink and hoped there was a decent cantina on the ship.

To save credits, Vik and she were sharing a cabin on the three and a half day jump from Coruscant to Nar Shaddaa. Being molested in her sleep was not a concern, but if he snored she might shoot him.

When they docked on the Drexel Star, a steward pointed the way to their cabin, 317A, lower deck, cheaper and smellier, but the sheets appeared clean and there was room to stow their gear. The refresher was small, just a reclamation unit and sink. There was a public sonic down the hall, but you couldn’t pay her enough to go in there, not even with a full hazmat suit. Spit baths would have to do, but at least she could wash her hair, this was going to be fun.

“I need a drink. You coming Vik?”

“You go ahead, be there in a bit.”

She walked out into the hall and there was that feeling again. Made the hairs stand up on the back of her neck. She looked around, but nobody was there. She thought she caught a shimmer or something out of the corner of her eye, but then it was gone. Her senses didn’t chime for nothing, and she found out long ago, it was never good to ignore her gut. Sooner or later they would show themselves.

The bar was on the first deck and she took the stairs. She hated enclosed places like elevators, even sonics or showers gave her the jeebs, but at least she could look out through the glass, which made it tolerable. The starliner shifted into hyperspace as she reached the cantina.

Scanning the room was an old habit, this one was pretty empty except for a couple sitting at the bar, some guy intent on his data pad sitting at a table, and one other sitting in a corner, face hidden behind a newspaper. The bartender was Twi’lek and the waitress human.

She found a table across from newspaper guy where she could sit, back to the wall, and survey the entire room. The waitress came over and she ordered a Bendbelly Dark and a Corellian whisky in a shot glass. When the waitress returned, she placed enough credits on the table to cover the drinks and a tip.

“Run a tab?” the waitress asked.

“Not today. But thanks.”

She took a drink of the ale, then dropped the shot glass down into the mug. She took another drink and waited for the effect to hit her stomach and veins at the same time. There is nothing quite like the burn of alcohol spreading through your system; clears the brain, at first, anyway.

Vik walked in at the same time that newspaper guy left, seems he was just a businessman after all. With her boot, she shoved a chair out from the table for Vik, the chair that didn’t block her view, then motioned for the waitress.

“What’ll you have?” the waitress asked.

“A Twistler.” answered Vik. The waitress cocked an eyebrow then walked away to get the order.

“Ugh, Vik. How can you drink that osik?”

The waitress returned with Vik’s drink and left after she scooped up the credits he dropped onto the table.

“Sweets for the sweet.” He grinned and raised the glass. “So what now boss?” He took a long swig and leaned back in his seat.

“The to do list? Nar Shaddaa, pick up my ship, see if I need to contact any freighter type guilds, check the bulletin board for possible jobs, check up on an old friend who will let me know if I’ve missed anything. Did you have any other ideas?”

“I might have a job for us. Let me meet someone when we get to Nar Shaddaa, I’ll let you know.”

“Just two rules, Vik. I won’t run drugs and I want to try not to run anything that would hurt the Republic, although that is open for discussion. Other than that, I got no problems. Understood?”

“You’re the boss, but it’s gonna cut into profits, eventually.”

She ordered a couple of sandwiches with some of those fried potato wedges and another round of drinks. When they were done, they returned to the cabin, stripped down to their underwear and crawled into bed. She was reading a holo novel on the data pad until her eyes grew heavy and she drifted off.

Dingy apartment….door slamming open……sound of hand slapping flesh, cry of pain. Little girl with impossibly red hair running into room. Momma? Momma! Giant man, red eyes, smell of alcohol. Daddy! Stop! Man reaches for woman…... Momma’s face, bloody lip. Wh.ore! he yells.

Little girl runs at man, kicks his legs, beats his back, he pulls doll from little girl's hand and throws it down the incinerator chute. Suelee! No! Little girl screams…..bites man’s arm….flying backward…...hits wall…..blackness.

(To Be Continued)

frauzet's Avatar


frauzet
08.03.2016 , 11:49 AM | #2
I <3 !
Very consistent atmosphere, great job!
Author of "Trouble, Destiny and Other Complications" and the AU "Caught"
Participant of the "Short Fic Weekly Challlenge Thread!"
All my stories from TDaOC and SFWC in chronological order

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De-mu-noki
08.03.2016 , 12:36 PM | #3
This is a great start! Does this take place in the same "universe" as Rey'elle's story?
Vanjervalis Chain, Germany

Lunafox's Avatar


Lunafox
08.03.2016 , 02:21 PM | #4
Very nice start, she is quite a contrast to Rey'elle. Looking forward to seeing where the adventure leads.

MishaCantu's Avatar


MishaCantu
08.03.2016 , 03:03 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by De-mu-noki View Post
This is a great start! Does this take place in the same "universe" as Rey'elle's story?
(Whew) big sigh of relief. I worried a bit about introducing Tal. Would anybody like her, hate her, care about what happens to her, a lot is set up in the first chapter. It is comforting to know that at least I got that right.

As for same Universe, I wanted to start in a familiar place and veer off from there. Tal had met Andronikus Revel on Tatooine and knows him well enough to call him "Nikki", which would not have happened in Rey'elle's universe. So for this story, I may cross some timeline references, like Makeb or SOR, but I don't want to be restricted by that republic/empire line in the sand. I want to leave who Tal can meet rather open ended. It will also effect where she travels too, which will be places that Rey'elle has never been to. If that makes sense?

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by frauzet View Post
I <3 !
Very consistent atmosphere, great job!
Thanks frauzet. I tried to make the start explain where Tal is coming from, her state of mind, etc. Glad you like it so far.

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by Lunafox View Post
Very nice start, she is quite a contrast to Rey'elle. Looking forward to seeing where the adventure leads.
Hi Luna. Yes, they are different. Rey'elle has that quiet strength, Tal is more mercurial. She is totally unapologetic for her indiscretions and also has different baggage than Rey'elle. I hope she will be fun to read about.

Foxfirerose's Avatar


Foxfirerose
08.03.2016 , 05:25 PM | #6
Love this! So thrilled to have a new story to follow written by you It's a great start, and I'm very interested to see where this goes...

wangxiuming's Avatar


wangxiuming
08.03.2016 , 07:32 PM | #7
Agreed! The writing is superb and the dialogue sounds natural and realistic. The latter's something I'm still struggling to do right in my own stuff, so I am quite envious that you pull it off so well!
Heralds of the Fall (Twitter)
The False Sith
The False Empire
The False Emperor

MishaCantu's Avatar


MishaCantu
08.04.2016 , 01:04 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Foxfirerose View Post
Love this! So thrilled to have a new story to follow written by you It's a great start, and I'm very interested to see where this goes...
I am so happy to have you back as a reader. I will be interested to see where this goes also. I actually have notes and a sort of outline this time, but as most will agree, characters sometimes do a complete 180 and you wonder just what the heck happened to all the well thought out plans.

Quote:
Quote: Originally Posted by wangxiuming View Post
Agreed! The writing is superb and the dialogue sounds natural and realistic. The latter's something I'm still struggling to do right in my own stuff, so I am quite envious that you pull it off so well!
Thank you for the compliments. To be honest, I am just a plain old story teller. Nothing fancy at all. I pick out a character that seems interesting and put them in situations, they just tend to talk about stuff more. I rather enjoy writing some of the back and forth banter, it is fun for me. Hopefully it is fun for my readers also.

I do not have the elegance of description that you or some of the other writers possess. Which is something I envy.

MishaCantu's Avatar


MishaCantu
08.04.2016 , 09:04 PM | #9
Chapter Two

She sat straight up in bed, hand over her hammering heart, undershirt soaked in sweat.

Damn, I hate that farking dream!

She got up and went to the refresher to splash cold water on her face. No need to turn on lights, the place was too small to get lost.

“You ok?” Vik’s sleepy voice cut through the silence.

“Yeah, fine, go back to sleep.”

“Who’s Suelee? You were yelling her name.”

“My best friend when I was a kid.”

“What happened to her?”

“She died in a fire. Just drop it Vik. It was a long time ago.”

She crawled back into bed, the sheets felt clammy now because of the sweat. She lay awake for a long time, thinking back on that night.

Suelee was rescued from a rubbish pile by her mother who carefully cleaned the doll and her clothes, brushed the coarse blond hair into golden ringlets and kept the gift secret until her seventh birthday. She was the most beautiful thing in the world to those seven year old eyes. She told Suelee all her secrets, wishes and fears and talked to her for hours. Somehow the doll’s silence was more comforting than words.

Her father was a sonofab.i.tch who drank too much, whored to much and liked to come home and take his miserable existence out on her mother. That particular night, she tried to fight back. She was too young and too weak, and couldn’t save anyone. She cried for hours, for her mother, for herself but mostly for that stupid blond doll. She was eight years old.

Memories suck!

She mentally clicked off that switch in her brain that she had learned to use so many years ago and let the hum of the hyperdrive generator lull her back to sleep.

Mornings and nights came and went, chit chat was kept small between her and Vik; they ate, drank and slept. When the ship finally shifted out of hyperspace, they gathered their things and headed to the shuttle that would take them down to the armpit of the universe.

Nar Shaddaa, a loud, bright, sh.it.hole of a moon where you could get laid, robbed, swindled and dead all in the same night, and not necessarily in that order. Nothing was real here except the crime, even the trees were holographs and the underbelly was some of the worst slums in the galaxy. Vik would feel right at home.

The shuttle took them down to Deucelon Spaceport where they headed out of the hangar to the concourse as a second shuttle from the Drexel Star arrived with more passengers. She rented one of those banged up carts for the long walk from arrivals bay 2 to bay 34 where her ship waited.

“Don’t look like much from here,” said Vik when they entered bay 34 at last. “Does it even fly?”

“I tested the sublight and hyperdrive before I put the down payment, Vik. What kind of dolt do you take me for?”

“Not sure what dolt means, but let’s take a closer look.”

Vik walked around the ship, taking his time to inspect the plating, landing struts, and side laser cannons. “Needs some rust cleanup, but looks solid enough. Has some upgrades too. Let’s take a look inside.”

A voice chimed from the bay entrance. “Probably not a wise thing to do. Boarding security protocols are still active. You should wait until the ship is yours.”

“Relloo Vell, glad to see you again and ready to complete our transaction.” She said, turning to greet the Rodian who was approaching, flanked by two burly bodyguards, one human the other Chagrian.

Vik advanced to stand by her, but remained silent and alert. The movement was not wasted on the Rodian.

“I have the necessary documents right here in my data pad. If you would kindly complete your payment, I will transfer ownership, codes and passwords. Of course your man can be the witness of record.” The Rodian narrowed his eyes and waited for the transfer of funds.

She stood with her thumb wavering over her datapad, staring into Relloo’s eyes. “There’s not going to be a problem, is there? I mean, an upstanding fellow like you would not try to cheat a hard working girl like me, now would you?”

“Who would have guessed that an old hunk of junk won in a Sabacc game could be so lucrative. Actually, you are the third buyer of this vessel. Not that I had anything against the other two, it is just that I need the credits more, you understand, yes? Their bodies may still be falling, as far as I know. It is a long way down.” He nodded his head to the two bodyguards as three more came through the entrance to the hangar.

Why can’t things ever be easy?

Vik had his blaster rifle in his hands so fast it was a blur, he hit the man in the face with the rifle butt then flipped it around to blast him in the chest, sending him backward. The Chagrian swiped his fist at her face, she ducked and tumbled backward, reaching for her blaster as she rolled.

“Grab that farking Rodian, Vik, but don’t kill him!”

The Chagrian was faster than he looked and was on top of her before she could bring the blaster up to fire. He knocked her backward and she felt her skull crack into one of the durasteel crates littered around the bay. Her blaster skittered away across the floor, her head rang like a bell and as she was bringing her boot up for the knee breaker, the air behind the Chagrian shimmered.

A hooded man in a mask, stepped out of nowhere. He stuck two blades, one on each side, into the Chagrian just below the ribs and shoved upward to the hilt, letting the blades slide back out as the Chagrian slumped to the floor, blood bubbling from his lips.

She rolled to her blaster, sat up and fired at the Rodian who was running toward the other three men, hitting him in the leg and knocking him off his feet. Vik was already engaged in a firefight with the three at the door, using one of the crates for cover, when her mystery man threw one of his daggers. It sliced into the throat of the one on the left, burying the blade until only the hilt was visible. Blood spurted against the door frame and created a pool on the floor where the man fell.

Before he shimmered away again, mystery man’s eyes looked down into hers and he uttered two words, “Nolo Rine.”

She was stunned beyond reaction for a second, that was a name she had not spoken to anyone, not ever. She felt the sting of blaster fire as it grazed her upper arm, snapping her out of her momentary daze, and fired at the man on the right who kept ducking behind the door frame.

The middle man keeled forward onto his face, unable to move, his eyes wide as he struggled to breathe. He would not last long. The Rodian got to his feet, tried to run out of the hangar and seemed to hit an invisible wall. The wall shimmered and mystery man appeared, catching the Rodian by his arm. The other assailant fled, a trail of blood tracking out into the concourse.

Tal and Vik walked over to where the masked man held the Rodian captive. Vik grabbed the Rodian by the collar and pulled him away from the other man’s grip.

She looked up at the masked man. “Do you have a name or do I just call you mystery man?”

“Argent.” was all he offered.

“Uh-huh.”

She turned to the Rodian that Vik held fast, and ran a thumb down his spine, then dug in. “There is a nerve cluster here, and if I apply just enough pressure in just the right spot, I can paralyze you for life. Not a pleasant future, I’d wager, given the climate of this place. What say you? Shall we finish our transaction?”

When he didn’t answer, she adjusted the angle and pressed just a little harder. When his legs started to give he squeaked, “All right! All right! The ship is yours, just hand me my datapad and I’ll sign all the documents. Please! just stop.”

She picked his datapad off the floor and handed it to him watching as he punched in his codes and signed it with his thumb print, then he handed it to her and she did the same, transferring the documents to her personal datapad. Vik punched in his codes as witness and the ship was finally hers.

She retrieved her own datapad from where it had fallen, verified that the documents were all present, and punched in the codes for the credit transfer to his account.

“Why would you pay me after all this?” Relloo asked.

“Because I keep my word, well except for the twenty-five percent I deducted for my inconvenience to say nothing of the cleanup I will have to pay for. And another 20 credits because you ruined my new shirt. Live with it and do not let me see your face again.”

“Honesty can get you killed in this place. And, you have made an enemy today.”

“Not scared, dumba.ss, you needed more men. Now get out of here before I change my mind.”

They watched Relloo Vell’s back disappear, as he limped down the concourse.

“Vik, your ear is bleeding, you need to take care of it.”

“I’ve had worse, what did you name her,” asked Vik, inclining his head toward the ship.

“Suelee Mae, after my friend and my mother. It seems fitting.”

“Sounds silly to me, I don’t like it,” said Vik with a scowl.

“Tough, it’s not your ship. Let’s go take a look at what we have, shall we?”

She punched in the entry codes and watched as the ramp descended then walked up to the hatch and opened the door. Argent was still standing at the bottom of the ramp.

“Well, are you coming or what?” She yelled back at him.

“You need to tend that arm,” he said as he walked up the ramp and followed her inside.

The interior was dark and smelled musty. They headed toward a dim source of light coming from the cockpit windows and found the controls for interior lights and air recycling. They waited as the lights began to flicker on, first down one side of the circular corridor, then the other. The recycling fans groaned to life and air stirred her hair as it started to flow from the vents. She heard Argent inhale deeply behind her and almost bumped into him as she turned to survey the rest of the ship. Their eyes locked for just a moment before he moved aside to let her pass.

They walked around the hub corridor, taking stock of each room; crew quarters with refresher, galley, med bay, engine room with control and monitoring console, captain and guest quarters each with private refreshers. The recreation room was immediately off the ship's entrance, complete with dejarik table and spacer lounge. There was a recessed alcove with a ladder to the top mounted cannon turret. The cargo hold was large, rated at 75 metric tons, with its own hydraulic loading platform.

She would have to get with the spaceport operations agent to see about refueling, filling the water and kolto tanks and tibanna gas canisters. There was so much to do, it was like setting up house. She felt overwhelmed already and hadn’t even started. It was damned hard to relegate when there were only two of you.

“Vik, I need you to go meet your contact first. Here are a few credits to get what you need for your quarters, and don’t muck about, I still have to meet my guy.”

“I just bet you do,” Vik said with a smirk. “Be back soon as I can.”

She pointed at Argent. “You, with me. I have questions I need answered.”

They walked to the galley where she sat down on one of the stools at the counter. He removed a device from within the folds of his clothes and scanned the room, stopping at one of the cabinets where the device started to beep. Opening one of the doors, he reached to the back and pulled out a small listening device which he dropped on the floor and smashed with the heel of his boot, then walked over and closed the galley door.

Argent reached into the sash at his waist and pulled out a small tube of kolto gel. “Let me take a look at your arm, please.”

“It’s just a scratch, nothing to worry about.”

He took a step toward her, “This is Nar Shaddaa, who knows what kind of diseases are hidden here. It is not the wound, it is the infection. Again, I ask, please.”

“Fine. Can you remove that damned mask though?” Tal stood and removed her vest, then unbuttoned her shirt and slid the top down over her shoulder to just below the blaster wound.

He closed the distance between them, opened the tube and began to apply kolto to her arm. He breathed in the scent of her hair again and watched the rise and fall of the top of her breast where it just peaked over her shirt. He was suddenly too aware of their proximity and stepped back, returning the tube to his sash.

He walked around the counter and sat down on the stool directly across from her. “Now, we can talk.”

(To be Continued)

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Foxfirerose
08.04.2016 , 09:34 PM | #10
Ack! What a place to stop! Who IS this guy?