Corporate Affairs

Quaxo9
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Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Quaxo9 »

Vector Hyllus

It went without saying that the two of them would stay behind. The agent hadn't had time to either retrieve or obtain a new stealth generator and though she was very good at blending into the background, out in the open it was impossible to hide that she was Chiss. He thought it possible that she might forget about the fact that her eyes glow in the dark from time to time. But, he wasn't going to be the one to remind her.

"I will keep watch - near the ship."

He followed her outside, noting that she pulled up a hood as a rudimentary disguise. He himself had no such luxury, and she knew this, but perhaps she simply didn't think there was much risk to anyone in the SIS spotting a tall human-looking man standing around. She immediately moved to a power relay and began slicing and undoubtedly bugging the local SIS data network. The datapad lit up in her hand and she glanced at it as she worked. The agent...did not like what she saw.

The Agent

The brutality I observed was nothing I hadn't seen before, but it was worse than I had expected at the hand of a few SIS agents. I started taking still shots of the faces of the men as they came into focus on the crude camera set up in the cement shack. I was disgusted, but much like this woman, I waited it out.

Calling this interview a pathetic farce didn't do 'Gina' any justice, but that was what it was at its basest level. All the 'information' meaningless. And yet, she survived. Held on. A fighter.

I wanted to know who she was. I hoped that she survived her rescue.
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Quaxo9 »

Teizi Lin and Padawan Dallyn

She didn't like the feeling she was getting from Theron. It screamed for caution. Begged to be wrong. Teizi reached out with the Force...then withdrew. Too many voices. Too much emotion. There was danger here and she needed to stay centred.

"Dallyn, I want you to stay behind and cover our retreat...if things should come to that."

He was about to protest, but he met his Master's eyes. They looked through him at first, then focused directly on him. It was moments like these where he felt the vast distance between them. Between who he was and the Jedi he should be. Dallyn nodded and folded his hands in front of him. There was no sense arguing when she was like this. A stone statue. Besides, it would give him the opportunity to keep an eye on the Imperial agent and her...backup guy.

Teizi took up the rear defensive position in the small group proceeding through the compound. She didn't look up at the fences or glance around for cameras. No, she was paying attention to the unseen things. The Force...was still tumultuous. With every step she willed herself to peace in the midst of the emotional storm. A peace that was deeply disturbed once they pried open the door to the shed and stepped inside.

She smelled the blood first. Her eyes adjusted slowly to the dim light and the shapes that came into focus were uncomfortably familiar. Pyrran rushed past her and she barely stepped aside in time for him to exit. Siralai followed, then Arksynn. This left Theron, Visper, Vette and herself in the room with the woman they'd rushed to save. Part of her brain pointed out that the SIS had made quicker work of Gina than the Sith had of Neva. Teizi forcibly refocused on the present.

There was little she could do at this juncture. Vette had Gina out of the restraints and Visper was tending to the woman's wounds. She'd be safe now. What remained, then, was insurance that she'd stay that way. Teizi had been surprised by the obvious atrocities committed in this room by Republic spies. She knew she shouldn't have been. The Republic wasn't the same as the Jedi Order, after all. They'd pointed out as much to Master Jesk a short day ago. But whether she liked it or not, the Jedi had allied themselves with the Republic. As such, she felt the need to impress upon this Houlihan that this kind of behaviour was not condoned by the Order. Now. Not in filing a report or a complaint and waiting for bureaucracy to work things out. She had to do something now.

The camera facing the cell would suddenly change frame, swinging smoothly to the left and down. The SIS agents watching would find themselves staring into a pair of serious pale blue eyes, made paler for the dark eyeliner around them. The Jedi's hand was lifted toward the camera in a strange position - palm upturned, fingers bent. She lifted her hand in line with her face, then smoothly closed her fist. The monitor would show nothing but snow as the camera's body collapsed on itself.
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Quaxo9 »

Arksynn

He had swallowed hard and followed Pyrran and Vette into the little building. Oh. He knew exactly what was going on here. He wasn't particularly surprised - he supposed she was taken by spies who thought she was one. It was the kind of thing that happened, right?

What did surprise him was Pyrran's reaction. He was a bit shocked, but couldn't help but follow his Master out the door. He hovered in the background. Uncertain of what to do. Pyrran was...desperate to leave. And then he saw it. He was desperate to avoid doing harm.

His former master had relished causing pain. He'd received more than his fair share at her hands...and other things.

He had chosen the right Master. He couldn't get any further away from Lord Anewe at this moment and he was so incredibly pleased with that idea that he totally forgot about the reason why they were there to begin with. Arksynn just stood by with a strange tight-lipped smile. Like an idiot.
Quaxo9
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Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Quaxo9 »

Neva Xolte

They'd landed and she'd let her fares know that she had some snooping around to do. She figured that they'd need to take their new kids home or to their own ship or something... It still weirded her out a bit that Mandos could just...acquire children. Just poof you have dependants. But she was getting distracted.

Neva coordinated with Jasper and started working the opposite side of the spaceport. Akaavi fell in behind her. Like her shadow. A shadow whose breath she could feel at her back. She smiled in spite of the stinking heat and glanced up at her girlfriend. Akaavi glanced back, face stony as ever, but Neva thought her eyes were practically glowing. Ooof.

The flash of white fortunately caught her attention before she could completely forget why they'd left the ship in the first place. The stark colour was so out of place on Rishi that the two zabrak easily tracked the woman's movements. Suddenly, Akaavi was out in front and cutting in front of the woman in question, arms folded across her chest and her sternest Mandalorian scowl on her face.

Neva jogged up and waved with a bright smile, putting herself between the two women.

"Heeeey. Gina, right? Kinda funny running into you here..."

She realized that she really had no idea what to say. How do you ask someone...

"Do you have a twin sister? Also named Gina? By any chance?"

Behind her, Akaavi snorted.
Monkey Kitty
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Monkey Kitty »

At the Compound, Then the Ship

As he gradually returned to the here and now, Pyrran was acutely aware of the presence of his apprentice. Arksynn, who looked to him for guidance. How could Pyrran claim to be a Master, if he couldn't even master himself? He noted Arksynn had an odd expression - shock, perhaps. No doubt the boy was also processing horrors of the past. With no help from Pyrran, at the moment. That would have to be corrected.

He nodded his thanks to Siralai; more adequate gratitude would need to be conveyed later. For now, he addressed his apprentice. "I am sorry, Arksynn. I should have been more cautious about putting you in this situation. Then I let the past get the better of me, instead of supporting you as I should have. I will endeavor to do better in the future." He gave a small duck of the head to accompany this apology, but then became businesslike again, attempting to reassure Arksynn by regaining control of the situation. "We will assist Master Visper with her work."

Pyrran knew nothing about the healing arts, and he was fairly confident Arksynn didn't either, but they could be directed. With two extra pairs of hands to fetch supplies or apply pressure where directed or cut off a bandage roll, the work went more quickly.

In the immediate aftermath of Teizi destroying the camera, a tinny voice cut through over the intercom speaker. "Theron? What are you doing in there? Have we, uh... had a misunderstanding? I said you could talk to her. You can't just--"

Theron cut in curtly. "Yeah? Do something about it."

"Hey now, we're not trying to start any trouble. I'm just saying you can't--"

"No, please. Start trouble. I want trouble. Come out and face us instead of hiding in your bunker like the cowards you are."

The speaker feed abruptly went dead.

Theron turned to Visper. "Is she about stable enough to move?"

Visper was looking a bit stressed and disheveled. "I... honestly don't know. Her vitals are all over the place. I can't seem to get a clear read on how she's doing. Shock, probably. But I'm going to say yes, let's move her. She's better off back at the ship; I can do more there."

"Good enough for me," Theron replied. "Alright, let's go."

There was a stretcher in the corner; it had probably been used to dispose of previous victims who were dead or completely incapacitated, but for now it could be put to a better purpose, as there was no way Gina could leave on foot. As they were lifting Gina onto it, she spoke for the first time, whispering to Vette. "Can... you get... my earrings?"

"Your earrings?" Vette looked around. "Uh. Yeah. Sure."

That seemed like a weird request to Vette, but why not? They probably had sentimental value. She spotted a pair of hoop earrings on a nearby table. That must be them. The earrings were bloodstained, ripped out of her ears. But Vette noticed they were oddly heavy. And the clasps were weird. Well, it didn't matter, they were just earrings. She shoved them in her vest pocket and nodded to Gina that she had them.

Anyone not needed to carry the stretcher would need to be on guard for anyone trying to stop them.

It was pretty clear Theron was hoping someone would try. He looked a little disappointed when the compound looked just as empty and deserted as it had when they arrived. Well, if they were going to hide behind their walls, he would just have to start something on his own.

Unfortunately that was easier said than done. The bunker was made of thick concrete. His ID card was, unsurprisingly, no longer giving him access. He pounded ineffectually on the metal door.

A single shot from a remotely operated turret struck right by his feet.

An intentional miss. The message was clear. If he persisted, they could kill him where he stood without ever having to look him in the eye.

"This isn't over," he growled into the intercom, then turned to the others. "Nothing we can do here. Let's get back to the ship."


***


When they got back, Visper hustled the patient off to the small medical bay.

"Do you have kolto or bacta?" she asked Lana.

Lana nodded. "Yes, both. I'll show you."

Gina was somehow still conscious. Her eyes widened at this conversation. She was incredibly confused by what was happening - why these people seemed to be rescuing her - but she was by no means ungrateful for the reprieve, even sure as she was that it was only temporary, a prelude to further horrors. But the idea of being immersed in a tank of liquid...

Hands around her neck, their grip relentless. Fingers closing over her mouth and nose, depriving her of oxygen as they demanded over and over that she admit she was an Imperial spy...

Visper saw the expression. "It's okay," she reassured her patient. "I don't have to use the tank. I'll just use enough to treat your injuries."

But, puzzlingly, the kolto applied to Gina's broken skin seemed to do next to nothing.

Visper frowned. "I think your kolto is contaminated, Lana. I'll try the bacta."

Lana too was clearly surprised, but nodded and handed it over. It equally had no effect. How had both her kolto and her bacta been rendered ineffective? What kind of contamination could do that?

"Well, I guess we have to patch you up the old-fashioned way," Visper said with forced cheerfulness. "Sorry, Gina."

Visper stepped into the supply closet, out of sight of the patient. Bracing herself, she took a scalpel and made a light cut on the back of her own hand, then wiped a dab of the kolto in question across the wound.

The broken skin closed instantly.


***


Back at the ship, Theron sought out the Chiss agent. He had yet to fully return to his normal state; he seemed distracted and preoccupied, hands shoved in his pockets.

"Hey," he said. "I assume you sliced them while we were gone, and I'm not gonna get another crack at that now. I need you to tell me if you found anything."

He realized how foolish that sounded.

"And I know you're going to say no," Theron went on. "Why would you help me? Republic needs to solve its own problems, right? No concern of yours. But... look, you heard what Jon said about Corellia, right? Well, it isn't the minor deal he made it out to be. The unit is being investigated by a special prosecutor over it. I think that prosecutor would be very interested in what went down here, too. I mean sure, we can all testify. Visper can provide medical records. But the bottom line is, if it's not enough, these guys are gonna walk for what they did to her, so anything you can do to help me prevent that, I'd appreciate it."
Monkey Kitty
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Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Gina Valli?

Gina smiled back at Neva, a manufactured smile of complete nonrecognition pretending to be friendly regard. "Oh, hey! It's so great to see you!"

She had, of course, never seen Neva before. But the reason she was pretending otherwise was not yet clear - perhaps she simply thought Neva was someone she should know, and she was covering for what she thought was a social faux pas.

Gina was immaculate. Her clothes were perfectly tailored and looked fresh; there was no sweat on them, or on her brow, despite the time she'd spent working in the confines of a hot spaceport. Not a hair was out of place. Perfect makeup. The lipstick was a subtle red. Hoop earrings. She stuck out like a sore thumb on rough and tumble Rishi, but she didn't seem to notice.

Neva's next question, though, took her up short. Doubt entered her eyes. The corner of her mouth twitched. A hand reflexively grabbed at one of her earrings nervously. She took in Akaavi's demeanor and laughed too, but it was a beat too late, as if she hadn't realized it was a joke until she had a reaction to mirror.

"No," she replied with a smile. "I have no siblings. I was never married and have no kids. My parents have died of old age. I was born on Corellia and educated on Coruscant. Does that answer your question? I do want to help, of course!"
Monkey Kitty
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Special Agent Jon Houlihan

Practically the second Theron Shan and the team had left, Special Agent Houlihan was on comms with the attorney who was representing them in the Corellia mess.

"I think we may be in some more legal trouble..."

Thank goodness for attorney-client privilege. Succinctly, Jon laid out for his lawyer what they had done to Gina Valli.

For a moment, there was silence, then, "Why, Jon? You know you're already being scrutinized. Why now?"

"She sliced us!"

"Well, sure, but to retaliate with--" The lawyer paused to check his notes. "Beating, electrocution, asphyxiation--"

Jon cut off the list of violent acts. "Yeah, yeah, I know. But I looked up her bio. She's from Corellia. Don't you see? It was a plot against us. Because of Corellia. She was trying to dig up dirt to send us to Belsavis!"

"I see. Well, the timing is bad, Jon."

"I know. I know. We can't go to jail! What can we do about it?"

"Well," the lawyer thought for a moment. "Alright, I'm going to file legal action against this Gina Valli immediately for defamation."

"For defamation? Will that... work...?"

"Doesn't matter. The point isn't to win the case, it's to tie her up in legal knots. Make it so she can't say anything. We'll demand a formal apology, and that she stop spreading this vicious slander against you and your team. While it winds its way through the court system, we'll be on her every move. She tries to go back to her job, or find another one? We'll feel the heavy burden of responsibility to notify the employer of our concern that she can't be trusted. Tries to find a place to live? Same thing. Finds someone to date? We'll make sure he knows she's a dangerous crazy person. She won't have any peace until she shuts up about what you supposedly did, and till we have a recorded apology for insurance."

"Might... uh... want to make that apology audio rather than video. She wasn't looking so great."

"Of course. Oh, and Jon... you and your men did have enough forethought not to leave your DNA on her, didn't you?"

Silence on Jon's end.

A sigh on the lawyer's end.

"Fine," the attorney said, making more notes. "I'll just have to dredge up a couple of guys who will testify she's into this sort of thing. Don't worry. This will all go away. And Jon?"

"What?"

"Could you try to refrain from torturing anyone else until we clear some of this up? At some point even I won't be able to hide that you're guilty as sin."

The lawyer terminated the call.
Quaxo9
Posts: 1161
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Quaxo9 »

The Agent

I had been watching the proceedings with some interest until that damned Jedi cut the feed. I disliked being kept in the dark. Still, I had comms. I heard what Houlihan said and, perhaps more importantly, what Theron Shan said in reply. He was...upset. Was it that this other agent had beaten him to the punch? Stolen the intel he'd hoped to have for himself? Somehow, I didn't think that was the case.

Theron's request did little to clear things up. I waited for him to finish. Watched him scowl and pace.

"I will see what I can do."

And then I left him. Of course I could have handed him the video and thought nothing more of it. But I felt beholden to the woman somehow. I wanted to make sure he wasn't going to let her down when I could have stepped in and solved the issue. I decided to seek an authority on the matter.

"Lady Beniko. Could I have a word in private?"

If nothing else, her answers might give me greater insight into the Sith herself - a secondary win.
Quaxo9
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Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:33 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Quaxo9 »

Neva Xolte and Akaavi Spar

The two zabrak blinked at the perfectly put together woman in front of them who'd just responded to a simple question with her life story. Well, it may not have been the simplest question, Neva realized. There was definitely something odd about this woman. Something off. Still, she was willing to capitalize on the fact the woman thought she should know her.

"Yeah, great to see you too! Obviously we have so much to catch up on - why don't we go sit down and have some tea? Get out of this heat?"

Neva was making as friendly a hand gesture as she could and to her surprise, Akaavi took a step back from her and Gina.

"I know a place." the Mando's atonal voice did nothing to suggest she was being friendly, but was more of a demand. Neva knew better, of course, and was wondering how Akaavi knew so much about each world she'd only ever visited the spaceports on. Oh. That was probably it.

The place Akaavi spoke of was one small cafe in the Evocii quarter of the 'port. It was manned by a tall rattataki woman whom no one steered clear of, yet everyone seemed to regard as a central fixture in the community.
Monkey Kitty
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:31 pm

Re: Corporate Affairs

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Theron Shan and Visper Averrod-Iresso/
Lana Beniko


"Yeah. Sure."

It was painfully clear to Theron he'd just been given the brush-off.

Well, it was his own fault. Of course some stranger who obviously worked for Imperial Intelligence wasn't going to help him. Why would she? He should have sliced them himself. If only he could go back in time, he would play conciliatory a little longer, lure them into a false sense of security while he found a terminal to hack into. Somehow. Instead of the fruitless confrontation that got him nothing except shot at. Or he could have gotten Lana to do it. Anyone could have been sitting in that pilot's chair. Hell, even Dallyn. Why had he wasted a Sith on that? If he'd just made fewer stupid decisions, he'd have the evidence he needed even without the indifferent Chiss.

Too late now. He tried to tell himself there was no use dwelling on it now, but he couldn't help going over and over it in his brain. Everything he could have done differently. How he'd let poor Gina Valli down.

"Do you have anything?" he asked Visper when he eventually made it to the med bay.

The Jedi nodded. She handed him a datapad. "That's all the medical records. Gina said she's okay with me giving it to you. And here." She placed another one on top of it. "I kept this separate so it wouldn't be overlooked. Multiple DNA profiles. Match it to your rogue agents, and you have a solid case."

"Thanks, Visper. Thanks so much. I hope it will be enough..."

"It will be."

"If it isn't?"

"Theron. It will be. And it if isn't, you'll go in there and raise hell, and then I'll talk to them calmly and smooth it over, and we'll make them listen. We'll make it be enough."

Theron managed a crooked smile. "Thanks, Visper. So how's Gina?"

Visper shrugged. "About like you'd expect. She's a strong one. I think she'll be okay. The medical stuff is... well, I'm still figuring some of it out, but I guess that's not surprising with everything she's been through."

Theron nodded. "Is there anything I can do? Anything she needs? Anything at all...?"

Visper was about to say no, but the look on his face made her pause. He was still upset, inches from an angry breakdown or a panic attack - she couldn't tell which. "Can you get her some water? She's probably dehydrated. And see if you can find a better blanket. I can change the temperature controls, but she'd probably rather have something to curl up in."

Theron nodded. "You got it."

"And Theron...?"

"What?"

"It's not your fault."

"Yes it is."

"No it's not."

"It is, Visper. I knew those guys were bad news. Maybe not the details, but I'd heard plenty of talk. I should have stopped them. Gotten to them before they got to her. I should have... I don't know. But I should have."

She put her hand on his shoulder. "I know what you're telling yourself. It's not true. Just because they're SIS too doesn't mean you're responsible for their actions."

This was too much. He was too close to the edge. He couldn't do this right now.

"I'll go get that water and find a blanket," he said. "I don't wanna keep her waiting."


***


Lana was still troubled by the mystery of the kolto and bacta, but had little hope of resolving it to her satisfaction. At least the arrival of the Chiss was a distraction.

"Certainly," she said. She led the way to one of the ship's more private nooks and crannies, then said with seemingly complete sincerity, "What do you need?"
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