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Star Wars--So[m]ething Something Evil Rises (Jabba x Firesblood)

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Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik gave a soft sigh, leaning back confidently in his chair as he reached into his pocket for a small black bag. Opening it up, he let the credits spill out onto the table. Reynik smiled with one side of his face.

"Is that enough for the buy in... friend?"

It was all an act; he was to play a few hands, betting higher with each play. Then, his luck was due to change and he was set to win a sizeable pot of credits. When the management decided that it was time to swap the dealer for another, with better luck, then Reynik was planning on leaving the table with his winnings. Then, he'd be able to find the chance to talk without arousing too much suspicion.


Offline Firesblood

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Jiggs eyed the credits, a hungry sort of greed flitting through his features before it was gone again.  “That will do for now,” He agreed amiably and dealt the cards, first one to Reynik and then himself, then a second to each of them, both face down.  “First player to my left starts by calling the total of his hand.  That would be you,” he said, his voice returning to its former greasy tone. 

From that point the game moved onward and exactly as Reynik planned.  The higher the stakes, the more excited Jiggs seemed to get.  Likewise, the more Jiggs lost, the twitchier his lekku grew until it seemed as though they may simply fall right off of his head.  Upon the end when the pot grew tremendous, another Twi’lek, female this time, tapped Jiggs on the shoulder.  “It’s time for your break, Jiggs.”

Jiggs promptly rose from the dealer’s chair, saluted, and headed for the private rooms that lined the sides of the main casino.  The female sat down and smiled brilliantly at Reynik.  “You beat Jiggs out of a heap of credits.  Will you try your luck against me now?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik made a show of eyeing the pretty girl up and down; that was the secret for a lot of dealers, they made damn sure that their players spent more time watching them than they did their own cards. She was good though, not focusing on his scars in an attempt to make him feel like he was worth looking at.

"Maybe later." He smiled, sliding a credit across to her as he stood, sweeping the remainder into his pouch. "I think I need a break myself."

He scanned the casino; out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jiggs retreat into a room, the door closing behind him, and Reynik headed over.


Offline Firesblood

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Jiggs was reclined lazily across one of the plush couches inside of the room.  The room was bathed in neon lights of blue, green, and purple, and richly appointed to appease the craving for luxury that the wealthier patrons of the Star Cluster so desired.  A low table sat near the couch, dressed in various foods from all over the galaxy; it was clear that someone had been in the room before them, as most of the food had several helpings missing from the otherwise pristine setup, and some used but empty plates and cocktail glasses lay scattered on the open surfaces. 

Jiggs had a plate of food balanced on his lap and was casually watching a projected hologram of a slave woman dancing seductively in the corner.  He hardly spared Reynik a glance when he came in.  His entire demeanor had changed; gone were the twitches witnessed at the Sabacc table, and when he finally did rest his full focus on Reynik, the alien’s gaze was calculating and far more intelligent than he had let on.

“I’ve already swept the room for bugs.  No one is listening,” Jiggs assured him immediately, popping one of the small, pickled fruits from his plate into his mouth.  “I spoke to Esbern.  He told me that your employer is looking for the group of Exiled that landed over a month ago on Nar Shaddaa.  Call me crazy, but aren’t you Sith types usually pretty good at solving these problems the first time around?”  Jiggs set his plate on the cushion next to him and leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees.  “Then again, I had my doubts that the mouse they sent me the first time would be able to get the job done.  Not what I pictured when I found out one of you people were coming.  I hope for her sake that they killed her quick; I doubt she had the fortitude to survive slavery for long.”

Jiggs rifled around in his vest.  “But I digress.  You’re not here for a friendly chat.  You want the information, and for the low price of everything you won at the Sabacc table, you can have it.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik glanced around the room as he entered, confirming that they were alone. He approached the Twi'lek and, instead of sitting, he took out a small device and did a quick sweep of the room.

"No offense, Jiggs, but I like to be thorough."

Only when he was finished did he lower himself into the empty chair opposite.

He chose to ignore the snide comment on Sith ability, knowing that it would be pointless in attempting to argue any preconceptions that Jiggs might have. In his experience, it was far better to prove with deed rather than words alone.

The mouse, as he called her. Reynik gave a one sided smile at the thought. Mouse was hardly what he was led to believe having read her official record. They had overlapped at their time on Korriban, although Reynik did not know her directly, but he knew damn well that no one could have survived training like that and still be classed as a mouse. A tiger that could pretend to be a mouse could be useful indeed.

"We come in all sizes." Reynik murmured, his voice soft.

His movements slow and deliberate, he reached into the pocket in his flight jacket, mindful in the way that his contact twitched as if he expected him to pull a blaster. Instead, he took the pouch that held his winnings and dropped it onto the table in front of them.

"I'm listening."


Offline Firesblood

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Jiggs smiled as Reynik dropped the pouch and shifted forward to the edge of his seat so that he could reach it.  He hefted it in his hands for a moment like a man trying to guess at the weight of gems or gold, then nodded to himself. 

“More reasonable than I’ve been led to believe too,” he muttered, having clearly expected a bit more of a fight.  “Right, your information.  I’ll tell you what I told her; their hideout is in the shadow sector, twenty levels down from the Imperial prison.  They were squatting there before, but that was a month ago.  I’m pretty sure that most of them are already gone, but there may be a few left,” Jiggs drawled.  “They rented out a hangar in the space port, but that’s been empty for weeks now and their destination was a fake.  Just before they left there was a break out at the prison.  Apparently the carbonite wing was almost entirely emptied, but no one saw anything during or after and all of the video was corrupted beyond repair.  In other words, friend, if you hope to track them off world, you’ve probably already lost your shot.  Should have sent someone who could do the job the first time.”

The Twi’lek picked up his plate and set it in an empty space on the table, standing with the pouch of credits clutched in his hand.  With his free hand, he dug a small chip from a pocket and extended it to Reynik.  “This contains all the vital data you need.  Coordinates, codes, security footage; everything you need to clean house.  Beyond this planet, though, you’re on your own.”


Offline Jabbathejack

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From the sound of it, Jiggs had already written off their mission before he had even had a chance to start it. His twisted lip twitched into a sneer that said simply wait and see.

Instead, he stood, taking the chip and immediately sliding it into a pocket in his trousers.

"Thank you for your assistance." His sneer deepened a touch, adding some danger to the sentiment. "I hope I'll find something useful here."

Otherwise that would be a heavy cost for a whole lot of nothing.
"If you can think of anything else to add to this, then let me know."

With that he was gone, heading out of the casino wthout a backwards glance.

Reynik returned to the ship, giving a nod to Esbern as he settled down on his bunk to study the new data.


Offline Firesblood

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“There’s nothing, I promise.  Believe it or not, I have stayed appraised of the situation as instructed.  Everything that can be gleaned is on that chip,” Jiggs assured him, pointing at the chip. 

There was no sign of Esbern upon Reynik’s return, though the sound of voices coming from somewhere in the bowels of the ship echoed vaguely through the durasteel corridors.  The voices continued, unaware of the Sith’s return to the ship.  As Reynik drew closer, the sounds of Esbern’s voice clarified, gruff and low, and a woman’s voice answered—far quieter. 

“—your replacement.  Boy named Reynik.  You can’t contact me again.  It isn’t safe.” Esbern whispered.

“So Cygius finally trapped his prey...He's been trying to get to him for years.  What is your impression of him?" Marigon asked.

"Seems a quiet lad, not easily riled, but it's too early to tell."
 
"No matter.  Scrub the logs just to be safe, and know that all is well and goes as planned, my old friend." Marigon's voice replied.

“Of course.  Take care, and force guide you, kid.  I know you can do this,” Esbern murmured.  There was no further response after that, save for the sound of rapid key strokes as Esbern set about erasing the call log. 


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik paused as he heard the quiet mutter of voices coming from below. Slowly, he moved to get a better sound, leaning against the bulkhead as he listened in. Not easily riled? Was that what they thought of him? Reynik grimaced; it looked as if they had given him the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong. Yet he was curious what they meant by Cygius' prey.

He heard the call end and he knew he had a split second to react, to either hide what he had overheard or to confront them. In that instant, the decision had been made and Reynik did not move from his position by the bulkead, waiting for Esbern to emerge.

"I suggest that you save us both a lot of trouble and just start talking. How long have you known?"


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern finished what he was doing, double checking that any traces of the last call had been erased.  He briefly feared that the call had gone on too long, that there would be trace amounts of data left that could be retrieved, but he did the best that he was able to do.   He stepped back and swiped a hand through his hair, exhaling softly and listening for the sounds that would herald Reynik’s return, but heard nothing.

He replaced the panel on the bulkhead, shoving his hands into his pockets after and exiting the cargo hold.  He was only a step through the door when he saw Reynik.  Esbern stared at him, his composure unchanged and unbothered by the Sith’s presence.  He leveled his gaze seriously, then crossed his arms over his chest in a subtle act of defiance. 

“How long have I known what, exactly?” Esbern asked casually, one bushy white eyebrow rising nearly to his hairline.  “That Marigon is alive?  I seem to recall telling you that the moment you boarded this vessel.  ‘She’s not dead, don’t get too comfortable’, remember?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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"You know what I mean." The ruined side of Reynik's face twitched violently, but the rest of him remained cold and unmoving.

"How long have you been in direct contact with her? Where is she now? What are her plans?"

Yet from Esbern's defiant stance, Reynik doubted that he was going to get anywhere with him.

"You might well think of me as just a boy, I don't care about that, but you know I am Sith. You must know that I can extract the information that I need whether you will it or not. Save us both the time and trouble and just talk to me."


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern regarded him coldly, unphased.  “That was the first contact she’s made since leaving Nar Shaddaa.  As you can imagine, trying to get a line out when you’re surrounded by a bunch of paranoid expatriates of the Empire can be sticky,” he replied blandly. “I don’t know where she is; the signal bounced off half a hundred planets and moons between there and here.  As for her plans…you know exactly what they are.  She detailed them in her last log.  You saw the same thing I did, and I know as much as you do.”

At Reynik’s threat Esbern actually smiled, eyes gleaming with sharply edged amusement.  “Aye, you can certainly try.  Sith far stronger and a hell of a lot smarter than you have been trying to crack open my head for years, and not a damned one of them has ever gotten a thing out of it.” 

The old man’s arms relaxed to his side, some of his combativeness melting away.  His tone was reasonable when he spoke again, almost gentle.  “I don’t know you, kid.  You’ve been in Cygius’s happy little outfit for two minutes, and Sith are notoriously reckless and untrustworthy, especially if they think they can advance themselves.  Tell me honestly now…what exactly are you going to do with the information you want once you have it?  Say you do manage to track her location down.  What’s your next move?”


Offline Jabbathejack

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"Do I?" Reynik countered sharply. "Do I really know what her plans are? I know what she put in her logs for me to find, but you must know there's talk of her having been compromised. I'm here to find out the truth."

There was something about the old man's confidence that Reynik found to be a touch unsettling. Then he remembered his history of having been an intelligence officer before he was captured. Did he mean that he hadn't been broken? Not even then? For someone who was not adept in using the force, protecting their mind against such attacks would be nigh on impossible. Reynik had witnessed the result of an average human trying to fight against the mind probe; by resisting, the subject had risked their mind being damaged irrevocably.

Two minutes? How about closer to fifteen years? Yet Reynik did not bother to correct the old man.

"What happens depends on what I find. I will follow my orders."


Offline Firesblood

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Esbern sighed, a sign of patience long-tried.  “Listen to me very carefully, Reynik.  The goal of the mission is to completely eradicate a rebel cell that has the power to bring the Empire to its knees.  If this could be done by brute force, I assure you it would have already been done, but as it happens the Dark Council chose Cygius—and by extension us—to accomplish that.  We don’t know just how wide-spread this movement is, in fact, we don’t know much of anything right now beyond their goals and the fact that there are multiple cells on a few different unknown worlds. 

“You can be as suspicious of her loyalties as you want, just as you can be suspicious of mine, but in the end I work for her, and she works for Cygius and the Dark Council.  Her loyalties aren’t in question.  Now…Marigon has infiltrated this network of rebels and is working to advance in their ranks enough to get the information we need to make a move.  Success depends completely on what she is doing at this very moment, whether Cygius has the patience to wait it out or not.  He may have brought you in on this, but one wrong move from you can destroy everything that we have been working to do here, and if the location of the cell she’s in gets out, you can be assured that other Sith will act before the time is right and all will be lost.  We cannot allow that to happen.  If you track her down, go to her half-cocked or make any sort of wrong move, you risk the chance of busting her cover and getting her and most likely yourself killed, and you risk what small window of opportunity we have to nip this in the bud before it gets any further out of hand.  You have to use your head, and you have to make a plan that doesn’t compromise the mission in any way, and so far you haven’t given me any reassurance that you won’t be like the rest of your brethren and charge in like a ham-fisted idiot trying to prove he’s the best.  Do you understand where I’m coming from?  Do you understand what’s at stake here?” 


Offline Jabbathejack

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Reynik was silent throughout Esbern's speech; he felt as if the pilot had already dismissed him before he had even had a chance to act in this mission.

All the reports that he'd read and the information that he had gathered, none of that had suggested that this cult was as potentially powerful as Esbern was suggesting. Yet he had already decided that he would look through all of the information with as clear a head as possible to avoid underestimating anyone.

"I understand." He replied quietly, his lips set in a firm line. When he spoke again, Reynik's voice was heavy with sarcasm. "With your permission, I will review this fresh information before I formulate my predictable plan."