Log:CDF: Frax and Faceless
Ko Hentota is nasty place in general, and the Undercity is an extra-nasty place in particular. It should be no surprise that these mean streets are essentially barren of any sense of the word some call 'law' and severely lacking in the 'order' department as well. It's here that Corr Waldin has brought Sairah, the new recruit to CDF, to investigate a shipment of suspicious cargo intercepted a few weeks back.
The man himself is dressed in a sensible, functional outfit that doesn't announce 'police' /too/ loudly. More like 'paramilitary'. He's toting a gun, a rifle slung on his back, and wary eyes scan the dirty alleys as they pass, headed in the direction of that run-down diner the shipment was found in. "Just want to work the scene over again, see if we missed anything," he's explaining succinctly as they walk.
Trailing behind the man is a woman, wearing shabby clothes more suited for the dirt and grime of the Undercity sprawl. She walks in measured steps, eyes roving the dark, hollow eyes of the windows above them. She carries a long case, strapped to her back. "... makes sense," she agrees with the man, looking above and sweeping the rooftops again.
The diner isn't that far to walk from where they took to foot traffic. It's generally not wise to walk further than you have to in the Undercity, even armed and dangerous. The buildings are interspersed with girders and massive supports designed to prevent the upper levels of the city from crumbling along with the structures here. Corr's pace slows as something seems... off. "Duck in there." He nods toward an alleyway, tucking his body inside just as a pair of figures emerge from the diner.
Sairah slides comfortably into the shadows of the alley. A foul smelling drip of a liquid that may or may not have started out as water splashes at her feet and she wrinkles her nose. Turning her attention back to what Corr is looking at, she sees as the pair of figures emerges from the diner. She leans in close to Corr, her voice barely a whisper in his ears. "... friends of yours?"
"No," Corr remarks immediately, without even a hint of humor. He's apparently not heard of sarcasm. The pair have a crate between them, another one marked with the Frax Industries logo, and are followed by a third figure, with a masculine frame but hair up in a pony-tail. "Can you get better eyes on 'em? Can't see features from this far." The third figure appears to be directing the first two towards a landspeeder parked nearby before turning to converse with a fourth figure, another male, who comes out to join them from the pantry entrance.
Sairah immediately scans the walls of the alleyway. There's a fire-escape ladder half-down and what looks like scaffolding on the side of the building. "I'll see what I can do," she says, and then silently moves to the ladder. "Turn your commlink on to channel 3. And if you have your datapad, let me sync the camera on my rifle to it, and you'll see what I see."
"How do I do that?" Corr holds the datapad out toward Sairah before she can climb up the ladder, giving said object a tug to bring it down a little lower for her without making /too/ much noise. This is the Undercity, there's rumblings and the odd gun-shot and weird creaking sounds coming from everywhere, though, so it's not that much of a concern. Meanwhile, folks over at the diner are getting their shady on.
Sairah grabs the datapad, taps a few buttons on it and then hands it back to Corr. "Boss, you really need to learn how to use your toys," she teases the grim-faced soldier before nodding in thanks. Hoisting the case on her back, she quickly climbs the ladder and dissapears into the scaffolding. After a few minutes, she makes her way to a fire escape that overlooks the figures. Silently, she assembles her long rifle and puts the scope to her eye. Making sure that the uplink is broadcasting, she focuses on each of the figures and the crate. "... Corr, you seeing this? Let me know if you need me to focus on anything," she whispers into her commlink. "... and I hope your recording this."
"Sure," Corr replies, waving the advice/tease off and heading back to the corner so that he can watch what's going on with his natural eyes and the electronic one, huddling down over the datapad and occasionally peeking around at the diner. Once Sairah is in position, the camera feed flickers into life, displaying the men from afar.
Pony-tail appears to be the boss, although the directional mic on Sairah's rifle isn't doing the world's best job at picking up the dialogue. He's in the process of chewing out Figure 4, while the first two, apparently lackeys, disappear back into the diner and emerge with another crate. "Not sure if they're picking up as the buyers or what," Corr mutters into his commlink, "But he looks pissed 'bout something."
Sairah makes sure to zoom in on each of the figures, hoping to get a clear image of each one so that they could have pictures of them. Then, she focuses on the crate, making sure to get the logo stamped on the front. As she completes her circuit of close-ups, she focuses back on the pony-tailed boss that Corr had identified. "... I'm guessing they're dropping off, not buying. Maybe the buyers are late? Any ideas who these guys are working for?"
"Yeah, but they're loadin' the speeder, not emptying it," Corr points out, frowning down at the datapad. "Don't quite make sense. Maybe little man there didn't play by Pony-tail's rules." The logo is the same one as the last time they encountered these crates: Frax Industries. "We know Frax Industries got a buncha inflated public records floatin' around. Not sure if they sell anything other'n these boxes of contraband or just say as they do, though."
There's a disturbance over by the diner. Figure 4, or 'little man', as Corr has dubbed him, has pulled a gun on Pony-tail and is gesticulating with it wildly. The two lackeys, crate in hand, are frozen near the landspeeder, while Pony-tail, if Sairah zooms in on his face, is just smiling. It's a bit unsettling, that smile.
"... uh... that doesn't look good," Sairah says into the commlink. She edges forward a bit, making sure that her arm has a flexible enough movement to quickly move the long rifle if she needs to. Settling back down, she continues to train her scope between the short man and the pony-tailed individual. "... I've got an... uneasy feeling about this, boss," she says. Keeping one eye trained on the scope, she moves her other hand down into a side pocket. Pulling out a small metal case, she thumbs it open and feels inside, identifying with her finger tips rather than sight. Pulling a small cylinder from the case, she pulls back the cartridge release on the rifle and loads it, racking it slowly into the chamber.
"Don't /shoot/ 'em," Corr grumbles again, turning to glance with a small measure of annoyance up at Sairah's perch on the rooftop. "This is recon, we're not here to start a turf-"
As his eyes wander back toward the datapad, the man's words abruptly stop due to what's depicted on the screen. 'Little man' has collapsed, and the smiling Pony-tail stoops over the smaller man's body, gathering it under the armpits and dragging the mostly-limp form toward the wall of the diner, propping him up against the side. At this point, Pony-tail produces a knife from somewhere on his person and starts meticulously carving into 'little man's face.
"I know, boss. I'm just... being prepared," she says and then starts as she watches the pony-tailed man knife the smaller man and then prop him against the wall. "Well... that's disturbing..." she murmurs, and then proceeds to zoom in on the man as he skillfully wields his knife. "... he certainly knows how to cut... interesting..."
Pony-tail finishes working his way around 'little man's face, then starts peeling off the skin from the middle, using the knife to sheer away the connective tissue and leaving behind a rough 'cog' sort of shape, reminiscent of the Frax Industries logo, and happily tucks it into the chest pocket of 'little man's shirt, giving it a little pat like a handkerchief. The bloody mess of a faceless head looks less than dapper, though.
"...Sairah, come down. We're clearin' out. Back t' base to evaluate this footage, c'mon." That's Corr on the commlink.
"... copy," she says quietly into her commlink. Pulling back the cartridge on the rifle, she unloads the tracker bullet and places it back into it's case. Dismantling the rifle with practiced ease, she silently and quickly packs up and dissapears into the warren of scaffolding before landing lightly beside Corr.
"That was... we need to figure out who that guy is." Corr's trying to figure out how to save the recording on his datapad, because... computers. Eventually it works. "Let's get outta here."