Log:CDF: One for the Money, Two for the Stakeout
The weather outside is just terrible. Lightning splits the sky, thunder rolls, and another love grows cold as the storm blows on out of control. Corr Waldin watches all this from behind the open blinds on the front window of CDF, a big, trustworthy pane of transparisteel facing the street that presents, well, transparency! to the public. A mug of caf rests in the palm of his hand, or at least the handle does, and cool blue eyes consider the rain as it pelts against the streets. He's silent, but the scattering of bodies at terminal desks behind him fill the room with a tip-tap-click-clack of keys to counter the pitter-patter of the rain.
After a particularly loud rumble of thunder, there is a silence and then another flash of lightning. The door to the CDF Offices opens and a small figure in a tattered cloak with a hood is illuminated in the doorway. Another rumble of thunder rolls and the figure takes a dripping step into the office, lifting her hood and shaking her damp, silver hair. She looks rather soaked to the bone and moderately irritated about the whole thing. Looking around, she catches Corr's eye and strides across to the receptionist's desk.
"I'd like to schedule an appointment to meet with Director Waldin, please," she says matter-of-factly to the receptionist.
Welcome to Nar Shaddaa, land of the soggy underpants. Hearing his name despite the fact that it's clearly addressed to the receptionist causes the modestly uniformed man to glance over, and the Zeltron receptionist from before looks nervously toward him with a 'Do you wanna jump in?' kind of face, but he just nods at her to go on and takes a long sip of caf.
"Uh, well, uh, sure!" The Zeltron replies eventually, mustering a bright smile for the dripping silvery woman, turning toward her terminal and consulting the screen momentarily. "He, um, well it looks like he's all free- right-" glance over the shoulder at Corr "-now? So I'll just... slot you right in!" Big lavender eyes blink vacantly, and neon green painted nails tap tap tap furiously at her keyboard. "And you are?"
The figure closes her eyes, and rolls her neck, massaging it with one hand. When she finishes, she looks back at the pretty, young Zeltron receptionist and gives her a smile. "Sairah Aingeal," she says simply. "I'm looking for work. My previous contract just ended." At that, she wriggles out of the soppy, wet and musty-smelling cloak and balls it up. "And... do you have a trash receptacle I can toss this into?"
"Of course, Miss Aingeal!" the receptionist chirps, pointing at the trash can next to the end of her desk. "We recycle," she adds cheerily, her eyes squinting shut for a brief moment with innocent delight at their good deeds. So much good. She's still typing away at the terminal. "Okay, you're booked for-"
"In there," Corr cuts in, pointing at a conference room past the desk farm and heading toward it, jerking the door open roughly when it sticks momentarily in the frame. Low rent space, and all that. The man disappears inside.
Smiling and nodding with the Zeltron, she deposits the smelly and tattered cloak into the appropriate recycling bin. Turning back, she smiles again at the Zeltron who is happily clicking away at the keyboard. "You're adorable," Sairah says quietly and then follows Director Waldin into the side office.
Huge lavender eyes blink with surprise and joy at Sairah's whispered compliment, and she grabs for a bowl of candy to offer to the woman, but by the time she can locate it, the assassin (lol) is already walking off, and leaving the receptionist to wilt slightly, bowl in hand, before a pair of neon nails plucks a piece up and pops it into her own mouth, at which point the pink and purple smile returns.
Inside the office, side office gone conference room, it's a little cramped. A small table big enough for four friendly folks sits in the middle, with five chairs crammed around its small circumference. Corr's leaned up against the wall, gruff but clean and tidy, uniformed and speculative as he watches her entry through observant eyes. "So, you're lookin' for work."
Sairah eyes the room curiously and moves to sit in one of the chairs, but as she notices that Corr hasn't sat, she changes her mind and remains standing in an easy, non-threatening stance. Shrugging her shoulders, she addresses the director. "A girl's got to work. I'm looking for a change of pace anyway. Something different. A vacation from my other career, so to speak," Sairah deflates a little, seeming tired. Her usually pristine, white suit is streaked with the grime of Nar Shaddaa. Even her hair seems a little duller than it was when Corr had first met her. The time on the moon that never sleeps had taken a toll on her, to be sure.
"Take a seat, if it makes y'more comfortable," Corr offers, remembering manners or whatever the hell they're called. His arms are crossed over his chest, but one hand fans up indicatively. "You aware of what we do, then? Like cops, I said. Basically the police for a moon as never saw the need for 'em, or scared 'em all away. I ain't sure which, as that was all before I got here."
Sairah shrugs her shoulders, and then winces as she notices another sore muscle. "Let's just say, I'd like to help," she says genuinely. She's quiet for a moment and then continues, "I'm not sure if I'll be useful, but I'd like to try. You seem like a fine, upstanding sort. Do you believe in what you're doing? Do you have passion?" She eyes Corr warily.
Maybe Corr notices that she seems to be in some sort of discomfort, maybe not. He doesn't say anything either way, though. "Passion? I'm not doing this for the money, and I'm not doin' it for the kicks, so I guess that don't leave much else," he replies dryly, shrugging his shoulders, a small grin tugging gently at the corner of his mouth. "I can't pay what the Hutts or whoever else is payin', but my team does everything they can to try to make this moon a better place." Another shrug. "With limited success, maybe, but we're doin' the best we can."
Sairah appraises Corr for a moment, her eyes inscrutable. "Interesting. So what drives a man such as yourself to do what you do?" she asks curiously.
"Someone has to stop the bad people from hurtin' the good people," Corr replies simply, with another shrug. It doesn't get that complicated. "No one else is doin' mucha that around here, seems like. Figured it was time someone did."
In a conference room, Director Waldin is talking things over with potential new hire, silver lady Sairah. The door's shut, but that don't mean much.
Sairah laughs and smiles warmly at Corr. "Well, so that does sound like passion then." Slapping her hands together she nods. "All right, sold. If you'll have me, I'd like to join."
"Got breakfast, or lunch! Whatever you want to call it!" The feminine, yet gruff, voice floats to the back only a split second before a Bothan shoulders her way into the back meeting room. Cotai Da'Hosa has a large container in both hands and makes her way towards the table with a swinging glance to Corr and then Sairah. Her triangle ears flip upwards at the new, pale humanoid in the room and her muzzle splits into a grin. The container is set down on the conference table and she steps back, motioning at the box of buttery sweet pastries. "S'going on?"
Sairah looks curiously at the Bothan as she enters the room with the box of beautiful looking pastries. Sairah's stomach growls in response, and she immediately grabs a pastry and takes a huge bite before looking up, embarassed. "Uh... sorry. It's been a while since I had anything to eat. You know... stake-outs. Bad caf. Holding your pee for hours..." she laughs and takes another bite of the pastry. "This is fantastic, thank you," she mumbles through her full mouth at Cotai's direction.
Corr raises an eyebrow as the Bothan enters and deposits a box of what appear to be pastries on the tiny conference table. "Morning, or whatever you call it, Da'Hosa," the director greets from his spot leaning against the wall. He's gruff and tough and rugged, but he still steps forward and snags one of those goodies. "This is Sairah. She's signin' on, gonna... what, shoot stuff? I don't know, she's gonna help us help people'n that."
Cotai Da'Hosa tilts her head and keeps a genuine grin up at Sairah. "Take as much as you'd like," she offers simply and doesn't ask for elaboration on the bathroom issues. She turns her green, canid eyes up to Corr and considers this. "Shooting stuff is useful!" Cotai agrees with an eager bob of her head that leads her attention back to Sairah. "Welcome to the team. I'm Tai, the fun one." Her furred, clawed hand points at the box of pastries as if it proves her point.
Sairah swallows and nods at the Bothan. "Nice to meet you," she says as way of introduction. "... not sure about shooting things, per se. I tend to only do that at extremely long range. Like... city block range... I prefer a more direct approach when the situation calls." She turns back to Corr. "So do you need me to fill out some paperwork then? Do I need to submit to a physical? Tell you my favorite color, perhaps?" Sairah's sparkle with mirth.
"Well, overwatch might be useful sometimes, when things get rough." Corr says that like it's more of a given than a possibility. "You met me, that's Cotai, receptionist is Mish, and the rest'll run into you soon enough. I'll have my trasheat-uh, my techie run a background check on ya and then you're all set." Within the space of three bites, the pastry has disappeared.
Cotai Da'Hosa snorfles a laugh. "Mine is green!" she pipes up, looking excitedly between Corr and Sairah. "Wait! Lemme guess. Uhhh... blue?" One hand scratches at her whiskery chin as the other picks up a twisted, sugar glazed pastry. She turns it over in her hand and inspects it before selecting the perfect bite. "We got anything going on today, Corr?"
Sairah laughs at the Bothan. "Close enough," smiling, she reaches for another pastry. "I don't suppose you have a caf maker aroudn here or something?" She looks around the conference room.
"One out in the main office," Corr replies briefly, pointing vaguely in the direction of the caf maker station. How else can an office survive?! "To answer your question, don't know if it's 'fun' but we got a hit on a lead for those weapons we bumped into down in Ko Hentota. Seems our friends at Frax Industries ain't just dealin' in mining equipment anymore."
Cotai Da'Hosa's lips purse in a little 'o' shape and her ears flap to reveal her amusement. "No shit," she says with a bark of a laugh. "Well damn! I dunno, could be fun." Her shoulders stiffly shrug as she echoes the motion towards the caf maker. "What is it? Slaves? Weapons? Terribly out of fashion clothing lines?"
Sairah wanders over to the caf maker and sniffs at the hours old caf sludging swirling darkly at the bottom of the carafe. Looking around she finds a container of instant caf grounds and winces. "Director Waldin... we will need to do something about your caf situation," she muses, half to herself. Pouring three mugs of the sludgy, black liquid, she brings it back to the table and offers one to both Corr and Cotai. "Frax Industries? Who are they?"
"Supposed to be a mining firm," Corr explains for both of them, switching on the terminal screen on the wall after a long moment spent hunting for the power button. The image flickers to life, and he slowly keys his way through to some information to display up there. "Rato dug around in their records. Looks like a legit corporation, but under all the records, turns out they've only been on the books maybe five-ten years. Lots of fake data floating around out there to make them seem older and more trustworthy. Course the crate of military-spec rifles we found where we thought there'd be illicit drugs didn't help," he adds dryly. "Anyway, you can imagine why a dozen crates of that sorta thing passin' through Nar's poorest district might be a bad thing."
Cotai Da'Hosa settles herself into a chair not far from the pastry box and leans forward in a slide of her elbows on the table. Her muzzle turns up to the screen, head tilting a little as if it helps her concentrate. "Not unheard of," she murmurs quietly. "Had a swoop racer who faked his family's prestige swoop business of champion racers and great swoops in order to get better sponsors. But at least that's mostly harmless. Just assholey." Cotai pokes the rest of the pastry in her mouth. "So any plan yet?" the Bothan asks through her mouthful.
"Interesting. So it's a shell commpany. Do we know who's footing the bill for that party?" Sairah asks curiously, sipping her caf. She grimaces at the taste and looks at Corr again. "Seriously, sir. I will personally go and buy you better caf." Shaking her head she turns back to the display. "Military spec rifles. Hm. And you're sure they were passing through? Or were they meant for this place somewhere? Anybody you know raising an army?"
"Seems fine t'me," Corr objects of the continued complaints about the caf, with a small frown. "But yeh, that's sorta the thing, is findin' out what they were for, who for, where they were headed, and all that. Tried checking the guns, but no one can get a firm handle on the point of origin. They've been wiped clean as a baby's conscience. What we do got is the drop point, which unfortunately means another stakeout," the man finishes, glancing over at Sairah. She did basically volunteer for it, what with all her talk of holding in pee.
Corr, Sairah, and Cotai are gathered in a small, steadily-more-cramped conference room.
Cotai Da'Hosa shoots a look to Sairah. It seems to say 'please. please save us from the bad caf.' "That's because your little flesh nose can't /smell/ that caf maker," the Bothan teases Corr with a twitch of her more sensitive nose. She leans back in her chair, the hydraulics on the pack whistling in protest as she does so. "Okay, but I call not it on bringing the snacks to the stake out," the Bothan laughs in that same barking sort of way. "And I'll talk to some of my similarly fuzzy pals about wiped weapons in the area. If you want."
Sairah sighs resignedly and shrugs. "Who owns the drop point? And have the shipments been regular?" Sairah broods, her head on her hands looking at the readout. "I imagine the Hutts probably are aware if somebody is moving something like this through their backyard... It'd be hard to do without them wanting their greedy slice of the pie."
And it's about to get just a little bit more cramped, as slight as the Togruta slinking in may be. Rato Darsi is, by only her own standards, in a professional state of hygiene and dress. By everyone else's standards, she's got a bloodstain on the hem of her tunic and the damp scent of Nar's oily streets clings to her like a child - it does not drown out the smell of caf. "Do not be insulting fleshy noses." Rat's own is wrinkled as she slips into the conference room, datapad tucked delicately in the crook of her elbow as she shoots a look up and down the unfamiliar Echani. "Here." She announces unnecessarily.
"See, that's the thing, I kinda get the feeling the Hutts might not know this is goin' on. Goin' through Ko is a waste of time and unnecessary risk if you got the slugs' say-so." Rato's entrance disrupts the briefing momentarily, and Corr glances her way with cool blue eyes. "Rat, this's Sairah. I need you to do a background check on her when you got half a heartbeat between trashpiles." The love. "Anyway, the drop point is an abandoned pastry shop, incidentally. Like a diner. But pastries. Figure we put eyes on it and see if any more crates show up."
Cotai Da'Hosa perks with interest, only barely noticing Rato enter the room. "Huh?" she says with a blink as Rato speaks. "Oh, well. I didn't mean /yours/," she backpeddles with a small backwards twist of her ears. Throat clears. "If the Hutts don't know... we need to make sure they never know /we/ know if they end up knowing." Makes sense, right? Cotai asks with her expression as she looks around the room.
Nodding at the Togruta formally, she turns back to the group around the cramped table. "Why not let the Hutts do the work for us?" suggests Sairah, "Drop a rumor that somebody is running in their sandbox and not cutting them in on a profitable venture. I'm sure they'll send out some of their own to investigate. Then we just tag behind and watch the fireworks."
"Trashpiles is busy." Rat snorts with a sharp-toothed grin shot at Corr and another searching glance dragged over the newcomer. She takes a step closer to her and sniffs before easing back again and settling in next to the all-knowing and not-knowing-they-know-you-know Bothan. "She is good, but I check anyway. And -" She waggles a cybernetic finger at Sairah. "I like this. But no fireworks." She pats her sensitive montrals tenderly. "So, we watch for boxes of pasties, yes?"
"That's why I been keeping my cards close to the chest on this one," Corr agrees with Cotai, nodding. The suggestion from Sairah gets a glance, and a small raise of his brow. "No. That ain't how we run things here. Runs the risk of starting an all-out turf war between the Hutts and whoever this interloper is. We don't know if he's small-time and too dumb to know better or big enough to make real trouble for the slugs, but either way there's too much potential for innocent folks t'be caught in the crossfire." Shaking his head, he glances back at the screen, tapping a few more keys, and a photo of the shack- er, pastry shop- comes up. "Gotta be the stakeout, least for now."
Sairah looks puzzled by this seemingly conservative way of working, but shrugs. "It's your show, boss. I'm here to learn." She muses a bit and looks at the details of the pastry shop. "What's the environment like there? Any tall buildings? Or is it pretty exposed?"
Cotai Da'Hosa pushes herself up and stretches her neck with a pop. She makes a small, muffled grunting noise and yawns. "M'kay," the Bothan says. "I'll see about wiped weapons and if the Bothans in that area know anything. I'll be /subtle/," she adds in assurance to Corr. "Not sure if I'll find anything, but it's worth a shot. Send me the cords of the stakeout and I'll be there." She slides out from the table and makes the way to the door. "Nice meeting you, Sairah. See you guys on the other side."
Rato Darsi isn't sure where cards come into things, but she is rather disheartened by the impossibility of a turf war. Damn. She grumbles beneath her breath and swipes a program to life on her datapad. "So we stake." She agrees, eyeing Cotai as she slips away. Information is her trade and she makes a mental note to pester Cotai about further Bothan sources at a later time. "You need blueprints, schematics, et-ing-cetras?"
Sairah perks up at Rato's request. "Can you get me schematics on the rifles that were shipped? They may have been wiped, but any modifications made to the rifle might be telling." She thinks for a minute and taps her chin with one finger. "Also... any chance you have blueprints of the pastry shop, and the surrounding area? I'd like to see what are options are for staking out."
"Anything you can get'd be a start," Corr replies, nodding at Rato. "And don't call me boss. The environment is shit, very claustrophobic. I can do you one better on the rifles, cause they're still sitting in my office. Two of them, anyway. I'll let you two have at it. Just remember, no turf wars." Frowning, the director shuts down the big display screen on the wall, and slips out.