Log:Defiance Guild: All Good Things (Prologue)
The short story: Ghosts stir from Heksash'kuri's past. Who ya gonna call?
The long story:
CoreStar spaceport is built like a massive tall building with landing areas sticking off the sides of it, and as such, to enter without a ship, one comes through a lift after navigating the maze of the tower. But it can be arrived at via ships or via the spaceport and bazaar, and arrival dumps one in the same place: the hangar.
A young Twi'lek lady the Ashkuris have hired as a nanny (the indomitable Dia Doneeta) is up in the Control Tower kitchen area making a mess with Boon that may result in baked goods of low to middling quality, and Hex is alone in the hangar. Tabac smoke curls toward the ceiling from the cigarette he's smoking, and smoke is also radiating from the fried, acrid pile of half-melted slag on the floor that might have once been some kind of small courier droid. He's holstering a pistol.
The lift makes that gentle whirring noise it does when activated, not going far before it's moving again. It's Kasia so steps out and into the hangar, having come from the control tower where a mess is being made. "The kitchen is never going to be the same again," she announces to the hangar at large, which mostly just means Hex at the moment. The mess that's down here is a surprise, pausing as soon as the melted slag and the man who made it comes into sight. "What's happening here?"
A mess of different muted sounds drift up from the workshop below, comprised of aggressive clanging, the tick of burners being turned on, and tied neatly together by the exciting sounds of dad Rock. Iggy has been there for the better part of the morning tinkering with something, and he emerges from the lair having smelled the deceptively sweet scents coming from Boon and Dia from the kitchen. "Did it have a message?" he asks both Hex and Kasia, recognizing the destroyed parts as one from a courier droid. "Also, hi guys," he smiles cheekily to the couple, removing the magnifying loupe attachment from his glasses.
Hex is not happy. Which in and of itself is not that unusual; as the unstable but paternal figure of this group of hooligans, almost everyone gets various degrees of 'Hex is pissed off' at varying times, and in varying degrees of deserved fairness. This isn't 'pissed off' though, this is something else. Something rattled. Apparently something that deserved murdering a poor defenseless droid that was not his property... those things are like Bird scooters, you have to imagine a lot of them get mangled just 'cuz. "It was a courier," he answers both Iggy and Kasia. "No message. No written message. It brought something."
"Hey Iggy," Kasia greets the man warmly, smiling at him, but the mention of the droid being a courier makes that smile fade into something more serious. "Something?" Dark brown eyes turn to search the space around Hex in search of... something, but quickly go back to the Twi'lek. "What did it bring?" There is an effort made in trying to sound entirely calm, but it's not quite enough to disguise the concern in her voice.
-ShAtTeR- "What're you all doin' in my hangar." A booze bottle is dropped with some surprise, grey gaze scanning around the area to see that ..there is a lot of shavit in here that wasn't here like 12 hours ago. Siha takes a slow step forwards, completely inebriated, helmet on her hip, curls let loose though with the rain outside they're all pulled down and coily, like angry held back snakes waiting to pounce given the chance. Her hips sway this way with another step, that way with yet another, all slow and cautious, "This ...isn't my hangar." Ahaha ...A deep breath is drawn in through flared nostrils, hand that was holding a bottle but moments before now alighting to her hip, woman leaning in on her Genosian leg, "Shooting droids? Coooool. Coool." Snkkt, a loogie is snuckered back, Siha about to spit it on the floor but Kas is there so she swallows it, clearing her throat soon after.
Glancing at the dead droid in the way one pities an injured dog, Iggy steps up to it carefully, wiping his dirty hands on his work apron before kneeling to the ground to take a closer look. "Let's see if I can finagle ... this thing ...," he reaches forward to gather the parts but then yelps a loud ACK! His arm withdrawns swiftly. Turns out the metal was still hot to the touch. Not his smartest move for sure, and clutching his burnt fingers, he asks, "Any idea where it was coming from?" The shatter is unmistakable and draws his attention away for a moment, to which he greets the large haired lady. "Good morning, Siha," he greets in Mando'a, grinning like a proud puppy in that he's been practicing since his last linguistic disaster that pretty much nearly KILLED the woman.
"Koa tochka ni! KOA!" Hex snaps in Ryl at Iggy, alarmed into his first language before he repeats it in Basic. "Don't touch it!" Siha gets no reaction for her drunk and disorderly stumble through Deftown, but she does get a wave. "I don't know where it came from," Hex sighs about the droid, and then sighs. "We have a goddess damned problem, though." He kicks a small-ish shoebox size crate near his feet, and notes, "This is what it brought." Kicked, the box tumbles open, and out spills a set of manacles. It's slave gear, clearly and immediately obvious. The company, obviously proud of their product, has included a diagram of how to fit two of the electro manacles over your slave's lekku for the assurance of good behavior. It's species-specific slave gear.
The sound of shattering glass makes Kasia jolt with surprise, which is quickly followed by confused at Siha's question. She's just about to answer it when the mando woman arrives at the answer on her own, which Kasia only affirms with a slow nod. "Hey, Siha." Focus returns to Hex and that box he kicks, not even needing to see the instructions on how to use them, she recognizes the manacles for what they are, and that understanding darkens her expression significantly. "Hex," a few swift steps are taken so that she's standing beside him, one hand tentatively going out to touch his arm, but allowing plenty of time for him to pull back if he wishes. "Whoever sent this, we are going to find them." Find and kill them, if the anger simmering beneath her tone is any indication.
With a slow tilt of her chin the Mandalorian woman will eye Iggy, left arm bending at the elbow to flip a rather rude gesture in Mandalorian. Siha, Knower of Rude Fingers, then glances away from the adorable man to look to Hex and what he kicked out, "My first thought was wow, sexy times, but ..." She remembers The Ring Hex got and his reaction to this stuff is not the same, "It's not sexy time gear is it." Nope, looking at Kasia and her angry reaction, "Man, slavers gotta ruin /everything/." The drunk Siha says in an explosive breath, head tilting back as gloved hands raise to the sky, "EVERY TIME. A bloody slaver. Now we gotta kill people and dudes, my dudes, my dudettes, my ladies, my men-sters. I am /tired/." Already she begins to stalk around the hanger to look to filch some more booze, swagger more swaggery than usual, the booze loosenin' up dem limbs, "I smell the booze, I know it's hear." She doesn't hang out here much. It's hard to know what's where.
There's a time to be quiet and time not to be quiet, and Naelyn is usually very quiet but today as he exist down the ramp of his shuttle...the sound of some soaring classical drummy weird music is playing and the soft scent of something sweet and spicy comes out before he jogs the rest of the way down. He heard Ryl, so carefully draped in an almost sheer long piece of sparkly dark green fabric that drapes around his shoulders and wraps around his waist, his hair is braided into thick braids hanging down his back and he squints a bit as the ramp to his shuttle closes and he scans the area thoughtfully. Make-Up is on point so he was awake, but he just looks somewhat concerned. Then his eyes fall on the package...and he quickly and quietly makes his way to Hex's side.
Iggy Odessa doesn't study Mandalorian rude gestures, so he simply blushes and offers Siha a demure, "Thanks ..." He must have done something right! Meeting Hex's Ryl with his own, he holds up his hands and steps away from the droid, "Alright, okay! I won't, I promise!" The words are right but the pronunciation is all off. But frowning at the open box of manacles, Iggy frowns. "Man I've never seen this stuff in person ... these are k-r-i-f-f'd up," he says sympathetically, and then adds, "But Hex ... don't you want to at least know where it came from? If you let me take it apart, maybe I could dig up a tracking history or something?" Feeling Naelyn float in, the younger Odessa smiles sadly but offers a greeting, "Good morning Naelyn. You look very lovely today." Make-Up game is forreal on point.
Y'all got drunk Siha already, here comes DRUNK TARION. "Kriffing hell, I have no clue whose landing pad and apartment I just went through," the man's familiar if grating voice announces as he comes in through the turbolift's doors, the grey-armored man making his way to his customary workbench in one of the servicing bays to flop down atop it, stretching out with a sigh. His neck cranes back slightly, eyes closing with contentment before he senses DISQUIET in the air, and pries one open to peer around. It's easy to see there's an item that has his Twi'lek overlords upset. He laughs. It's not a short laugh, it goes on for a few seconds, and he sits back up again while he's finishing up, wiping his hand over the back of his mouth as though he's just had an ice cream rather than a good chuckle. "Oh /krif/ man, did someone send you that? That's hilarious. We gotta put that crap on the wall or something, next to Sajin's Employee of the Month plaque," he suggests, pointing at the manacles.
"This is the second thing I've received." Hex is hating life. He is just thoroughly hating life, to a degree that means he drops his cigarette and it's not even half done, extinguishing it under a boot. Giving up on it. "The first was an omoa'ikha on Tatooine." It's an unknown word for most, a tricky word for Iggy, and probably known to Naelyn, but he moves along to explaining it. "It's an instrument. A stringed instrument." It's an explanation... it's coming, but this is clearly not something Hex wants to be saying to a cadre of half-drunk sorta-contractors.
But he says it, anyway. "I was bought as a child and I spent fifteen years as a slave playing omoa'ikha for the man that owned me and my sister. I don't have to research who this sht is from. I'm pretty sure I know who it's from."
Thumbs hooked into his gun belt, the big Twi'lek looks down for a moment before he looks back up and advises -- asks -- "Don't do this to me right now, Tarion."
Kasia places a tentative hand on Hex's arm just above the elbow, leaving it there as she turns to look back at the booze searching Siha. "We don't keep alcohol down here." Tarion might, but she doesn't know where his stash is. She also doesn't add where the booze IS kept, but it's mostly upstairs in the control tower at the bar. "Tarion," she takes a deep breath before turning to look at the other drunk person on the hangar. "Just don't. And why are you still sleeping in there? There are literally apartments with beds, and doors, and refreshers right up there. Why can't you just use one, it's a part of your pay." It's hopeless, she knows it, and thus gives up trying before an answer is even given. Instead she looks to Iggy like 'you see what I have to deal with here?'
Stopping mid-swagger with Kasia's words Siha will close her eyes, head tilting back and leaning to the right slightly as her hands drop down to her sides. She'll stand there in quiet defeat, likely going into sleep mode then. Tarion coming in and rilin' up the bees is likely heard, but it's Hex's story that has her hands coming up to her face with fingerbeds dragging down the lower lids of her eyes as she lets out a guttural snarl, "---All right---" Witheringly stated, hands coming to slap down to her hips as her lids bounce back up wiltingly, "Gimme a name, an' me an' Tal will go, well ..both Tals'." Sword and Pup, "And Binky .." Can't forget the other pup, "And I'll bring you back a skin bag." The bones go to the pups. Nodding firmly once, a belch erupting in her throat though a quick slap over her mouth with her left hand and a look slanted to Kasia quells the bubble from getting far. As hand slowly lowers away she'll make a little gun motion to Kas, winking. Ehh? She's being good. Now drop a name.
A hand lifts in a distractedly greeting to Iggy, as he passes the man, offering a couple of air kisses before he finally reaches Hex and Kasia, glancing down at the items and just listening closely to the report. Naelyn's glance slides over to Tarion and he offers softly. "500 credits for you to not be an insensitive asshole for at least the next 20 minutes." Then he's back to looking from Hex to Kasia and then back to Hex. His jaw sets for a moment. "Your sister..." He halts in asking, taking a deep breath. "I'll...pull the shipping route for the courier companies and plant a bug in their systems to ping when the account that funded this delivery is accessed or used. See if any other deliveries have been made and to whom."
A hand moves to rub the back of his neck, reflexively as he just stares at the manacles and takes a deep breath. When that hand moves, people who haven' paid attempting to the tiny triangle shaped barcode at the nap of his neck can see it today. His own lasting mark from his past time as a slave. From where he kneels down slightly to get a better angle at the disaster zone, he just looks up at Hex, with a sad trust and determination. Just waiting for the verbal or non-verbal go/no go.
Iggy Odessa had pulled out his datapad almost immediately when omoa'ikha is mentioned, and you best believe that he searched for it on the holonet anyway, even after Hex's explanation. "I had no idea that you ...," he doesn't finish that sentence, instead giving room for his boss to smoulder about this. Like Siha and the rest, Iggy too waits for a name and the proverbial green light, red light. Giving a sympathetic shrug to Kasia, he then asks, "What do you think he wants from you now?"
Tarion doesn't do this to Hex, for at least a few more seconds. He's noticed something out of place in his maintenance bay. He totally ignores Kasia's entreaties regarding an apartment. Truly, a model employee.
All these slaves they've rescued, all these things they smashed up, property damage and havoc and grievous bodily harm from one end of the galaxy to the other, and they've never gone after the one incredibly obvious target. That one sick freak that twisted Hex into the issues that made Defiance a thing in the first place. A long moment drags in which Hex seems like yet again, he doesn't want to face this, deal with this, or part with the name, but eventually Siha's question gets answered. "Alastair Levaant. I'm not going to tell you no... like I could anyway. I will tell you it's hard to get from here to him."
Relieved to be ignoring Tarion for a few, Hex shakes his head at Naelyn. "I talked to Varanya. She didn't get anything. Just me." Iggy asks a pretty good question, and another long pause follows. "I don't know," Hex admits. "It's been nine years. But he doesn't like to lose, I guess."
Kasia tips her head in Siha's direction to acknowledge the question, and then looks to Hex for the answer. She seems almost surprised as it's given, both dark brows twitching upward as the name is spoken, and then committed to memory. "He may be hard to get to, but no one is impossible to reach, it's just a matter of figuring out when and where." It used to be that she was the one who tried to talk people out of violence, to answer problems with words instead of slaughter, but that trait has waned somewhat in the last couple of years, and now she seems fully on board with the idea of wholesale slaughter here. "Maybe it's also a response to what we do. You got away, now you help others to do the same."
"I feel that so hard. The guy that killed me and gave me two cybernetic lungs and a heart? Lemme tell you, he's gonna get his one day." Said firmly, "And, because I regard you highly, Hex ..and you, Kas ...Alastair Levaant is on the top of my list above /that/ guy." She flattens her left hand in front of her as she speaks, gesturing to the various levels and flicking her hand above her head when she says Levaants name, "I was too stupid to stay dead, Hex, and I'm too stupid to not go run off with you guys to get this guy, no matter how tough he is to get to." She's awfully nice when drunk. Squinting into her hand she'll rub a corner of her gloved pinky into her eye, rubbing out an eyelash with a wrinkle of her nose, stumbling back slightly as the lack of eyesight sends her off balance. A hook of her heel on her own opposite foot and she's sinking down into a haphazard position with one leg crossed in front of her, and the other sliding back in a pigeon pose. Pigeons exist everywhere, right? Pygeons? Pige-ons? Whatever. Hands plant to either side of her hips to steady her and she'll flick up a hand, "Ta-da ..." Yep. A great salvage, but not at all graceful. Leaning forwards onto her elbows then she takes advantage of the stretch, forehead pressing into her fists as eyes close.
Snkt. Znnnt. Snnkkt. Znnnt.
Nae's lashes flutter a bit as he continues to watch Hex's body language and he's listening to Kasia and the others discuss the various heres, nows, whats, and hows of the currently topic and he turns his attention back to the items that were sent and he narrows his eyes, tongue darting out to swipe over his bottom lip as he pushes himself back to his full height (short) and then just offers after a moment. "You know I will follow wherever I am told." He bites his bottom lip and takes a deep breath and its a simple phrase that seems easy to say but he shifts his weight from foot to foot before offering. "But in this...I-I want." A pause "I /choose/ to follow because I want to." Its a lot, in a way that maybe only Hex and those who know him understand but he gives a small nod.
Hex half-smiles at Siha's response, one tattooed lekku tip curling in brief amusement. Tattoos this Levaant decided to lay on some poor kid, 25 years ago. "I'm glad you're stupid." There is no reproach in the tone. He's stupid too. It might be closer to gratitude. Kasia points out that not only has Hex escaped, back when he was an angry, skinny thing that played a bomb classical composition, but he went about proceeding to cause havoc for other slave holding enterprises afterward. He eyes the manacles on the floor unhappily and agrees, "I imagine you're right." Her touch on his arm, not to mention her willingness to commit chaos and violence to the solution, is appreciated.
Naelyn has his own demons to chase around this darkness, but 'I choose, I want,' seems important to Hex, and he smiles again with a simple, "Passi." Good. Not lingering on the point, but understanding it for what it is.
Another pause lingers, and somewhere up in the control tower, there's muffled happy kiddo cries of joy because Boon got to make shitty cupcakes and doesn't understand anything to do with the revenge being plotted below. "Levaant wants a reaction, I guess," Hex muses. "Sounds like we will give him one, ok ka?"