Log:Defiance Guild: Don't Tell Kasia
The short story: Hex arranges a duel versus a fellow Twi'lek with amorous attentions towards his wife. Things don't go as expected. Nothing ever does.
The long story:
Hex has been involved in some really terrible plans over the time that anyone here has known him, including Sapphira who has known him for like five minutes. But this one might be slightly more terrible than most, because tonight... he's meant to be one of the combatants in a duel. There's some story behind it, something something issue with some other Twi'lek dude, something about Hex's wife, something about honor, something about there must be SATISFACTION FOR THIS INSULT, typical duel stuff. Tarion and Zhu Yan have been asked along as seconds (second and thirds?), but Naelyn knew about this too and probably felt at some point that Hex is too stupid to be left unattended in this matter (true). Thus it is that we find our scene opening in the seedy, shady Ko Hentota district, where mists from derelict industry cloud the air, and Hex awaits the rendezvous of his loyal (or at least well paid) compatriots.
"I can't believe," Zhu Yan was complaining, quietly in a manner most unbefitting the loudest man in the galaxy, "that you wouldn't let me slip laxatives into the guy's breakfast." Over the past however long Yan had been trying to, if not outright cheat, then rig the duel in Hex's favour. Because someone once pointed out the word Fair in the dictionary to Yan and he believed that it was a special Made Up Words edition. "Or have an anooba bite his wrist. Or convince whatsername to not give him a bit of lovin' so he's all pent up and distracted! I'm dying here, man! Dying!"
"You can't have /Kasia/ give him a bit of lovin'," Tarion is replying to Zhu Yan, taking Hex's side in this argument, or at least he thinks he is. "That's why they're having the duel in the first place, because this guy was all rubbin' up on her in the club." Probably false. The hunter's wearing armor, like always, so at least he looks the part of someone you'd have around at a duel if things go south. "I'm telling you, we just shoot them all on sight and there's no issue. Plus, if this guy is that important, he's probably got a fat wallet. It's a win-win."
Sapphira arrived with Tarion Tavers that morning, dressed rather well considering she's an engineer. She has a loose-fitting green dress on, black leggings, and black stylish boots all covered with a home-knitted grey poncho with a hood. She wears her own weapon beneath that poncho, and stands off to the sidelines, watching nervously. One hand rests on the neck of the poncho. She at least had time to put on makeup this morning, dark eyes and bright red lips. She wears her red hair in a braid down her back. "So he called his wife what, exactly?" Sapphira asks the nearest audience member who, like her, is uninvolved in the proceedings.
Sleek, short, and like a polished Shadow...the androgynous dancer steps out of the shadows, gods only how long he's been there, not making a sound as usual...veil covering his mouth and nose leaving only the long lashed framed eyes and well groomed eyebrows of silent judgement exposed. Naelyn's weapons are probably all concealed, under various articles of tightly fitted clothing in special sheathes, or stashed in his backpack. He just stands a little distance away from the others with a hand resting on his hip and narrowed eyes. He doesn't say a word.
"You're not dying, Yan," Hex rolls his eyes. "I might be... later... but probably not. Anyway if I do, remember to help carry me out of here ok ka, don't just leave me in Ko Hentota for the organ harvesters to find. We're not cheating, unless they do... then we're cheating," he starts repeating the rules. "You people are not shooting their people unless they get aggro first. Sorry but my hands are tied there, I do not need an entire crime syndicate comin' at me because I was dishonorable in a duel with the second-in-command. It's gotta be what it is." He draws on a cigarette, then starts to answer Sapphira, "He tried to steal my woman. And touched her when she didn't want it so I'm gonna shoot his crotting -- Wait, what, are you here because you wanted to, or because Tarion dragged you here?" Then Naelyn appears, another unexpected party, and Hex's hands go to his head like he's trying to keep his brain from escaping to saner places. "Aggh, I knew it, I knew the shadows felt extra judgey!"
Zhu Yan looked at Hex like he'd grown an extra head. Who was this man and what had happened to the rough-and-tumble man who ate literally everything? He glanced over at Tarion, over to Sapphira, then back at Hex. "Look, like I said before, repeatedly, I might add," he pontificated, holding up a finger, "we could easily have shot him in the back and left him to the organ harvesters. But making sure to take his wallet first." He glanced over at Tarion, and said, "Never forget the wallet." Short, sharp nod. Professional courtesy amongst scoundrels.
"Do you see that poncho, Hex?" Tarion asks, nodding at Sapphira. "That is not the poncho of a woman who was 'dragged' anywhere, that's the poncho of a beautiful sweet angel whose presence we do not deserve... who insisted on following me down here to make sure I don't spoil your very important playdate. Or, you know, maybe I dragged her." Which is it, then? YOU DECIDE. Tarion is already onto other things. "Anyway, the point is, we shoot this guy /and/ the first in command, we take over the whole syndicate, we annex it to Defiance. Hostile takeover, boom. I just made you a million credits and all you had to do was listen to my fantastic advice."
Tarion gets a long skeptical look for his speech from Sapphira. "I made this poncho," she tells him, a touch defensively. She likes to knit her own ponchos! But then those bright, bright green eyes flit back to Hex and the woman frowns. "So we can't do anything at all? Sorry, this is my first duel. Though they're rather popular on Corescant," Mrs. Tavers says. Otherwise, she listens, but she's quiet as she listens. At least, until Hex speaks to the shadows nearby. The redhead turns to look around, looking for whatever Hex is speaking to. Looking for Naelyn, or whomever might be out there.
The shadows are extra-judgey, taking in everybody gathered, flicking from face to face and then back to Hex as they narrow. "If he dies, I'm castrating you both to make you more docile and easy to manage and also reduce the chance of you accidentally bringing forth offspring." A familiar voice, soft and lilting with that purring accent. It is not uttered with a threat, or any sarcasm, or really any emotion at all. Just like saying 'I'm going to the grocery store to get milk' level of calm. Then Naelyn prepares to follow, glancing to Sapphira and bowing his head politely at her. "If you like however, we can preserve a sperm sample from Master Tavers. For sentimental value. Or, in case we need to sell it to science for extra credits."
"We can't shoot the first in command of Vuren'ilar," Hex explains the crime syndicate to Tarion, grumpily. "He's my brother-in-law. I can't just randomly shoot my sister's husband. Don't get me wrong, he deserves it, but one time some of his people abandoned me in the desert and then later he had them all executed so, I mean, I kinda owe him... long story.. also probably my sister would be unhappy. Tcha, I'm getting distracted, it doesn't matter. Don't over think it. It's easy! We show up, inspect weapons, Tol Shala shoot each other, he dies, we go home happy. Ok ka? And whatever happens in Ko Hentota, it stays in Ko Hentota. /Nobody tell Kasia/. Including you," he adds to Naelyn, "Especially you." He looks to the bearded gunslinger, "Yan, pay attention to any funny business as they check my gun and we check his, alright?"
Thus, it's off into the alleys. Hex seems to know where he's going through the labyrinthine maze of this industrial wasteland, and eventually they reach their destination, the first alleyway yet to have anyone in it, a group of 3 Twi'leks back-lit by mist and a half-dead streetlight. "Hex," a voice greets, someone here knows him. "Heard you got married. Many happy congratulations, Mr. Ciph."
"Well, I mean, you could probably randomly shoot him," said Zhu Yan in a casual tone that really should have him teed up for a visit to a head doctor of some sort. He followed Hex though the labyrinthine maze of thoroughly disappointing wasteland to their presumably thoroughly honourable destination. And then there were three. Technically eight all up. Hey, numbers advantage. As Hex moved forward, Yan fell back to say something to Tarion right quick. "If this goes bad, you take out that guy on the left and I'll get the other, ok ka?"
"Fine, we won't shoot him directly," Tarion agrees begrudgingly, following along behind Hex toward the meetup. The hunter has his G8 rifle slung over his shoulder, and when Yan drops back to murmur instructions, he nods. But then something the other three are saying catches his ear, and his face clouds. "...wait, Hex is /married?/ ...To /Kasia?/" Wtf. When? How?! He blinks, shocked.
Sapphira falls in-step near Naelyn as they move through the alleys, following Hex's little party along. "I can see why Tare fell in with this particular group," the redhead confesses, drawing her home-knitted hood up around her red hair to protect from the damp and grey of the day. "No one here seems to have any respect for the rules." Her tone, however, isn't chastizing. It's respectful. And then she smiles to Naelyn. "All that said, and as much as I value Tare's sperm, I wonder if it would really sell. No matter how this turns out, I'd be curious to know." It's an attempt at levity, though those bright green eyes remain on the action before them.
!!! -- ??? -- ... -- There is more silent judgement from the shadows, where Naelynlurks as he follows the group of people. More details shared, requests to not tell Kasia (which gets an eye roll and a 'bitch, please' look obscured by that veil). He doesnt' speak though, he takes in the three Twi'Leks with a tilt of his head and then looks back to Hex and then the direction of the voice. Then to Tarion. "...you honestly believe there's a sober human woman who would willingly put up with Hex's racism and eating habits without a binding legal agreement?" He has to ask softly before shaking his head slowly, his attention going to the situation, speaking quietly with Sapphira. "It would sell." He confirms, taking a deep breath as he takes in the alleyway, lips moving quietly as he does calculations of length, width, points of escape...etc, eyes darting from one thing to another.
Hex twitches his lekku in response to the 'Mr Ciph' comment in a way that must have been insulting, because the leader of the other group laughs. Hex's adversary is tall with golden skin and green eyes, in superb physical shape, handsome face, dressed like he's got shitloads of money. There is no immediately plausible explanation for why Kasia would in fact marry the green one with the racism and the eating habits. Both he and Hex are armored. "Felt the need to bring the whole village, did you?" Tol greets, "No matter. I am happy to have more witnesses to your messy, and overdue end." The Defiance group receives a bow. "Ke'nata ni. Respect to you," he greets them, and Hex appears profoundly irritated. "Shut up, Tol," he replies. "You were unwanted, and you'll answer for it. Give over your gun and let's just do this." He hands his own pistol over, and the Twi'lek equivalent of Tarion and Yan swap over Tol's, though there appear to be a lot of eyes on what the human boys might try to do to it. Tol, meanwhile, continues stirring up his opponent, tone casual. "Did she give you the impression she was unwilling?"
See, this was just like one of those HoloNet serials that could be safely considered Zhu Yan's guilty pleasure. In fact it was just like that episode last week, what with Luci's baby and all. And Yan was also perplexed, befuddled, bewildered at how a smokin' hottie like Kasia turned down a handsome hunk like this gentleman. All these facts turned around in his head as he stared at the guns that it wasn't until they were returned to him that he realized he wasn't actually paying any attention. Keeping a straight face, and turning away from the assembled group of those-about-to-die, Yan said quietly to the other three, "Sithspit, I wasn't paying attention. Did anything happen?"
Tarion just shakes his head at the other man. "I don't know, I couldn't see. Krif, if Hex loses this, I wonder if that guy will hire me. He looks flush with cash, man. How do you get that rich? It can't just be luck." Oh, right, they're there for Hex. "....you got this, boss," he tells the green fellow with the chub. "Just, uh. Try to be better than him in at least one area of life, okay?"
"Oh dear," Sapphira sighs softly as she listens to the discussion, or taunts, tossed between Hex and Tol. She hangs to the back, not engaging with Naelyn on the important and interesting topic of Tarion's sperm. For the moment, it seems in poor taste to make jokes. She does, though, still look to the Dancer nearby. "Surely we're allowed to take offense to all that, aren't we? Can't we do anything at all?"
"There...is no doubt, that aesthetically this individual is superior to Hex in every way..." Because Naelyn is supportive like that, eyes slowly traveling down Tol's body and back up as he folds an arm over his chest and shifts his weight slightly. A pause before he bows deeply as well, taking a deep breath and muttering to Sapphira. "Family can sometimes be a bitch...as can Hex..." Then he clears his throat and speaks up, taking a few steps forward. "I do apologize masters, but...Mistress Kasia never has to leave an impression, it is quite clear when she is or isn't willing. All night long, she is crying out 'Oh Heksash'kuri, my husband, my love, my all...I love doing it bibfort style, oh my husband my love...harder...more..' and other such things about him having the stamina of...well. You get the picture. No impression are left, her affections are clear. He has the corpulence of one who can care for his wife financially and physically, oh ever so handsome Master...before you kill him, do we have the pleasure to know the name of your wife? Or...have you not yet proven yourself to be a man in that way?"
"Were you not even paying attention?" Hex balks at Tarion and Yan, who are too busy wondering how deep Tol Shala's pockets are and why the hell Kasia is with a totally inferior Twi'lek man to discern all the ways in which his pistol might have been tampered with. He looks upwards as though experiencing a private moment of exquisite despair, then the chance is over, the pistols are handed back to their owners. Nothing seemed weird about Tol's weapon; no unusual mods or rockets or deadly additions that Quentin Haslett might find interesting. Both combatants stare openly at Naelyn as he goes on. Hex is wedged awkwardly in a place between pride and abject horror and Tol just looks like he has no idea what could possibly be said in response to that. That wife comment though, that found its mark, and he twitches his lekku in irritation. "Clear the area, get out of the way, and we will do this, then," he snaps.
They separate, the seconds back up, one of them counts the paces in Ryl. Then both men turn, pistols drawn, and at the last count, at the same time, both fire.
The blaster bolts rang out and in the midst of the fog Zhu Yan spied something he didn't like. His right hand immediately flicked down out of his folded-arms position to hover over the Bryar in his hip holster. It was too foggy to see the result yet, so even while he was listening for the telltale signs of Hex crying like a little girl, he warned the rest of them that "I see more hostiles. This is about to go loud."
Tarion can't see much, what with all the fog in the area, but he does notice something off. Something like other people. Something like many other people. In truth, he got distracted and didn't even see Hex and the other guy shoot at each other, there was something across the street in the gutter that looked like it might be a credit chit, and then when he looked back up he noticed these figures approaching from, well, both sides of the alley. "Sapphira," he calls quietly, dropping his hands to his rifle.
Sapphira is standing back and out of the way, and when the blaster shots go off she flinches visibly. Hey, she may be raised on Nar, but she hardly has been witness to this sort of thing before! The redhead bites hard on her lower lip, standing on her toes to peer and try to see just what the outcome of the fired bolts might have been. But as the sound fades into the night, she hears Tarion speak her name. It's enough to get the girl to look in his direction, and she sees the man with his rifle. She can't see why his hands are at his rifle, but seeing them there is enough. As her own hand reaches under that knitted poncho, which is a delight of fashion she'll have you all know, she nods unsurely to Naelyn. "Yes, sir," she says, not arguing with the dancer. She takes a few steps toward the other side of the alley, positioning herself behind her ... ugh .... husband.
That is Naelyn's job, to be that tiny dagger that slips between the ribs not to kill but to distract you enough so you aren't at the top of your game. Possibly because you're horrified or drowning in terrifying mental images playing to an Episode 2 level holo-porn soundtrack. 'Haunted by the kiss you never should've given me' chicka wow wowwow. He gestures for where he and Sapphira should stand to get out of the way, gently guiding her as needed and then turning his attention to the duel. A quiet prayer in Ryl is murmured as the world around him slows down and he's focussed on the seconds, every breath...something in the corner of his eye though causes him to look away for a moment to take a deep breath and Zhu confirms his fears. "Stick by Master Tavers, darling..." He is speaking to Sapphira of course. "He is one of the better shots. Master Zhu is a good shot as well, and using him as a human shield is an acceptable risk as well..." But he's waiting to see who fell in the duel.
Tol's a good shot but in this case Hex is a better one, and against all odds has managed not to humiliate himself in this affair. Both Kasia's husband and her unwanted(???) suitor and up bleeding, Hex from a solid shoulder wound, Tol in the chest, not fatal but that's an ugly wound and he's worse off. Breathing in a wet way that suggests some kind of lung problem, Actually Attractive Alien takes a knee and appears to have lost this duel. "Escho'ka ni tal'kan," Hex growls something unfriendly at Tol in Ryl, though Nae knows Ryl and has probably heard that phrase in other, friendlier contexts. Both of them are busy being hurt and glaring and not noticing.. the people approaching from both ends of the alley. Both do, belatedly, and both bristle, ready to accuse the other, when a new voice sounds... accented in Ryl again, though the people appearing in the mist are a mix of species. "Heksash'kuri and Tolsha'la, all in one place, taking each other to pieces, well well," a Twi'lek woman remarks, amused. "What is this, problems among the upper echelons of Vuren'ilar? House divided, boys." She turns back to her people, and doesn't waste any time. Hex, Tol, and this strange woman all yell at their people at the same time, "KILL THEM!"
"Oh frack this," said Zhu Yan in... well he was more exasperated than anything. The man without the plan had a single trick in his arsenal when it comes to firefights.
But boy howdy is it a doozy.
Two bright yellow blaster bolts emerged from the area near Yan's hip before anyone could really register just how fast the man had drawn that distinctive Bryar pistol. The first shot slammed into the man's chest, but he must have been armored up or something because he didn't go down. The second went well wide. "COVER!" he yelled as he dove to one side, tucking himself in behind a handy dandy dumpster. "Leave no survivors!"
With Sapphira somewhat behind him, at least, as much as you can be when you're surrounded, Tarion snaps his rifle up into position and starts firing at the nearest crime syndicate underling or whatever banner these new perps are operating under. The first bolt goes crackling harmlessly past, but the next hits an unsuspecting alien smack in the face, blowing a hole in its skull and crumpling the corpse to the street. "Sapphira," he repeats, "now's your chance, ok ka?" There's a smirk, because he said ok ka.
Okay, Hex doesn't look like he's dying, some female voice is yelling about death, Naelyn is reserving all 'I TOLD YOU THINGS WOULD GO WRONG' for a later time. He is just whistling sharply to Sapphira. "Shit...they are now all saying the 'ka' thing...this cannot end well...Master Tavers, 2000 credits to get Hex out of here alive, and also I'll get Sapphira out of here as well...Mistress Sapphira, follow me before you too catch the 'ka'." He's got that brief couple of seconds to be a smart ass as he's taking a few steps forward, to buy Sapphira some 'move your ass' time. One moment he's standing there the next he's step pivoting smoothly with a small jump to push himself off into a back flip to land beside somebody who wandered too close. Somewhere in that motion, he's slid his retractable baton out from under his short robe, rising out of his crouch in a fluid motion to SLAM the butt of the baton into that poor man's crotch and then snap the baton to full length, waiting for the inevitable doubleover so he can slam it once more upside the poor man's head. Each blow calculated, and he uses the momentum of that fluid/quick motions rather than strength. Each strike, echoed with a soft 'hiss' like sound from the dancer. Then he's calling to Sapphira. "/Now/." And darting off and away from the melee.
"My chance?" Sapphira echoes to Tarion. But then there's the sounds of guns going off and the redhead yelps, bringing her hands up to cover her ears in shock and surprise. She half-turns just in time to see the cheap merc crumpling beside her after Tarion took the face off. Then Naelyn's calling for her, beating another man and clearing a path for their escape. "Oh, hell," the redhead swears, and, after her initial freakout, she lifts her weapon and points it down the alley to squeeze off a shot, which makes a very nice black smear on the alley wall. A testiment to the violence taking place here tonight. She takes another moment to look, concerned, in Tarion's direction, before Naelyn's cry reminds her of what she should be doing. She's an engineer. She should not be here. So she turns and jogs off after the sweet, sensual man with the big stick.
All hell breaks loose! Yan injures one of the assailants, Tarion shoots one dead, Naelyn stuns the shit out of one as he absconds with Tarion's wife. Hex takes a few shots but misses narrowly both times; he's been hit in the right shoulder, he's right-handed, it makes for bad firing. Worse-injured Tol and his crew have focused on taking down the Twi'lek woman who was speaking when her posse rolled up, and seem to be trying to take her alive. Shots return fire from the crew remaining standing -- there are three that look tough now, including the one Yan's got half dead, and two that look not very tough. Some shots are fired after Naelyn and Sapphira, but none to any effect, and a shot at Tarion misses him. Zhu Yan manages to catch a stray bolt, though it's not grievous, and Hex yells at Tol over the fray, "Who the hell are these people even?!"
The searing pain slicing across his hip was yet another reminder that Zhu Yan's risk-addicted days were catching up to him. "Schutta!" he hissed, before poking his head and blaster around the dumpster and sending two more yellow bolts into the wall behind the enemies. "I picked the wrong week to quit drinking!" he complained, loudly. Quite likely a lie, too!
Tarion's modified G8 can do this all night; literally. He'll never be in a scene where he needs to reload, not even if they ever implement that ammo counter for +attack, ho no. Unfortunately that provides like, literally no tangible benefits, so he takes advantage of the cheap merc's terrible aim to try to hit the better equipped, better covered, better armored ones, firing in concert with Yan. Unfortunately, this strategy is misguided and it fails. "We need to think about getting the hell out of here," he yells at the other two, starting to look for actual cover.
It's quite the three-way firefight this innocent little duel has turned into. The alley is full of blaster fire from all directions, and Tol yells a dry explanation back at Hex's question, "Silais Olan has a lot of friends!" Injured but contributing, Hex drops a couple of the tough-looking thugs in a manner that suggests Tol probably has really good armor, while Tarion and Yan hold down the fight in their respective corners. When the dust settles, the only interloper left alive is that Twi'lek woman, restrained by Tol's goons, and the only people who actually look like they're hurt significantly are the two idiot duel combatants.
In between all of the misses, Zhu Yan had a dramatic moment where he performed a brief instant of laser-based dentistry on one of Silais Olan's grunts. He was unlikely to receive any complaints from the lucky recipient. He came out from his cover, limping a little, and cursing all the while. "Goddamn schuttas, shooting up my pants, damnit, I'm gonna have to... ohhhh now I have to go to Wayside. Doc is gonna kill me." He looked less perturbed by the firefight and more by the fact that he now had to face the wrath of one (1) Eevy Kal.
Tarion gets hit, probably due to the fact that, in true Star Wars fashion, he's spent the majority of the firefight in the middle of the street like a madman. There's a 2k bonus in it from Naelyn if he gets Hex out of here in one piece at stake, after all, and that's more important than /him/ getting out in one piece. They can put that stuff back on, anyway, it's not a big deal. Anyway, luckily the dude that shot him was wielding a weaksauce little peashooter and it barely burns him through the armor he rarely takes off, making the hunter almost chuckle after the initial yelp before he returns the favor by blasting a hole in the other man's chest. Eventually, the fire dies out, though, and he lowers his rifle, glancing over at the boss. "Any objections to getting the hell out of here?"
"Wait. One second," Hex replies to Tarion and his desire to GTFO, holding up one finger. He holsters his pistol awkwardly with his left hand since his mangled shoulder is really starting to hurt, then walks over toward Tol and starts speaking to him. It's not clear that they're saying, as it's fast, and it's a seamless blend of Ryl and lekku, as native speakers do, hard to follow if you're missing the lekku part. It seems animated, however; there's some gesturing, more gesturing, words Zhu Yan can pick out as 'bitch' and 'money', eye rolling, voices raised. It ends with with Tol looking disgusted, and remarking in Basic as he hands something over, "You're a trash fire, Ashkuri." This time, Hex grins. "That's what keeps Kasia warm at night." The Vuren'ilar crew hauls their captive to her feet, over her protests, and hauls her off down the alleyway, while Hex looks pleased and moseys back to his pair, handing each of them half of whatever Tol just handed to him. "Thanks, ai'jouku. Knew you'd have my back."
Zhu Yan chose to believe that Hex was explaining the lyrics of 'Bitch better have my money', which was a popular folk ballad on his home planet of Corellia. Kids loved it. He looked at the credit chits and tucked them into the pocket. The still functional pocket. Honestly what was it with people shooting his pants lately. "We totally did not have your back but sure, I'll take this money," he said with a grin that could almost but not quite be described as Corellian in nature. Bloody Corellians.
"We had your back all the way," Tarion replies blithely. Totally true. The hunter is barely scathed, being the champion streetfighter that he is, and he accepts the payment with a large grin. When there's a paycheck involved, "You can always count on us."
"Shhhh, don't ruin this for me," Hex scolds Zhu Yan, and the assertion that they didn't have his back. "I got to shoot that dust-eyed spit-licker /and/ take his money, I'm gonna call this a win. Now let's get the hell out of Ko Hentota, make sure Naelyn and Mrs. Tarion made it out alright, and somewhere in there, I'll think of a reason to lie to Kasia about how I got shot. Flawless, boys, flawless." And off they go, down the alley and disappearing into the mist, like the badasses they totally, no really, are.