Log:Killing The Past 1: ...Seriously?
The short story: Defiance's maternal figure gets clucky about one of his boys.
The long story:
Hex has summoned Yan to the PRINCIPAL'S (Kasia's) OFFICE. JK, Hex has limited power to summon anyone anywhere. But word did go out that he'd like to speak to Yan, and the door is unlocked, the office smelled with smoke from the 11ty billion cigarettes Hex smoked in here before anyone else arrived.
Zhu Yan made a coughing noise as he stepped into the room. Look, bomber jacket! LOOK, TWO HANDS! He'd gotten himself another arm from somewhere! It looked pretty human-like, though obviously false, but otherwise a good copy. He was still clenching and unclenching his fist, indicating that it was a very recent acquisition. "Yo big man," he said, not intentionally implying anything about the dadbodded boss. Further in he walked, falling into the chair across from the desk like his spine had been surgically removed.
It's okay. He is a big man, he knows it. Hex draws on his cigarette as Yan comes in, gaze dropping to the new left arm, and the clenching/unclenching fist. A long exhale of smoke follows, then he nods at the cybernetics. "That the final version, or is it a prototype while you calibrate? You right handed?"
"Final one, designed to fit and match perfectly for minimal calibration. Wasn't cheap, but worth it." Yan laced the finger together, marvelling at how he could actually feel both hands again. "And yeah, I'm right handed. The gunner would have hit my rifle if he aimed at my right shoulder. Small victories. So what's the deal-eyo?" he asked. Hex didn't call people into Kasia's office for no reason.
Legally it's 50% his office, c'mon now. "Mmh... well, that's lucky," Hex muses at the revelation that Yan didn't lose his dominant hand. Annoyingly, whatever he called Yan in here for, he seems to be taking his time getting to the point of it. "You need money to cover your medical expenses on it? I need to pay Sesti anything?" A hesitation follows, but whatever he's not saying, for now it remains unsaid.
Thump. Thump. That was Yan's booted feet, one heel landing on the desk in front of him, the other landing on the calf. "Got something you wanna talk to me about, buddy?" he asked, completely ignoring the small talk. It was an innocent probing question that was anything but. He gave Hex a look of raised eyebrows and pursed lips, a 'Get to the point' look that he'd learned from watching Kasia.
"Ka," Hex replies dryly. "Get your feet off my wife's desk and answer me on if I should be paying you or Sesti, for starters. Don't rush me, ai'jou, I'm on the fence on whether I want to go where I'm going on this or not. So get your boots off the furniture and figure out if you like money while I think on it."
"I like money," was the immediate response as Yan looked at his booted feet, considered it, and decided not to poke the big friendly man any longer. Thump, thump were the sounds of Yan's feet hitting the ground. Now he looked awkward, slouched in that chair, so he skootched up a bit. "Sesti's paid. Don't worry about it," he said, waving his F&B hand in the air. DISMISSED. Hopefully. "Ya gonna be a while?" he asked, almost just to be provocative.
Hex unlocks a desk drawer, pulls out a Credit chip presumably loaded with cash, and tosses it over. "Catch," he arcs the credits that way, and then locks the drawer again. He leans back in the chair behind the desk, expression more inscrutable than is his usual wont. "Yup," he replies to the question, and is probably waiting even longer, smoke curling toward the ceiling, in his own version of provocative. Eventually though, the matter of the meeting does surface. "You still want to go to Thyferra?"
By some miracle, the fast-reflexed but slow-to-pay-attention Zhu Yan managed to snag the credit chit out of the air. With his mechanical hand. And not crush it. He looked at it in near wonder, then said, "Dude, I can fight my own battles." He dropped the thing on the table, to be dealt with later. "Now, last time I spoke to you about going to Thyferra," and at this Zhu Yan sat forward, putting his hands on the table, "you said 'omg wtf no what the hell dude that's lame'. I recall the words. What's changed?"
Hex lets one shoulder rise and fall in a shrug. "Had some time to think about it," he replies. "Off and on, between other things. What you said to me, ka, that was lame, and it made no sense. You know that it made no sense. It /still/ doesn't make any sense, and it's not really what I'm going on here. It's not what you asked, it's the fact that you did. It's unlike you. You hate anyone to do anything on your behalf, you talk a big show about wanting attention but you discriminate sharply between attention and scrutiny, and you sure as hell would rather die than owe me any favors. It must have been important, even though I don't understand what the hell. So, that being said.... do you still want to go to Thyferra?"
Huh. Yan sat there slack-jawed for a moment. That was far too precise an assessment for him to be comfortable. Maybe it was time to disappear again. Maybe not. Questions for later. Thyferra had to happen first. Thyferra NEEDED to happen first. "'Want'?" he asked, rhetorically. "No. Frack knows I don't want to go to Thyferra. But," and he raised a hand with an extended finger to highlight his point, "and I say this to you in strictest confidence," yeah he was shook, "it's mandatory. The First Order is on Thyferra, there are geneaology vaults on Thyferra, and," he paused, considering what he was about to say, before going 'frack it' and outright saying it. "Thyferra is my homeworld."
Hex smokes, brows furrowing slightly as he listens, trying to track through the maze of what he knows, what he suspects, what he doesn't know, his gut feelings and what he's hearing. 'In the strictest confidence' surprises him slightly, and then the statement at the end, carrying as it does the actual ring of truth, surprises him more. Both brows lift. "Seriously?"
"Seriously," said Yan, making a non-lopsided shrug and placing his hands back on the table. "Bacta baron incarnate, right here. How do you think I got into that party when we were scoping out your arm-slash-leg shipment?" He'd gone into the party with the very well thought out cover identity of a Xucphra sales representative. Kinda made sense now that his homeworld was on the table. "Anyway, long story short, you know my job. First Order finds out who I am, we're all dead. So, yes, I can get bacta store records. But I want the geneaology records gone." It was said in Yan's normal informal missing-words stream of thought manner, but with a tone of underlying seriousnes.
"I never thought about it, I was half dead on D'Qar for most of that," Hex admits. "If there were clues or not, I didn't pick up on them. I figured you weren't Corellian, but Thyferra would not have been my guess." He waves the hand with the cigarette, creating a smoke trail through the air. "I don't care about the bacta store records, other than that we'll need something to tell everybody else, and likely none of them would question it anyway. If you want this done, if this is important to you, then Defiance will help."
"I'm going to ask you this question once," said Yan, standing up out of his chair and reaching his full, pitiful height. He was not an imposing figure and never would be unless he was in a disguise of some sort. "And once only, and I want you to think very long and hard about the answer." He put his F&B hand, curled almost into a fist, into his synthetic one, almost in a knuckle cracking gesture. "I know enough people who can do this job, who won't trace it back here, and who won't cause a black mark on whatever we do." Zhu Yan didn't care too much about what Defiance did, he'd never hidden it though he didn't go out of his way to Tarion all over the place about it, but the people in it could be considered friends, as much as he had friends. "So I ask you this. Are you absolutely, positively, equivocally sure? As sure as I am about Narsai being both hot and unattainable? As sure as Tarion will shoot you in the back for ten credits given the slightest chance?"
Hex is still seated, and looks up at Yan. Up at him! It's novel. His left forearm rests along the desk, right hand with the cigarette propped up with his elbow on the desk surface. "Yan, I didn't know the hell you wanted with that place, but I knew the Order's on Thyferra, and I was well aware of that before I made the offer. I'm a veteran of that ugly gods-damned war, and I know exactly what the Order can do. Of course I'm sure. I wouldn't have brought it up if I wasn't." He exhales smoke one more time and stubs out the cigarette. "Now get out of my office and go put together a plan."
Zhu Yan stood there in silence for a moment, which was strange from the man who talked just to fill space. Or to get a point across. Or because he had questions. Or because he liked the sound of his own voice. Or because he was bored. "Aight," he said, in weird not-Corellian slang. He was going to have to stop that. "I'll put together something, and then we'll go and hit a data vault. Just like old times." And there was the wry grin, fake, but instinctual now. It wasn't Corellian, it wasn't Thyferran, it was Yan. And with that, he was out the door.