Log:Lizards and Corpses
"Come back here!" Anadesi's curiously melodic voice bellows between greedy swallows of the acrid air as she propels herself full tilt. Each thump of her heavily soled boots is like a piston striking duracrete, the metronome-like rhythm the beating war drum in her pursuit of a tiny, armless lizard. The lizard, it seems to the casual onlooker, has managed to gets its mouth around some inarticulate tangle of wire wrapped haphazardly about some other turquoise colored wafer. With its diminuitive size, the lizard has the advantage for the moment but the combat medic's rampant strides have managed to keep the gap down to a minimum.
Lozen emerges from one of the brothels looking curiously disgruntled for someone who doesn't look like she works there. She hears a persuit in progress and hastily steps aside to press against the building to make herself less of an obstacle with the air of someone who's learned some lessons the ward way.
Anadesi breathes hard through her mouth leaving behind an alkaline brine that leaves her mouth chalky and tasting vaguely of iron filings. Hair wild, her nearly manic visage is further punctuated by her wide eyes and equally dishevelled appearance. The lizard jukes and jives but the woman's gait is too long and seems to be weaving her way around people without mishap leaving barely an arm's length between the pair.
"Now I've got you!" Anadesi growls under her breath as she dips down mid-stride. Her leg muscles coil, bunching up beneath her rough-hewn leathers to build up kinetic energy. Then, with one last burst, all that built up energy is unleashed to propel her forward in a desperate, diving arc. She sails through the air and, for a brief moment, it seems as if the pursuit is about to end as her shadow looms over the lizard like a Star Destroyer over a primitive village. Abruptly, the lizard vanishes and the medic trundles to a halt.
"Kriffing thing," Anadesi spits as she rights herself in to a sitting position and peers back along her track. The gizka had managed to dip itself in to a grate and disappeared from view. It's about that time that she notices the Echani warrior and affords the unfamiliar woman a quizzical tilt of the head.
"You look like you've been around the block. Want to earn some quick credits?" Anadesi offers as she rises to her feet and dusts herself off.
Lozen watches this all with a detached puzzlement while she waits for the commotion to pass her-when it fails to do so her too pale lips purse. Then she's being addressed and her gaze becomes wary though decidedly more interested at the mention of credits "Depends. What'd you be paying me and What would I have to do?"
Anadesi takes a moment to catch her breath. Quickly enough, her lungs settle in to a more gentle rhythm and with one final, nearly theatrical huff, she claps her hands together.
"Well," Anadesi muses for a moment before running her tongue along the inside of her mouth. Turning her head to side, she spits the tinny mixture, offering moisture to already soiled ground. "You follow me in to there," a gloved finger toward the grate, "and you flush out that karking lizard while I follow and net it." The grate seems large enough for a humanoid to drop through if they're so inclined. "If you get some wierd disease or something down there, I can fix you up." Sniffing sharply, she rubs her nose on the sleeve of her arm before planting her hands on her hips. "Easy-peasy five hundred creds or so."
Lozen eyes Anadesi with a purse of lips "Fine but if you hustle me or leave me stuck in a sewer there will be answering for it. Diseases are my own damned problem." the bridge of her nose scrunches up and she cants her head to the side while she ponders how to get past the grate itself.
"Jeez," Anadesi recoils in mock fear of the wiry woman's threat. She raises her hands defensively, palms facing outwards, before smiling in a wolfish fashion. "Everyone's so edgy on this moon. Got a flashlight or have you got eyes that can see in the dark? Never seen someone with your..." she drifts as her finger traces an outline of her own face... "complexion before or whatever. Is that even appropriate?" She squints, studying the Echani's reaction before reaching in to her utility belt for a small plasma cutter. Paying little mind to anyone looking on, she starts the job of slicing through the worn metal.
Lozen squints and there's a flat stare that lingers about three heartbeats or so before she answers "Echani. Not magical just pale." She fishes out a flashlight. There is another flat stare at the cutting of a grate that likely would have been lifted away had she had time to size it up properly. There's a slow exhale and a lift of gaze skywards.
"Neat," Anadesi replies distantly as she focuses on not getting her hands in the way of the red-hot edges left behind as she cuts away haphazardly at the grate. The tool works quickly and the woman appears to have some skill with it in the cleanliness of the cut.
"Got a name? Most people call be Anna or uncreatively Doc," Anadesi steals a glance at the Echani before returning to her work. Nearly done. The metal cools quickly as it blisters away from the cutting edge. Like most people on the moon, people are minding their own business.
Lozen just stands there patiently with her arms crossed. Her gaze tracks those who show an interest in what they're up to in case there is potential problem. Only once the grate is cut open does Lozen fish out a utility light from her a pocket and peer down into the depths.
"No name? Okay, the strong silent type," Anadesi glances up to study the Echani once more before finishing the final cut on the grate. It falls away and clatters with a splash below betraying the fact that the distance isn't that significant. The medic is happy to stand back for the moment as Lozen studies the distance with her own flashlight - the warm, sickly sweet smell coming up from below isn't exactly the most appetizing thing.
"Ugh," Anadesi squeezes her nose shut and turns her head before spitting once more. The phlegmy mixture lingers on the dirty street before becoming just another bit of grime in a sea of grime. "Ready?"
Lozen answers absently as she peers down to get a good idea as she can about what she is getting into. After giving that her attention first her silvered gaze lifts to meet the good doctor's "Lozen Valarin. And I'm not doing this for less than a grand."
Anadesi glowers briefly, the gesture as fleeting as her focus on the Echani. Placing her hands on her hips, she turns and wanders a step or two before pivoting on the ball of her foot and wandering back the other direction.
"You kriffing criminals and your renogotiations," Anadesi huffs before stopping and putting a more pleasant, forced smile on her lips. "Okay, yeah, it's smelly but you probably don't want me turning you away when you come limping around with a big ol' blaster hole the size of a Hutt's butthole in your size." She waves a hand with a flourish before stopping with her palm face-up directed towards the other woman as if asking to dance. "Fine, seven-hundred." Anadesi's brows lift expectantly. Lozen corrects "Bounty hunter. I don't get knee deep in shit for less than a grand. You have your principles, I got mine." Considering the matter settled she shoves the light back into a pocket and pivots to walk away.
"Potatoe potato," Anadesi offers little in the way of concession and clucks as the Echani begins to wander away. Hands on her hips again, as if taking on the guise of a teapot somehow lends to her ability to consider the situation, it takes the span of a heartbeat or two for the medic to finally relent.
"Okay okay," Anadesi flashes a credit chit to prove she has the means before spiriting it away. "But this is only because I like you. I may not be super happy if you ever want treatment though. You know, for reasons."
Lozen mmms "Good thing Echani train since infancy to fight. Or that you're not the only doctor on this moon." A reluctant sigh before she calmly advises "It will get much worse when I start mucking around. Don't hold your breath-It will only make it much worse when you eventually must breath. You're a doctor-you know how much asphyxiation on vomit would suck." Out comes the flashlight and down she goes, not leaping but sliding down and dangle-dropping from the edge of the cut grate if it's not too sharp or hot to do so.
It's warmer than one might think in the tunnel beneath the street and its purpose isn't entirely clear. While waste doesn't specifically seem to be running down the passage, it certainly has managed to finds its way down in one fashion or another. Utility wires run along the walls in durasteel conduits that hum with electrification meant to discourage scavengers from messing with the contents within. There are lights positioned here and there at regular intervals but they fail to offer much in the way of illumination having long since gotten too scum-covered to offer anything more than some haphazard indication that one could continue in either direction down the tunnel if they're so inclined. The pair of women drop safely enough in to the slop, landing on cluttered refuse that seemingly was enough to brace the fall of the gizka but not their significantly higher weight.
"Oh void," Anadesi manages to squeak out as he wanders to the wall to brace herself and retch. She dry-heaves, betraying a missing meal or two. "Ugh," Anadesi spits out the stomach bile and reaches for a canteen at her hip to swish and spit. "It's a good thing I've been looking to lose weight." The bounty hunter would be better equipped than the medic to notice tiny footprints heading along the duracrete walkway that favors one side of the tunnel: its tiny footsteps skittering in to the dark.
Lozen coughs and her eyes water. She pulls out a cloth square-likely a hanky or do-rag and ties this around her face-mostly to ward off insects or the like than any real hope of evading the godawful stench "I didn't charge enough." She laments deadpan with no attempt to follow it up by asking for more. The ligh is cast back and forth "The creature of sole interest or was there something about it that makes this worth it to you?"
"Eh," Anadesi doesn't respond immediately as she ponders what to respond with. She steps up on to the walkway and out of the muck taking only a moment to drag the bottoms of her feet on the hard corner of the walkway to slick off at least some of the muck.
"I don't care about the kriffing lizard," Anadesi explains, waving a hand dismissively. "You can shoot it if you want. I just didn't need the attention on the surface. People don't care if someone's chasing someone else but you start shooting in to a crowd and people start to get all crazy and stuff." Flailing her arms, the reenactment is poignant if not that accurate. "Down here though, no one gives a fu-- oh hey we heading the right direction?" She waves the flashlight in a circle directing one's attention down the tunnel.
Lozen frowns "Why are we down here for then?" She slogs along in slow, methodical steps, not bothering to clean muck off her boots until it is practical to do so or it becomes imminently necessary "This kind of stink don't just wash off, by thee way."
"Well, you're here because I'm paying you to be here and I'm here because I want what's in that lizard's mouth! Or belly if it's eaten it by now," Anadesi exclaims with a little bit too much vigor before trailing off at the end. "So many questions for a bounty hunter. I'm planning on just burning all of my clothes after this and potentially bathing in antiseptic for several days." Anadesi murmurs something before humming a tune. "I may have to call off my date tonight though. Can you imagine? I'll probably have to find someone who can't smell anything after this and you know how taste and smell are connected? Probably can't cook for bith spit if you can't smell anything and I don't think I could handle someone that can't cook." The medic continues to follow Lozen along.
Lozen mmmmms "You do realize that there are equal odds that the creature has dropped it in the mire? Keep an eye out for that." She continues to slog along, "Ughn, thee sound of the silt is just as bad." It can't be but for some reason it seems to disturb Zen. She stops now and again peering high and low with slow methodical scanning of her small utility light.
The tiny footsteps hug the wall in a pattern that most rodents follow in an effort to minimize their exposure to larger predators. The tunnel veers hard to the left although there are no hard angles in an apparent effort to keep the sludge moving along. Strangely, for those that are particularly keen of sense, one may note that the fluid isn't in fact moving suggesting that the system isn't working as it should.
"Squish squish?" Anadesi echoes, an eyebrow quizzically arched as she waves the flashlight around in a lazy arch. Traffic can be heard overhead getting louder as they traverse the tunnel in this portion. Perhaps another grate ahead. "Echani have super hearing or something?"
Lozen siiighs "Super in comparison to what? Something that cannot hear? Yes. Super in comparison to something that hears well? No. IT sounds like loose bowels and that is unpleasant." It's hard to tell if she notes the systems function or lack of it. IT is Nar and she is no plumber "I am accustomed to tracking people not creaturs. I fear we may have lost it. If this thing is so valueable how did this happen?"
"Ooh," Anadesi notes in realization. "It just sounds like poop and because it probably is it's super gross." Nodding sharply, she peers over her shoulder back the way they came before turning her light back forward. Sure enough, a grate is overhead but this one is accompanied by a ladder that appears to telescope from the opening rather than require a leap of faith like the pair engaged in. At least they had a way out and this one appeared to be fairly well-used.
"It's not so much that it was valuable," Anadesi explains as she continues down the tunnel. "It's just a bunch of scrap. It's the principle of the thing. Little farker comes along and steals my junk?!" Her free hand balls up in toa fist. The leather of her gloves whines in protest. "I don't think so."
Casting the light along the wall, she notes something strange. "Hey, footsteps. Seems we're not the only ones down here. Think the lizard maybe went the same way?"
Lozen ughhns "Having it explained explicitly does not help the disgust factor." Again this is reported in an arid tone "So it takes a scrap and you give it maybe hours of your life? You are generous." Comes the deadpan observation "IT would avoid people, no? I think that way is probably trouble."
"I guess it wouldn't," Anadesi agrees flatly as she meanders a few strides behind the Echani. "Sure, we all waste time all... the time." She scrunches up her face at that bit of linguistic eloquence no doubt mentally berating herself for her limited diction choices. "Can't think properly on this moon anyway. The air burns or something just like the smell down here. No wonder everyone's crazy." Waving a hand at the air in a hopeless gesture, she continues. "I don't think gizka care either way. They're sort of like those pigeon things on Corellia or whatever where they see people as food and since they're small and taste bad they don't need to worry about getting munched on." Picking up her pace, she ignores the Echani's advice and deviates to follow the footsteps along.
Lozen sighs softly and pulls her vibroknife but keeps it behind her for the moment as she follows the Doctor, not bothering to try to change the stubborn medic's mind pr course though she does try to move with somewhat more stealth. At this she utterlhy fails.
Waving the flashlight along the ground, the foot steps continue but are accompanied by marks that anyone could identify as being from dragging. There's three distinct lines, one larger than the other three that's flanked by two that appear to be about the same size. They wiggle side to side like snakes.
"The smell's getting worse," Anadesi notes. The stagnant water has a thick, brackish tinge to it like rot. Closing up her nose with her free hand, her voice is nasally and somewhat muted. "I smell it pretty frequently though."
Lozen scowls "This is a very bad idea, the odds are it's not just shit we're smelling. I am not entirely keen to figure out what IS making that smell so much worse, especially without a blaster."
It's about this time that the medic stops in her footsteps and directs the flashlight at what would be the horizon line if the pair weren't in a sewer. "Yep," Anadesi notes in a macabrely cheery manner. "Rotting flesh." Piled up are heaps of rotting corpses explaining the blockage. It would appear that this was being used as a dump for someone's activities and the Echani and the Doctor have had the joy of discovering it.
"Shall we?" Anadesi notes as she pivots on the ball of her foot and turns in the opposite direction.
Lozen frowns and stan right there as she unhurriedly weighs the pros and cons "Someone'd better have a bounty on them." She siiiighs "Very well. Proceed."
It doesn't take particularly long for the medic to make it back to the ladder and the opening hatch. With a grunt, she jumps and grabs the lowest rung causing it to fall at the behest of gravity and unfurl with a clang. Sticking the flashlight in her mouth, she clambers up and pushes aside the grate - this one clearly meant to hinge open and close for maintenance crew or whomever was storing their macabre toys. Once the pair are out and in to comparatively fresh air, the medic stretches.
"Well, that was fun," Anadesi exclaims as she allows her arms to fall to slap at her thighs. Turning away from the Echani whenever she emerges, Anadesi covers one nostril at a time and blows hard in a vain effort to disgorge them of the scent from below.
Lozen follows below, but takes note of the path they take to get back, occasionally muttering to herself in Echani. She surfaces and frowns "Damnit. There is no way he's going to let me on the ship smelling like this." As if this is a problem she failed to consider BEFORE she went stomping through a sewer.
"You'll be fine," Anadesi lies, seemingly inured to the smell the Echani and her share. Those around them appear to be giving them a relatively wide berth given the proximity of the grate and whatever putrid odour is eminating from them.
"Here's your part of the bargain," Anadesi hands over the agreed upon credit chit before offering a tiny wave. "If you find a gizka, shoot it for me. You know, out of principal." Glancing back to the grate, she draws in a deep breath and sighs before peering up to the mottled sky. When her attention returns her expression is flat with lips pressed thin. "Guess I'll figure out who's been naughty down there later after I get a hazmat suit."
Without waiting for a response from the Echani, Anadesi about-faces and wanders off in a seemingly random direction although she does seem to be favoring a line that brings her to a slightly more wealthy neighbourhood.