Saris Rhenn

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About Saris Rhenn

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  1. No. Not four guards. There would be more. Why hadn't they attacked yet? They were waiting for something, and apparently she'd been utterly predictable up to this point. She'd only survived Tasker's betrayal due to dumb luck, the fact that her cybernetics had rebooted quicker than the kill team had planned for. He'd known she'd come here, and from Evanine's words, they appeared to know that she would take one of them. So then they knew that she'd be moving them someplace. Could they know where she'd be taking Sterrick? The ship she'd taken from the kill team had been repainted and modified visually by a smuggler group operating out of the junk ring- credits had talked, even if they'd been reluctant to help her. But it was still the same model of vessel, still landing on the moon, and she'd still come out of it, albeit disguised, but they knew her capabilities. She'd been planning to take Sterrick back to the vessel, get offworld, deal with her somewhere in dead space- so they might be waiting for her there. Saris would have to at least assume they were there, and prepare accordingly. But how would they know that she'd go there, that she wouldn't take the slicer to some other safe house, or even a hotel or something similar? They couldn't know that. Often when she was carrying out an assassination, Saris would model what the target would do in her mind. She'd never really been the target before, though- closest experience had been getting off Vohai, or dealing with law enforcement searching for her, but that was easy enough to deal with. Law enforcement standard operating procedures were easy to find and study, and Arkanians were lost without their routine. Black Sun didn't have standard procedures, as far as she knew- everything was different for each part of the organization, and each being in each part did things their own way. Though she'd done a good deal for Black Sun, she only knew what she was supposed to do, and she was only the assassin. So in this case- what would Tasker do? Or even whoever ordered Tasker? Throughout her whole time in the organization, Tasker had been the highest-level member she'd ever met. He was just the head of a single cell of assassins, however, and she'd never even met any of the other beings who did regular work for him. Above him, the cyborg had no idea what the organization was like. There would be a Vigo- Tonn Vurret, a Twi'lek, was the one she was under, according to what she'd been told- but would Tasker report directly to him? Unlikely. The Vigos were essentially galactic royalty, and Vurret wouldn't be dealing with things this low down. This was one of the things she hoped to learn from the data taken from the kill team: who had ordered her dead. Tasker himself? Someone above him? Vurret, even? Whoever it had been, that was her target. But for right now- what would her pursuers do? What would Saris do in their place? Have a team waiting at the ship, and another team to tail me. So they'd have to be here before she had been, and so they'd seen her coming. So they'd known where her speeder bike was. No sense tailing a dangerous being physically if they didn't have to- so they'd have put a tracking device on the vehicle. Another thing to remember; Saris filed it in self-preservation. Always check vehicles prior to using them, for tracking or explosive devices. She should look into speeder-bombs for future assassinations. Saris swung off the bike; Sterrick sobbed again as it moved. She was apparently in serious pain- a blaster wound would do that, after all. "Kriffin' pick one... on or off!" the slicer hissed through gritted teeth. Saris paid no mind to her anger, instead squatting down and examining the vehicle. Nothing on the smooth fuselage or on the forks, nothing beneath where repulsors or setting the bike down would knock it off. Opening the saddlebags, the cyborg rifled through, finding nothing there or behind them either. In the exhausts- there. A small metal disk, with a little dial on top. Reaching in with two fingers and a thumb, all that would fit in the end of the pipe, she tried to pull it up, but had no luck. Magnetically attached, likely. Unsheathing her slender vibroblade, she slid the point beneath the edge of the device and managed to pry it off, extricating it carefully from the exhaust. It wouldn't come off the blade; she had to step on the protruding edge of the disc to get it off. Kicking it to the side of the alley, the cyborg sheathed her weapon and then resumed her search. Nothing else on the vehicle, it looked like. Now she had to get out of here, avoiding whoever was watching her, and then get back to her vessel. That was where the enemy would be, but that was where all her equipment and captured datapads were, as well. She'd have to take it and get offworld and regroup, plan better for whatever came next. Getting back on the bike and ignoring Sterrick, she activated the vehicle's engines, filling the alleyway with thrumming that vibrated her molars. Speed and unexpected turns, those were what was needed. As soon as she left this spot, whoever was watching the tracking device's signal would know that she'd gotten rid of it, because they'd be watching her spot as well. That would force them to act, to bring themselves out in the open, and then she could deal with them- and so, reaching around the slicer, she opened the bike's throttle and hauled back on the handlebars, shooting near-vertically into the air. They barely cleared the rooftop of the building at the end of the alleyway, but the margin didn't matter so long as she'd made it. Up into the busy air traffic of the Smuggler's Moon, with the deafening howls of thousands of different vehicles; the speeder bike shot through two hoverlanes before Saris brought it down to a more reasonable angle, joining the flow of traffic. Sterrick was evidently unused to that sort of maneuvering, as she'd vomited on herself and was now moaning something that went entirely unheard in the cacophony surrounding them. The first turn came quickly, the cyborg wrenching the bike around in a hard right- but her search for a second one was cut short, as she glanced in one of her rearview mirrors. They already had a tail. The tail was another speeder bike, with what looked like an armored being on it. It was definitely following them, because it had cut up through the hoverlanes the same way- and the armored being appeared to have a blaster rifle in one hand, held almost uncaringly off to the side, its sling streaming out in the wind.
  2. Prodding the slicer out of the door with her pistol, the cyborg glanced around. Still some beings out there, probably the ones who hadn't directly witnessed her shoot some holocams and then a door lock. They had to move now, get out quick, because for sure there'd be Black Sun people coming. "What's your name?" she snapped at the slicer, unscrewing the still-hot suppressor from the barrel of her weapon. "Evanine Sterrick." the woman replied, glancing back to look at Saris. "What-" "Shut up." Saris said, cutting her off. Pocketing the suppressor, she pressed the muzzle of her weapon against the back of the woman's neck. "Evanine Sterrick. No questions. No sudden movements. Do not do anything I don't tell you to do. If you do, I will shoot you in the head twice and dump your corpse. Is that understood?" Sterrick nodded. "Yes." "Walk. Keep your hands visible." Her speeder bike wasn't far, just down the block parked in an alley. One hundred and twenty-eight meters down the sidewalk. One hundred and twenty-eight meters to walk without appearing overtly like she was transporting a captive. Being the Smuggler's Moon, it wouldn't be exactly out of the ordinary to have a being transporting a captive down the street, but it would be something worthy of note, and Saris wished to be noticed as little as possible. So, flicking the safety catch on, she holstered her slugthrower. If the captive attempted escape, she'd simply deal with it in another manner. To her credit, Evanine Sterrick simply walked the one hundred and twenty-eight meters wordlessly, hands visible, appearing as calm as could be expected. That was good. Saris needed her to be calm. She needed a slicer, and if she had to dispose of this one she'd have to find another, and that wouldn't be as easy. As the slicer reached the mouth of the alley, Saris stepped up and grabbed her bicep. "Here." She wasn't trying as much with the accent anymore- this one would be staying with her for a little bit, and she wouldn't be leaving alive, so no need to keep up the charade. Dragging her into the alley, she brought her up to the parked speeder bike. "Get on." Sterrick did, eyes downcast. Commendably, she appeared to have accepted her fate. Stuncuffing the woman to the vehicle, Saris drew her pistol and reloaded it- no sense in having it at less than full capacity. Something moved at the mouth of the alley, she saw out of the corner of her eye. Too fast for a normal pedestrian. Diving to the ground, she rolled over behind the front of the speeder bike as the thunder of blasterfire filled the small space. Screaming, too, split the air. Sterrick had been hit, then. Saris wasted no time, snaking a hand out to reach under the saddlebag and pulling out the blaster carbine there. Snapping the stock open, she popped up over Evanine's body in the same movement flipping it to full auto. No need to sight here- two males at the end of the alley, spraying repeater fire all over the place. She replied with her own torrent of blasterfire, searing bolts of blue burning their impression into her one organic retina. The two dropped, one's blaster continuing to fire for a moment, stitching the air with incandescent hyphens. No armor. Not hitbeings, then, just riff-raff employed by the organization. Had to go then. The more prepared ones would come next. The slicer was still alive, huddled down and sobbing. There was a smoking, charred wound on her hip, trickles of blood staining her clothing. She'd live, though. Folding the stock on her carbine, Saris unwound the weapon's sling and threw it over her shoulder, and then threw a leg over the speeder bike. The slicer let out a short cry as the speeder bobbed, and then muttered something that Saris couldn't quite hear. "What did you say?" the cyborg asked; Sterrick whimpered something and then shook her head. Saris put a finger against her wound, pressing lightly. "What?" A stream of curses, and then "...tracking device." "Tracking device? Where?" The slicer, with effort, held up her left hand; Saris seized it, pulling it closer, with a short scream from Evanine. Something wasn't right- a patch of skin on the webbing between thumb and forefinger was slightly the wrong color. Synthskin. Pulling at it, Saris came away with a small switch connected to a coil of antenna. It had been tripped by squeezing the fingers together. "Why do you have this?" "They said they wouldn't hurt me..." Saris released Sterrick's hand, garnering another pained noise. "Why did they give it to you?" "They said someone would come... they gave us guards and said you'd take us..." Black Sun had known she'd come here. How? It was the only slicer den she'd ever been taken to. The only one she'd known about. Tasker had known she was coming for it, that she'd go into the things she'd captured. But only four guards?
  3. A being rounded the corner then, just as she shouted after Tarmik- humanoid, blue skinned, weapon in hand. Undoubtedly hostile, perhaps the being Tarmik was running from. Given that the being was alone, it was either someone after Tarmik or his ally. Either way, that meant he was hostile. His weapon came up as she shifted her aim towards him, but as she was about to fire, Tarmik screamed and threw himself to the ground, across her line of fire. If she didn't have to kill him, she didn't want to- alive and capable of speech, and a slug in the body could render that impossible rather quickly. If this Chiss got too close, then she'd put a round in the target's head and stop worrying, but this was not the time for that. The Chiss' shot went wide, sparking on pipes at the side of the alleyway. The same odd sound that Saris had heard earlier, right before Tarmik had begun running. The bolt was different, too, and the effect was much different than a blaster bolt's explosion. What was he using? Chiss used odd weapons, she knew that. Was this a charric, then? Couldn't get a good enough look at it to tell. Whatever it was, she did not want to be hit by it. Ducking to the side, she pressed herself against the wall of the alleyway as another bolt shot by. The Chiss was advancing, it looked like; popping out, she barely missed being struck in the face by a third shot. The Chiss' fourth went into Tarmik's leg- stopping him from getting away, maybe, but these things were unpredictable. The Chiss could have killed him if he'd missed, and that showed he didn't necessarily need Tarmik alive. More importantly, he hadn't taken a shot at her. That gave her a window, and she brought her slugthrower up in a two-handed grip, legs at shoulder width in a textbook firing stance; aligning the sights over the alien's torso, she pulled the trigger three times rapidly.
  4. The door was durasteel, heavy. Three locks on it, too, proper mechanical ones instead of electronics. Two ways to do this- try to destroy the locks with her weapon, or try to get those inside to open it. Destroying the locks would give them warning, but trying to get the beings inside to open it would do the same thing if they didn't. And if they didn't open for her, they'd have more time to get ready. First one it was, then. She put a round into each of the locks, from top to bottom, and pushed at the door. It moved, a bit, but didn't go further in. One more shot to each lock, another push- and she was in, changing the magazine as she stormed inside. Place was dark, smoky, lit only by the faint blue screens and a single lamp. Just the one room, the internal walls knocked out to make space for their hardware, except for the refresher facilities in the corner. They'd kept that enclosed, and the door was shut. There was a table near the refreshers, a folding one made from thin metal. The lamp was on that, as was a bag of greasy Corellian take-out and a couple of flimsiplast drink cups. Five beings visible- two human males, one Sullustan of uncertain sex, and two human females. The females, one of the human males, and the Sullustan were back at their consoles, huddled down behind their chairs. The other human male was behind the table, a heavy blaster pistol in his hand, his chair overturned behind him. Saris dove to the ground as he fired, bringing her own slugthrower up and pumping the trigger. Two rounds center mass, and he staggered back, mouth opening in pain, but he wasn't down yet, so she put another in his face. That finished it, and the being dropped. Standing up, Saris kicked the door behind her shut. "Anyone in the 'freshers?!" the cyborg shouted, in the drawling accent of a human female she'd heard on the way over- if any managed, which was unlikely, she couldn't have them describing her to any Black Sun employees. The Sullustan jabbered something at her, drawing itself up to its full yet still unimpressive height, and jerking its hand towards the refresher. Saris didn't speak Sullustese, and that made it useless to her; leveling her weapon, she shot the being twice. "Someone else. In Basic." One of the human females raised her hand slightly, still huddling behind the chair. "Yeah, there's-" "Shut up!" Saris took a step back, pressing herself against the door. The refresher door was a flimsy thing; firing the last two slugs in her weapon through the center of the door, she heard something clatter to the ground. Replacing the spent magazine in her pistol, she racked the slide to chamber a round, and then moved over to the refresher, cautiously pulling open the door. A Zabrak female was curled up on the floor, whimpering softly and clutching her stomach. There was a small holdout blaster lying on the floor next to her. No use for her- she had three others, and they'd been taking cover over by the consoles. That meant they were slicers, not fighters. A single shot scooped out a good portion of the Zabrak's skull, stopping the whimpering. Turning back to the slicers, she found that they hadn't moved. "You three. Are you slicers?" she asked. Only one of them, the male, had been here the one time she'd been here, and she didn't know what he did. All three of them nodded. One of the females looked confused, like she didn't know whether the "shut up" from before still applied. "Stand up, keep your hands visible, and come here slowly." They moved forwards, cautiously, and managed to keep their hands visible like she'd told them to. As they got within two meters, she nodded. "Stop there. You," The cyborg waved her pistol at the female who'd spoken before, a short woman with her hair tied back in a ponytail, clad in loose exercise wear. "You'll cooperate?" The woman's brow furrowed, and she stole a glance to her left, at the other two beings. "Uhh... I guess?" That was good enough. "Turn around, all three of you." They did, hands still up, and almost before they'd turned all the way Saris shot the male in the back of the head. The other two started, and the cyborg put the other female down, the one who hadn't spoken up before. "You. Come on. Stay with me." she said, prompting the remaining slicer to turn around and leave with her.
  5. Kelona, 3632 BBY, a week after the events of Momentarily Out of Action... Saris couldn't just go out and hire a freelance slicer for this job. Black Sun tended to be off-limits for them, as the organization didn't like outsiders messing around with their information, and when the organization didn't like something, beings ended up dead. Plus, even if she'd found someone to do it, there'd be no guarantee they could work past Black Sun's encryption, not quickly. She wanted this done quickly, reliably- and preferably for free, too. Taking on Tasker and everyone involved with him wouldn't be cheap, and ideally she'd save as many credits as she could. And so the answer was finding slicers that already worked for Black Sun, knew their way around the organization's equipment. Saris didn't know many slicers in the organization, but she did know where some of them worked- Tasker had once had her take a datapad to their "office", such as it was. She couldn't be seen walking around the Smuggler's Moon as she had been before, so she'd decided to come to this place disguised. Cutting her hair shorter and shaving the left side of her head, she'd combed the rest of her hair over to the right, making sure to cover the small port behind her right ear that marked her as a cyborg. She'd even pierced her left ear, three small rings dangling from the lobe, and applied heavy makeup- black lipstick, exaggerated eye shadow, the sort of thing that fit in here. Instead of her armored form-fitting bodysuits, she'd gone for something a bit more fashionable, at least for the moon, something that'd make her stand out even less. A tight, midriff-baring sleeveless top, off-white, beneath an open black and red synth-hide jacket with durasteel inserts and sleeves that went down to her mid-forearm, as well as a pair of maroon leggings and some fingerless gloves. The boots annoyed her, though- they had a slight heel to them, and although they retained the look of the combat boots she was used to, they were not nearly as functional. No durasteel caps, and although Saris was well-practiced at walking and running in high heels, it was something she preferred to avoid if she could. She had a gunbelt around her waist, too; on Nar Shaddaa, everyone carried a weapon, so that wasn't out of the ordinary. The holster was cut out around the trigger of her slugthrower and tied down to her right thigh- and had come straight from the merchant like that. The Smuggler's Moon didn't mess around with such things. It wasn't everywhere that you could buy a slugthrower holster ready for a quick-draw artist, after all. Resting a hand on the butt of her weapon, she plucked the cigarillo from her black-painted lips. She didn't smoke, but it helped her image, especially when she was casing a place she was going to raid. A woman just standing on the corner staring was conspicuous; a woman lazily leaning against a wall and smoking a cigarillo was normal. Breathing out a cloud of smoke, the cyborg turned her wrist slightly so that her chrono was visible. 1500 hours, on the dot. It was time. Tossing the cigarillo to the permacrete sidewalk, she crushed it with a heel. Most of the time, she'd do a job like this with a mask or something, but when she'd been in there before, there'd been no security holocams. There were two outside, pointed at the entrance to the place, but she wasn't visible to them yet. They were the first thing to take care of, though. One of them was bolted to the side of a building on the side of the street that she stood on; pushing herself up from the wall she leaned against, she walked over to it, being careful to stay out of its sightline. It was pretty high, but she was very tall, and with the help of the heels, she could reach it- barely. Still, enough to push it up and back, so it wasn't pointing at the door anymore. The second would be more difficult. It was across the street, and higher. Surreptitiously, the cyborg drew her slugthrower and pulled its suppressor from inside her jacket, screwing the device tightly onto the weapon's muzzle. Weren't many beings around, but... didn't matter. She'd be gone in a second. Bringing the weapon up, she sighted and put two rounds into the camera's casing, pushing it off to the side and smashing the lens off. Perfect. Reloading, she ignored the stares of a few confused passersby, and moved over to the door. Patting her jacket, she made sure she had all of the equipment she'd brought- vibroshiv, wire, a set of heavy durasteel knuckles, and a couple single-use bacta hypos. All there- but she knew that. She remembered putting them in, and her memory was perfect. Still, the cyborg liked to be absolutely sure. Time to go in.
  6. She'd decided that the corvette would work better for her now, after Tasker's betrayal. Still didn't know why he'd done it, aside from the fact that it seemed to relate to the hit on Borlok and Brinn, and the aurodium retrieved from that incident. Couldn't find any data on that in the ship's computers, and after searching the corpses of those that she'd killed, she now had a stack of four personal datapads and six comlinks that told her nothing. The comlinks were all locked, as were three of the four datapads. The fourth contained nothing of interest. First thing she'd need, then, was a slicer. But before that, she'd need to get away from this location, find somewhere to lie low. She'd taken a quick sanisteam, washing the blood and body waste from her skin. Returning to her shuttle, she'd dressed herself in one of her many identical bodysuits, and then taken them, along with all of her equipment, into the corvette. That didn't amount to much- a few cases of weaponry, boxes of ammunition, hand-loading devices, and all of her many forged identification materials. Then, she'd stripped the corpses within the vessel, taken everything they had on them into the corvette, and dragged the two from the corvette's cockpit into the shuttle after giving them the same treatment. It was a quick way to dispose of the evidence, hopefully erase most traces of her existence in this area of space. Vac-suit on, the cyborg disconnected the docking tube from the corvette's airlock, letting the shuttle slowly drift away. She'd lived in that shuttle for the past year. It was a good vessel. But it would have to go. Tasker had information on that, and Saris wouldn't be surprised if he'd fitted it with a tracking beacon. He'd probably done the same for the corvette, if the beings she'd killed had had the same sort of relationship with him- she'd have to sweep it, but that wouldn't be too difficult- but even so, it would be better to use that instead of her normal shuttle. It was larger, faster, and had better weaponry, too. Shutting the airlock, she transitioned it to ship atmosphere and entered the main living area of the vessel. The cyborg stripped off her vac suit, hanging it on the hook provided, and then moved further into the ship. She'd discovered the gun locker, in the central room of the vessel's upper deck; it was fully stocked with scatterguns, blasters, and vibroblades, now that she'd returned the weapons of the dead crew to it. Her own weaponry sat outside it in their metal cases, except for her slug pistol, which was safely holstered at the small of her back, and the vibrorapier that hung from her hip. She was well-armed, that was for sure, and she'd need to be. After what had happened today, Tasker and everyone associated with him had to die, and that would take a lot of firepower. Making her way into the cockpit, she took the center seat, the one missing a headrest and stained with blood. The ship's controls were fairly standard; manipulating the sublight engines, she turned the ship ninety degrees horizontally, so that it was now facing her little shuttle. A bit of reverse thrust, to get her the proper distance away, and now- weapons. Saris hadn't actually ever used her vessel to fight, and it had only been equipped with light blaster cannon that likely wouldn't have made a dent in anything worth killing. But this vessel, this one had cannon, this one could actually take down an attacker if necessary, and for this job it would be more than enough. Luckily, the weapons panel was labeled. In this seat, she just got the basic options, concussion missiles, blaster cannon, and the fire controls for each. The seat to her left had more in-depth controls, clearly being meant for a gunner. Right was copilot, where the Gotal had been. Would have to look into acquiring a droid to handle copilot functions, perhaps. But for now, this would do. Leaning over to the panel, she centered the shuttle in the targeting display. She'd left the shields powered down when she'd left it for the final time, so as not to waste any ammunition. In fact, no need to use any at all- no missiles required, could simply use blaster cannon. Flipping the clear plastoid cap to the side, she pressed the "fire" button for the port-side cannon with two slender fingers. The barrels of the weapons alternating, spitting red bolts through the void. The corvette shook slightly as they fired, but the targeted shuttle did more than that. The hull only held for four bolts, and then it was breached and the atmosphere and fuel ignited, exploding spectacularly; the corvette's viewport dimmed in response, shielding Saris' eyes. The shuttle had come apart in two main sections with the explosion, it appeared. The cyborg targeted the one drifting to port first, methodically pounding away at that until it was no more, and then, switching to starboard cannon, destroyed the cockpit section of the shuttle. After slightly less than two minutes, the vessel had been reduced to scrap, the bodies inside immolated by the blasterfire. That was a start, at least. Now, she needed a slicer.
  7. Wiping her weapon clean on the dead being's clothing, she sheathed it in her boot once more. Now to deal with anyone they'd left on their ship. She had time now, at least a couple of seconds, and so she surveyed the corpses, looking for one with an intact armor vest. The one she'd just stabbed had taken five slugs to center mass, and so there was no chance his would work. The Twi'lek had gotten two scattergun shots to his back, so his was likely destroyed. The one she'd shot in the face- maybe, but she was pretty sure her other slug had hit him in the chest, and might have compromised his armor. The last one, the one she'd knifed, his would have to do. No ballistic damage, just a ragged cut in the armpit from where she'd stabbed him, and then a lot of blood staining it. The blood wouldn't have any ill effects, though. The corpse was still standing, leaning against the bulkhead. With a grunt of effort, she wrestled the vest off of it and put it on herself- it was heavy, with some sort of hard armor sewn into the front and back. Would work, hopefully. No helmet, no leg coverings, but this would protect a good deal. Just had to hope there weren't many more hostiles inside the other ship. Could just vent her shuttle to vacuum, seal off the cockpit, and then check out whatever was inside the corvette. But anyone in the other vessel would probably seal themselves off as well, and there were safety measures for that sort of thing. No, she'd have to go in there herself and kill anything waiting. Her arm wasn't twitching anymore, though, so that at least was good. Bending down, the cyborg scooped up one of the fallen scatterguns, grabbing the bandolier from the first human she'd shot as well. There were shells in the pockets of the vest she'd taken, but more was always better. Slinging the bandolier over her head and arm, she reloaded the weapon, pushing shells up into the magazine tube. It was already cocked and ready; flicking the safety on, she stepped out into the airlock, and from there into the docking tube. No gravity here. The opposing airlock was wide open; pushing off the wall of the tube, she floated into it, landing on her feet as she came within the effect of the ship's gravity generators. The scattergun came up, she looked to the left, to the right- nobody there. This was a lived-in ship, looked like. She'd come into what looked like a living area, a big holoterminal in the center, with a dejarik table off to the side. Another small table, in between two cushioned chairs, had pazaak cards scattered across it, as well as an opened flimsiplast bag of crackers. She moved over to the corridor on her right, the only exit from this area. That would lead forwards, and the cockpit would have to be there. The corridor led to another large room, but this one was empty, except for a couple of crates lining the bulkheads. One was open, but it had only more foodstuffs within. At the end of this section, there were three doors- one to either side, and one in the center. The center one would lead to the cockpit, hopefully. Stepping up to that, bare feet slapping on the decking, the cyborg hit the door release button. There were three chairs, the center and right of which had beings in them. Center was a Kubaz, it looked like, while the right was a Gotal, cones protruding high above the headrest of the his seat. At the sound of her entrance, the Gotal turned around, mouth opening to say something that Saris couldn't hear, not with her ears like this. She made it worse, a scattergun shot blasting the Kubaz' headrest and head apart in a puff of synthetic foam and blood. The Gotal slapped his harness release, standing up and going for the blaster on his hip, but Saris racked the scattergun and he froze. "Hands up." she ordered, aiming the weapon at his torso. Couldn't even hear her own words. Could feel the vibrations, but she couldn't actually hear them. The Gotal tried to say something- she couldn't hear that either, but could read his lips. Just saying "okay", as his hands went up. "Any more on board?" It really was odd being unable to hear herself, but she'd work with it. "No, just us." the Gotal replied, Saris focusing on his lips to make out what he'd said. That was good, if he wasn't lying- which he probably was, but she'd have to sweep the place anyway. Either way, she fired her weapon into the being's chest, letting him crumple to the ground. The spent shell flew out as she worked the action, bouncing on the deck twice before rolling around in a circle on its rim. Two more shells went up into the magazine tube, topping it off, and she walked over to the Gotal's console, quickly bringing up schematics of the ship with a few taps of her fingers. Just the wings of the hammerhead shaped ship left on this deck. One was crew quarters, the other the kitchen. Kitchen was empty. A meal sat on the table, half-eaten, still hot. Moving over to crew quarters, she found nobody in the main sleeping area or in the 'freshers. Perhaps the Gotal hadn't been lying. Didn't matter, she would have killed him anyway. The next deck down, according to the console, was the cargo hold and medical bay, along with the engine compartment. Cargo hold was empty, aside from crates of dried foodstuffs and alcoholic beverages, and the engine compartment just had engines inside. She'd saved the medical bay for last, on purpose- going inside, she looked around, finding nobody. Just the six beings, she supposed. Letting the muzzle of her scattergun drop, she went through the medical supplies, finding a bacta spray. Her ears needed attention, and needed it now- the sooner one got to an injury, the better it would heal, and she needed her ears working.
  8. The airlock door was whining. They were forcing it open. However many of them there were. Her slugthrower held six rounds, plus one in the chamber. With good aim, that was seven hostiles dead, but with one eye flickering, depth perception messed up, and her left hand not moving properly, she would not have good aim. The slugs were hollowpoints, made to expand within a being's body, cause as much damage as possible, but still- she'd likely only have ammunition for three, four maximum. Two slugs each. Couldn't rely on headshots like this. Normally her neurocomputer did most of the work, but she couldn't rely on it now. It was working, true. That was why she wasn't dead on the deck. The Arkanians had planned for a total shutdown, it seemed. She'd restarted, purged stomach, bowels, bladder in short order- a matter of two minutes, total, since she'd initially downloaded Tasker's file, if the ship's chrono was to be trusted. Her memories seemed to be fine, motor abilities in her organic appendages the same. It was her eye and arm that were causing havoc, plus the disorientation from the deactivation. She had a blaster rifle in the weapons locker. Higher rate of fire, higher ammunition capacity. But blasters aboard starships were a dangerous proposal. Too easy to breach the hull, or a docking tube, or the viewports. Her vac suit wasn't armored, and would be useless in a firefight. Her normal bodysuit was armored, slightly- durasteel trauma plates, but at close range and covered in urine and feces, that would be just as useless. Would have to be the pistol. Maybe whoever was coming wasn't hostile. No chance of that. Not after what Tasker had done. Whoever was coming would be dead as soon as they came into the vessel. She stood at the entranceway to the cockpit, weapon held in both hands, waiting. Most of her work was waiting, and she was used to it- but right now, that was unsatisfactory. The game had changed. Tasker had changed it, and he and everyone associated with him would learn that it had been a bad idea. Starting with whoever was boarding her shuttle. The airlock door clanged open. A being, human male, stepped out from the airlock into the central area of the shuttle, scattergun at the ready. She pressed the trigger twice. The sound of the weapon was much louder within the confined space of the shuttle- hearing damage was almost certain, but that could be fixed. The human who'd entered staggered back- but no blood. Not even a scream. He was wearing a heavy cloth vest, with scattergun shells on a bandolier- armor? Had to be. Two more shots. One more after that. Finally, the man dropped, scattergun clattering to the deck. Was he the only one? No. Two more surged out. One with a scattergun, one with just a vibroblade. The scattergun went off as Saris rolled to the side, getting behind the bulkhead that separated the cockpit from the shuttle's central area. One of the pellets ripped across her cybernetic arm, exposing the metal beneath the flesh; blood wept down her forearm, a thin line reaching her palm. Popping out, she emptied the slugthrower at the man with the scattergun. A lucky round caught him in the face, taking him down immediately- but another being, a Twi'lek male, had come out of the airlock and was going for the first human's dropped weapon. No ammunition, no time to lose. Saris swung around the entranceway to the cockpit, charging at the closest one, the Twi'lek, who was in the process of picking up the scattergun. Her pistol was empty, but it was still a metal object, and so she smashed it into the top of the being's skull. He staggered back, and she followed through with a blow across his face that ripped the weapon from her hand and sent tooth fragments flying from the being's mouth. "You bitch-" The Twi'lek had a vibroblade in his other hand, held with a reverse grip. He lunged, bringing the thing down at her, but he'd put too much into it, and she pivoted out of the way, striking him with her left fist. It was unforgiving metal beneath the skin, and he took a step back, Huttese curses pouring from his split lips. The human left alive had grabbed his fallen comrade's scattergun and was aiming it; reaching out to seize the Twi'lek by his vest, the cyborg pulled him close and bent down, drawing the vibroshiv from her right boot. The scattergun went off, the Twi'lek taking the shot in his back, and then Saris' vibroblade into his abdomen. His own weapon hit the deck, but he wasn't dead yet- faintly, she could hear him screaming in pain. Another thundering boom that Saris could hear even with her ears ringing, and he stopped the screaming. Evidently, his friend had decided that he was done for anyway. That worked for Saris. Now he was just meat, with an armored vest- a good shield, at least for now. She ran forwards, struggling under the weight of the corpse, and tried to ram into the last human, but he had moved aside and she simply hit the bulkhead with the Twi'lek's body. But she was close. The scattergun was a long weapon, folding stock deployed, and as the human worked the action, Saris managed to slap the muzzle away with the back of her left arm. After that, it was the simple matter of a step forwards, and her vibroshiv came up under the human's chin. Tearing it out to the side, she put it back in under his left arm, twice more, and it was over. His corpse slumped back against the bulkhead, and she followed it, breathing hard. Her lungs clearly weren't working at full capacity yet. She had to work through it, though. Pushing herself away from the wall, she glanced at the other three bodies on the floor. Two were clearly dead, the human she'd shot in the face and the Twi'lek, whose skull had been caved in from behind by his comrade's fire. The last one was face down, unmoving, but even so she knelt down and inserted her vibroshiv into the base of his skull. Had to be sure, especially now.
  9. Elona, 3632 BBY, immediately after the events of Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind... Saris maneuvered her shuttle through the floating junk that formed a belt around Nar Shaddaa, shields on full and sublights at minimal power. The scrap was everything from garbage to destroyed starships, and the cyborg had no wish to be killed in space by a simple collision. Tasker hadn't given her a specific time frame to get to the coordinates he'd sent to her, so she was taking her time, being careful. Of course, sometimes the pilots her handler assigned her were unhappy if she took too long, but as always, they could take it up with her handler. Saris did as she was ordered, and that was the end of it. She'd put the coordinates given her into the navicomputer. It wasn't far at all, not too deep into the belt. Sensors showed another starship waiting there, a Rendili light corvette. It was broadcasting an encrypted signal, of the type used by the other Black Sun operatives that the cyborg had worked with; when decrypted, it simply said "Awaiting arrival." The usual sort of thing, although it was odd that they were meeting out here. Perhaps the vessel hadn't been able to obtain landing clearance, although that would be strange on Nar Shaddaa. Not unheard of, however. That sort of thing tended to center around offending a Hutt clan, and many of those who fell afoul of the slugs did relocate to the junk belt. Smugglers and pirates, generally. That would make sense. A smuggler operating out of the junk belt, that would likely be her transport today. It remained to be seen, because the corvette wasn't broadcasting any identification codes, just like Saris' own shuttle. Wiped clean by Black Sun, no doubt. The other vessel came into view. It was flat, wide, hammerheaded, a consumer model of the miltarized corvette used by the Jedi Order. Cruising towards it, Saris shut the sublights down and fired retro-repulsors, bringing her shuttle to slow crawl, drifting towards it. Her datapad beeped, then- a message received. From Tasker, of course. Must have been in contact with the pilot, and sent it when they'd told him that she came into view. Pulling the datapad from her belt, she brought up the message. A single file. Target details, as normal. Reaching up, she pulled the golden wire out from its home behind her ear, feeling the spool rotate in its casing within her skull. Plugging into the datapad, she glanced back up out of the viewscreen, hitting the retro-repulsors once more to arrest the shuttle's forward momentum. With her thumb, she selected the file for download, as she always did- Couldn't breathe. Chest muscles were spasming. No vision out of her right eye, little flashing points of light in her left. Legs thrashing uncontrollably, right arm underneath her body. Left arm unresponsive. No air. Vision in her left eye was growing dim. Was this death? Likely. She couldn't get her body to move. Her legs, spastically flailing, she couldn't calm. Nothing was working. What had happened? A crash? Failure in the oxygen filtration systems? Neither of those things would explain the lack of control, though. Her lungs unlocked, just like that. Taking in a huge, gasping breath, the cyborg immediately began choking on something acidic. Coughing what she realized was vomit out, she tried to breathe deeper. It hurt, badly, but she was alive. The vision in her right eye flickered back online, first to black and white and then to full color. Legs stopped moving, too. She could move now. Rolling over, the cyborg struggled to push herself up- her left hand was twitching, the wrist not responding properly, little finger seizing inwards rhythmically. But she managed to get to her knees, and then to her feet. She'd voided her bladder and bowels too, in addition to vomiting. What had caused this? A weight hung from the right side of her head, and she realized. The datapad. Grabbing it, she unplugged it, the golden wire slithering back into her head. Tasker. Tasker had done it. The file hadn't been target details. He'd tried to deactivate her cybernetics, had succeeded in shutting her down momentarily. Saris felt... violated, somehow. He'd given her something that he knew she'd download into her brain, and misrepresented it. He'd planned this. Who was in the corvette, then? The shuttle shook. Docking tube attaching. They were coming, whoever they were. Pulling the slug pistol from the holster at her back, the cyborg dropped her datapad to the floor and stripped off her bodysuit, one hard pull opening the gription seams. Couldn't fight in that, not after soiling herself. It would be an inconvenience, and she didn't need any more of those, not with her hand twitching and her cybernetic eyesight flickering. Why had he done this?
  10. She had five rounds left. Had to make them count. Had to kill Qina Lill, Zayk Frennti, and the other guard. Hopefully, when the bomb went off, that'd be no trouble. Just had to wait until her partner detonated it. Her comlink beeped. Got a black speeder, give me a location for pick up and meet you there. It was from her partner, no doubt. That was good, he'd secured transport. Fingers moving as quickly as they could, the cyborg typed a reply- Service entrance, east side. She'd seen the foodservice staff bringing things from the kitchen, a door discreetly placed in the corner. From the information she'd had on the place, as well as the reconnaissance she'd done herself, if she kept going outwards from there, she'd find that door. And now just had to wait for the- There was a loud detonation, audible even in here. No shockwave, though- the building was well-built, as an embassy ought to be, and they were too far from it. But it would work. It took a second, but there were gasps, a couple of screams, and then the amplified voice of a male human. "Everybody please stay calm, there's been a bombing-" And that was the absolute worst thing to do. Qina Lill most definitely should have gotten better security personnel. Saris pulled open the 'fresher doors, and was greeted with a veritable stampede. The screaming had started, and guests and servants alike were running for the exits. Qina Lill, flanked by two security men, was turning around to hurry away, but that would never do; the cyborg raised her pistol, centering the sights on the ambassador, and pressed the trigger. The shot was lost in the chaos; Qina Lill stumbled, and then fell to the side, against the staircase railing. Saris had hit her around the center of the back, but that was no guarantee of anything, so she fired another shot that struck the Kuati ambassador in the side of the head. The effect wasn't quite as drastic as what had happened to the maid, but a significant portion of Lill's skull flew off, gobbets of brain and blood staining the railing upon which her corpse lay. Primary target done, then. Saris lowered the pistol and joined the stampede, hopefully before Lill's guards could have seen where the shots came from. Now to deal with Frennti and his friend. There they were, at the main entrance, trying to keep people calm and stop them from running out into the streets. That was smart of them, at least- except Frennti had his blaster out, and that was only serving to agitate people more. They weren't doing a good job, anyway, as beings were simply running straight past them. Saris pushed closer to them, joining the press of people. Three rounds left. That'd do for two, if she was accurate. And in this chaos, there was no reason why she couldn't get close. Nobody was paying attention to what was in people's hands, barely visible in the crowd. And they likely hadn't even noticed Lill's death, as she was up there on the stairs and they were concerned with getting out. The cyborg found herself borne forwards with the crowd, and then pressed up against the guard whose name she didn't know. It was a simple matter to put the muzzle of her weapon up under his chin and pull the trigger; he fell back, only a small exit wound on the top of his head and blood pouring from his nostrils. Now, for Frennti... "They're shooting! Someone's shooting!" Saris shrieked, making her voice as loud and shrill and fearful as she could. Frennti whirled around, looking out the front door; five quick steps pushed her through the crowd to him, and two shots put him down dead. One of the spent cartridges bounced off of one of the other guests and hit her in the neck, burning her slightly. That was done, no more slugs left, and there was no reason to keep an incriminating weapon on her. She let that drop, and turned back. "They're shooting out there!" That turned pretty much everyone around- nobody wanted to go outside like that. She let the current of bodies drag her back towards the center of the place, and then pushed towards the corner. She wasn't the only one who'd thought to escape that way, and so she just blended in with the rest of them, got through the door, was veritably carried through the kitchen, and then outside. It led to a fairly wide alleyway back there; beings were scattering both ways, many with their comlinks out, demanding transport. Unlike them, Saris had her own already waiting for her- hopefully. Where was he?
  11. She'd crossed the street, coming to the sidewalk in front of the cantina, when she heard the shot. It wasn't quite a blaster bolt's sound, fairly different, actually. Unfamiliar. But it was clearly weapons fire, and that didn't bode well. Barely a second later, beings came pouring out of the cantina's exit. Yes, weapons fire for sure then. That was never good. Saris didn't wear heavy armor, just a tough bodysuit with durasteel trauma plate inserts over her torso, and while that was perfectly serviceable against slugs and relatively low-power blaster bolts, it wasn't meant to do much with the powerful weaponry commonly employed by gangs on this moon. Most of her work hinged upon staying away from high risks of being shot at close range. A large human bumped into her, hard; a foul-smelling Rodian did so a split-second afterwards, nearly knocking the cyborg off-balance. They were running quickly. Clearly didn't want to be involved in whatever was going on inside, and Saris had to go in there. After all, that was where Tarmik was, and- No. There he was, hurrying out of the main entrance. Did he have his datapad? She couldn't tell, but if the information Tasker had informed her about was on it, he'd not have left that behind. Had to catch him. Saris pushed her way through the press of beings, with significant effort. They wanted to get out, and they were pushing against each other, back against her, just trying to run away. The distinct sound of blasterfire was coming from inside the cantina, so they had good reason- but they were an obstacle, and there was no easy way through them. Briefly, she contemplated firing her weapon into the air, but it only held six rounds, and she only had three extra magazines. No sense in wasting any. Instead, she clubbed a triple-breasted Gran female in the snout with her pistol, getting a squeal and blood squirting in response. That got the message across, and it became much easier to get out of the crowd. Tarmik had gained quite a lead. Lengthening her stride, she gave chase, making up distance fairly quickly. Had to get close, make sure he wouldn't bolt. An explosion sounded out ahead. Whatever had happened within the cantina had sparked a full-on gang war, it looked like. But that would mean he couldn't go that way, likely. The cyborg decided that now was the time. Leveling her pistol in a two-handed grip, she kept advancing. "Tarmik!" she shouted, centering him in her sights.
  12. She'd reported back via the usual channels as Tasker had ordered, through her secure comlink. She'd told him about the case, and he'd immediately ordered her to meet him back at the cantina. Highly irregular- generally, after a job, he'd tell her to lay low for a week or so, maybe get offworld, or just give her another mission. Get her as far away from him as possible. It was a bad idea to be seen with an assassin right after an assassination, after all. Perhaps it was the contents of the case. Before calling her handler, Saris had cut the hand free from the thing's handle and opened it. There'd been no locks, which was strange, because it was filled with aurodium ingots. Aurodium ingots, and the registration flimsis for a starship, a shuttle much like the one Tasker had secured for Saris' use. When she'd told her handler about it, he'd paused for a moment before ordering her back to the cantina. It wouldn't do to leave that much aurodium in a dead drop, like Tasker usually left her payment when it was in cash credits. Made sense to come to him personally. Parking her speeder bike outside the cantina, Saris took the case and went around the side of the building, to get in the back entrance. The office that Tasker always met her in was the first door on the left; entering, she found the squat human standing, pacing back and forth within the tiny room. His head jerked up as she entered. "Have you got it?" he snapped, a hard edge to his voice. His forehead gleamed with sweat. Nervous, it looked like. Again, odd. She'd never seen him in any state other than the normal calm. "Yes." the cyborg replied, hefting the case and setting it down on the desk, which shook under the weight of all that aurodium. "Do you need me for anything else?" Tasker didn't answer for a moment. He clicked open the case latches and opened it. Eyes going wide, he reached down and picked up one of the ingots, looking it over before putting it back down. "Uh, no. No. You can go." He dropped the case lid and flopped back into his chair, the metal creaking beneath him. A hand went up to his forehead. "Wait. No." Saris cocked her head slightly to the right. "Yes?" Tasker sat up, pulling a datapad from his belt. Fingers moving quickly across it, he took another second to respond. "Go out to the junk belt, these coordinates." One more touch of his finger, and then Saris' own datapad vibrated. "When you're there I'll send you a file on your next target. I'll have a clean ship waiting for you." She nodded. Again, odd. Normally had her meet her transport at the spaceport. But this was an interesting situation- a case of aurodium ingots, a traitor within the organization. Tasker hadn't led her wrong so far. "You can go." The cyborg turned and walked out at that, brushing past a waitress on her way outside. No time to lose- another target needed to die.
  13. The window hadn't been designed to open, but a bit of effort had popped the transparisteel pane from its housing. That had taken almost forty minutes by itself, but it had been time well spent. After that, Saris had simply spent the last two hours waiting, and watching. She'd put a bag of dehydrated foodstuff flakes on the windowsill, resting her rifle on that instead of its bipod. The weapon's scope was plugged into her neurocomputer, feeding data directly into her mind- range, wind speed and direction, Nar Shaddaa's gravity, and the compensation required. Scope adjustments done, there was nothing to do but wait. No Hutt enforcers or other beings had come by in the past two hours, so the Twi'lek dancer hadn't sold her out. The rifle scope's lenses had nonreflective coatings applied. The window was above head level, and it'd be very difficult to see her from across the hoverlane, as far as it was. Nothing to worry about excessively. And there was Brinn. Long-haired human, cigarillo hanging from his mouth. He wore a long black coat, matching his hair. It hung loose on him, no doubt concealing something. A weapon, at least. Likely spice, as well- he was a dealer, Tasker's datapad had said. He was alone, it looked like. Early, too, by six minutes. Saris tracked him with her rifle as he entered the tapcaf, disappeared behind a wall, and then reappeared in the window. Taking a seat at a booth against the wall, the human slouched down in his seat, digging hands into pockets. He'd picked his spot well, if he was expecting trouble of the normal sort. Back to the wall, facing the window and the door. But from across the hoverlane? Nothing he could do about that, not at this tapcaf. Should have picked a place with no windows. Still, that wouldn't have helped him, in terms of seeing people coming. Plus, he was just a spice dealer, not a strategist, and not someone that could expect to be facing enemies that wouldn't come through the front door. Saris moved her reticle to the right, slightly, keeping Brinn in the periphery of the scope's image but allowing her to see the door. Had to wait for Borlok. Brinn didn't do anything much, except order a drink. Something amber, fizzy. He took a single sip, and then didn't touch it again. Again, smart of him. Still wouldn't help. Borlok appeared a few minutes later, still two minutes early. The Bothan wore a heavy tunic, in dark black and grey, and carried a metal case in one hand; he was flanked by two humans, wearing large grey coats, with armor plating not-so-unobtrusively sewn in. These, then, were the security that Tasker's datapad had mentioned. All three entered the tapcaf, Borlok dropping into the seat across from Brinn, back towards the window. Saris worked the rifle's bolt, chambering a round. Eight point five millimeter slugs, supersonic. The massive suppressor on the rifle would deaden the sound, but they'd still make a ballistic crack, and would have a devastating effect on the targets She'd only used the rifle on two jobs before, both single-target affairs, and both times it had worked perfectly. This time, she expected nothing different. Centering the scope's reticle on the base of the Bothan's skull, she clicked the safety off. A slow exhalation, pressing down on the trigger... A loud crack split the air. Zann Borlok pitched forward in his seat, the remnants of his face hitting the table. Saris worked the bolt once more, the spent case clinking onto the floor below. Brinn was moving, scrambling out of his seat, extracting a blaster pistol from his coat; another crack, and he collapsed sideways, a plume of red rising from his chest. Both targets down. Chambering another cartridge, she centered the reticle on Brinn's head, on the floor. No guarantee of a kill with a torso shot, and although the human was still and unmoving, she took one more shot, emptying his skull all over the filthy tapcaf floor. Three holes in the tapcaf's window, cracks spiderwebbing across it; two corpses on the floor. Job done. One of Borlok's guards snatched the metal case from the side of the table, where the Bothan had left it, not even bothering to check on his boss, as his state was obvious. The other covered him, a folding-stock blaster rifle in hand, looking around wildly for Borlok's assassin. Saris had no quarrel with them- she'd been assigned to kill Borlok and Brinn, that was all. She was almost inclined to let them leave. But then, she realized what the case had to contain. Delivery of payment, the datapad had said. The security had immediately gone for it, after Borlok had been killed. Payment. Not in credits, because there was no reason to exchange those in person. Transfers were always better for that. Maybe aurodium credits? Or just aurodium ingots, a fairly standard currency in Hutt Space and the Outer Rim. Whatever the contents of the case were, they had to be valuable. Another shot put the rifleman down flat. Square in the chest, a good hit. No chance for a second shot- his head was behind a table, now, and it didn't matter if he lived or died. She needed the case, and he was incapacitated. That was good enough. The one with the case had bolted, clutching it tightly to his chest. Out of the door, running down the sidewalk. Saris only had one shot left in the magazine; chambering the round, she followed him through her scope. Couldn't let him get too far. But he was running straight. No stopping or starting that might have confused her aim. No space to zigzag on that sidewalk. Sniper attacks were rare on this planet, as it was easy enough to simply walk up and shoot a being, and it was clear that this man had never experienced one or even put thought into what he ought to do. Fear did that to most beings, Saris had found. Leading him slightly, she fired once more. It wasn't a clean shot, but it worked, striking him in the shoulder. But he didn't stop. Staggered for a second, and then kept on running. Armor, no doubt. The cyborg swapped magazines as quickly as she could, without taking her eye from the scope or moving her aim away from the target. In a few seconds, he'd make it out of her field of view, and that would never do... Another shot sprayed the wall behind the man's head with blood and brain. He dropped, bouncing once as he hit the permacrete. Dead, no question about it. Stepping down from the small stool that she'd found to get her to the proper height, Saris disassembled the rifle as quickly as she could. The barrel and suppressor assembly burnt her fingers as she took it off, but she had to get out of there as quickly as possible and grab that case. Slotting the rifle parts into the weapon's case, she latched it closed and ran out of the building. A few more steps took her to her speeder bike; stowing the rifle case and swinging a long leg over the thing's saddle, she started the engines. With a heavy vrr-thrumm, she accelerated straight across the hoverlane, in disregard of all common sense. Two speeders swerved out of the way of hitting her, as she'd thought they would, and in a few seconds, she was at the sidewalk, next to where the security man had gone down. On other worlds, crowds would gather around her targets sometimes. They'd never seen beings shot, and natural curiosity tended to get to them. Denizens of Nar Shaddaa had the opposite reaction, generally- clearing away instantly. They saw beings murdered all the time, and knew that it was wise to get out of the way. Saris was glad for this, because that meant that the dead being and the case he clutched close were undisturbed when she got there. The corpse wouldn't let go of the case, though. One arm fell away, but the other hand's fingers were locked tight around the thing's handle. After a few seconds of trying to wrestle it away, the cyborg decided that another method was needed. Drawing her vibrorapier, she struck off the corpse's hand at the wrist. Could deal with the rest later. Sheathing the weapon, she knelt back down and picked up the case. It was rather heavy, supporting the notion that it was filled with aurodium, but she could look at that later. For now, she had to get out of there. Hurrying back to the speeder, she locked the case in the vehicle's cargo compartment, started it up, and shot away as quickly as she could.
  14. She'd decided that the best approach for this one would be from a distance. Most of the time, she preferred to do her work up close, but with multiple targets in a public location, that was likely a bad way to go. After surveying the area, Saris had decided on one of the windows from across the hoverlane. A rifle, fired through the large windows of the tapcaf, ought to do the trick. With the back exit blocked, anyone trying to escape would have to come out the front, and there wasn't a lot of space for running. The hoverlane was a massive chasm, extending deep into the underlevels, and it was wide enough that from across the street she'd have a good view of the sidewalk. All in all, it looked good. Only thing she might have to worry about was traffic, a speeder blocking the shot. But there weren't many flying around here, so the cyborg wasn't bothered. And if there were, they'd be going by fast enough that it wouldn't matter. Would be relatively easy, looked like. Just another hit, another few deaths in the depths of the Smuggler's Moon. Saris pulled her speeder bike around, finding a space to park it across from the tapcaf. Locking the repulsors as she got off, she opened the cargo compartment and retrieved one of two smooth metal cases there. Now, she had to find her way into one of these buildings... This was Nar Shaddaa. All the doors would be locked, most with more than one lock. Couldn't simply force the doors. Would likely have to get someone to let her in, or just wait until someone came out. More waiting. Three hours and two minutes until the meeting. She had time. Closing and locking the cargo compartment of her speeder bike, Saris looked around, finding the door to one of the buildings. It was an apartment building, and so beings would be moving in and out of it regularly- she hoped. Leaning up against the wall, next to the door, she waited, resting her left hand on the pommel of the vibrorapier hanging at her hip. It took four minutes, but finally a being opened the door from the inside, stepping out onto the stairs down to the sidewalk. A Twi'lek, blue-skinned, female, conventionally attractive. Dressed in a revealing costume of mesh and bronzium, half-hidden with a thick coat pulled over her shoulders. A dancer, likely. Perhaps on her way to work. Saris didn't feel strongly about most things, but she pitied these dancers. Even though she derived little feeling from her life and work, thanks to Arkanian Micro, she was aware that others were different. They were exploited relentlessly, by the Hutts as well as Black Sun, and pretty much anyone else who had the power to do so. A Hutt's enforcers had tried to rope the cyborg into that business when she'd first arrived on the Smuggler's Moon, and others had done the same afterwards. She had no desire to make her body available to anybody, let alone beings like that, and had used force to explain that to those enforcers, after words failed to work. Most of these dancers were unable to do the same. Saris didn't like that. Especially when they were enslaved. Being restrained, at the beck and call of more powerful beings... she knew that. That was why she'd gotten off of Vohai. And although she answered to powerful beings now, she'd entered that voluntarily. Pushing herself up from the wall, she took a step towards the Twi'lek, cybernetic left arm shooting out, digits closing on the back of her neck just tight enough to make it known that she was serious. "Take me inside." she ordered. "Oh, kriff, I was coming in, like he-" Saris pressed her fingers in harder. "Inside." The Twi'lek nodded, as much as she could. Her head-tails- lekku, they were called- were undulating slowly, likely from fear. Saris stepped inside the building with her, closing the door behind them. "Look, Drogga told me to come in, I'm coming in, why are you here?" The cyborg looked around. Two doors on this floor, a turbolift and set of stairs leading up to others. This floor would be better than others, level with the tapcaf across the street. "I don't work for Drogga. Which room is yours?" "Upstairs, fourteen-Aurek. Who-" The Twi'lek was fairly calm, for this sort of thing. Based on what she'd said before, Drogga's people had likely bothered her this way in the past. Drogga was a Hutt, operating in this area- ran clubs, spice, all sorts of things. Made sense. The Twi'lek's room was too high for Saris' purposes, though. "Do you know who lives in this room?" she said, pointing to the door nearest them, cutting the dancer off once more. "Uh, yeah, that's-" "Knock on the door. Say it's you." "No, she left earlier, she'll be gone all day..." That would be good- except how would she get in? There was only one lock on this particular door, a single keypad, in contrast with the heavy-duty ones on the building's main door. In any case, the Twi'lek wouldn't be useful, not anymore. Saris let go of her, dipping slender fingers into a bodysuit pocket and pulling out two credit chits. One thousand five hundred credits, enough to live for a little while. "Here." she said, holding them out to the Twi'lek. The being hesitated for a second, understandably. "Buy a blaster and book passage offplanet. Find somewhere better." Another second, and then the Twi'lek snatched the credits from Saris' hand. She left in a hurry. Hopefully to get offplanet, not to her Hutt boss to tell him what had happened. But if she was intelligent, it would be the former. Saris stepped closer, studying the keypad. Four digit combination. Magnifying the vision in her cybernetic eye, she saw that some keys were more worn than others, the tops of the buttons pushed back slightly more than the bottoms. They'd been pressed often, only those four. Couldn't tell in what order, but there were only so many permutations of four digits. The fourth one she tried was the correct one; the keypad winked green, and the door slid away. This was the correct room, windows looking out on the hoverlane and on the tapcaf across the street. Good. Closing the door, she went over to the nearest window and set the case down. The windows were barred. Wouldn't be much of a problem. Fairly well above head height for the beings walking on the sidewalk. That was good, wouldn't have to deal with beings bumping into her rifle's barrel. Two hours and fifty-one minutes left.
  15. A traitor. That was why Tasker had met her in person. This wasn't the first time, but the other incident had been relatively simple. One of Black Sun's slicers had decided to leave the organization, that time, a man Saris had met personally, and that was why she'd been brought in there. The other times Tasker had spoken to her face-to-face had been simply because he couldn't use their normal channels, and the targets had been the same things she was used to. This was different. She'd heard of Zann Borlok, although mostly from unaffiliated beings. The rumor was that the Bothan was an accountant for Black Sun, that he moved credits around, laundered them, got funding to whichever parts of the organization required it. That made him important. Most of Black Sun's employees were cheap, street soldiers, enforcers, slicers, and so on. Those trusted with money were few and far between. The place that had been listed on the datapad was a tapcaf, a fairly small one. All of these beings tended to do their work in cantinas and tapcafs, for some odd reason. Saris couldn't fathom it. Sure, public place, there were always witnesses, but this was the Smuggler's Moon, and many things could go wrong. Surely there were better places for exchanges. A high-end spaceport, or a casino- something with its own security, where there were not only hundreds, if not thousands, of other beings around, but there were also no weapons allowed in. But it was a tapcaf, and that worked in her favor. The designated time was three hours and twenty-seven Standard minutes away when the cyborg pulled her speeder bike up to the place. Plenty of time to reconnoiter, plan her attack. Stepping off her bike and locking the repulsorlifts, she entered the little tapcaf. It wasn't well-lit within, but her cybernetic eye helped with that. The bartender was a broad Askajian female, six breasts shaking as she wiped down the bar. There weren't many other beings there- a couple Rodians, wheedling to each other in their own language, three humans, scattered about the place, and one Arcona feverishly enjoying the table salt. Saris walked up to the bar, sliding onto one of the decrepit stools. "Corellian whiskey." she said, voice flat. The Askajian responded with a grunt, placing a short glass of golden-brown liquid in front of the cyborg. Paying with a credit chit, Saris glanced around the place. Just the one entrance. There was a back exit, though, with a grubby sign saying that it was alarmed. Nothing else. Two fairly large windows on the front wall, the name of the establishment painted across them. Simple enough. She drained the glass in one long sip. It tasted foul, as most alcoholic beverages did; still, it would be odd to walk into a tapcaf and not order anything. Setting the glass down, the cyborg stood, nodded to the Askajian, and walked out. Had to deal with the back exit, just in case. There was an alleyway next to the tapcaf; walking down it, she found the offshoot that lead to the back of the building. The door opened outwards, it looked like. There was a garbage compactor unit next to the door, however, on wheels, and it was a simple matter to move that to block the door. A hard kick bent one of the wheels slightly sideways, to stop it rolling- and that was done. No escape from inside there, except for the front door. Three hours and twenty-two Standard minutes left. Her weapons were in the cargo compartment of her speeder bike. Now she simply had to find a place, and wait.