A New Beginning
Zee stops in front of a restaurant with a blinking sign.
“Can we stop here for a bit and grab some food. I don’t want to go further hungry, and this place is private enough that we can talk some while we eat. They’ve got booths in the back where no one is going to care or listen, and I really think we’ve got some things to talk about before we keep going.”
Drake glances around. He paws his wallet.
“I suppose I can afford it. We should probably sort out our plan before we get there anyway.”
“Exactly, and don’t worry about it, I’ll buy.”
Cassus nods and walks in, giving the place’s inside a once-over before proceeding to a table in the back. He sits down with his back to the wall and removes his helmet, something he hasn’t been doing a lot since he started using the armor.
“So. Things to talk about.”
“Sure, I love a good conversation. Just as long as our new asset doesn’t up and leave the planet on us. What’s on everyone’s minds?”
“I’ve got a few things, but I guess I’ll start with the most recent.
That asshole we just dealt with, hell, even that …guy we ended up “fighting with” on that last planet, I don’t think we’ve always all got the same idea on what the plan is when we go into some sort of conflict, and even worse, it seems to change halfway through sometimes.
I know the last planet was some really specific circumstances, but, how do we all want to deal with this?"
“I think you’re being too delicate.”
Drake takes a bite out of a blue hot dog and locks eyes with Cassus.
“Cassus, you have apparently decided that this isn’t a democratic process. And maybe it isn’t, but I think it would be best if we hashed out our respective political perspectives. This isn’t going to work if we all imagine we’re the leader.”
“Political perspectives? The man gave us what we wanted and we had no true guarantee of his silence aside from his word. Now he’s going to go off and come back with a larger force to try to hit us harder. It was the smart thing to do.”
“I won’t argue that what I did was prudent, because it wasn’t, it was emotional.
The point is that you made a call and didn’t ask anyone else about it. Not to mention the incident with our very stealthy adversary, deep in the dorms."
“That’s right. I did make a call. You’ve made your opinion on that very obvious. As far as the traitor goes, he… there…”
Cassus blinks a few times and seems to trail off before regaining himself.
“The plan wasn’t going to work. You asked what sort of deceptions my people would believe, and that wasn’t one of them. Would you have me announce this realization in front of him, knowing he would murder us at the first sign something was wrong?”
“As much as I would love to see that guy splattered all over the streets of Nar Shadda, we can’t get a reputation for killing anyone we deal with. Yeah, he might come back, but he is also a coward, and knows that we will turn him into the huts without a thought.”
Drake looks down at the table. He scratches his chin, kicks his foot for a minute. Crosses his arms.
“Maybe you’re right Cassus”, he says.
“With that in mind. What should we expect from your family. Are they going to be hostile simply because you showed up? Expectant of money? Or simply generally unpleasant?”
“Cassus, I promise I’m not dodging your question and I will answer. Just before we get on that, I’m going to follow Drake’s lead and be blunt.
“Oh. I… I was trying not to think about what was going to happen in case he could tell what I was going to do. Turns out it’s harder than you think.”
“Ohh I guess that makes sense? Well, it worked to confuse me at least.”
Zee nibbles on some of her food before continuing to speak.
“I guess as for what we’re walking into, it should just be my parents. I doubt any of my siblings will be there.
I don’t expect them to be hostile, though I’m going to be worried and confused if they don’t try to squeeze money out of us. As for generally unpleasant, probably. Its early still in the day, unless they’ve gotten much worse they’re probably not too drunk yet.
I doubt they’re going to just want to help us though, they’ve never been fond of talking about the past."
Cassus cocks an eyebrow. He unlatches his armor slightly, then pulls a container of credits out of his utility belt and hides it inside his armor before sealing it back up.
“Are they native to Nar Shadaa? It seems to me like they may be… escaping something.”
Zee laughs at him hiding the credits
And no, they’re not from here, as far as I know they were both born on Dantooine. We left there when I was pretty small, maybe six? If they’re running from something I don’t know about it, though I guess this is pretty much where you go to disappear. They were fine with leaving my older sister behind and just taking me and my brother, so I’m not sure?"
“Dantooine. What’s on Dantooine? All I know is that there was a major victory there early in the war. Never cared too much about the details – too far out of my theater.”
Desperation has its uses. They’ll want to squeeze money out of us, so maybe they will be easily motivation to tell us what we need to know.
I suppose it’s worth asking: What is your relationship, exactly Zee? Hostile? Confused? Complex? What I’m asking is – how much do you like your family? It may seem like a callous question but it seems sort of important to ask in case somebody pulls a blaster on me."
Zee looks a little angry as she responds to Drake’s question
“If someone pulls a blaster on you I’m stopping them. But please don’t shoot my parents. I mean, they’re my family, I’m supposed to care about them, right? I just don’t really trust them. So I guess you can say its complicated, right? I don’t even trust them but I want to protect them because I care about them. Stupid stuff.
And as for whats on Dantooine? Mostly farms I think. I remember tall grasses and streams and the air was much much better than here. I know when the fighting started there I used to try to make my mother less worried about my sister, and tell her she was OK. That’s about all I can say about there."