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So...Where were we?

Simone

Character
Character
Korriban to Corellia was a long haul, made even longer by the fact that her ship sat in the hangar of a large transport after being towed off the surface of the wasteland planet. She'd managed to get a messaged to @[member="Jaxton Ravos"] to let him know she'd survived and was limping to their agreed meet point. Now in one of Corellia's ports she stood staring at the dataslate in her hand holding a quote for repairs that she would never be able to afford. Brown eyes lifted to look at the battered Ugly Duckling and she swallowed against the lump in her throat.

The mechanic before her took pity. "Look, I'll hold her here without charge for a couple of weeks, give you time to work something out, alright?" Simone nodded dumbly and walked away. Her chase for the truth meant she was running low on credits simply because she was turning down good jobs in pursuit of an ideal. She slipped the dataslate into the satchel over her shoulder and drew a deep breath, exhaling it in a sigh. She had at least managed to make herself presentable, if perhaps appearing a little tired and sporting a bruise or two. She arranged her face into a smile and pushed her own emotions aside. When you had to face a camera as part of your job acting became second nature, whether you were looking to shake people emotionally, or show them that all was well, even if you felt like that was not the case.

Now....where was she supposed to meet him?

"Drat." she muttered and stopped on her march to rummage through her bag to try and fin the details.
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Simone's message confirmed that he was right, in that Korriban was a dangerous place, but thankfully he wasn't completely right. She hadn't mentioned dying or maiming, which he felt would have likely been in the message if she'd have endured them, though from what he read he assumed she wasn't without her scars, and her ship was in need of heavy repair as evidenced by her explanation of towing. Due to her lateness he had time to run around, catch up with old friends, look around and see how the city had changed since they'd been gone. As he checked around he realized he still had a few friends working the docks, and made a few calls. An old friend let him know when he heard about a tow from Korriban docking, so once he got the message he took a cloud car over the dock. A few looks around, his head having the benefit of being above everyone elses, and he managed to find the Zeltron reporter.

"Simone?" He asked, trying to get her attention as he walked over. "Did you uhh, find what you were looking for?"

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
Simone pulled the datapad from her bag and promptly dropped it when Jaxton called her name. She looked down at the shattered pieces and closed her eyes for a moment. Before picking them up, grateful that she had a hundred back ups for everything. "Hey." she said with a smile that didn't quite cover up her distress. "I uhhh..." she sighed "No. No I didn't. I lost all my holocams in cross fire and the data that I did get is either corrupt or no good. I have Sith word against a jedi in a few duels, nothing credible. And then my ship..." she shoved the broken datapad into her satchel again and cast a glance over her shoulder back towards the battered heap, distress threatening to overtake her. she covered her face for a moment, fingers digging into her flesh. She stayed there for a minute before emerging, with a slightly hysterical chuckle.

"Its been rough, and I could kill for a whiskey."

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"]
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Jaxton watched as she dropped her datapad, the portable terminal breaking and splitting off into several pieces and felt a little guilty. She'd have to get herself a Selonian-Box for her next datatablet. She responded with a not-so convincing smile as she told him she had lost all of her cameras, data was corrupted, and so on and so forth. It seemed she had the rough of it at Korriban. Who'da thunk your equipment could have gotten shot in a warzone? Apparently not her, though he decided not to press the thought on her. She'd obviously been through enough.

"Well, I can't get you data, but whiskey I can take of." He said and leaned his head rapidly, nodding in the direction they were headed before walking. "We'll have to get you a good burger too. A good meal would do you some good." He said, trying to be friendly, helpful. "What about the holocams? Could we find some replacements in town you think?"

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
Simone found herself relaxing as they walked, the talk of food made her stomach rumble. "Mmm a burger sounds good." She shrugged as he asked about the holocamers. "They're easy enough to replace, but they're not cheap. That coupled with the price tags on ship repairs means I'm effectively out of reporting business for a while. I still have a recorder or two so I can do a few written reports but right now, my best way to get some credits in my bank is too slice."

She frowned slightly "Though I'm not sure Correllia can offer me a huge amount in terms of jobs." She threw her hands up in the air in defeat. "You know what, let not talk about my problems. How've you been? What have you been doing?"

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"]
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Jaxton was happy to know that she was feeling a little better, as he felt her begin to relax a bit. Jaxton didn't enjoy reading people's emotions through his specie's mild 'telepathy', if you could call it that, but as Simone was a Zeltron herself he figured she wouldn't mind. She agreed with his choice of food, but got a little caught up in at the mention of holocamera's, noticeably upset at not only her losses in materials, but that she wasn't able to pursue the job she loved, at least for a while.

"Mostly moving. With the Confederacy and Republic moving closer and closer to my old home my daughter and I picked up shop and headed out. Found something that I can really call free. Gonna chill around there for a while, make sure it stays that way." He said as they reached a small shack of a place, a family owned joint that had been in there for generations. He opened the door, letting her in, then following her in as a Toydarian came to greet them.

"Jaxton! I haven't you in years. What can I do for you?"

"Can I get a couple of burgers and a bottle of whiskey Pete?" Jaxton asked, and the Toydarian smiled.

"Find yourselves a table and I'll have your food out in fifteen minutes." He replied, and Jaxton motioned his hands, allowing the reporter to pick their spot.

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
It was the fact that Jaxton left out small details the reminded Simone that she still did not have his trust, that she was still a reporter and he was an interviewee. He emitted his daughters name, where they were living before and was more than careful not to say where he was living now. It was something that normally wouldn't bother Simone, but for some reason she found that it stung a little. True to her nature though, she brushed it aside and picked them a window seat so they could see people passing by. She seated herself so she could see the door and the rest of the restaurant. It wasn't that Simone was uncomfortable with not knowing what was going on around her, it was just simply that she was nosy.

"I didn't think there was such a thing as free space in this day and age." she commented lightly while her mind worked hard to run through the galactic map in her mind "So you were somewhere between the Kessel and Kastolar sectors?" She tilted her head and offered a wry grin, before rummaging through her bag to pull out a holorecorder. She flicked it on and placed it between the salt and pepper, out of their direct line of sight. "You said you rescued your daughter?" she asked as a waitress brought them the bottle of whiskey and a couple of tumblers.

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"]
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Jaxton watched as the Simone seated herself in a good viewpoint. Smart tactically, but Simone wasn't a warrior, at least not so far as he could tell. Her first words were that she didn't think 'free space' was still out there, and Jaxton couldn't fault her. He didn't think it was either, till he found it. He could almost see the cogs turning as she thought for a moment before asking a broad area of where he was at, and Jaxton gave a small smile as she pulled out a holorecorder. He gently put his hand on the holorecorder for a moment. "We used to live on Teth, but we'll put that to recording later." He said, before letting it go as the waitress brought their bottle of whiskey and couple glasses and she asked him about his daughter. Jaxton took the bottle and gave them both a bit of the drink before taking a deep breath and beginning.

"When I was a Jedi Master a terrorist named RC 212 went to Endor and skinned an enormous amount of ewoks, and another woman stuffed them and sold them. In the aftermath I went to the planet to help rebuild from his attacks, get tribes back on their feet so to speak. While I was there I met a young girl, a changeling who had lost her parents. She traveled with a family of daux-cats, and somehow had come to believe she was a cat that could turn into a girl rather than a girl who could turn into a cat." He said, as he paused for a moment and gave a small smile, remembering the first time he met her. "I happened to meet her after she lost one of the other cats. She was hostile at first, surprised by someone like me. So humanoid and unlike the ewoks, with such vibrant skin colors she'd only seen on fruits, berries. I tried to comfort her with the Force, let her know I meant no harm. I gave her food, stayed with her in the night, kept her warm, and eventually she came to trust me. I took her offworld and adopted her as my own. It's been tough teaching her things like language, wearing clothing, walking on two legs, eating vegetables, but . . ." he said, and paused and a larger smile crept on his face. "I wouldn't trade it for the world."

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
Simone smiled widely as he told her, he'd lived on Teth. She inclined her head in accpetance of him wanting to keep the finer details out until later. It was a fair trade. SHe wrapped her hands around the tumbler, once he'd filled it, taking a small sip as he spoke of his daughter. Simone had done a great many interviews in the past, but most interviewees were self absorbed and she spent her time breaking down their defences so she could rip them apart. It was refreshing to talk about something good, to be able to see the passion in someone over another being. "She sounds like a handful." she said with a smile. She wasn't trying to break down Jaxton's barriers, she simply wanted him to trust her so that she could show the Republic up for the monsters they really were. "Though its clear you love her dearly."

"How's she been coping with all of this? I'm not a force sensitive but I know that the upset in the galaxy must cause tremors. That and moving, must be hard for her to understand."

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"]
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Jaxton smiled as she said that she sounded like she was a handful. "Oh she definitely is. It's weird, she doesn't really like all of things I try to do, she fights me, but in the end she tries hard. I think she wants to make me happy." He said, smile still on his face as the Toydarian came and got them a couple of burger and protato fries. He wolfed down a couple of fries as she asked him her next question, how she's been doing. He thought for a moment before answering as he more slowly ate some fries.

"It hasn't been the best. Due to living in the forest most of her like she doesn't like being in buildings, ships especially bug her. Our old home was fine for a while, as she got used to exploring the forests and landscapes around us, but now we're at a new place and it's not what she's used to. Adjusting has been tough on her." He said, before thinking whether or not to go further. "But uhh, that's not everything. See, after one of the Republic's invasions some friends and I headed to one of the worlds invaded and did a little relief effort there. It was rough, but while I protected her she was scarred. She doesn't know it yet, but she can feel the Force around her like I can. Going into a place where there was so much loss, so many battles and deaths, it sort of " He continued as his words began to slow down, him putting in effort to try and explain the concept as best he could. "Leaves a wound? Yeah, a wound. Though the bodies might be moved and the blood washed away someone with the Force can still feel the pain that was suffered, and with it being so strong over there she felt for the first time."

Jaxton took shot of whiskey before speaking again. "Untrained and in youth she could feel it, but to an older man, more experienced and trained in the Force? It's like . . . . walking down a road of open graves, where the night has fallen and a chill sweeps over your body, and all you can see is he empty faces of thousands, lives and possibilities that are no more."

@[member="Simone"]
 

Valik

Professor of Alchemy
Character
Simone would receive a letter on whatever holomail or messaging service that she preferred.

My name is Warren Valik, I am a Fringe Scientist and I believe I have been the subject of an unprovoked attack by a Jedi Master. I would very much like to meet with you. However, under the given circumstances I am unwilling to give a meeting location over such services. If you would, meet a courier of mine in Trevura in one galactic standard week, and he will give you a meeting location where we will meet properly.

-V

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
Simone took the the moment to sink her teeth into her burger. There was no ladylike way to eat one so she didn't bother trying, setting it down and licking the grease from her fingers she shuddered. "I think I know what you mean. That's a helluva lot for a young girl to take on board, let alone struggling to adjust to the galaxy as we know it." She picked up her napkin and wiped her fingers something chimed in her bag. She began rumaging with a frown, wondering when she'd shoved her other datapad in there. She had spares of everything, except expensive holocamera equipment...and ships.

"So," she said, taking a bold step "Can I be so bold as to assume your friends are those who were slandered along with yourself, by the Republic?" she finally pulled free the datapad as it chimed again to remind her the message was there. "Yes ok, shut up." she muttered as she opened the message. Her eyes widened "Stars." she breathed and set the datapad down putting her hands over her mouth, her mid working at a rapid pace. How was she going to get to Trevura in a week with no ship? She suddenly remembered she was in the middle of an informal interview. "Um...sorry. I just...uuh..." She reached for the holorecorder between the condiments and flicked it off. "I just got a tip off about an unprovoked attack on a..." she looked down at the message again "Warren Valik...by a Jedi Master. He wants to meet in a week. How the feth am I gonna get there? Sorry," she said again, closing her eyes in dismay at herself. "I said we weren't gonna talk about my problems and now i'm changing the topic back to them simply because my brain seems to be incapable of doing two things at once and I'm rambling like an idiot, but this... this is big. Feth I could smack Harkness and his pet grandmaster hard with this."
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Jaxton was a big man, with a big mouth, and as such took a big bite of out of a big burger. Jaxton tried to be polite in most circumstances, but food was food, and he was known to lose himself at the dinner table. Despite his voracious eating however he was still attentive enough in the conversation to listen to her analysis and her eventual question. Grabbing a handful of napkins he wiped his face before speaking.

"It depends really. Most of us were men and women who'd found ourselves upset with the way the Republic and Jedi were handling things. So we left, some in quieter ways than others, and the Jedi and the Republic have disagreed with our individual leaving, more vocal about some losses than others-"

"Yes ok, shut up." He heard, and stopped for a second before realizing she was talking to her datapads and not Jaxton.

"Everything okay?" He asked before her focus suddenly changed and she put the datapad down, bringing her hands up to her mouth. Force and Zeltron 'telepathy' aside, Jaxton could tell that some pretty big had just happened. Even more so when she began fumbling her sentences together, and then flipped the holorecorder off. One thing he didn't really expect of her, not the in the middle of an interview. She explained about her tip, and, were it not for his immense love of food, Jaxton would have dropped his burger. A thousand thoughts entered his brain, each pushing him in different directions and with different possibilites.

"How did he survive?" Was the presiding question, and the first one he vocalized. "I mean, if I were going to kill somebody, there are maybe a hundred or two hundred people in the galaxy that could stop me, and I was never the strongest Master on the farm." He said, thinking for a moment. Warren Valik. He thought. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but he couldn't quite put a face on it. He might have read about him in a report or read about him in a briefing, but if he were a man powerful enough to fend off a Jedi Master he'd remember the name.

"I . . ." He said, thinking for a moment about what he was doing before continuing further. "I could hook you up with a ship. I don't know about cameras or all that stuff, but I could hook you up with a ship. " He said, thinking for a moment. "But on the other hand, I couldn't just walk into what might be a trap." He said, still thinking. "How bout . . . . I loan you a ship and you let me tag along?" He said, not realizing how forward that might have seemed, but legitimately concerned for the woman's safety.

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
Simone raised an eyebrow at his question, and tilted her head to one side. A sarcastic response danced across the edge of her tongue but she bit it back. If Simone knew how he had survived then going to see him would be almost pointless, getting the details was the whole point of her job. The rest of what fell out of her companions mouth seemed to be a simple case of thinking out loud, it was when the word 'trap slipped from his mouth that Simone's expression became serious and the small mocking smile that was appearing for his concern for her dropped.

She raised her hands palms facing Jaxton. "Woah, woah, woah, slow down and rewind for a minute. A, i don't need a camera, he said he wanted to talk. B, I don't need a babysitter though if it will get me a ship then fine, whatever," Tangent, come back to the point "and C, why would this be a trap? I haven't touched the Fringe in any of my reports, they have no reason to snare me. Is it just because he's a sith that you think its a trap?"

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"]
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
"You uhh, didn't say he was a Sith." Jaxton said, a bit more interested now, but not doting on the point. "And I don't know if it's a trap, I said it might be one. All I know is anyone who went toe to toe with a Jedi Master is tough stuff." He said, before taking a sigh, and a moment to speak.

"I'm a father, and a veteran. I've seen people get hurt, and it's my impulse to try and stop it. I don't know what this 'Valik' wants, or can do, and the unknown scares me a bit. I've kept out of the eye of the Jedi, and the Sith, and most everyone else because I've been cautious." He said, before letting out another small sigh. "I'm just trying to help. I'm sorry if I offended you."

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
"Didn't I?" Simone pursed her lips, "Hmm, well, circumstances say its highly likely he is one." She waved the point aside and sighed, reaching to put a hand on Jaxton's

"You didn't offend me. I just..." she paused struggling to find words to explain herself. "I'm not a veteran or war, but I have been doing this for a long time. People normally don't care what happens to the reporter, and if they do its because they want something and that something in my experience is never pleasant. Its nothing I would expect from you but the reaction to help is so engrained in me I sometimes forget that there are people out there that genuinely want to help me." She drew her hand away and looked down at the message. "You're the first person to start to help me in my bid to show the world the truth."

Dark eyes lifted to meet Jaxton's "My question isn't how he survived, or why the jedi attacked him. My first and foremost question is what does he want from me?"

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"]
 

Jaxton Ravos

Mindwalker of the Outer Rim
Writer
Simone took a sigh before placing her soft hand upon his larger, rougher one. An action that got Valik's attention, and also one that that conveyed a bit of sincerity. He was a bit glad to see her struggle a bit with trying to formulate her words, as it made him feel a little less behind the curve for doing it himself earlier. She told him of her experiences as a reporter, and how no one seemed to care what happened to her, and those that did always seemed to have a hidden agenda. It was no way to live in Jaxton's opinion, but he supposed he'd never have picked the life of a reporter.

"Well, I'm sorry that you've been through what you have." He said, as he gently squeezed her hand. "Hopefully I can show you not everyone in the galaxy's that bad." He said, before letting her hand go as she pulled it away. Perhaps he'd said too much, or perhaps she'd said something she didn't mean too, but back to her datapad when her hands and her eyes, as he pulled his away in kind, grasping his yet-to-be-finished burger. He took a bite as she said that he was first person to help her out, and Jaxton felt a bit odd at that. He wasn't quite sure what the feeling was, whether he felt touched or appreciated or whatever, but in anycase his ears were glad to hear it. Focused, task oriented eyes rose to meet his, locking him in place he juggled food between his inflated cheeks. She didn't care about how the man lived, or why he was targeted, but only what part he wanted her to play for him.

His cheeks moved a bit before a large mass of food went down his throat, and Jaxton was ready to speak. "If he is a Sith, or at least someone with more selfish intentions, he probably wants you for something he can't do himself. The biggest things that pop out to me that he might want from you are exposure, maybe an easier pair of eyes and ears to sneak into somewhere, or time. If he knows you can slice that might be up there too, but I'm not sure if he'd know that." Jaxton said, before realizing he might have been pushing a bit. "I mean, I'm not a reporter, but that was my first thought. If he's not a Sith I don't know."

@[member="Simone"]
 

Simone

Character
Character
Simone pursed her lips thinking the situation over carefully, listening to Jaxton's suggestions. She should, in all honesty, be thinking about the danger she could be putting her and Jaxton in if she accepted, but Simone was reckless, and Jaxton was, lets face it, more than big enough to take care of himself. She did however think about the fact that she would be relying on Jaxton to get her there and see her back safe. Independant till the end, leaning on someone wasn't something she did...well...ever. But if she didn't? Where woud that leave her? With a lead that could slip through her fingers?

"Well," she said finally "There is only one way to find out." Thumbs danced expertly across the pad as she sent a message back.

Valik,
I will be there. Bringing a friend for back up as I'm sure you will understand.
Simone

Message sent, Simone didn't stop there. Tapping into the local communications system she skipped through the few security protocols and began searching for Warren Valik. The search under way, she set the datapad aside on the table and picked at her fries for a moment, eyes glazed over, leg bouncing slightly under the table as her mind ticked over the endless possibilities of what this meeting could uncover. Then it occurred to her that she wasn't on her own and she flashed Jaxton a sheepish but apologetic grin. "Sorry, I totally cut you off." she gestured towards the holorecorder. "You want to continue?"

@[member="Jaxton Ravos"] @[member="Valik"]
 
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