Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Take It From Me

[member="Kaili Talith"]​
Through trial and error Lord Fa had learned a simple thing, when it came towards ruling and building things to last.

You could not do it on your own.

With the assistance of [member="Kith Verloren"] the industry of the Humbarine Sector thrummed with activity now that they had access to the valuable scrap markets of Skor II. It meant raw materials and exotic resources would flow in to be refined, reduced and build anew into something useful - important especially because Tai did not want the sector to only rely on its own resources. When you were trying to kickstart an entire star sector back into prominence... you would sooner drain and strip away everything, before you arrived anywhere of note.

[member="Ashin Karrde"] and Theed had been instrumental in the restoration of the sector as well. Her insight, input and intervention at key stages allowed Humbarine to grow and prosper even further, the fact that her own company had profited from it was only a plus, if anyone asked Tai. [member="Saffron"] and her deep business connections were a gateway towards increased trade and opportunities for the sector - without her the Sarapin facilities would not have operated as well as they did now. Much of the energy export was now being bought in by Humbarine, after all recovery such as theirs needed all the energy they could get their hands on.

It was not nothing to power machinery, equipment, the restoration of vast swaths of industrial property and as the pearl of all the operations... well, that would come later.

[member="Neesa"] too had been instrumental in his first few acts within the sector. Without her assistance and the assistance of [member="Maleagant"] it would have been far more complicated - perhaps even impossible - to break the back of the Directorate's hold on the criminal underworld within the Humbarine Sector. But they were dead, buried and spread to ashes, [member="Vitor Avendahl"] and him had made sure of that.

Now came the time to think of the future though.

Kuat's shipyards were broken, their civilization still in flux as the last embers of civil war died down and this was an opportunity.

More and more raw material was being imported to Humbarine, from Skor II to Raxus, but that was not all that was necessary when you were attempting to create shipyards as grand - or even grander - than Kuat, Corellia... any of those ancient names.

No, alongside the automated and mechanical labor of a droid workforce, they needed people.

Need in the sense that Tai looked at the greater scheme of things. This construction project could employ untold many of sentients, people who were down on their luck, who were not blessed with ambition or ingenuity. Who simply wanted to work to get food on the table. After having the demographics researched, Lord Fa uncovered a wide population of veterans - stemming back from the old wars between the Republic, the Sith Empire and similar conflicts.

They were disabled in one way or another and completely forgotten.

After weeks of brainstorming ideas with his council, the Thirriken finally had an idea. It would be expensive, far-reaching, but if successful?

It could mean the return of Humbarine to prominence in truth.

For that reason Tai had called upon an old associate of his. One [member="Kaili Talith"], who had experience with all things engineered and who had once mentioned an interest in cybernetics. A meeting was scheduled for today and she would arrive within the next thirty minutes, if his clock was ticking correctly.

Once she arrived, she would notice the Thirriken already waiting upon her at the landing pads.
[member="Tai Fa"]

It was a rather familiar scene. Her ship lowering onto the landing platform of another planet only to be met by the sight of a white avian and his associates. All things considered Tai Fa had proven himself to be a reliable business partner, letting the girl use part of his factories on Mechis for her own use in exchange for parts of what she was willing to label as ‘excess income.’ So far it seemed like a mutually beneficial deal, and when Tai called her back with a vague message for a proposal that would include parts of her genius she found herself with no reason to say No.

And that was the short story of why she was here. To support a project that her partner was working on. There were no details on her role in all of this, but she was willing to wager there was a need for more droids or appliances. Perhaps a follow up on the droids used to clear the train tunnels, or perhaps he also wanted something to guard ships with.

At this point she was open for either, with the latter falling under the same scrutiny as it always had.

She wasn’t an arms dealer, she dealt in more efficient means to end problems. And even then, the problems she was thinking of in this case weren’t the kinds that was ‘aided’ by a rifle. After all, few rifles could actively translate languages beyond the bare ‘plea-minimum’ required not to die.

Stepping off her ramp she proceeded to bow in greeting to the Lord once more.

“Lord Fa.” She uttered before rising again. “It’s good to see you again.”
[member="Kaili Talith"]

Lord Fa looked on pleased as miss Talith once again showed the proper decorum and respect one offered as was expected.

"Miss. Talith." Tai inclined his beak - she would probably not even notice, but this time around the inclination was just slightly deeper than it had been before. For a Thirriken's sharp eyes it made all the difference in the Galaxy though and in Tai's eyes he had just paid her a valuable compliment, by showing her more respect than was expected of him.

"Thank you for agreeing to meet me. Follow me to my office?"

The fact that he spoke in common Basic instead of Haiku might have tipped her off. A tip that their dynamic was slightly shifted more in her favor this time around.

He would have explained her what he wanted from her, but in truth Lord Fa had forgotten. There was so much work to be done and it simply slipped his mind to even include it. In truth... Tai thought he had, but once they were settled in his office and were drinking some herbal tea?

It would be all cleared up.

"I hope you had a pleasant trip?"
[member="Tai Fa"]

There was no haiku. Kaili arched back in surprise for a second, she had expected the avian to be as rhythmic as ever, but it seemed today wasn’t one of those days. As someone who was quite used to hearing Common Basic her whole life it didn’t actually strike her as something that spoke of more respect between the two as much as a possible side effect of Lord Fa moving out of his comfort zone. Regardless, Kaili made no big deal out of it and merely followed the man to his office.

Tea in hand she took a sip before she leaned back in her seat to enjoy the small talk.

“It was quite nice, thank you for asking.” The woman took another sip and looked around the office. “What about you, Lord Fa? I hope our business arrangement haven’t been too great of a hindrance in the bigger picture of things.”
[member="Kaili Talith"]

It always surprised him how polite and kind Kaili was.

When you were in the business of doing... business it was not often that you could afford your associates much in the way of kindness, unless you wanted to be constantly worried about it. But in this instance Tai could be frank and honest without having to obfuscate facts to do her a kindness in return.

"None at all." In fact, it was quite the opposite. Other corporations and companies found out about his mutually beneficial arrangement with Talith's company. Once that was the case his office had been flooded with requests for similarly aligned contracts and agreements with their operations.

It was getting so profitable that Tai was already considering buying assets in other portions of the Galaxy.

To expand on the service and make it available to different markets at the same time. Already the Thirriken had to expand his holdings on Mechis III to just keep up with the demand.

"It was quite a lucrative arrangement for the both of us, I assure you." He took another careful sip from his tea and enjoyed the taste for a moment.

But after that Tai decided it was time to get to business.

"Have you thought about my proposal? I think it would be quite beneficial." After all... Lord Fa still assumed that he had made note of what the business deal was - it was difficult to blame him, with the amount of things that pulled at his attention. Sometimes things simply slipped the cracks.
[member="Tai Fa"]

For a moment Kaili was most surprised. Her brow perked to indicate as such as she lowered her cup into her lap and let its warmth soak against the fabric of her pants. She brushed a few errant specks of dust from her knee before shaking her head at the businessman before him.

“No.” She said rather perplexed. “Your message didn’t mention any details, just that you had something in mind and that you thought I was the right person for the job.”

It was in itself a rather forgivable mistake. After all, Kaili sometimes had trouble keeping her own paperwork in order, and she ran a company that was far smaller than what Lord Fa was currently in the possession of. Or rather, at the helm of. It was always more appropriate to refer to a business venture to a ship than a mere possession. You steered it, and at times you would let its subtle movements steer you. The fine balance to tread between autonomy and good business ideals.

Kaili was largely in the autonomous zone. Her engineers had rather free hands to work for their clients as long as they stuck to her principles and remembered to take payment for services rendered.

Taking another sip she began to slowly nod while trying to think of reasons he would call for her. Only one thing really came to mind. “Is it a new droid, perhaps? Maintenance of the old tunnel system? Or maybe you’re simply looking for some new workers?”
[member="Kaili Talith"]

Some new workers indeed.

This assumption made Lord Fa smile, before inclining his head slightly in agreement.

"After a fashion, yes." The Thirriken acknowledged before pushing forward into the subject. "I have been made to understand that you are quite interested in cybernetics and adjacent scientific fields, yes?"

He waited briefly for her to nod or otherwise make it known that this was indeed the case. In truth Tai didn't really believe in making things too complicated, dancing around the bush and making coy mentions... it was amusing to a degree, but it was also bad business sense when you already had the interest of your associate.

It should only be used to coax out interest. Otherwise it was simply a waste of time for the both of them.

"Few people know of this, but I am in the beginning stages of setting up construction of a grand shipyard that will bring much needed employment to the Humbarine Sector."

Keeping it under wraps was crucial for now, because if his competitors in other sectors were made aware of it... they would be quite eager to cut into his action by doing something similar.

Or attempt to anyway.

"What I need are workers... we have found a large demographic of disabled veterans and other proficient workers who could fit this bill... and I am interested in exploring possibilities to help them." A shrug followed soon. "Cybernetics could help them with this, yes?"
[member="Tai Fa"]

Kaili raised her cup for another sip. Her lips dipped into the hot liquid that poured into her mouth. The easy part was over, it would seem. As Lord Fa mentioned the very word cybernetics she locked eyes in a moment of what she would ever be able to describe as frozen excitement as the tea began to drip down her throat and cause her to choke. She coughed but tried to mask it as something else, lowered her cup onto a nearby table and covered her face with her forearm and leaned away to cough once more.

“Of cour-” She coughed one last time before clearing her throat and straightening her back again. “Of course, I might have an interest in such things.”

It was pretty obvious she had more than just an interest. They were talking about grating machinery to skin, the symbiosis of the organic and the artificial. They were talking about the epitome of existence and tools. Had it not been because common sense had dictated otherwise there was not a doubt in Kaili’s mind that she would have applied prosthetics to herself by now.

But no, Kaili liked her current limbs and so did her girlfriend. It was unnecessary to remove that which was already working.

The same could perhaps not be said about the veterans and the program that Lord Fa had in mind for them. No, that was if anything quite the opposite and something that Kaili was more than willing to do for him. By herself, almost for free had it not been because she wasn’t that stupid anymore.

A hand ran through her hair in order to turn it into something more respectable than the disheveled mess that her coughing fit had threatened to turn it into.

“I am quite able to help with this, of course.” She nodded and attempted to keep her cool. “So uh, what kind of cybernetics are we talking about here, just the regular arms and legs or…?”

It was hard to keep her excitement to herself.
[member="Kaili Talith"]

Tai looked on with amusement as the enthusiasm got the better of her.

Patience defined him as the Thirriken waited for her to calm down and get a hold of herself.

It was this kind of enthusiasm that was so refreshing to him to a degree. More often than not Tai had to deal with the other side of the coin in business, those who were simply in it for profit and margins, who cared little about the industry they walked in and who were oh so interested in shoveling in as much profit as possible. Perhaps it started that way for Lord Fa as well - after all, money did not stink and as a Thirrken he was used to a certain level of... comfort. No, it would be silly to claim that he did not care about the profit margins.

But there was so much more to it than that. The sheer pleasure of expanding your business, of catching people into your little web and making them happy to be caught in it, the power that was flowing away from him in little, little strands derived from hundreds of thousands of contracts, promises, favors and words? It was intoxicating to a very large degree.

Only his inherent discipline and focus made him serene and calm in every moment.

"I figured as much, yes." Tai responded with an edge of amusement. "Oh, no, not at all. War is a cruel affair, miss Talith, and these people have suffered heavily at its hands."

A wave of his hand and the manipulation of controls projected statistics between the two of them from the table.

It showed a graph with the percentages and demographics of disabled groups, from hands to arms and legs to spinal injuries and even brain defects. They could all theoretically be fixed, but it would be expensive.

Very expensive and a great undertaking.

But Tai Fa believed that the investment would pay-off, otherwise he would not be thinking about it as seriously as he did.

"What do you think?"
[member="Tai Fa"]

There was that saying that in a perfect galaxy there would be no wars. As much as Kaili was a woman of peace — to a degree — she was still a sceptic of the viability of the concept. She had seen too much to really believe that there was any reconciliation between the two religious blocs by now. Even she wasn’t out of its grips, bias imprinted upon her mind made her favor the ‘light’ when in reality she knew that both sides had been just as equally atrocious in their convictions.

She eyed the plans that the avian lord had put before her with thinned lips. It was a tall order, but it certainly wasn’t impossible.

“Not sure how comfortable I would be with neural implants that affect the brain just yet, at least not for a novice in the field such as myself.” She balled her hand into fists and covered her mouth, leaning in against the desk to look at the statistics. “Arms, legs and spine should be fine.”

Air burst through her nose in a contemplative chuckle. “This is very expensive.”
[member="Kaili Talith"]

Tai smiled one of his rare smiles.

"Very." the Thirriken agreed after a moment. "But completely worth it in my book."

It helped that he already had a few investors, who were interested in funneling funds into this project as well. Carrying this by himself would have stretched his profit margins by a wild degree. But having corporate investors involved? That would ease the stress on his company when it came to economical fortitude. Those companies have been reeled in with the concept of profit, of course.

Which there would be plenty of, because if even a fraction of this demographic decided to return to the job market?

That would fill a lot of jobs and propel forward the Humbarine Sector in a way that wasn't quite imaginable to him. It took him a moment to shrug slightly, because Tai agreed with something else too.

Neural implants were a fraction more complicated.

"Rash will, of course, be there to lend his assistance where needed. He's quite good with the intricacies of neural interfaces. Perhaps you two can share notes?"
[member="Tai Fa"]

Something about the way the avian lord seemed rather well aware of the costs should have brought bright flashing lights to the blonde’s mind. Nobody would be willing to expend this much money on a venture of this size without expecting something in return from those that it affected. But alas, she was far too blinded by her own hubris and ambition to care. The drawings and ideas she had once sketched on her lonesome within the confines of her and Allyson’s room. This was what she had wanted to do ever since she founded her company, and this was the next step she had always hoped for.

And to work with Rash was always a bonus. That much Kaili was aware of.

“Rash is a great man.” Kaili nodded and continued to stare herself blind at the charts and pillars dictating the costs. “We are lucky to have him aboard.”

“I will share what notes I have on the matter as soon as I can.” Kaili blinked herself out of her captivated state.

“Sorry, it’s always been a dream of mine to work on something like this, Lord Fa.” The girl smiled, bowed her head again and nodded her head. “I thank you, really.”

She looked up again at the pie charts shifting before her. “We’ll make it work, no doubt.”
[member="Kaili Talith"]

These were the kind of individuals that Tai enjoyed working with.

Their ambition, hunger and desire clouded most of everything else. Not that there was no respect to be found in this relationship - if the Thirriken respected anything, it was a sentient who chooses her own path and didn't accept hand-outs. As far as Tai knew Kaili did not accept them, the background checks ran around her in the past had given some measure of information.

A rich family with a lot of connections to the Galactic Alliance, yet, Kaili did not seem to care all that much about her supposed wealth.

Instead she worked, trying to get her company up without accepting assistance, other than what she could negotiate herself.

"No need to apologize." The avian responded with a nod. "A meeting can be set between the two of you in... perhaps three weeks?"

That would give them enough time to conceptualize this idea some more, figure out the boundaries they were working with and the opportunities it presented in the larger scheme of things. There was no need for him to attend that particular meeting, specifically because there wasn't a lot he could bring in for a technical pow-wow and was better served elsewhere.
[member="Tai Fa"]

The background checks, depending on how thorough they were, would also show that Kaili was not one to spend a whole lot of money either. At least not outside of droids. The exception in this case was the ship that she had built for herself with the help of Silk Holdings. No doubt that one was at the very least an open affair that had shown up in Tai’s papers. Speculations on her connection to Mara Merrill was another, but Kaili hardly considered those worthy of note. They were childhood friends, student and master, it didn’t go any further than that which was not to mention other contacts and known associates, former or not, that were all children of elites from all corners of the galaxy. Varanin-Jacobs, Rekali, even the Quez family to a degree were all right there in the list.

And yet, the girl was surprisingly humble. Perhaps too humble, some would say, but that was just how she operated. She didn’t waste money on things because that was how she was raised, and she had always been taught that pride came before the fall and for the girl with undocumented anger issues, well, falling was not something she particularly liked to ponder.

Then again, most of the perceived humility came from the fact that Kaili was not one to actually talk much outside of her already rather small friend circle. If that meant that she got the reputation of someone who worked hard and had a keen sense of business, well, she was not one to complain.

Keep your friends close and your enemies… Well, to be frank she didn’t have any.

“I would love that.” She nodded. “Three weeks gives me plenty of time to read up on the subject as well as draw up a prototype for Rash.”

She took another sip from her tea and stirred the contents. All in all, Lord Fa was someone she trusted at this point. At least from a business perspective. From a personal perspective she found it hard to trust anyone who was refered to as a ‘Lord’ of something, but that was hardly a reason to treat them with any less respect than they deserved.

If, theoretically, the avian was a Sith Lord, was Kaili really better off on his good side or his bad side? And if he was a Sith Lord, had she ever seen or heard him do anything vehemently horrific?

No, she had not and that was what mattered.

Separation of extremism and worship was important when it came to these things.

At least that was what she told herself in order to sleep better at night.
[member="Kaili Talith"]

Tai obviously did not advertise his status as a Sith, but neither did he in all honesty particularly think it was anyone's business other than his own.

After all his religion was a sensitive and private affair.

This did not mean that the Thirriken wasn't aware of the more extreme individuals that practiced the same faith. Far from it, he worked with some of them and cooperated with others, but he did not truly consider himself one of them. There were many ways to interpret how to be a 'proper' Sith and being a mass-murdering maniac did not seem to be the way to go, at least not in his honest opinion, if you asked him.

It seemed a waste of resources, a ruination of your public image and really only poisoned the well, before you could even begin doing anything of note.

Few people were willing to do business with someone referring to himself as the 'Butcher of Togruta' after all.

"That sounds perfect, miss Talith." He, too, sipped from his tea and let it hum in his beak for a moment. "I do not think we have much more to discuss for this meeting. We could simply enjoy our tea for a moment, then I think we can consider this a success, yes?"

There was still much to do after all.

Meetings to attend, contracts to draw up and resources to diverge. It would be quite helpful to gain the assistance of other cybernetic concerns.

iBorg was one player that Lord Fa was considering.

With their assistance, Rash and Kaili? This would surely be a success.
[member="Tai Fa"]

The tea was lovely. The girl hadn’t expected much less, really. It drenched her tongue with the bittersweet liquid that she favored and for the longest of moments she let herself savor the moment. The way the herbs had a subtle presence, felt but not seen, filtered to perfection. It was a good blend and Kaili nodded at the lord’s question if there was anything done or if they should just enjoy the tea. The meeting was a success indeed.

Taking one last sip she placed the cup on its saucer and placed it on a table next to her again before standing up on her feet.

“I think that should be it, Lord Fa.” She bowed her head. “Next time we meet I should have a prototype or at the very least the start of one.” Out of three prototypes. It could have been more if Kaili knew more of the field. “Rash will undoubtedly have more reports as we go.”

And with that, she left the room. Coming to a stop at the door. “Be seeing you.”
About a week after their initial meeting Tai received a missive from [member="Kaili Talith"].

They had sporadic communicative exchanges and in one of them the Thirriken had mentioned that they would need a spokesman for this initiative. Someone with an appearance that evoked trust and soft competence, someone who wasn't threatening, but would put people at ease and at the same time already possessed substantial cybernetics himself.

All in an attempt to assist in the connection between the demographics they were trying to reach and their initiative.

In that missive Kaili proposed a man called [member="Elias Truden"]. Included with the proposal was some minor information, which was bolstered by Tai's own investigation into the past of the man. Apparently he had a sister called Kana Truden, a Jedi Master with the Galactic Alliance, a healer who had issues with the Darkside in the past and a murdered father. Years before this he had been the CEO of Iron Crown Enterprises.... one of the largest shipwrights in the Galaxy, before tending his resignation and deciding to simply explore the Galaxy while using some of his funds for several charities.

Not an ambition man by the looks of it, but a competent one once he got himself out of his own headspace.

In the end Tai had decided to grant him an audience and meet him in person. To study what he was working with and see if it this Elias was compatible with the goals and projects they were working towards.

While the Thirriken liked Kaili to a degree? He wasn't yet certain of her judgement.

Not yet anyway.
[member="Tai Fa"]

It was with no small amount of skepticism that Elias eyed the letter sent to his inbox at the small small hut that he had called home for the last few weeks. The man let his eyes sway back and forth between the lines one more time in an attempt to find a hidden message or catch but there simply was nothing that struck him as all that malevolent. Working for a man like Darell — or rather, a company like Iron Crown — you learned to trust your instincts. If something seemed off then it most likely was more than just a little ‘off’. It was the strategy that he had utilized to keep the reins of the company in check back then and it was a habit that died hard.

The man furrowed his eyebrows. His gut told him to stay away, but the description of the project he would spearhead was more than a little tempting. A look shot out at his hand as it flexed its fingers back and forth. He contemplated why they chose him. He was nobody at this point, at least in the big leagues.

Footsteps swept through the door to his home and in stepped a woman. A brief irritated glance shot out at her and the intrusion on his privacy but it quickly faded as she got closer. He took a deep breath in her presence, let the lavender-scented perfume seep into his mind much like it had years ago. Her hand grasped at his shoulders, swept down his back and off his side as she took his seat behind the desk and undid the knot she had tied her hair into.

“Well?” She smirked in defiance. “What are you going to say?”

Elias perked his brow at her question. Had she…

“You’ve read my messages again.” He chuckled. “Could you, you know… Not?”

“No secrets, Eli. That’s what we said.” Her lips tucked into a tighter smirk before being forced apart by a small stifled laughter.

“I mean, yeah, but work is work. Had this been ICE you could have-” He tried.

“Been in real trouble, yeah yeah yeah, but…” She stood up, grabbed the letter and discarded it on the desk. “... This isn’t ICE.”

He tried to speak again but she stopped him. “But it is a chance for you to go back there.”

Now he was taken aback. “But, what about the people here? We-”

“-can handle that between me and the rest of our benefactors.” She gave him a nudge. “You are not meant for this, Eli.” She knew, they both knew. “You want something bigger than this, and here is your chance.”

He looked to the ground and then the letter. She was right in a sense. The last few years had been full of many lessons in more ways than he knew how to count: the least of which was the fact that no matter how hard he tried he was still drawn to the game he thought he had wanted to quit.

“So you’re saying I should do it then?” He smiled at his wife.

“Do I really have to spell that out for you?” She deadpanned.

He took a deep breath. “Well okay then.” He nodded in contemplation of his next move. “I’ll book a flight and meet this… Lord Fa. See what he wants with me.”

Lord. What was it with the Lord titles and business?
[member="Elias Truden"]

Since the day he read the letter and the day his footsteps ringed out from the durasteel-lined landing platform much had changed.

The greatest of things was a change of titles for Tai - Magister Fa instead of Lord Fa - and it was a change that made him slightly uneasy. Not because he was displeased about officiating his base of power, but simply because the Thirriken had not actually been planning to sticking around for a prolonged time after the reconstruction efforts of the Humbarine Sector was completed. Stay around for long enough to see things through, then assist in the election of civic leaders and finally cash out on the investments he had accomplished.

But then the various populations that lived on the planets that made up the Humbarine Sector surprised him.

By overwhelmingly rejecting an election based on a new parliamentarian system and demanding that he continued the line of the House of Humbar and became the next Merchant House ruling the sector.

It was a surprise because he was not a human... not even a humanoid and yet even the humanoid populations seemed to want him in charge.

Humbarine had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Bird, One Vote. The Magister was the Bird; he had the Vote. Tai agreed to it, reluctantly, but with the addition of his right to push through those elections at a later time. After all, it would not do to tie himself too closely and too long to this nation, not when it was right in the middle of the Core Worlds. Not when there was change afoot in the air and opportunity could quickly turn into a wild mess of consequences. No, he would be the Magister for now, but the Thirriken did not foresee it sticking for too long.

Someone else would take over sooner or later.

A small detachment of individuals were already waiting at the landing pad Elias found himself at. None of them were Magister Fa, of course, instead there was a Givin - tall, thin and with a silent eeriness of patience around him - and several other aliens surrounding him. There was a Neimoidian, a male lethan Twi'lek (quite rare indeed) and a few other assorted aliens waiting.

No humans, but perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that Tai surrounded himself with aliens for his cabinet and aides.

"Mister Truden." The Givin's intonation was clear-cut, sharp, punctuated and to the point. "Welcome to Humbarine. Would you please follow us?"

No room for warm diplomacy here it seemed.
[member="Tai Fa"]

The dust had been shaken off his suit and the ship that was meant to take him to Humbarine had arrived not long after. Elias had stepped out of his hut with great trepidation and up the ship’s ramp before finally looking back at those that he left behind who had gathered to wave him off. Amina shot him a smile, perked her brows and straightened her back in a gesture for him to do the same. He did straighten his back, and ever since that moment he had not stopped. A sense of purpose seemed to fill him on the way as he felt the familiar hum and subtle rumble of a spacefaring ship again. This trip would be productive, he knew it.

He woke to the sound of the captain announcing their arrival in orbit. The ship shook and he got himself up, prepared and showered in preparation for his meeting with this ‘Lord Fa.’ The ship’s ramp lowered and he took the single most confident step he had taken in a long while, rejuvenated by the thought of what today was all about.

He bowed his head and nodded at the mention of his name. “Of course. Lead the way.”

He looked around the bay at the people around.

It was nice to be in the midst of civilization again.

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