Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:59 pm
"How m-much for one of these?" Saoirse asks, pointing at the egg in Caleb's hand.
"That's 175," Kiibar replies.
Caleb looks the music box over. It's oddly beautiful, despite Kiibar's obvious poverty. It's easy to tell that someone put a lot of love and effort into it; even the blue and silver paint detailing on the outside, handpainting, is done carefully and with a high degree of professionalism. For some reason it strikes a bit of a chord in the soldier, and almost on an impulse, he pulls out 175 plat and hands it to Kiibar silently.
The old fysar nods and accepts the payment graciously. "I do hope you enjoy it," he says courteously.
Nilo, pondering what they've been told, turns to the others at the counter. "The more time and effort spent on Hosef'Wa is less elsewhere. Should we continue looking for him, or move on? I feel we won't be welcomed by any means, considering what we learned, and already knew."
Saoirse, hesitantly, replies, "Em, l-let's finish our shopping here first, and then we can look where we g-go next." She looks acutely constipated as she says this.
Glory gives Vrish a rather short version of the events that happened the day - with no embellishment or lies - starting after Ishmael was already separated from them. "I really wish I had my hands free, so I could articulate my words with hand motions, but the fro - er, fysar were unwelcoming, unreasonable, and incredibly trigger happy! 'Shoot first, ask questions never' is a terrible policy!"
"Wait," Teaw says, interrupting. "Aren't we supposed to be isolated if you want to corroborate our stories? Should one of us step outside?"
Glory pauses, and then nods in agreement. "She has an excellent point, honestly. You want the prisoners close enough to hear each other's screams but far enough not to hear each other's words. Maybe occasionally close enough to see each other's broken, burned, ruined corpses carried out."
Vrish smiles in wry amusement, raising his eyebrows and straightening out his clothing. "Are you offering me advice on how to interrogate you? How charming you both are." He chuckles pleasantly. "No, no, I do understand what you're saying, but you see, that's not my style. No, you see - I find it more effective to have both parties in the same room, so each can watch as I torture the other. Even if watching their companion suffer isn't enough to break them, the knowledge that it's going to happen to them next typically is."
He pauses here to let it sink in. The silence is uncanny; it is so silent in the little cell that the two inmates can almost hear their own hearts beating.
"Now, ladies... I know for a fact that you didn't board the station alone. There are other Tartarus crew members here. You know it, and I know it. All I want to know is who they are, how they got here, and where they're likely to go. That's all."
When Buck hears about the evacuation job, he interjects, "Huh, I've read somethin' 'bout that, too." When Men'ko finishes, he says, "Y'know, I You know, I dun' really like this refu- ugh, refugee's the word, right? - kind o' stuff. Usually, they ain't got shit to pay you, n' if they do n' are willin' to make it worth your time, they're either lyin' through their teeth, or dealin' with somethin' so nasty that you dun' want no hand in it either."
"It could be either of those," Men'ko says, nodding. "I'd expect you to be able to handle it if you accepted. Is that the job you're interested in?"
Buck shakes his head. "No, that first thing you mentioned, 'bout that holo-car or whatever - that sounds interestin' to me. You dun' go out to some haunted shithole with equipment worth a fortune just to do "research" - you're goin' out there 'cause there's some ancient alien tomb filled with crap worth n' even bigger fortune, or one o' them rare, what's them called... Anomealous Tins! The way I see it, we go out there, fetch that car, kill whatever horror's skulkin' down there, loot whatever the hell else we find, sell it on the black market n' make some nice dough."
Men'ko is staring in openmouthed confusion at Buck, one eyebrow raised in a very quizzical gesture. "...Huh?" He glances at the bodyguard standing behind his chair, but the fysar just shrugs. Giving up on deciphering Buck's apparent lunacy, he decides not to reply at all.
"I have a few questions before we accept," Brom says, providing a convenient distraction from Buck's ramblings. "Firstly, what sort of resistance can we expect in the exclusion zone? Secondly, how are we to aid in the evacuation of the Opalius colony? And thirdly - what payment can we expect?"
Likari shows up at that moment, panting and flustered, with a PDA in hand. "Your holopad, Mr. Mokila," he says, handing the device over. "Apologies - it wasn't, uh - it wasn't where you said it would be."
Disinterested, Men'ko takes it and flips it on. "Thanks, Likari. Where was it?"
"On one of the front tables in the restaurant."
Simulataneously, Men'ko's head and those of his other three bodyguards whip around to face Likari. "...The restaurant?" Men'ko asks, his voice low.
Seeming anxious, Likari nods mutely.
Men'ko frowns and says something in Fysarian to two of his other guards, and they quickly leave the room. Men'ko turns back with a smile, tapping at his PDA. "Sorry for the interruption, gentlemen. As to payment, I can offer you... let's see... 400 hype for the evacuation. For the recovery of my rover... 448 hype.
"So. As to the details: For the rover, there are no 'ancient alien tombs'." This is directed specifically at Buck. "It's an untouched, uninhabited world. No dangerous fauna, either. I do, however, want you to teach them a lesson they won't soon forget: 'You don't steal from Mokila.' You know... rough them up a bit. Make them regret it, but don't destroy them outright. It's all legal - it was part of the contract when they signed it." He gives an amused, in-joke sort of smile. "As to the evacuation, all they want you to do is protect the landing pad and the path there from the base. You should be able to handle it - after all, you escaped the surface of Nanyej, so the Nemesis clearly has some ability to handle high-G environments. You actually might be better suited for it than anyone else I have on hand."