Diri perked up suddenly, sensing someone approach. Whoever it was had a purpose, the no-nonsense feel she received made her imagine it was a Fed officer of some degree of importance. Probably here to take me to the firing squad,
Diri thought, glumly though something in the back of her mind hinted strongly that it wasn't the case. There was no malice, no sense that justice was about to be dished out- wrongly accused as she was. Unless they're professional about it... Ugh, how aloof can they be?
The door opened up and two stormtroopers entered, followed by an officer who was, surprisingly, without a rebreather. Perhaps he couldn't get a good seal around his face what with his black goatee and all. One of the stormtroopers approached and motioned for her hands. She raised them, half expecting for them to pick her up and was about to say that they could have just asked her to stand when the soldier removed the stun cuffs binding her wrists. Surprised, Diri looked at the officer who motioned for the troops to wait outside. The door to the cell closed as soon as they were out.
Frowning, Diri rubbed her wrists and looked at the officer, saying with a straight face, "Sorry sug, but if you're looking for a freebe, I make it a point not to have sex just before I know I'm about to die."
Amazingly, that got her a suppressed laugh and the hint of a smirk. Scowling, Diri hissed, "I'm already on death row so I've nothing more to lose, just so you know."
"Miss Tiberia, you misunderstand the situation entirely," he began, shaking his head. "I'm actually here to give you an offer for your freedom." He gestured for her to sit.
Snorting, Diri shot back, "I thought Feds didn't employ people who murder their own. Why the about face?"
"You're dead either way, what do you care?"
"Because the last job I accepted from the lot of you got me in this mess in the first place."
There was a pause as he raised his eyebrows. "I suppose you are right, however I've reason to believe that you're not as guilty as my colleagues would have everyone believe. You acted in self-defense." It was nice to finally hear someone else admit it, but it didn't really help Diri right now since, if only one person seemed to believe she was innocent, that didn't help her odds against the rest of the jury. A quick glance at the little rank doo-dad and at all the little red and blue squares showed he had to be someone of some influence though. He noticed and chuckled. "You needn't worry about that."
"Okay, you have my attention,"
Diri said, knowing there wasn't any other option available that she was particularly fond of. Trying to seduce her way out of this mess probably wouldn't go over well since, even if she got out of this cell, she was still trapped on a Fed vessel.
"Excellent. As you are probably aware by now after your ordeal, we've got some fringe elements in the Federation that seem to be working on their own agenda. Sadly, it means we're coming into conflict with one another when our real fight should be with the New Republic."
"Spare me the patriotic crap,"
Diri sighed. "Who do you want killed, what's the pay and what assurances will I get to see to it I don't end up here a second time?"
Though she said that, she had a strong reluctance to actually carrying out such a job. Killing mercs and militia was one thing, but going against an organized military, Diri would need serious back-up, or an army of her own.
"We actually don't want anyone killed, which is partly why I can assure you this won't happen a second time. I'll give you the details soon, but the pay will be five thousand credits per."
He was holding a lot back from her, and whatever it was, he clearly didn't trust the conditions of this cell to keep that a secret. He shook his head, giving her that in due time look. Diri frowned and found herself wishing she could read more than just emotions. Sadly, the man was very guarded. Taking in a deep breath, she fixed him with a cool gaze. "Five conditions."
"You really think you're in a position to make demands?" he countered.
Diri smiled warmly. "I guess that depends how unreasonable you think my 'demands' are sug."
Now she turned on the charm a bit. "First, I need Squeaks fixed up and returned to me, with no memory wipes. Second, my ship is in a sorry state of repair and I doubt I'll be of much use to you without it patched up a bit."
She drew in a deep breath, half expecting the officer to decline her by now, but so far, so good. "Third, I want any cargo you may have taken off my ship back. All of it. Fourth, I am given leeway to take side-jobs wherever and however I please, keeping in mind any demands of any schedule you impose upon me but I decide what is reasonable and unreasonable."
"And the fifth?"
Her smile broadened. "A nicer room and something nicer to wear than this."
All things considered, Diri didn't think she'd actually get anything but it just went to show that they clearly needed her more than she needed them- which was reassuring- as she stood under the sonic shower head. Real water would have been nicer, but this was a huge step up from a dingy little four by eight cell block so she wasn't going to complain too much. As she washed the grime off herself from all the earlier events, she got to wondering just what was going on.
Hope Juni's okay...
she thought, thinking back to that girl and her last memories of chasing after the ship she was being taken away in. By now, she could be just about anywhere in the galaxy. Well, if she's anywhere beyond the Expansion Region, I'm sure a little bit of asking around will turn her up.
Stepping out of the shower, she stretched, savoring that clean feeling before walking over to the bed where some clothes had been laid out. She blanched at the choice made by whoever was rummaging through her wardrobe on her ship. "There's only two different colours in this whole ensemble..."
she muttered, holding up a white tank top. "I don't remember ever buying you..."
It would have to suffice until she could put on some proper
clothes but anything beat that atrocious prison garb, even these loose fitting black pants, matching boots and white tank top. They're not even colours...
she thought, recalling the first lesson learned in any Zeltron school: colours and colour theory. Maybe they didn't go rummaging through her clothes, maybe they had a protocol droid size her up when she wasn't looking?
As she tied up her boots, the door chimed. She waited a moment, finishing tying up the other boot before saying, "Enter."
The door opened and the officer from before stepped into the small room.
"I trust everything is to your liking?" he asked, stroking his goatee.
"For a Fed ship, I'd have to say this is little better than the cell,"
she began with a frown. She lightened up quickly though as she added, "But, compared to what I was in before, it's at least a lot more comfortable. The room is nice too."
"Good to hear. We're going to be docking at a spaceport in about a day's time where we'll off-load your ship and have it repaired by our mechanics. The cargo has already been moved back aboard but once the ship is turned back over to you, I will not be held responsible for anything that happens to you should you be picked up by a customs ship."
Diri waved her hand dismissively. "Let me worry about that, okay Sug? I know how to handle myself."
"Very well." He nodded before turning back to the door. "Bring him in."
The faint sound of motors whirring followed by that unmistakable chirp lit Diri up faster than the biggest spice high ever could. As Squeaks rolled into the room, she leapt to her feet and dove at the droid, throwing her arms around his round body. "By the seven virtues, Squeaks, you're back!"
The droid chirped happily. Diri pulled herself back for a moment and fixed him with a concerned look. "So, Squeaks, why is yellow?"
That bizarre question got a raised eyebrow from the officer but Squeaks chirped a series of tones and notes and when he was done, Diri turned and looked up at the man, a satisfied look on her face. "Alright, you've held up your end of the bargain so far."
The threat of memory wipes was a constant one and while Diri couldn't understand binary, it was easy enough to remember a pattern of what would translate to be some nonsensical words on Squeak's end- not unlike the question posed- for Diri to know whether or not she needed to be concerned.
"Dinner will be served at eighteen hundred," he said with a nod.
"And of the troops who think of me as some Imp-killer?"
Diri asked sourly, not really in the mood to go fending for herself in a mess hall.
"Any problems will be swiftly handled." He smiled. "I suggest you avoid starting any altercations and, if possible, don't throw the first punch." He turned and added as an afterthought, "But I imagine you're well versed in diffusing situations." Taking his leave, Diri looked over Squeaks, checking to see what was done to patch him up.
"Gotta give them Fed techs credit, they did a better job fixing you up than most outlaw techs I know. Can hardly tell you were shot."
She got a happy whistle in response. "Do astromechs dig droids with scars?"
she asked teasingly, getting a sour raspberry sound in reply. Laughing, Diri hopped back on the bed and put on her seldom used serious expression. "Alright Sug, I'm completely lost as to what the hell is going on now. You have any idea?"
The droid shook his head again, evidently just as lost as she was. "I guess we'll have to wait and see what sort of job our goatee'd friend has for us then..."
Laying down on the bed, she let out a relaxed sigh. "Until then, I might as well enjoy this since, until two hours ago, I was one dead Zeltron."
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