It had been twenty five years since he'd been here, how it had changed. How he'd changed. Neither for the better. This part of the city used to be clean, relatively. At the very least he could walk the streets without feeling like he needed to scrape every part of his body until he drew blood to get the muck off. Then again, a man like him used to be able to walk the streets safely. A man like him, a warrior by name and by visor. Once respected, now hunted. Concord Dawn had changed, so too had the Mandalorians.
With more members meant more expansion opportunities. One planet after another joined the ranks and declared themselves vod. Their warriors, indomitable that they yet remain, stretched themselves thin. The ones that were still alive anyway. Some Nicair didn't have any idea about. In this day and age he knew there was no retiring. Mandalorians were either fighting, or they were dead. In this day and age, even if a Mandalorian wasn't in the middle of doing either of those options, their hearts might as well have already stopped beating. Better a swift death.
In that case.. a dead man walks into a bar. Almost sounds like the beginning of a joke. The Sociph don't make it a habit of interfering with the outer galaxy, especially when it is being overrun by a regime more violent and ruthless than theirs. And Nicair, Nicair had no desire to play catch up. He abandoned his Mandalorian surname a long time ago. Changed it to Gyyll after his Sociph "family". On his planet he didn't even use his first name. It was either just Gyyll, or the title his people gave him around twenty years ago, Qer'sut, the Iron Heart. He didn't much have a preference.
It had taken him some time to learn how to properly manage his planet, which essentially meant there weren't revolutions every few years, or months as it was in the beginning. By his fifth year in power he'd put down more than his fair share of uprisings. By his tenth there hadn't been one for three years. The Sociph either got used to his iron fist as well as his heart, which he told himself was in the right place, or they died in an uprising. Few left. Twenty five years he'd been in power, the longest one Sociph had been in control for a long while. So far he was averaging one assassination attempt a year. Something he let himself be proud of. At least it kept him on his toes, however many he had left.
Not many of the patrons noticed his entrance, those that did didn't care for very long. To them he looked like nothing more than a tired warrior in foreign looking armor (on my to-do list). Around these parts those weren't rare sightings. He hadn't worn his old beskar'gam for many years. Part of him wondered if it still fit, part of him didn't want to confirm it doesn't.
His helmet was removed and held in his hand. The once nearly black eyes that scanned the room had tints of steel decorating them now. Bags rested more under the eyes of their host than he did himself. Gray steadily crept up on the previously ebony black hair of his beard and head, now long and almost wild. A metal, bronze in color was used as braid decoration in his beard. Most Sociph don't age as quickly as he did, constantly being on guard and holding together a planet that was once intent on killing him will do that to a man, no matter how apathetic he let himself become. The substance abuse certainly didn't help anything. He'd passed the midpoint of a Sociph lifespan many years ago. Like the saying went, it really was all downhill from here. Soon enough the encroaching madness that plagues his people will begin to show in full force, provided an assassin's blade doesn't find his heart first. The thing about iron is.. it rusts.
The wood beneath him groaned as he walked, as did his knee. The thing had been shattered recently, too more metal than is in his armor to keep it together. Part of him truly considered just amputating the leg and getting a cybernetic replacement. It would be easier. For now the brace and rods would suffice. The Sociph had relatively advanced bioengineering. An implant here, increased hormones there and his body regenerated slightly better than most. Granted, mostly they used such practices on berserkers, beings so twisted and broken they could barely be recognized as Sociph. Practices which he may or may not be letting continue. They went mad years ago, might as well make them useful. Give them a death in battle rather than wasting away until they forget how to eat or drink.
His vod helped where they could, but keeping control of the planet was a full time job. He got too busy to fight in their wars, and most who had joined his clan left for others closer to their home. The far outer rim was not a welcoming place, so far from proper civilization. So far from help.
The trek from the doorway to his seat was a relatively slow one. The booth he chose, while not vastly high class, was one of the better ones in the establishment. The bartender eyed him nervously as he built up the courage to shout his inquiry to what the stranger would have to drink. People that work in a place like this have a sixth sense for danger.
There was something in the old warrior's gaze. Or, perhaps it was the lack of anything behind his eyes.
Edited by Nicair Claden, 14 January 2019 - 08:35 PM.