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#1
The Major

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Black.

In secret.

Blank.

 

 

In this expanse metal and ice forms. It churns.

Rotating itself, it slips and scratches –echoing distantly.

Not for too long. Ages pass.

Inward it twists; each mass hisses and whines the tighter it gets.

The strain is too much. Eons could do that.

But at least it wasn’t so black in here anymore.

 

This wasn’t the straining swirls of eternal death. This was a birth.

Metal vibrates and hums until it's bone. Ice cracks and melts until it's blood.

Bone and blood both take shape into ligaments and sweet sinews.

Muscles tighten. Vessels crisscross and contort.

A body needs lungs, guts, and a heart.

Maybe not all of them. But this one would.

 

 

In black, in secret, this little piggy squeaks. She won’t be allowed to sleep. Around the ever reddening black a voice creeps around the baby’s ever-connecting brain. It sings, giggles, and provides no warmth. The voice is a glacier –mean- and setting the stage for the next big game. It whispers of monsters, divorce, displeasure, and pain as a treasure. What a wicked little thing.

 

But it had to be now. Last time it almost lost the game.

 

So it picked a nice little song from another time and another place.

Picked it as a little lullaby. Interludes with Ludes, but it defiantly took its own spin on the ditty. Thus remembered, it goes:

 

 

“I’ve always been behind you

so I think we should meet.

I’ve sharpened my knives for you

so you’re going to use them.

 

Gonna smother you with my love

forever and ever –also forever. Forever.

 

Acid and poison and chemicals, Baby,

these you will provide.

I know together we’ll make the possible

completely impossible.

 

If you want me I’m yours,

and even if you don’t want me.

You’re trained and licensed and armed to the teeth-

I think they’ll agree.

 

It’s so hard to apologize,

so I’m just gonna skip it.

Don’t ever think you’re hearing something crazy.

This time I hope you catch something, Baby,

because I just threw it all at you.

 

Everyone run and hide!

You’re coming to find them.

Your face is still bleeding.

Tell them, ‘What’s the problem?’

By the skin of your teeth,

that’s how you’re gonna drive them.

 

Put them on a good ship, lollygagged,

with LSD and a bloody pile of rags.

I hate to be bearer of bad news…

. . . but I am.”

 

 

And then it laughed, and laughed, and laughed. It laughed until it rushed into a continuous note. It continued until it turned to water and spun. . .

 

 

 

-flash-

 

 

. . . down the sink of a white bathroom with peeling black paneled stalls. She gasped and clutched her hands into her chest, spraying some cold water thereupon. Looking upward into the mirror, she gazed at the strange, confused face peering back. Like being caught staring at a stranger, she quickly glanced away. Passing the time until the awkward chill subsided, the woman turned the faucet closed with a creaking groan from the brass and a grumble from the deepest part of her throat. Braver now, she looked again. This time the face was more familiar. Distant, but oddly comfortable. She wrinkled the band of freckles across her nose while squinting to really examine –to ascertain reality.

 

Satisfied after a pinch or two, she adjusted the red scarf around her neck and pulled it lower away from her chin. An about face and shove had her in the shadowy corner of a crusty looking dive bar filled with the usual assortment of tacky knickknacks and fake story about dart shots and silly hats. Only a handful of patrons were here, and most of them were huddled around the bartender as they silently competed for the quiet prize of “most likely to succeed at drinking at a dank bar forever” award. The stools were too low, and the lady from the bathroom didn’t feel like hunching over a short stool. She moved to a booth that was set perpendicular to the bar, and sat facing the door.

 

It wasn’t time to leave just yet.


Edited by The Major, 06 April 2016 - 11:22 PM.

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#2
Eralam

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The bar was remarkably unremarkable, conspicuous by virtue of its startling banality. 

 

Eralam had seen places like this before. Dive bars dotted the galaxy over, cancerous pocks that infested the seedier spaceport districts. A casual observer, or one who spent the majority of their time punishing their liver for some reason or another, might assume that the atmosphere was the inevitable result of catering to the lowest common denominators of society. The Shard knew better. Places like this didn't happen by accident, they were carefully cultivated. The down on their luck spacers, pirates, spice dealers, and other assorted lowlifes were uncomfortable with clean glasses and bright lights. Deep down, they knew they were trash, and they reveled in it. When they went to drink away their sorrows, they wanted the company of kindred spirits. 

 

And so, as the old Iron Knight crossed the threshold, he wasn't surprised by the grit that covered the bare ferrocrete floor, or the haphazard lighting. The bartender wore the requisite scowl, as much a part of his uniform as the dirty apron and the greasy, unkempt hair. Around the bar, the esteemed clientele nursed their drinks slowly, savoring every last drop of the watered down ale or liquor like ambrosia, silently wondering if they could afford another.

 

One could taste the desperation and despair almost as tangibly as they could smell the acrid stench of too many unwashed bodies in a room with insufficient ventilation. 

 

It was as perfect an execution as he had ever seen. If not for the fact that he'd rather be nearly anywhere else, he could admire the artistry. If rock bottom had a face, this was it.

 

The bartender looked like he wanted to say something, his upper lip curling at disgust. A sign over the bar read "No Droids or Gamorreans," a common enough sight this close to Hutt space. A skeletal hand tapped the well worn walnut and brass grips of a slugthrower on the Shard's right hip, and a lightsaber dangled from its belt hook on the left. Whatever comment the bartender had prepared died a premature death. The poor fool was probably as authentic as everything else in the bar, ignorant of the Order of Iron Knights from which Eralam had hailed long ago. All he knew was that the droid who had just stepped through the doors could make the sort of trouble he couldn't afford to explain to his bosses. Instead, he gestured angrily towards the booths. He might tolerate Eralam's presence, but he wouldn't have him ruining the night's profits by scaring away customers at the bar.

 

Eralam nodded slowly, and eyed the room. Most of the booths were empty; he had his pick. Left to his own devices, the Shard would have chosen an empty one. Or, better yet, a bar where hepatitis wasn't on the menu. Not that his mechanical body had to worry about such things, but poor sanitation offended his sensibilities. A simple sterilizer field would have costed less than a thousand credits, and no doubt the proprietors were making money hand over fist. But cleanliness was next to godliness, and godliness made the patrons feel unwelcome. They were satisfied with their little patch of hell, thank you very much.

 

Unfortunately for all involved, Eralam was here to meet someone. Who, he did not know. He had no idea what they looked like, whether they were man or woman, or even what species they belonged to. All he knew was that someone here in this bar, this fetid little oasis for the damned, had wanted to meet. He had been given a note with a time and a place, nothing more. It had appeared on a bedside table in his hotel room mysteriously. 

 

The Shard had little need for sleep, but he made a habit of renting a semipermanent address whenever work required him to linger more than a few days. A cheap room was hardly a redoubt, but it never hurt to have arms and armaments waiting on standby, so long as one made clear to the staff that any intrusion would be met by swift death and much property damage. For someone to have entered the room without setting off any of the security measures was intriguing enough to warrant further investigation.

 

The sole occupied booth belong to a woman, probably human, with long, unruly black hair and a smattering of freckles across her otherwise plain face. The Iron Knight was no expert on standards of organic beauty, but something about her suggested she was as carefully innocuous as the bar itself. Long, gangling limbs, spiderlike fingers, spectacles so thick it was a wonder they didn't throw her off balance, it was clear she wasn't the sort of fun for hire that so often frequented these joints. Not even the most intoxicated of spacer would give her so much as a second look, and that took talent. Too pretty and she'd be the center of attention. Too ugly and some poor bastard would think her an easy conquest.

 

No, as far as the drunks at the bar were concerned, she might as well be a piece of furniture. That attitude, come to think of it, probably went a long way towards explaining their current predicament. 

 

Eralam approached the table cautiously, senses on high alert. It wasn't accurate to describe him as paranoid. If anything, he thought paranoiacs were generally short sighted and incautious. That said, a bar like this was a terrible place for an ambush. The proprietors might overlook a scuffle turned deadly, but they generally frowned on premeditated violence. It was bad for business. And so the Iron Knight was reasonably certain that there weren't squads of bounty hunters waiting in the wings.

 

What wasn't certain, however, was that she was his contact. She might be, or she might not. There was only one way to find out.

 

He gestured towards the empty bench seat on the other side of the booth.

 

"Do you mind if I sit here?" he asked, his mechanical voice a gravelly basso rumble that seemed to cut through the background noise. 

 

The Major


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#3
The Major

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Something was odd with this place. Familiarity stung the corners of her awareness. The buzzing of the faint yellow light overhead felt like it had always buzzed in eternal exposition, and it seemed strange to her that she felt as though she could anticipate when the bartender would wipe his nose and then smear it into the selfsame moist rag that was used to wipe down each and every glass. Another suggestion hinted at not drinking any form of liquid served because it was liable to contain trace amounts of an impromptu sedative. Waking up naked, half-skinned, and tied to some disease riddled dumpster wasn’t on her agenda tonight. More troubling was an inherent lack of agenda. She felt as though she was recently committed to some great cause –and suddenly it lost its appeal. Too many blanks. Too many questions. Why was a dagger clipped into her sleeve? Why was one tapered into the side of her belt? What’s this –a pistol snug on the side of her chest. Instantaneously a reason manifested with such sudden sharpness and clarity it was difficult to distinguish it between a reassuring thought or an icy voice of a partly giggling girl feeding her rationale via a six grader’s dictionary.

 

And then she realized she was staring at wood. Walnut to be exact. Most likely meticulously polished, otherwise it couldn’t possibly gleam what little dirty light it managed to refract back across the room. A lightsaber hilt was paired with the antique. Some ridiculous looking, anorexic cowboy had spread his trench coat to send a message to any that dared oppose his patronage. His gaze shifted in her direction, and although usually she would have rolled her eyes at the sight of someone sauntering over, nothing was usual about this place, or more accurately, her place in it. Instead the woman squinted in could be misinterpreted as a skiving glare designed to peel off leather.

 

A screaming crescendo of déjà vu agitated her mind, equal parts screeching guitar note and dinging light-bulb. She might have missed his question if it rang any louder.

 

The woman shifted a glance towards the bar and then left as though the “man” may have asked that question to some magical person hidden behind her booth. Suppressing a suave, “Who, me?” she moved on to something more technical in light of his familiar photoreceptors.

 

“Is sitting standard for your model

or is that a modification?”

 

She said in a bright, rosy tone that was friendlier than she anticipated. Her voice, although musical in inclination, did not match the ripple of confusion that slot-shot across her brow. Internally, she asked herself why she would say such a thing. Like that?  Battery acid to the face was the most effective solution.

 

Eralam


Edited by The Major, 09 April 2016 - 03:15 PM.

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#4
Eralam

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If Eralam's robotic face could support a frown, the Shard almost certainly would have in response. 

 

It wasn't just that the reply was odd, though it certainly was. The words, the tone, it was as though the woman had opened up her mouth, and someone else had spoken for her. She seemed every bit as perplexed as he was. 

 

No, there was something about her that just didn't add up. It was like a familiar song sung in an odd key, or seeing an old holograph in reverse. That subtle sense of wrongness emanated from the woman like the heat from a road on a summer day: all but invisible, but plain as day all the same. It was that feeling that the world, or at least her world, had been distorted in some way that upset the old Iron Knight.

 

He was a being of order in a chaotic universe. The world may be predictable, but it followed certain rules that, with enough observation, one could learn and work to their advantage. Something told him that this woman operated outside of those rules, though he suspected she had yet to figure that out herself.

 

He decided to put that theory to the test.

 

"Sitting is made possible by part designation Alpha 23, ISN 340-62-84-4962."

 

The numbers themselves were meaningless. As best as he could figure, there was no part by that designation, and the Interplanetary Stock Number was random gibberish. But human minds reacted a certain way when presented with numbers, and that reaction was what he was hoping to pick up.

 

For the Shard, trying to get a feel for an organic mind was something akin to a novice trying to read sheet music. They might be able to glean certain information, like the time signature, tempo, and maybe the gist of the tune if it was written clearly enough, but the whole song was out of their reach. So to was the music of the organic mind for Eralam. Still, he knew enough to pick out the desired response when a subject was presented with the correct stimulus.

 

He reached out with his senses, listening for the familiar patterns across the surface of her mind.

 

What he found instead only left him more confused.

 

...ticktickticktickticktickticktickticktick...

 

The quiet ticking of a clockwork puppet was all the Force could show him. 

 

That subtle sense of wrongness, the feeling that something was off in the world, intensified. And yet, there was a sense of disturbing familiarity. He felt like a junkie sliding the needle into the vein, knowing they were killing themselves, but taking solace in the comforting opioid haze as they sank beneath the surface of the high.

 

It was intoxicating and terrifying all at once.

 

Eralam knew he should leave, that he should turn around and get on his ship and forget this miserable bar on this miserable planet ever even existed. He didn't know why, it certainly wasn't the Force warning him of impending doom. All he could hear through the ether was the ticking, growing ever louder and more persistent. Had he the requisite limbic wiring, he'd have been on the verge of panic, gibbering and irrational.

 

Instead, he found himself sitting across from the woman, wondering vaguely how the hell that happened.

 

The Major


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#5
The Major

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A nearly inaudible whir softly whispers above her right ear and suddenly the letters ALPHA 23, ISN 340-62-84-4962 displayed on the bottom right of her vision. The lenses cycled through more and more information as data was further and further explored. Links to factories, directories, affiliations, personnel, and histories all scrolled by with corresponding links as the lenses and microcomputer struggled to accrue as much intel as possible -but it was all a loop of nonsensical fluff. Our heroine, intrepid as she was, stalwart in discretion, did as much possible to mask her utter confusion at why exactly in Hell her glasses would take such an interest. Eyebrows furrowed, she proceeds to take them off, not exactly happy with the resulting blur starting to envelope the entity sitting across from her due to a pitiful eye condition. 

 

"Sorry, everything is a bit of a blur tonight."

 

She said this more to herself, to assure herself that all of this had to make sense. Maybe she had too much cheap booze. Really, she felt like she had the hangover without any of the payoff. 

 

"What brings you to this part of the galaxy?" Spoken sincerely, politely.

 

It was at this moment that even the writer was taken aback at the thought of something that was once so wretched, spiteful, and contorted could be sitting here, oblivious to such darkness, unaware of such hatred. Here she sat completely undeserving of such a chance, and yet Chaos still has her persisting. Always persisting. It wasn't innocence that was on display here, but from the almost hopeful stare coming from those shadowy, blue eyes . . . it was nice. 

 

Eralam


Edited by The Major, 30 July 2017 - 10:13 AM.

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#6
Eralam

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In a rare moment of insight, Eralam realized what he was hearing.

 

It wasn't insanity, but rather, the opposite.

 

Tinnitus is a condition common to those with hearing loss, in which a high pitched tone constantly sounds in their ears. The tone isn't something they're hearing, but rather, the absence of sound. The brain knows it should be detecting tones in those frequencies, and since it no longer detects them, generates the tone to compensate. This was something similar.

 

Eralam was dimly aware that, in the grand scheme of things, he was not the only instance of himself. Other versions flitted through the multiverse, and one in particular was so vastly powerful, occasionally little bits and pieces of it tended to...bleed through the walls of the multiverse. Usually in the form of bits of knowledge he'd ordinarily not to have, or maybe a sense of deja vu when he encountered someone his other selves knew. This was something similar.

 

The steady ticking was the remnant of that awareness, a form of mental tinnitus. Once, he had known this person. That encounter was fraught with madness, a sheen of insanity so pervasive, it must have colored his perception of her in this universe. The ticking he was "hearing" wasn't madness, it was just the opposite. This version of the woman wasn't crazy, wasn't tainted.

 

Whatever had afflicted her in the other universe hadn't touched her here. Or at least, hadn't yet corrupted her so badly that it was blatantly obvious. She seemed, maybe not whole, but wholesome. Honest.

 

"Honestly? Came to see if someone needed to be killed. That bother you?"

 

The Major


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#7
The Major

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One of the young woman’s eyebrows arched quizzically as she made sure she had heard his last statement of purpose clearly. Possibly it was an ice breaker. Now would be the time to cue the ceremonial humor snare drum. If so, it fell flat. Perhaps this was the opening of some sort of threat. The lighting in here wasn't the best, so it was difficult to actually regard certain details about the character sitting across from her. Having her glasses off further added to the obfuscation. Rather than jump to conclusions she decided it would be best to gather a little more context.

“The galaxy is a lawless place. Murder happens casually. My opinion would be irrelevant.”

There. That seemed a solid middle ground of an answer, and something designed to appear neither sanctimonious or bloodthirsty. Her experience with droids was limited to very few, quaint instances. However, her theoretical knowledge could supplement this encounter nicely. With statements as bold as “here to kill” one could easily see this was some sort of advanced construct -at least a full blown A.I. He, or it, whatever, wasn't brandishing an arsenal of weapons like the usual assassin droid. She could almost confidently say that this machine wasn't here for her —it most likely would have already murdered her if so. Small comfort.

“Are you looking for contracts or do you already work for an organization?” Coincidentally, the woman has pushed backwards slowly in her seat, although she hadn't noticed that her back was already pressed against the piss poor excuse they had for leather. It makes a sad whine.

Eralam

Edited by The Major, 01 August 2017 - 10:55 PM.

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#8
Eralam

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Her body language suggested that she thought she might be the target. Intersting. Though not altogether surprising. If he had been in her shoes, Eralam suspected that he'd be rather intimidated himself. The overall impression he got from the woman was one of intelligence, and caution. She had the look that said she was analyzing every bit of data, trying to determine where, exactly, she fit into things and if her place was one of danger. 

 

So the Shard responded with his own version of body language. Though his metal face was fixed in a death's head grin, he had plenty of practice at giving the impression of a reassuring grin.

 

"You could say I'm a freelance waste disposal technician. Caught word that a guy out this way was trafficking in minors. If it's true, well, the universe works in funny ways. He might just trip and fall in the shower a few times."

 

That wasn't strictly speaking true, the freelance part. Eralam had caught word of the target through the Shard network. Which, he was technically in charge of, if only just. Trying to herd the network these days was like trying to herd cats. 

 

"Once upon a time, I wouldn't have cared what organics did to one another, but these days, it wouldn't be inaccurate to say I've got a vested interest in taking care of certain things."

 

That much was completely true. The network still operated in the black, mostly, completely off the books away from any sort of organic government agency. But Eralam, and his faction, had come to realize was that the most valuable currency in the galaxy was favors. Take out a scumbag here and there and local agencies were suddenly all kinds of friendly. They didn't usually realize what they were dealing with. A few probably connected the dots, but they kept their mouths shut. Mostly though, they were just grateful. The guys who did nasty stuff on their turf, the ones who were smart enough or powerful enough to avoid justice, any cop worth the name would rejoice when they got a little karmic justice. And if the price just so happened to be a bit of information here, or a blind eye turned towards some weird droids there, well, so be it. 

 

The Major


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#9
The Major

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Odd. A droid with assassination protocols that claimed to care about the well being of organics. Moreover, the mechanical one’s presentation of this care implied a certain reluctance to clearly make such a statement. Droids did not bother with the shackles of style unless it actively helped their mission. Explaining his raison d'être definitely did not provide him any obvious advantage. Why would he need her approval? It was possible that his advanced programing enabled him, it, to conduct an extensive and protracted investigation. Maybe the droid was currently interviewing suspects or circumstantial witnesses related to his case. He mentioned that child trafficking was involved. 
 
Grisly business, that.
 
The thought of children and exploitation caused her to briefly reminisce on her own family, but these memories came in staccato fashion -slashing into and out of her awareness like a cheap film reel. Splitting. Confusing. She saw images of a woman -petite, pale, with sparkling blue eyes that seemed to glisten in the starlight. Her mother? Yes. Mom. She recalled black, sleek hair, and was reminded more and more of its tangles and flicks. Mom was beautiful, elegant, but also oddly askew in a mundane way. Not so with her children. Other children? More images flooded in. Sisters: two of them as shadows within a copse on the edge of a verdant forest. They were so happy. A tribe was there. Her tribe. Her family. They had always trusted in the guidance of the matriarch. Another flash summons fragmented feelings. These whirled along vectors cold to the touch. . . but comforting?
 
She loved her mother?
 
Yes. Of course. A child should love her mother. This was right.
 
Why did she now realize that she was frowning intensely as she squirmed uncomfortably in this cheap leather seat?
 
She should see them again. Soon.
 
The frown lines fade as this woman recovers her glasses from the table and resets them upon her face with a shiver of relief. 
 
“It’s clear that we . . . organics will always need the help of those with vested interests -as you say.” At the end of her sentence the glasses seem to trigger at some unknowable trigger, glowing in bright azuline. On her end the screen asks to re-play whatever the mechman had stated. It beckoned to examine every detail and begged to be asked an analysis. She ignored this and pushed on -which seemingly triggered the glasses to stop their eerie gleam. 
 
She realized that each instance of confusion presented itself as a puzzle. This was wonderful.
 
“What changed your mind?” 
 

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#10
Eralam

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The ticking at the back of the Shard's consciousness seemed to fade for a moment. That was good, right? Meant he was getting used to it, starting to tune it out. 

 

Right?

 

He forced the nagging suspicion that something still wasn't right out of mind. This wasn't the time. He wasn't sure why he was talking to this woman, why she looked like she was biting into a lemon, or why he felt a faint tingle of electrical activity coming from her glasses. This was all adding up to a whole lot of weird, and something just wasn't ticking. Clicking. 

 

Damn that infernal noise. Sometimes, Eralam wished his alternate self, the one that was apparently some sort of self made god, would bugger off and stop leaning on the walls of reality. Foreknowledge (or maybe side knowledge, he had no way of knowing if the timelines were concurrent, or separated) was always dangerous. Sometimes it was useful, but it was never safe. More often than not, it had a way of biting one in the shiny metal posterior if they relied upon it too heavily. 

 

Today was no exception. 

 

"That is along story for another time. Though, if your glasses have a search function, try looking up Shards. It might give you some clues."

 

Most of what the Holonet knew was myth. Stories of mystical beings or monsters who possessed droids, pish posh. Droids were, by and large, a great deal more independent than they let on, but the Network had long ago come to an arrangement. Possession. More like symbiosis.

 

Of course, if the lady in front of him had any sort of connections, her search might turn up myths of a different sort. Stories of a network in the shadows. Tales of droids behaving oddly. Snippets of thirdhand testimony from refugees rescued from the Battle of Coruscant, or perhaps police reports of criminals too well connected or protected to touch dying in gruesome, but seemingly natural ways. 

 

"I don't believe I've properly introduced myself. My name is Eralam."

 

He would have offered his hand for the traditional shake, but the poor woman hadn't done anything to deserve that. His metallic digits were practically industrial hazards, with a dozen different pinch points and sharp edges. It wasn't that they were designed as weapons, so much as they weren't designed to be gentle. 

 

The Major


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#11
The Major

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Eralam. . . The name had a very familiar ring to it. So familiar, in fact, she could almost be sure it was uttered in her presence before. Routinely, even. It evoked no other emotion than the feeling of repetition. Whether this was positive or negative, she could not say. Perhaps she had heard mention of his exploits on the holonet? Or like everything else that touched those eyes it seemed connected in a thousand pieces -like opening an old childhood book that one grew comfortable with but mostly forgot. There wasn't even an inclination on her end to cross reference his name or the term "Shard" in the brimming database that was one eye flick away. Everything was recording and saving on a remote server anyway. It could be processed and reexamined when time was more ample. 

 

"It's nice to meet you." But her eyes narrowed, almost suspiciously.

 

Something in her instincts were telling an alarming story: that the metal being might not be her friend -or that they were once at odds. But that was impossible, they had never met. 

 

"Are you infamous? I feel as though I've heard your name before. Maybe it was hearsay, but you. . . used to smoke with a pipe once, did you not?" What made her ask that specifically, she could not say. A hunch? Her face now remained imperceptible. 

 

Eralam


Edited by The Major, 08 August 2017 - 08:17 PM.

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#12
Eralam

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Eralam didn't have an eyebrow, but if he did, he would have raised it in a quizzical manner. 

 

"Can't say I have, but that's not a bad idea."

 

He considered the idea for a moment, and then shook his head. 

 

"On second thought, that's a terrible idea. A robot smoking a pipe? That's just trying too hard."

 

He tried to play it off, but alarm bells were clanging in her head. If she ​was showing signs of foreknowledge, or sideknowledge, or whatever the hell it was called, just what the hell was she in the other world? Trouble, probably. That was a safe bet. Nothing good ever came out of that other world. And yet, here they were. 

 

It was almost enough to make him want to hang his gunbelt up and retire somewhere quiet. 

 

Yeah, like that would ever happen. 

 

"I don't believe you've said your name yet. Would I be pressing too hard to ask?"

 

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#13
The Major

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A wide smile spread across her face at the robot’s comment on “trying too hard,” since it painted the ridiculous image of a droid actually attempting to have such an affectation with no discernible result. One could say the entirety of the organic condition was filled with such triteness. The “little details.” Comforts. Like an identity. Take her, for instance. Her identity. Everything before this tacky bar seemed a foggy split of memories, but speaking to another consciousness helped solidify what she was here to experience. Or at least it provided the alibi. Then he asked her name. No sudden migraine or flash of images tormented her present. Instead she felt a certain assurance, as though the response was trained and ingrained along with its reasoning. 
 
“Pressing? No, not at all.”
 
A brief pause.
 
“Sybil. Sybil Shepardt.”
 
Sybil recalled what her mother had taught: to always use the surname “Shepardt” when giving a name. The ladies of the tribe didn’t adopt surnames in any case, and it was simply used only to fill out a profile. Why was that? It didn’t matter. It was all a matter of tradition, or that’s the next alibi Sybil concocted. 
 
“Say, your travels must make you face many dangers. Part of my journey involves finding and cataloging things of quality for my family. Although they are pacifists at heart, the galaxy is a lethal place. I’d feel more at ease if I could send them weapons to defend themselves, but they would have be very unique to adapt to their. . . qualities. Do you know anyone that could provide that?"  
 

Edited by The Major, 12 August 2017 - 08:54 AM.

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#14
Eralam

Eralam
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Body language is a strange thing. Without a face to emote, Eralam couldn't quite pull off the look of someone who had just bit into something unspeakably foul, but his body language certainly suggested it. 

 

"Yeah, I know a guy. He can cook up just about anything you want. Can't say I like him, but so long as he stays in his shop making wild-ass guns, he's no trouble to me or mine."

 

Eralam did not like Rusty. The gunsmith Shard was a loose cannon in every sense of the phrase. The Iron Knight wouldn't be surprised if he had a body that was actually a loose cannon tucked away somewhere. The man had a positive gift for creating weapons of all shapes and sizes, but there was something about him that just rubbed Eralam the wrong way. 

 

He plucked out a datapad from his belt, called up the relevant details, and displayed them in holographic form. 

 

"His name is Rusty. He runs a fairly massive corporation, but mostly, he pretends it doesn't exist and hides in a small shop in Breehara on Dressel. The guy does truly outstanding work, but it's safer for everyone if he stays in that shop, where he can't do any harm. If you've got business, that'll keep him tied up for a few days. Tell him the Network will pay for it, he'll know what that means."

 

The Major


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#15
The Major

The Major

    The Hunter, Undaunted

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Sensing some sort of aura of mischief or malice from what she almost thought of as "bro-bot," Sybil frowned as she looked over the proffered information -if anything to show sympathy for his distaste. 

 

"Much obliged." 

 

She now produced a card with her communication suite's contact information -with means to send both data and calls over the holo-net. This she held for the Shard to take, more out of politeness -and forgetting about his metallic digits. Once Eralam took it, she stood and moved to the side of table.

 

"It's getting a late for this organic. Listen, it may not be much for now, but if I come across any information that may be of use to you or your network, I will pass it along. Don't know why I am compelled to say this but. . ."  She gazed about tentatively. 

 

"I'm sorry. Back then I thought I knew what I was doing. Not so."

 

Eralam


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#16
Eralam

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The Shard frowned, or at least gave the impression that he was frowning. It seems that she had some connection to the other side after all. 

 

"I think it's safe to say that mistake were made on all sides back then. You and I, however, have a fresh start. And something tells me that this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial friendship."

 

Eralam rose from his seat, his metallic body unfolding with a hydraulic hiss. He stretched, a decidedly organic movement that seemed at odds with his mechanical nature. He took a minute to check his lightsaber, and then the revolver, to make sure they were both in good working order. 

 

"Give me a shout once you get done with Rusty. I'll send you my contact information once I'm somewhere a bit more secure. And also a couple of tidbits of information that might do you might be able to put to good use. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to see a man about some blunt force trauma."

 

The Major


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