Putting Plans In Motion, Pt. 3 by MioraaNyte ()
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Stepping between the potential combatants, the Commander addressed both in a calm, but authoritive tone, "enough, both of you!" As the initial shock of his intervention took hold, he added, "shall we continue our conversation with a modicum of civility, please?" Reaching out, the Commander gently took hold of Syreena's hand lead her back to her seat while at the same time, without speaking a word, gave Omega a glance of disapproval and nodding at the woman to indicate that she too, should sit down.
After helping Syreena into the chair, the Commander retrieved his chair and once again sat down to speak with her. "Now, if I recall Syreena, you were proposing an exchange of information between us, with certain concessions that were granted by the previous occupant of this office." Receiving a nod of acknowledgment from the woman, he went on, "in all good faith, I can't agree to anything until I know the exact conditions of this potential arrangement."
"Understandable, Commander," the Togruta replied, "only a fool would accept a deal without knowing the terms of the contract, and you do not strike me as a foolish man." Choosing her next words carefully, Syreena continued, "you see Commander, besides 'counseling services', I also have been known to procure certain items that may be considered contraband within the Empire. But as I stated before, these items would normally cause no problems to group operations." Pausing a moment, she went on, "an example would be somebody might want a bottle of Corellian brandy for a special occasion... since we both know that such an item is produced only on a Republic core world, its import into the Empire is forbidden. However, since it is just a mildly intoxicating alcoholic beverage, it would be no more dangerous, in fact, less dangerous than an equal amount of Begeren whiskey. The inventory of accessible goods also include other items not available through normal trade such as raw materials for clothing, foods, decorations, jewelry, religious items and such."
"I see," the Commander said to the woman, "I noticed you failed to mention things like weaponry and recreational pharmaceuticals like spice." With his last words, the Commander saw Syreena's composure change from a savvy businesswoman, to one of horror and disgust.
"I would NEVER trade in those, Commander, especially spice!", Syreena exclaimed as she rose from her seat before taking a step and turning slightly away. "Never spice," the woman choked out the words as tears began to well in her eyes, "never spice."
Seeing Syreena's reaction to the mention of spice, the Commander stood up and moved to the woman, gently placing his hand upon her shoulder to comfort her. "I apologize for upsetting you, Syreena," he said in a soothing voice, "but understand, I need to know why you say you wouldn't trade in spice. I can't just take your word for it, you'll need to convince me beyond a doubt if I am to agree to the arrangement you propose. It is nothing personal, but as you know all too well, just good business."
"I can't fault you for that, Commander," the woman said between soft sobs, "but what I'm about to tell you must never leave this room, agreed?" With the man accepting her terms, Syreena began her tale, "quite a few of my people were addicted to that poison after Darth Nox freed us from our bonds. It took me and some of my most caring people to clean them up. It was a painful and heartbreaking thing to both sides of the process." Stopping to wipe some tears away, Syreena continued, "but that wasn't the worse case. One day, Darth Nox brought this wisp of a woman child to me, she was near death from her spice addition... it was Mayla."
"Nox told us that she had rescued Mayla from sexual servitude to Darth Thanaton, but she didn't mention anything about a spice addiction," The Commander interjected.
"Nor would she," Syreena responded, "it's something she didn't want anybody to know, in case they were to try and use Mayla against her." Seeing a look of understanding on the Commander's face, she went on, "you see, Thanaton was the one to addict Mayla to spice... to make her compliant to his perverse tastes. He would make sure she always got enough to prevent her from refusing his wants, but never enough to grant her an escape through a merciful death by overdose." Waiting for awhile to gain her composure, Syreena then added, "but that is not the end of it. It took almost two months to clean her up, six weeks longer than most others in her condition. During that time, I witnessed something I would have bet my life would never happen."
"Please, go on," The Commander said during a small break in the story.
"Every moment Darth Nox was able, whether it was minutes, hours, even days at a time... she would stay with Mayla, holding the girl in an embrace like a mother would her ailing child. Speaking words of love, hope and encouragement," and with tears now flowing freely, softly whispered, "and Nox would cry like a mother in pain would own for her daughter's suffering." As the woman's emotions began to settle from her tale, turning to face the Commander she smiled and said, "a Sith with a heart, who would think such a thing was possible?"
Before the Commander could respond, Omega rose from her seat and approached the Togruta. "Syreena," Omega softly addressed her, "I acted foolishly and out of old prejudices before. You are a good woman and even if I may not care for your profession, that does not make you any less of a person that deserves the respect of others, myself included." Looking down at the floor for a moment, Omega returned her gaze to look the woman in the eye and said, "please accept my deepest apology and my sincere hope that we can put the past behind us and begin anew."
Smiling at her former antagonist, Syreena replied, "an old proverb states, 'wise is the person who can admit their flaws and strive to improve themselves'. What is past is past, what matters is now and the future." Continuing to speak, Syreena added, "it will be a pleasure to work with you, Lieutenant Commander." Then turning to the Commander, "what is your decision concerning my offer?"
"It was 'yes' from the start, Syreena," the man replied, "I had a good feeling that there was no cause for concern, sometimes things just 'pop up' out of nowhere. As long as these things don't endanger group operations or security, I see no problems."
Giving the man a sly smile, Syreena began to leave. Upon reaching the doorway, she turned and asked, "by the way Commander, do you play Sabacc?"
"I've been known to sit in on a game or two," the Commander replied with a small chuckle.
"Well, Commander, Lieutenant Commander, friends are always welcome in our home," Syreena said as she walked through the open door, then looking over her shoulder, added with a grin, "we might even let you win a hand..."
Thanks for dropping by and hope you enjoyed your visit.
Comments are always welcome and appreciated.
Image Comments (15)
SidheRoseGraphics () 4:31PM | Mon, 11 November 2019
It's good to see the girls are getting along in the end. This sounds like it will be to everyone's benefit. The Commander seems a wise man
ZjaelingNytesong () 4:52PM | Mon, 11 November 2019
Very compelling chapter, well written and illustrated.
CoyoteSeven () 4:04PM | Tue, 12 November 2019
Very well written and illustrated, the story line is riveting and makes me want more.
Radar_rad-dude () 1:47PM | Wed, 13 November 2019
Fantastic characters, illustration and story! Most excellent work all around!
daggerwilldo () Online Now! 5:07PM | Wed, 22 July 2020
Wow I love your writing and your render scene accompaniment panels. You are the real deal as a story teller. I am going to find the beginning now so i can read in order.