Two days, two bloody, stinking days wandering the districts of the Port wearing a full face rebreather mask and hood, tail tucked into a baggy jumpsuit, and Kordath had very little to show for it. Except lighter pockets, he’d been handing credits out for information like he didn’t need them. While the Ryn knew he could always petition the Qel-Droma residents, shadowy overlords of Ol’val, the Priest felt it better if he kept his distance. Not everyone on the free-port knew that the Arconans were the true holders of power, and he couldn’t help but feel that those who did were paying attention to him.
He’d hit dive bars, casinos, a few of the more mundane cantinas asking bartenders and ‘those in the know’, as far as the barkeeps were concerned, about a near human with emerald eyes. The likelihood of more than one Zelosian being on board was quite low. The only area he hadn’t been canvassing was the Minefield, since so much of it wasn’t in use or when in use, only lit by the headlamps of the workers. His target abhorred the dark, it was doubtful that Zra’e would be in that area. The intel he’d been given for this mission had mentioned Club Purgatory, but dressed as he was in an attempt to hide his own identity had kept him from entering.
So he’d checked the surrounding areas, the hotels ran by the Besadii Hutts and their slaves. And now, after two days of searching, Kordath Bleu sat in a small tapcaf opposite of the thriving Purgatory, sipping a cup of caf through a straw. He was tired and annoyed, slicing into the Port’s security systems had the potential of finding Zra’e, but he was no where near confident enough in his skills. Qel-Droma security would either tag him and start asking questions, or the Fly on the Wall group of techies would send droids after him. At this point the Priest wasn’t even sure the Zelosian was still in Ol’val; Edraven was going to be angry with him, he thought with a sigh.
Debating whether another cup of caf would be prudent before returning to the search, Kordath glanced over at a pair of men walking on to the patio. One was wearing thick, heavy shades and carrying a white cane, the other was human, nondescript in every way. He was leading the seemingly blind man with a hand on his arm, pulling the man’s seat out and guiding him into it. The man murmured his thanks, settling in and propping the cane against the table, before his head moved in a way that aroused suspicion in the Ryn.
Kordath felt a tingle on the back of his neck, the hair trying to rise inside the hood as he watched the man out of the corner of his eye. He had all the markings of a blind man, but acted as if he could see through the glasses, though not well. Light sensitive? A disguise, perhaps, or maybe he was only recently rendered blind, muscle memory was a hard thing to overcome. Intrigued, and feeling an anxious tension start to mount in his chest, Kordath drew on the Force to enhance his vision, turning his head slightly to get a better view of the man.
Focusing on the human with the cane, the man’s appearance changed slightly against the background of the Force. Vague trails on the exposed skin pulsed a light green and white, and the glasses appeared to be housing two small green gems that peered out into the world. His companion appeared, carrying a pair of mugs and casually looking around the area as he set them down. The Ryn watched him closely, the Force revealing a…ripple, across the man’s face that was undoubtedly impossible to see without his enhanced sight.
‘So that’s why nobody had seen him, he’s hiding his most prominent feature, just another human on a rock full of them.’ thought the Ryn, cursing himself for not having the forethought to carry some kind of tracer to plant on the bodyguard. The Clawdite would be a problem later, he was certain; Kordath turned his head back away from the two men, and switched gears mentally to reach out with his mind. His training concerning telepathic abilities was lacking, something that his Master Nath had tried pound into his brain but gave up after the discord that would come from Kordath’s psyche when attempting to reach out.
While unable to get a read on what the two men were thinking, the Ryn was able to get a good feeling for the mental ‘signatures’ as it were. He grinned inside his mask, tracking the two of them would be much easier now, with his skill in reaching out to locate people through the Force being much more refined then his ability to read minds. What little he could pick up suggested the two were nervous, did they know somebody was looking for them? Kordath hadn’t been very…subtle, in his investigations, they’d likely heard that somebody was looking for a Zelosian, even if a name never had been used.
Which meant they might know his current disguise, he realized, sensing a growing hostility from the Clawdite the longer he sat. As casually as possible, the Ryn set his mug down, standing up and walked past Zra’e Umbar’s table and out into the ‘street’ running through the district. Ducking down an alleyway, the Krath pushed himself against a wall and let the Force blend him in with the background, cloaking his physical presence. Moments later the nondescript man stopped outside the alley, glancing down it with suspicion. Kordath cursed himself for hiding so soon, the man was a well trained operative, he wasn’t going to come down an alleyway blind searching for someone.
‘Should have led him a bit, didn’t hook him before I hid, blast it,’ thought the Ryn, berating himself. Revealing himself now would be foolhardy, he decided, if the bodyguard got away there would be no way of keeping the knowledge of his activities secret. Worst scenario would be Qel-Droma dark Jedi hunting him down, and then a very awkward conversation down in the Phantom Complex, while Umbar got away. Best case would be the Zelosian heading straight for a ship to get out of port, and the chances of that happening, or stopping it for that matter, were too low for the Priest to chance it.
So he waited, while the Clawdite’s eyes swept up and down the alleyway, narrowing as he sneered.
‘Must think I’m a bloody amateur, sure am acting like one,’ the Krath thought, knowing that he was off his game. Knowing that he had to kill a man who’d done nothing to him was off putting to the Ryn, a knife in the dark might be his chosen method for eliminating a threat but he still found killing distasteful. Whatever Zra’e was, he had to be a danger to the Clan, and that meant ending him, know matter how the Priest felt about it.
‘Responsibility stinks,’ thought the Ryn, grimly.
Not moving, Kordath watched the bodyguard back away, and felt him head back to the Zelosian. Breathing a sigh of relief and frustration, the d’Tana patted his jumpsuit down, reassuring himself that his knives were where he’d put them before ditching his mask. Stripping the jumpsuit off, he stood in loose black slacks, shirt, and a vest over it that held a quartet of blades within it. Taking a few deep breaths to calm himself, the Priest could sense his target moving. Glancing out around the corner of the alley, he watched them head for Purgatory, seemed Zra’e had business with the Hutts.
Kordath followed at a distance, walking casually and allowed his vision to roam over the front of the Club. An internal grimace was his reaction to the amount of security at the entrance, they’d relieve him of his knives for certain, and possibly turn him away simply because of his species. Walking past the entrance, he turned at the edge of the building and headed towards the rear, leaving the glittering lights of the Entertainment district behind for the midden piles and garbage heaps that any large establishment produced.
Reaching the back of the building, he hid a grin, spotting several men in the seemingly universal outfit of white shirt and apron with indistinguishable stains on them. The cooks didn’t even notice as the cloaked Krath, moving as if a shimmer in the air, quietly passed them and crept into the kitchens. Careful not to disturb anyone within the surprisingly clean kitchens, the Besadii took service seriously it seemed, Kordath followed a server out the door, darting through as she opened it. Revealing himself again, the Krath swept the room, looking for the Zelosian.
Stairs ran the length of both sides of the large room, gaming tables scattered around, and he caught sight of the white cane tapping it’s way up to his left. Heading right, the Priest moved up at a steady pace, keeping an eye cast towards the two men. At the top of the steps, Kordath could see a turbolift, and a security pad next to it, but no guards. Likely only people with a keycard could get in, that was fine with the Krath, as an amusing thought crossed his mind. Hanging back for a moment, staring out over the gaming floor, he waited for Zra’e and the bodyguard to enter the lift.
‘Now or never,’ thought the Ryn, feeling anxious, he wanted to get this whole business over with and get back to Eldar.
His face rippled before he turned, taking on the same appearance as the Clwadite had, and he shimmered as the Force hid him from sight again. Stepping through the doors before they could close, he position himself next to the control panel. As the lift began it’s ascension, the Ryn glanced at the control panel and took a deep breath, before jabbing the emergency stop button. He shimmered into view once more and turned to face his target. The bodyguard barely stumbled as the turbolift came to a sudden halt, Zra’e tumbled to the floor, as Kordath turned and sent a powerful telekinetic blow to the Clawdite’s chest. The bodyguard slammed against the side of the lift, snarling as he pushed himself off and came at the Ryn.
The man was good, even with the wind knocked out of him he was well trained and extremely dangerous. Umbar was getting back to his feet, glasses knocked off his green eyes shined in the light, as he lifted his cane to strike at the Krath. Ducking under a punch, Kordath gestured at Zra’e and enveloped him in a sphere of darkness, causing the Zelosian to let out a strangled cry of terror as his vision truly left him. The Clawdite wasn’t letting up though, driving an elbow into Kordath’s side, drawing a grunt from the Ryn. Zra’e was out of it, for now, the Priest turned to his assailant and went with the next strike to come in, a punch to the shoulder.
Turning with the blow, he hooked his arm over the Clawdite’s elbow, using the momentum to slam the bodyguard into the wall again. Kordath took a step back, pulling a knife from his vest and tried for a stab, the shapeshifter dodged just in time, causing the blade to sparked off the metal siding. Growling, the Ryn ducked a vicious kick, and knew he was running out of time, maintenance would override the emergency stop soon and surely there was a security cam in the lift.
‘Time to end this,’ thought the Ryn, snarling with his borrowed face. Stepping back from the well executed right hook that came sailing in, Kordath stuck out a palm, releasing another telekinetic blast focused for intensity. The Clawdite hit the wall with a vicious thump, the back of his head rebounding and his features shifting as he lost focus, before taking a half step forward with a shake of the head. As he recovered, Kordath spun on the ball of his left foot and swung his right leg up, catching the bodyguard in the underside of his chin with the heel of his foot.
As the Clawdite collapsed, Kordath drove his knife into the man’s back, sliding between the ribs, seeking a lung, before withdrawing the blade. Grasping the man by the chin from behind, he pulled back and slashed the knife across the shapeshifter’s throat, holding him in place until the thrashing stopped. Collecting his breath for a moment, wiping the blade clean on the bodyguard’s clothing, he dismissed the darkness enveloping the Zelosian. The man was whimpering, curled up in a ball, he’d heard the vicious melee within the lift, but he couldn’t tell who’d won by sound alone.
Kordath lifted the man to his feet, placing himself inches from the man’s face, before smacking him across the face. Zra’e opened his emerald eyes to see the face of his own bodyguard, and sagged in relief, and then cried out in surprise as his diaphragm collapsed. Kordath put a hand over the man’s mouth to muffle his whimpers, the Ryn was starting to get a headache. Pulling his knife out of the Zelosian’s midsection, examining the green blood for a moment with detached, scholarly interest, before cleaning the weapon.
Umbar collapsed to the floor, bleeding out and unable to breath, and the Priest looked up to see an access hatch above him. Working the hatch open, he pulled himself through, found a ventilation cover a few feet above him and clambered through, just in time to hear the lift start descending. Two hours of crawling through dusty vents, a slight near mishap with a fan, and a Force assisted landing from two stories up into a dumpster, the Ryn, now wearing his own face again made his way towards the port. Hopefully the security tapes wouldn’t reveal too much about how he’d accomplished things, the usage of the Force wasn’t overly noticeable in such close quarters, and the Ryn wasn’t even certain if the darkness he’d used on the Zelosian would show up on holo.
Pondering this thought for future experimentation when he got back to Eldar, the Priest went in search of a flight heading in system. As he did this, he tried to shake off the realization that killing the Zelosian and his bodyguard hadn’t shook him up nearly as much as killing the slicer on Almaran had. He hoped this wasn’t getting easier, not being an outright killer was one of the few differences about himself that he valued compared to most of his comrades in the Clan. Shuddering, worried more that the nauseous he usually felt after such a task wasn’t present, then how likely he was to get reamed out by Edraven for doing a killing on holo.
Time to go home, either way, decided the Ryn, feeling fatigued after two days of investigations and a brutal murder.