Monday, 16 March 2015

The Bespin Affair

Tay tried to push the medical droid's hands away. He was sure his head was just fine but M3 insisted that Kodo undergo a battery of test something about deficient mental functioning. Tay had more calls to make he had already contacted Genko he was surprised that the major domo had been so accommodating when confronted with the truth. Darqa was right honesty was the best policy in this case, but Tay remained sceptical about relying on it too heavily. He had also put calls out to Goova. The Oonta matriarch wasn't surprised in the least to receive the call. She had playfully inquired if Kodo had been to Bespin recently. She had said that the museums were quite exciting. Tay had no idea how Goova had already heard about the cloud city indecent let alone linked it to the Raging Dewback's crew. The Oonta clan was certainly in safe hands now that Goova was out of retirement. She still appeared to be fond of Kodo and had happily did him a favour, it only took her minuets to supply Tay with the contact details of Enu one of the few Info brokers Tay trusted to supply him a false identification and keep it secret. M3 was coming at him again with some kind of probe. Tay protested.

Please Dr 4T, I assure you I am fine! If there was anything wrong with my head I wouldn't have been able to pilot that stolen cloud guard speeder upside down, along the main avenue of could city against the flow of morning rush-hour traffic. Would I?

M3-4T paused as he calculated the odds of a mentally comprised individual executing the manoeuvres that Kodo had preformed. The odds were ridiculously high. But so was a chance of a completely healthy pilot performing the same actions. M3 then analysed the manoeuvres Kodo had preformed during the high speed escape. And compared them to the manoeuvres he had used to win the cloud city grand prix the day before. M3 calculated that Kodo's reaction times were comparable with no desirable degeneration of performance.

Hmm… Perhaps you are correct Kodo. But how do you explain Darqa's description of your symptoms?

The droid’s voice somehow conveyed a mixture of concern and interest despite its synthetic quality.
Tay waved his hand in a dismissive gesture.
Look. Doctor its simple; that witch Eliza cast some kind of spell on me.  Why don't you take Thal down to the cargo hold and check on your owners new freeze unit? That's why we came to Bespin after all.
Tay was sure that M3 wanted badly to check on his owners but the Medical Droid had hardly left the crews side, tending to wounds that Tay and Darqa had hastily patched during the flight from the museum. Tay had never seen such dedication in a droid before. 
M3-4T pondered what Kodo had said. He badly wanted to examine the vitality data of the carbon freeze units to check for any ill effects the malfunction may have had on his patients. But he was genuinely concerned about his crew. Darqa’s description of events seemed to indicate that Kodo was somehow influenced by the elder woman. M3 discounted Kodo's magical superstitions. Perhaps it was some kind of manipulation of intelligent microscopic bacterial by morphic fields? No that was more ridiculous than Kodo's witchcraft. He glanced at Darqa sleeping under heavy sedative on the lounge. The wounds the Gotatl?? had received would have killed several lesser beings.   

Ok Kodo you do seem fully functional. I will be close by, please call if you feel any dizziness. Or if Darqa begins to stir.

Kodo was relived to be spared M3's probe.

Thail you should go with Dr 4T he may need your technical know how.

Alone, Tay had time to think about the heist. That gem was bigger than any he had seen before.  And  there was something special about it more than the legend around it . He was sure about it. Something had felt odd when he held it, a scratching sensation between his antennae. He had to hand it to Arend Shen. Steeling the gem and hacking the cloud city banking system to redirect the auction funds was a great idea. As usual the high and mighty needed someone to carry out their dirty deeds. Kodo was familiar with the power plays of wealthy families from his time on Coruscant . Tay was sure Mr Shen would be quite busy dealing with the fallout between Marus Greyson, Kaltho The Hut, and Vorse Tabarith and not to mention the Wing guard investigation. Yes much too busy to bother about a simple criminal who betrayed him. His daughter Aris however was a different matter. That blue skinned beauty was very determined to succeed. Tay was sure she would be able to avoid any unpleasantness her father and husband got themselves into, and Tay suspected that she was the true brains behind her fathers gem plot. Tay leaned back and thought about each encounter they had together.

The secrete meeting in the market as she slipped away from her husbands minders.
The playful negotiations at the safe house apartment with those bribed wing guard outside. Kodo had played hard ball and she had called his bluff. She was a cool customer and yet Tay was sure he caught her steeling glances at him during the meeting.
Tay's suspicions were confirmed when he danced with Aris at the museum during the silent auction. The way her touch had lingered on his neck and how she had hung on his every word. Tay could tell she was intoxicated by his talent displayed during the Cloud City Grand Prix, winning the race while avoiding both cloud born life forms, and blaster fire from the elite pro racing teams. Holo-vids of Tay in disguise standing up out of the open canopy of the sky car, arms raised catching flowers and streamers as he crossed the finish line, flames still fanning out of the overstressed engines were all over the Holo-net.          
The desperation in her voice as She had commed for them after the heist had turned sower. Tay remember how he had felt a stab of shame as her calls of concern had changed into rage at the realisation that the funds transfer hadn't gone into the prearranged Shen account. But Tay new her feelings were still conflicted. As Tay had stood in the open of the Holo-park guiding Thal into land, he had been caught dead in Aris's sights, but the blaster bolt had gone clear over Tay's head. Aris had wavered at the last moment. And Tay had seen her pouting in rage as he had said his Farewells sprinting up the landing ramp of the Dewback. Tay had never met her type before but was sure he would get the chance to again, and despite the danger or perhaps because of it he relished the idea.

But first their was the matter of a fist sized gem and another mysterious lady Elaiza was equally as fascinating as Aris Shen but for completely different reasons. Aris was a foil to Tay's personality someone like himself, a kindred sprit of sorts. Elaiza was a mystery or a riddle to be solved. Tay had always been good at reading people for as long as he could remember he could read them and then tell them exactly what they anted to hear. Its was Tay's trade M3-4T under stood the working of life and how to heal the sickly. Thal was a brilliant engineer and mathematician who was privy to inner workings of a star. Darqa was a precision machine his body and reflexes were tuned to the identification of danger and elimination of threats. Tay understood how peoples minders worked he could read the face of a mark and exploit the weakness he found the boredom of a guard, or the desire of a bank clerk. Tay was a master of lies, but he couldn't impose his thinking onto another. He could only subtlety manipulate. But Elaiza had done the impossible she had simply told Tay that she needed the gem, just out right said it "I need the gem to save the Galaxy." what a terrible lie, there was no way anyone would believe it. But Tay had. One Second Tay had was thinking what an amateur. You may be a master Cat-Burglar to have climbed up the waste-shoot, but you don't know anything about manipulation. Then the next thing she slowly waved her hand and said those eight words and Tay had believed. Believed it with every fibre of his being, then a few minuets later he had realised how stupid that sounded. Save the Galaxy, how daft was that!  As much as Tay wanted to go after the gem he wanted Elaiza, well he wanted that old witch's powers. Tay remembered the same scratching sensation between his antennae when he was speaking to Elaiza as when he held the gem. He could still feel it now if he concentrated hard enough. A scratching, itching, feeling between, inside? No was it beyond his antennae?!