Savitri Qane: Oddness and Equality


The city, I've noticed, is a nest of possibility, especially for the improbable and surprising.  Events are like a population: they can be small or large, meager or monumental, and they come in more forms than even the most creative of sentient beings can think up.  Some are beautiful, even sublime; others are more hideous than usually thought possible.

Others still are just ez ni'ilo, if you'll excuse the dialect: they just come out of nowhere.

In large cities, I've also observed, there're more events of all sorts, so the odd ones just seem more normal on the sole grounds that they just happen more often.

Doesn't make them less weird.

Coruscant is no exception in these generalizations, especially when you get into the lower layers of the bustling metropolis of a planet.  Forget the fury of politics and diplomacy that goes on up top, the real good stuff goes on underneath.  Especially the bars, there're the cesspools of weirdness.

I was sitting in the back corner, keeping an eye on the fellow lowlifes nursing crazy concoctions and talking about who knows what, like usual, but something just didn't feel right.  Somebody was there, close by…

"Am I correct in addressing Savitri Qane?" a calm, diplomatic voice asked practically out of nowhere.  I glanced up to find a slender figure, dressed in an attempt to attract as little attention as possible.  I wasn't convinced it completely worked.

"Depends on who's doing the addressing," I replied, then added with a smirk, "Master Jedi."

The figure tensed, not outwardly, but I could tell he did.  He hadn't expected me to be able to tell so easily who he was, even if it was only generally.  I don't know what it was, for some reason I was really good at picking up on these sorts of minutiae, especially in the few encounters I've had with Jedi.  "You're perceptive," was all the figure could manage.

My smirk deepened.  "I've to commend you on your powers of observation, Master Jedi.  But compliments aside; to what do I owe the honor of your presence, good sir?"

He seated himself opposite me, leaning over the table so he could lower his voice.  This had to be important.

"We've heard you've made a name for yourself among bounty hunters.  Is this true?"

"What's this 'we' business?" I asked, but the Jedi's eyes, though unseen under his hood, narrowed.  

"You're not answering my question."

With a shrug, "It depends on whom y'ask, but popular opinion would say so."  I tilted my head inquisitively.  "Why d'y'ask?  Not often your sort comes seeking my sort with a job proposal."

"What do you mean, 'your s--'" he began defensively, almost rising, but he collected himself.  "Yes, this is unusual, but it's in unusual circumstances we find ourselves."

I slightly turned my head, letting him know I was listening.  "We have a young Jedi who deserted that we need to return to the temple."  He gave me the basics: features, temperament, race, where she probably went, that sort of thing.

I leaned back in my chair when he finished.  "Okay, so why'd'y'need me?  Y'gotta skipper on your hands, I understand, but if I can trust your word,--and I assume I can, honorable Master Jedi-- this sounds like an internal matter.  If I may, why request the services of a lowlife bounty hunter like me?"

He hesitated.  "She's… slippery.  She's very perceptive when inclined, especially to people and particularly to Jedi.  We know where she probably went, but even still it'd be very difficult to find her, and next to impossible to get close to her.  Besides, she's not exactly the easiest to persuade."

"I can see why, 'Dalors are stubborn as is, never mind that…"  I let the sentence hang unfinished, but I got the feeling the Jedi wanted me to finish.

"You've something to add to that?" he asked tightly, confirming my suspicions.

I smirked, drew out the silence a little more, then said, " She's a Dalor, so a stubborn nature's in her breeding, and on top of that she's Jedi, they've… a confidence when convinced they're right about something, which they feel they are quite frequently, and don't exactly like to relent that confidence."  I looked him straight in where I figured his eyes would be.  Most are intimidated by Jedi of any sort, never mind masters, but I'm not.  They're beings just like me and the next guy over, and I'm one for equality.  Besides, they were supposedly the Peace Keepers, but I didn't trust them much.

He let out a strained breath, trying not to show the frustration I knew he had stewing in there somewhere.  "Very well.  I've made the offer, do you accept?"

"I'll see.  Usually I check the charge out, see if I can handle him, her, or it.  However," I paused to let a almost devilish grin tickle my lips, "there's also the question of urgency."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, I just wonder how badly you and the Order want her back."

"I've made to you very clear that we've several reasons for getting her--"

"Let me explain, Master Jedi: I don't know how familiar you are with this trade, but usually the bounty's for however much the charge is worth to the client.  If I calculate correctly, the price you're offering, in my professional opinion, is admittedly low, so it stands to reason that it doesn't matter how quickly you get her back, or indeed you get her back at all."  He tried to protest, but I cut him off, "Like I said, it all depends on how badly you want the pixie back.  The more you want her, the more valuable she must be.  The more valuable, the higher the bounty.  The higher the payoff… the more inclined I'll be to see the job as worth my while and the more eager I'll be to get her back to you as soon as sentiently possible."

I let this sit with the master a moment.  He probably thought I had a lot of nerve speaking to the likes of him like that.  But hey, he came to me, not the other way around.  I do things the way I do them; I don't do special favors for any client, and I couldn't care less if the client controlled al Furza'a.  Rules were rules, and if anybody should understand that concept, it'd be the Jedi.

"Very well," he said stiffly, rising.  "Examine the case on the sooner end of things, and contact us as soon as you can to inform us of your decision."

I nodded, giving him a sort of dismissal.  Before the hem of his cloak crossed the threshold I'd pulled out the direct line to my connection.

"Trarch, I need you to prep for a trip out to Mandalore, and to get in touch with the scout out there.  I've a 'tenti to survey."

The End

21 comments about this exercise Feed