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High Noon (Open-ish)

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  • High Noon (Open-ish)

    This happens immediately after this thread

    As he looked over the wreckage, the onlookers still there watching in shock as more and more remains were pulled from the rubble, Tyler was angry, furious. While he was always good at hiding his emotions, it was hard right now as he looked over the once brilliant facility which was now a complete loss. No, he didn't care about losing the facility, not only was the place completely insured for the damages, but he could cleanly afford replacement value on his own. He didn't care about the facility at all, he cared about the losses of life. While he had never been one to be considered "personable" he does care, a lot, about people.

    That's probably why he's so angry about the "ongoing investigation". What were they investigating? What was there to investigate? The arrogance of officials was insulting, especially for someone, a company bringing in so much revenue to several Republic planets. It makes one wonder why he was there at all. As if on cue, several who recognized him walked near enough to express their sorrow and to wish him well, he acknowledged each individual, but did not speak much, except to children, as he was in no frame of mind to converse with anyone, without being angry that is.

  • #2
    As the smoke drifted into the air as the emergency crews battled the last of the flames of the wreckage. The remnants of this building were crumbling as spectators tittered and held each other, thanking their stars they were not one of the charred remains being pulled out of the blackened and warped metal and chunks of wood from the interior.

    The citizens of Telos had suffered attacks before, and this one would fade from their memories in a few months for those who had not been affected. Daine knew the timeline well, from her own assassination attempt to the bombings of the Onasi Compound so long ago. She knew the people of the Republic and Telos well enough to know that many would not be as willing to expend credit in a manhunt or investigation when they had wars to fights and battles to focus on instead.

    Dressed in white, she had come to Telos as a side trip on her journey back to Bastion after months upon months of flitting around the galaxy. She had seen the breaking news reports as well as the name of the company who controlled the now smoldering pile of ashes.

    She had recognized quite a few names on the list of chairmen but the name at the very top had caused a smile to curve on red-painted lips. She had altered her course almost immediately and it had taken very little time to muster information and contact a few of her associates who promised her answers within a few hours.

    So here she was on Telos again, fake id at the ready. She wore sunglasses to at least attempt to disguise herself though at this point, it was nearly unnecessary. The former Chief of State had faded into the back of these people's minds as well, her face forgotten except on news broadcasts where she spoke on behalf of the Empire or her picture was featured on the news. She maneuvered her way through the crowds and to the tape line where a few bystanders were filtering past a man who seemed more like a statue than a gawker. She kept her smile in check but silent shooed away a few other gawkers who were coming to speak to him.

    Daine came up to his side and looped her arm through Tyler's, gently tugging him away from the scene.

    "Now, now, my darling, staying here will do no good," She said quietly to him, her tone gentle. "Blood's been spilled and standing around in it won't get you what you want. I mean you no harm, come with me." She knew he'd recognize her voice and hopefully would not cause too much of a scene. The harm had already been done to his business, she had no inclination to rub salt in the wound when a plan was forming in her mind.


    • #3
      The voice, the touch, it was Saria. He had a didactic memory and knew it was her, he also knew that if she really wanted to get to him, that she would do it in a more flamboyant way. Now, this? This was real, she was wanting something, she wasn't here out of comfort. Why else would the woman make her way back to Telos of all places? No, he really didn't care, he was too ticked off to really care about what was happening. To be quite honest the level of disrespect to the people of this planet was ridiculous, how could they believe that a Republic could protect them, had their best interests at heart when they won't bother with anything other than an "ongoing investigation."

      I didn't expect to hear from you for another hour or so. The comment wasn't meant to be rude, and frankly his tone would prove that. He simply made the observation because the woman had a knack for showing up at times when his life was changing, or something in his life was changing, she was always there. However as he followed her, if she wasn't going to cause a scene, which she was more than smart enough not to, he wouldn't.


      • #4
        Her grip tightened for a moment on his arm, a reprimand for his choice of words, but the gesture was not meant cruelly. People were still watching, press still snapping photographs of the destruction and crowd to be cycled through in the news hour. His face would no doubt pop up many times and she made she that they kept their back to the press line as she guided him away from the rubble in into the crowd milling about on the streets.

        "Sorry to disappoint, I was in the area sooner than expected," She told him with a mild shrug. "Besides the news already spread and I wanted to make sure you weren't brooding too long."

        Their relationship was an odd one, of that she was certain. To be honest, she really doubted if she could have any type of normal relationship, platonic, romantic, or professional. Her track history with romance was bad enough, let alone business or even friends, of which Daine had very few anymore. Many were already dead or had abandoned her long ago. She wouldn't call Tyler a friend, but they were connected and she liked to keep an eye on her connections. This business of his buildings and restaurants being blown sky high was enough for her to step in.

        She led him along the street and away from the smoke in the air. As they approached the restaurant where she had a table already waiting for them, she spoke quietly and calmly.

        "I imagine that the Republic has promised you an investigation, but little more, am I correct?" She asked, not turning to face him just yet. She knew he was angry and not to poke at that wound just yet. She didn't want to ruin whatever agreement they had come to when he accepted her touch and not pushed her away. It was a start.


        • #5
          The grip on his arm was amusing. Was she really trying to hide in plain sight? Normally the woman would flaunt just how easily she could disappear into a crowd but this was different. It made him actually smile inwardly. No, he wasn't trying to start something but it was random, just as random as her appearance. She wasn't here for him, well she was, but not in the way that others were expressing today, no she was here for a reason. Not a worry. Just glad to see you're getting along okay. His tone was as gentle as hers, but more matter of fact than with any real emotion.

          He didn't have issue with her, she had things on him, he had things on her, it was the game, it was their banter. Though frankly her being here was curious. Then the restaurant was interesting, she wanted to talk. Then there it was, she was playing on her internal knowledge of Republic Operations, she wanted something from him. In a manner of speaking. They have offered their "heart felt condolences" and "assurances that those who are responsible, will be found and will answer for their crimes". He stopped for a moment and the cynical sarcasm in his voice could not be suppressed this time. Oh, and they offered a pittance of a financial stipend to assist me financially. Which I will ensure that they commit to and then give it to the families of those who lost their lives, along with my own personal assurances of their financial security. There it was again, he may have been rough on his competition and in exterior but he cared about the people who associated with him.


          • #6
            "Of course I am," She said with a wave of her free hand. "You, however, are currently in a pickle."

            She led him through the wide glass doors of the restaurant and smiled prettily at the hostess who was gathering menus. The place was simple and elegant, a place she had frequented in her own time on Telos. There was a quietness in the air here. Others came her to escape the streets and the politics and the meetings that ran life on Telos. Lunch was still being served and Daine had made sure they were on time.

            "Table for two, under Rhapsody," She said, untwining her arm from Tyler's so that the hostess could guide them to a table, menus in hand.

            The table was a booth in a far corner, where sunlight was filtering in through the windows. Sitting in the sun would do wonders after the shadows she had been lingering in for months now. Besides, here was a chance to do a little extra for the Empire before she made her way home.

            She saved her comments until they were seated and left alone.

            "They will offer you little more than that, assurances that will never come true," She told him. "The Republic have bigger fish to fry than minor corporate terrorism. Those fish would of course be people like me and my employers." That was said with a smile and a shrug.

            "Money is something they can spend and point to so that they can say they've done their part. Paying people off is a skill and it's quite rudimentary. They could have offered you something much better." Daine took a sip of water that had been placed at the table for them.

            "How about the people who did it and the freedom to do with them as you wish."


            • #7
              As they sat down, he was becoming more and more intrigued why she would bring him here. Sure there was something at play, and it was possible that she was not here by coincidence, but then again did it really matter at this point? As she ran off what was going to happen, things that he had already ran through in his mind, he thought about why she was bringing this up and inwardly he laughed, inwardly. The thought of "minor corporate espionage" was insulting, but it wasn't untrue. He did consider himself a "big fish" and he was, in his field and industry, but that was about it. He was on the receiving end of a wake up call, something that this woman was a master at. Though he did let a smile curl from his lips, a small one.

              Forgive me, for responding in the manner that I am. I will admit freely that you have me intrigued at not only what information you have brought, you must understand my skepticism here. Taking a sip of water himself, he let her process the comment that he knew that the woman was not only expecting but prepared for.

              Don't get me wrong, like I said, your offer does intrigue me. After all if you were responsible, which I have no doubt that you are not, and had never thought you were, you would not be out here like this. After all, you would find another, a better way to remind me that you could get to me at any time you like, a fact I am more than well aware. Also, you would not be here if you did not mean what you say. My only curiosity is "Why?" What would bring you here to offer those responsible for such a brazen attack? I ask this of myself, not of you because you owe me nothing, I am curious as to what you could find that my investigators cannot.

              Granted you have the resources of the Empire, but I personally designed the security systems and layout for each facility. I could pull out a comm-link right now, push a single button and tell you what is happening anywhere in any of them. Yet somehow, some way these crimes were committed without a trace.

              His tone was quiet but inquisitive, and genuine. She could give him a brush off if she wanted, she could treat him like she used to. However there was something to all of this. She wanted to be here, to talk to him...



              • #8
                Ashes... These formed a recurring pattern in Mandichka's life; but this time it was in a literal way. She had been on her way to The Titania, which symbolized her new life for the past years, the touchstone of her sometimes messy existence, when she had seen it explode and collapse. The images were vivid and wouldn't leave her memory any time soon, if ever. It had reopened other wounds in her soul as well, taking her many years before. She had only been returning to work as a facility manager a few weeks prior to the tragedy. She had spent more than a year on a medical leave, though thankfully, she had been able to recover, despite some very rough patches. She had cut ties with about everyone, especially a certain someone, because she hadn't wanted to drag anyone down with her.

                When it had been possible to return, she had expressed interest by working solely at the Titania as she got back to her feet and there was an opportunity for her to help again. And then, the attacks on Tyler's resorts had occurred and everything felt like a wreck again. She had felt so helpless and had run around like a headless womp rat, trying to assist whenever she could. Her job hadn't included being the one to contact families, but she had volunteered at once to help with this, especially since she knew the ones who had been lost.

                It was late lunch hour, but the blonde had had planned to come to the restaurant with Lydia, one of the senior facility assistants, with whom she had worked for years. Lydia had invited her for lunch and in a way, coming here was a way to acknowledge her friend's passing.

                The blonde in her thirties wasn't alone though, for she was carrying a baby with her. It wasn't her own, but Lydia's, whom she had gone to the daycare to explain the situation. She was planning to take the afternoon to try to find about Lydia's possible relatives, as she knew her late friend hadn't much family if any at all.


                • #9
                  Daine knew her people would be in contact soon with the information she wanted and could share with him, and she was more concerned with the man before her than the people who had blown up his business holdings. Her motives for coming here were both selfish and not selfish. Running into tyler always brought on a challenge, as well as an opportunity. For now, she was content to listen to him speak, though the gears were already turning steadily in her mind.

                  "You're correct, your investigators could probably figure it out on their own, but not before the people wandered off into a system that might not be so keen to allow for Republic extradition," She told him with a nod. She combed her fingers through her hair, pulling it over one shoulder.

                  "I already have people on a lead and are after one suspect now." This was said nonchalantly and she was prepared to give him the names no matter what, but there was another reason she had sought Tyler out in his hour of need. Her gaze flickered to the doorway as more patrons entered the restaurant, a blonde with a baby. She tensed only briefly.

                  "That person is owed to you, by the Republic, but they will never even come close to attempting to discover it. I am and have." Fingers drummed on the table as she kept her eyes trained on his face. "I will not bargain with you over this, that would be incredibly crass. They will be given freely. However, I do come baring a different offer entirely."

                  Daine paused briefly to allow the waiter to join them at their table and order a salad for herself, conscious of her health. While her health had been improving over the past months, she was very aware of the fragility of her system.

                  "I've come here to ask you to leave Telos and come to Bastion." Surely he'd understand the implications.


                  • #10
                    Well there was the surprise. The offer he wasn't surprised about, after all it was her style, and he was, and in a way still is Imperial. The thing that was surprising though was that she was going to offer him those responsible regardless of his response. He wasn't going to question it because she wouldn't be offering, or asking if she didn't mean it. I will admit, I have missed at times the discipline, the ideal of being a part of almost a singular goal.

                    He then sat back and took a bite of his own salad, and as he chewed on the morsel he sat back and let what he spoke of sink in, both of her and himself. Though I must ask, and I do not mean this to be anything more than genuine. I have no love for the Republic, never did. However I am free to do what I wish and handle my operations as I wish. Now I know I'm not the top priority on the Empire's "Let's round up the family" list, I'm probably not in the top 100. That being said, and I ask this with no malice intended, is it me that you want or are you simply looking to stick it to a government you feel isn't viable anymore?

                    It was his turn to wait as the server again approached with their meals, well, his meal, she was still working on her salad. It was when she left that he spoke up again.

                    I can help you with that by the way, the reason you're still eating salad. My people are working on tech that could help you. Payment for trying to find whoever was responsible.

                    She offered freely, he offered freely.


                    • #11
                      Mandichka recognized Tyler from afar as the waitress took her to the table that happened to be right next to him and the other lady having lunch with him. Since she was in his direct field of vision, she slightly bowed her head in greetings, but left him alone, not wishing to disturb him and the other woman. She wasn't the kind to interrupt people when it would simply be rude.

                      She placed Alec's portable seat on the chair right next to her. She had fed up before coming to the restaurant. Poor thing didn't realize yet that he would never see his mother again. He was a few months old, and thankfully was used to the blonde, since Lydia had visited her a few times with the little one.

                      Taking a deep breath, she tried to forget about the headache looming in her head and simply asked for water when the waiter came to give her the menu. It felt wrong to be here without her friend. This felt like deja vu all over again. She didn't know why she was the one left when others were gone.


                      • #12
                        Daine knew that she had wiggle room here. She was not trying to force his decision and knew that there was a glimmer of hope that he'd agree to her proposal. The brunette ate sparingly from her salad as she listened, downing her bites with water.

                        "I promise you, this is not coming from the Empire wanting to fill a recruitment quota," She said with a laugh, tucking hair behind her ear as she continued to speak. "This is because I think the Empire could benefit from a mind like yours."

                        Truthfully she thought he would be a great asset to her Empire and she would enjoy provoking him more often if he was around Bastion on other means than business. "And I gave up picking fights with the Republic for their actions long ago. It would be petty to start now."

                        She no longer held any grudges against the Republic, despite her falling out. She had come far enough along to realize that to be angry with the Republic was as futile as arguing with a stubborn child. Daine felt her hand shake briefly as he mentioned her health, as if turning her mind to it triggered the weakness she had worked hard enough to keep only a slight tremor.

                        She should have realized he knew already, but it was a secret she kept well.

                        "That would be....very generous of you, though the damage to my system may be more extensive depending on how recent your sources are." She said barely above a whisper. She would not lie, not when he was offering this. Her health would be failing within a matter of year if she did nothing about it. How his people knew she would have to find out and deal with those leaks.


                        • #13
                          Curiouser and Curiouser

                          The offer was genuine and she was not her usual arrogant self, things were interesting but was this just a ploy? With anyone else he would probably, definitely thing so. However the sudden change of heart was interesting, maybe she really did think so, probably so but it sounded like he was a potential asset to them. Of course while he wasn't a slave to emotions, he would have to think about this. As she cleared things up about her intentions, not with her words but with her giggle, he made Mandichka aware of his knowledge of her presence.

                          Her appearance made him think of the ramifications of any decision he made. Sure, he could pull up everything right now and go on a whim, but what about those who work for him? What about those have made his dreams their lives? A few years ago he would simply give people a severance package and their walking papers, but now he had gotten to know a lot of people. The people are people with families, lives, ideals and beliefs of their own, would they follow if he left? Should they follow?

                          I'll be straight with you, no games, no tricks. I am going to give the Republic the opportunity to prove you wrong, or right. I don't have a reason to trust you but that is natural right now and not the reason why I am holding off on giving you an answer. I want to make sure that I'm not still fuming over their arrogance, as well as make sure that I make the right moves with the right people.

                          It wasn't a "yes", but it wasn't a "no" either, it was a "hang on..."

                          Regardless of what happens, my offer to help you stands, my wife had health issues and ate in the same manner you do. It's how I noticed.


                          • #14
                            Mandichka heard bits and pieces of the exchange between Tyler and the other woman. She didn't do it on purpose but she was so used to juggle with different streams of information and multitask that it was second nature to her, even when she felt worn out as she did then.

                            She chose a large piece of meat and vegetables for her meal, and then returned her attention to the baby next to her. She hoped that the Human Resources would soon be able to find out about some of Lydia's relatives who might be willing to take little Alec and raise him. While the blonde had grown up in a good orphanage on Dubrillion, she didn't wish anyone to grow up without a family.

                            She reached out for her meds in her purse and took them with another glass of water. She was still on basic treatment for another few months, just to ensure things would be alright. And painkillers definitely helped right then with the headache she still had because of the recent events.

                            She had no idea what would happen then. She had been so glad to return to work at the Titania. She knew that other facilities had been destroyed too. From the dead to the injured to all the reconstruction that would ensue, she worried that she might have to move and find another job. It felt as if whenever she did something, it ended down in ashes, by her own doing or not.

                            She knew that eventually things would get better, but right now, everything still felt too surreal.


                            • #15
                              Daine inclined her head at his response. She understood his trepidation at her offer. She had initially been nervous to declare her own allegiances to the Empire. Though, she doubted his loyalties would be as questioned as hers had been. She was glad of that, she remembered her own interrogations and endless hours spent in the deep bowels of Bastion in dark rooms and traded between officials who asked her this question and that.

                              "I understand, I encourage you to weigh your options, it is not a decision made lightly," Daine said, sipping at her water. "Take your time. Though the Empire would treat you well, especially with your talents."

                              His comments about her condition made her pause. She should have been more angry over his assumptions, but she found herself merely tired. It was a secret she kept from nearly all in the Empire except for a chosen few. Not even Aram knew the full extent of the damage done during the assassination attempt that had taken so much from her during her time in the Republic.

                              "I suffered damage to my spine and nervous system in my time on Telos, it has been getting worse every passing year," She said, picking once more at her food. To be honest, she was lucky she had access to medical droids on her journeys away from Baston, or else she may not have completed her assignments.

                              "I do hope your wife was not so similarly afflicted."