It’s getting close to what should pass for dinner time. Earlier this morning, Callia helped Santos to open up the Jedi holocron, setting him on the path to responsible lightsaber ownership. His best friend and business partner has been largely absent from the hotel today, save a short period of time when the pair of them were holed up in their room early in the afternoon. Now, a soft knock at Callia and Qurzer’s door informs those within of her presence. It’s Zet, who carries a shopping bag in her left hand so her right remains free to hang near her blaster. The smuggler looks and feels a bit weary, but seems to be in better spirits than she was when she visited Callia at the hospital.
Callia is alone at the moment, quietly doing her own thing. It probably involves a lot of trying to figure out where she’s going with the Force and possibly bumping into things now and then. That is what it sounds like, anyway, when she comes to open the door. It slides open to reveal a dressed but barefoot and wet-haired Callia. “Zet.” She greets with a small bow of her head. “Come in.” She takes a few steps back so the Twi’lek can indeed step into the room.
“Hey Callia.” Zet smiles automatically at her, even if she can’t see it, and enters. “It looks way less fun in your room without any blanket fort.” She moves over to sit on the edge of one of the beds, setting her bag down beside her. “Um, how’re you feeling? Santos told me you spent some time together this morning.”
Callia is careful in her trip back to her own bed. She manages to close the door fine and she even walks with the confidence of a woman who knows exactly where she’s going. When she finally sits, her hands grab a towel draped on the bed to continue drying her hair with.
“Well, thank you. I have a few outpatient appointments over the next three days, but things are well.” She bobs her head. “Yes. I helped him with the Holocron he found. How was your day?”
“He showed me.” There’s an uneasy tremor in her voice, and Zet is plainly eager to move on to non-Force related topics. She made it all the way through a conversation about it with Santos earlier without flipping out, okay? “So-so. Santos wants us to sell those Imperial speeders we stole, but they’re really obviously stolen so it’s been challenging to rustle up some of my old contacts here. We’re hoping to repaint them and file off the serials. That should solve the problem. The other stuff… I think we’re just gonna hang onto it until we’re a little father away from the core. Ah, he wants me to help him with some target practice…” The smuggler glances down towards her feet, nudging the bag she’s carrying. “Like, throw fruit at him or something so he can try to whack it out of the air. On the roof. Maybe it would be good if you came, if you think you could help when you can’t really see.”
Poor Zet, having to deal with the Force. Callia does feel for her, though she says nothing. Instead she finally finishes drying her hair and drops the towel. “I think that’s a sound plan. Do you know anyone who would paint them for you?” She asks. “What else do we have to sell?”
Her eyebrows rise up on her head and a smirk tugs on her lips. “Target practice? That sounds enjoyable.” She laughs. “Fruit would be useful, for sure. We used to use this little bot that shot non-lethal shots at us, while blind-folded. It would be good practice and I would be willing to help.”
Zet blinks. So, what, Santos didn’t actually tell Callia that he filled both their pockets with corrupt Jedi temple crystals on the way out of there? “Just some stuff Santos and I picked up,” she answers evasively, assuming her friend would object to relics of her people being shipped off to the highest bidder. “It’s even less legal than stolen speeders, and with Black Suns running this town I don’t want to attract too much attention. Anyway, I have a name, but she isn’t ready to meet with us yet. I’m hoping she can at least give us a garage to work in. I know how to strip a speeder. We can do the work ourselves.” She shrugs. “It’ll still be obviously stolen, but there are plenty on Corellia who don’t care about that. They just don’t want it to be obviously stolen from the Empire.”
She has to pause for a minute to picture even tinier Callia, blindfolded, fighting off a gentle robot. A smirk tugs at her lips. “Well, I can shoot non-lethal shots too,” she points out. “And you’re practically already blindfolded. Are you gonna make Santos wear one while I chuck fruit at him?” Does she sound a bit excited about the idea?
Callia seems satisfied with that answer. Zet seems to have effectively fooled the Jedi or Callia has decided she doesn’t want to know. Either way, her head bobs once more. “That’s a good plan, then. We really don’t want to get tangled up in all of those factions. If you need any help with the speeders, I will do whatever I can.”
Tiny Callia fighting off flying robots is pretty adorable. “Ah, well then. Perhaps we’ll try with fruit first. He doesn’t have a lightsaber to properly block shots of any type, at the moment. We’ll work on his form and then blindfold him. He’ll need to be able to sense the fruit coming, after all.” Yes, Zet, Callia will make sure you can chuck fruit at your unseeing friend.
“Well if your eyes are working, we can use as many painters as we can get. So we’ll see what this Catrinna has for me.” After the past week or so, Zet would love it if just one thing would go right. This is the kind of job she’s done dozens of times; she should be able to pull it off without too much of a hitch. As long as Callia and Qurzer can both keep up, anyway. “Okay, good. I was thinking maybe tonight after dinner I’d get us up there. It should be a breeze.” She pats down the many pockets of her vest. “I remembered how you didn’t think your identification papers would pass muster back on the Corellian Runner. I’m not sure yet how I’m gonna get us all offworld again, but we can’t have your ID being the problem, so I made you something.” Withdrawing the new ID she worked up, she leans across the space between the two beds to press it into the Jedi’s hands. “This should get you through most basic security checkpoints. Obviously if anyone digs deeper, you don’t exist.”
Callia and Qurzer aren’t stupid, they can definitely keep up. Callia just might make grumpy faces about it at some point. “Ah. So we’re going to start practicing already? That’s good. Santos has a lot to learn in a short amount of time.”
She runs her fingers over the ID handed to her, a wry smile coming to her lips. “Thank you. What name should I be expecting to go by when we go through the Imperial checkpoints?” She pauses. “Hopefully no one tries to dig too deep, then.”
“Miranda River.” Zet leans back on her hands. “Most of them shouldn’t. I was thinking, maybe we could colour your hair or something too. Like a little more strawberry blonde?” Tackling the easier topic first, the Twi’lek gives a little sigh. “Yeah, already. After Jiroch, me’n Santos really just want to do whatever we can to make sure he doesn’t turn out that way. He’s under the impression that this kind of practice will help him stay focused. That and he says he hopes that he’ll be able to use his newfound lightsaber skills to protect the two of us.” What exactly is their relationship, anyway… “So we can’t waste time. We’re stuck here til my contact will meet me, we might as well do what we can to be fully prepared to move on.”
Callia bobs her head. “Miranda River.” She repeats. “Colouring my hair may be a good idea. Changing my whole appearance may be a good idea…” She trails off, trying not to focus on evading the long arm of the Empire. There is a slight twitch in her expression when Zet explains to Santos what he wants to learn his lightsaber skills for. Whatever they are, they’re very attached. “Yes, a good plan. Let’s not get complacent.”
“You want me to keep an eye out for a disguise kit? I’ve been in and out of all the market areas around here today and yesterday. You make me a list of what you need me to find, I’ll get it. Whether it’s that kind of stuff, new gear, whatever. I can pick it up for you. Your number one job right now needs to be keeping the Chiss on the straight and narrow.” Zet pauses. “Um, and recovering. Is something wrong? You made a face.”
“Yes, if you could? That would be helpful.” Callia replies. She runs her fingers through her still-damp hair, trying to pull some of the tangles out. She falls silent after that. “You two are incredibly close.” She comments off-hand. At least, it sounds off-hand. “He has to be careful. This is something I will repeat to him as well…but if something were to happen to you, his attachment could lead him down a dangerous path.”
She pauses again. “I’m not telling you to just give up on your friendship. These bonds are all we have left to hold each other together in this dark universe. I just want you to be aware of the dangers.”
Zet swallows her knee-jerk emotional reaction, which is to shoot to her feet and say something angry and disparaging about the Force. Again. Her fingers twine tightly together in her lap. “I don’t understand what you mean by that. This far from home, me and him are all we’ve got. If something happened to him, I’d do anything and everything to make it right. I know he feels the same way.” She fixes Callia with a flat look, her shoulders stiff. “Why shouldn’t he?”
Callia doesn’t twitch nor sigh. She shows no emotion at all but calmly trying to explain. “The heightened emotion. I’m not saying he shouldn’t do anything in the galaxy to help you,” She replies. “I’m saying he needs to be careful not to go off the deep end. You two are very focused to the point of tunnel vision on each other. I know it’s because you only had each other for a long time, from the sounds of it. I would give this advice to anyone, Force-sensitive or no. Just be careful.”
“You’re right, you should probably be the one to try to explain this to him.” Zet’s tone has gone all flat again, although her quiet frustration isn’t directed at Callia, really. Just this whole confusing situation. “It’d probably come out wrong if I said it. I don’t want to fight with him about something that’s out of his control.” She turns her gaze down towards her folded hands, sighing. “We spent the past year as a crew of two, on our own ship. A lot’s happened. I just don’t like the idea of him going somewhere I can’t follow.”
Callia nods her head. “I’ve had this conversation before, Zet, but I was on the other end of it. I know it can be frustrating and confusing. It’s just the attachment I see between you two. If your happiness is only dependent on him or vice versa, it can be devastating to you both if something out of your control were to happen. Especially if it was something you could not fix.” She takes a deep breath. “Entire worlds have fallen for this sort of thing before.” A whole Republic did once, not that Callia knows that. “I do not think anyone likes the idea of their friends going somewhere that they cannot follow.”
“Then it’s a good thing whole worlds aren’t depending on Santos.” She makes a real effort to inject some humour into her tone, but Zet’s words just come out a little bitter. “We’ve got other things going on. A business to run, a ship to maintain. I’ve got family back on Nar Shaddaa that needs looking after. We’ll be fine. But thanks for your concern.”
“I suppose not, yes.” Callia agrees, trying to give Zet her humor and bitterness. She’s said her piece, now she can go back to judging silently. “Of course.”
Good, because this is a surefire way to get Zet all pissed off again. “Just let me know if it seems like he’s not okay,” she adds quietly. “Do you have anything else on your shopping list? I don’t mind running errands.” Even if you’re a yucky Jedi.
Poor Zet. She is just having to deal with so much shit coming her way.
“I will.” Callia replies. As best she can. Callia is just getting in the way of everyone’s happiness, it seems. “At the moment, no. A disguise kit should be good enough for the moment. There isn’t anything more I need at this time. Thank you, though.”
“Okay.” Zet picks up her bag and gets to her feet. “I’m gonna get a few more things done before dinner. I’ll let you know when me and Santos are ready to practice. If you think of anything else, I’ll just be next door.” She moves towards the door.
“Of course. Thank you for the ID. And for checking up on me.” Callia replies. She starts to rise again, being a polite host to show her guest out of the room. “I will be ready when you both are.”