After leaving Aris Shen, Zet was quick to explain the bounty hunter’s presence to the others — and that’s the most that the normally talkative Twi’lek has to say for quite some time. Throughout their final preparations to get on board the passenger ship, she really only makes whatever conversation is necessary to facilitate the process.
The room that the smuggler pair and Callia will share on the ship features a pair of double beds, a small kitchenette and a seating area; Zet quickly claims the left bed as soon as they arrive, scrambles into it, and passes out for a while. And when she wakes up she’s not overly eager to leave their private cabin. She orders in a meal by room service and stays in, sprawled on her stomach on her bed as she quietly peruses a holobook.
Lots of things happened during what was supposed to be a simple caper. There were many moments revealed and quiet a few near-deaths. Silence might be necessary for the first day of this flight on the pleasure cruise.
Unlike Zet, though, Callia took the single bed and then disappeared from the room for a while. She needed to clear her head, find a quiet spot in a viewing port. It’s been some time, though, and she finally returns with a much more serene attitude than she’s had since this whole expidition started. Zet seems deep in her book and Santos is nowhere to be seen, so she decides to make up camp on her bed and lie down for a little while.
Zet twitches into a half-sitting position when the door opens, but it’s just Callia. “Hey,” she says quietly, but beyond that, she doesn’t immediately launch into conversation. She certainly relaxes and stops thinking about the blaster she’s keeping under her pillow, lowering her eyes to her book again.
After a few minutes though, she calls over, “Are you napping? It’s okay if you’re napping…”
Callia nods her head in reply to Zet’s greeting and then lies back on the pillow. Aaah, modest luxury. Her eyes close and she begins a breathing exercise to keep this serene feeling going. Aaah, bliss. Aaah, no worrying for a little while. Aaah, no more dea—
“Not at the moment, no,” She replies. Her eyes open and she turns her head toward the Twi’lek. “Why do you ask?”
Zet sits up again, letting her thin blanket pool around her waist. She peers over at Callia, biting her lower lip for a moment. “I wanted to… to thank you again for what you did back there.” Callia might get the sense that this isn’t actually what the thief wants to discuss, although her gratitude is deeply sincere. “You didn’t have to get in the way like that- I mean, you could’ve… died, so… thanks. I owe you big time.”
Oh Callia definitely knows that isn’t what Zet would like to discuss, but it is definitely a good ramp-up. She smirks momentarily before sitting up herself. “No need to thank me, Zet. Nor do you owe me anything, please believe that. This is just what I was brought up to do.” Now get to your point…
“I do, actually,” Zet retorts with a ghost of her usual smirk. “But with the way things are going, I’m sure I’ll get a chance to pay you back.” She hesitates for a moment, toying with the phrase ‘this is just what I was brought up to do’ in her head, and then clears her throat. “So, um… Jedi Temple?”
Callia won’t argue the point. “Yes. It was a place on Coruscant, back when it was still known as Coruscant.” She takes a slow breath. “It is where I lived most of my formative years…which would make me a giant target to the Empire.”
“I know what it was.” Zet is watching Callia closely now, but she only looks curious — and maybe, just maybe, slightly awed. “I’m old enough to remember when there was a Coruscant with a Jedi Temple on it. I’m not realllly a big fan of the Empire, but they’ve been saying that you all turned traitor on us decades ago…” The Twi’lek sounds kind of neutral about it, testing for Callia’s response without really expressing an opinion either way.
Callia smiles wistfully. “That is indeed what they say. It’s not the truth, but history is always told from the point of the victors.” She takes a deep breath. “It’s complicated, either way. I was only an apprentice myself when the Empire was formed. Being a young adult when the world goes from some level of respect to outright hatred and fear of you in such a short span is confusing. The fact that I survived Order 66 and as long as I did afterward…” She trails off.
“It’s rough when people think you’re one thing, but you’re actually something else entirely,” Zet agrees softly, glancing down at her hands in her lap for a moment. “But what happened? Like, how did he know- Tabarith?” When she looks back to Callia, she seems just a tiny bit skeptical. “Were you going to tell us? The Empire has burned entire villages to the ground for harbouring a Jedi…”
“He is Force-Sensitive and trained well enough to recognize what I was doing.” Callia replies. “I’m not sure how or by whom, but he is. Perhaps it’s his Empire friends. The Empire does keep quite a few Force-Sensitive individuals about specifically for hunting down what is left of the Jedi.”
“To be honest, it wasn’t who I considered myself to be anymore. I slipped now and then, used the Force without really thinking about it.” She takes a deep breath. “But it seems the past few days has brought it back out of me. It may have come up, in time. Right now, I wasn’t sure how much I trusted you all or how much you trusted me. You could make a lot of money by turning me over to the Empire.”
Of the pair, it’s Santos whose eyes tend to light up whenever credits are involved. Zet just shrugs. “There are safer ways to make some quick credits than trying to kidnap a Jedi and drag her kicking and screaming to the Empire. I won’t tell anyone. Not even the others, if you really don’t want me to… I barely know Qurzer or Ingrid.” She fidgets, trailing her deep green fingers back and forth against the blankets on her bed. “But it might be important for them to know, if there are people hunting you. Like … that admiral?” she guesses. “I mean, Santos at least, he’s trustworthy…”
Callia laughs softly. “Well thank you. I do agree that it would be safer for everyone.” She lays her hands flat in her lap, palms facing up. “I’ve been contemplating it, actually. I believe it would be best for all if they knew what they were getting into. Ingrid seems to have no real interest in being stuck with us and I imagine she would have even less after learning what I am. Qurzer…may like to bail as well. They seem like a genuinely good being who may not want to be mixed up with this. If I am going to commit to this, then you should all know what you are in for.”
Another soft laugh escapes her. “Ah yes. The Admiral. He is blackmailing me and I imagine he will soon find out I did not complete the mission he sent me to do in the first place. We may have Imperials raining down upon us sooner than we would like.”
“I can’t believe Qurzer jumped off that transport with a parachute for Ingrid…” Oh, now she’s a bit exasperated… “It’s not like we picked that casino just to inconvenience her, I mean, Aris’s husband was awful…”
This is off topic. Zet rubs her temple ruefully. “By which I mean, uh, Qurzer seems like a good… Selonian. I don’t think they’re going to leave if Aris is paying them to stay with us for a while. And you helped me with my little problem, so maybe it’ll turn out that Santos and I can help you with yours. We’ve got a ship waiting for us back on Nar Shaddaa. I’m sure there’s room for one more.” She smiles hopefully.
“No one deserves to fall to their death, even someone who seems so inconvenienced by us. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Qurzer was a Jedi.” Callia chuckles softly.
“If you will have me, then I would be honored to join. The best way to stay hidden is to stay mobile.”
“That’s true,” Zet admits in about the most uncharitable tone she can muster up. “Qurzer’s kind of growing on me. I wasn’t sure about them at first but I think they’re just… kind of… socially oblivious sometimes. You know?” Her smile broadens as Callia accepts her invitation. “Haha, honoured? To basically join a smuggling crew? Well, that’s one way to feel about it…”
“Yes. Very clever and on top of things in the moment, but oblivious indeed.” Callia agrees. “Maybe honoured isn’t the correct wording for it…” She smiles. “But if we can do more like this…helping save a woman’s life, I think we can all get along very well.”
“Well I should be up front with you… it’s not always like this. Sometimes we’re just carting stuff around. When we have a ship to do it in, anyway…” Zet grins. “But we’re not secretly assassins or anything. I was telling the truth on Bespin when I said we don’t usually have to kill anyone. I was worried about the Black Suns, and having my face on the Holonet with a bounty on my head, so I guess it was like my Tatooine. Not my best day.” She gives a teasing wink.
“I believe you proved that back on Bespin. I don’t believe a single individual died by our hands.” Callia replies. “I don’t think any of us have been having our best days. Things will hopefully improve from here on out.”
Zet laughs. “I’m, um, not that optimistic, if we’ve got crazy scary bounty hunters and Imperials chasing us, but… if it’s that important to you, we can try to remember to keep our blasters on the stun setting.” She leans forward, looking incredibly serious all of a sudden. “Callia… you’d never use some kind of Jedi mind trick on us, would you?” It’s possible she’s joking… she’s almost too earnest to be sincere.
“I think it would be important to all of us to try and…keep our killing to the desperate situations.” Callia leans back some, looking slightly affronted. “Of course not.” Not unless you’re about to do something that will jeporadize everyone…huh, what?
“I just had to ask!” Zet insists, waving her hands disarmingly. “I believe you. Um, when should we tell the others?”
Callia shakes her head softly. “When we all have a moment alone together would be best. I think all of us could use a little down time right now, though. Lets all rest and deal with this in the morning?”
Zet nods. “Yeah, of course. If any of them get upset I’ll stun ’em for you.” She smiles, still looking weary, but some of that warmth reaches her eyes. “I’m glad you’re with us, Callia.”
“I appreciate the gesture, but I’m sure we can handle them in a much more civilized manner.” Callia’s laugh is warm and seems to light up her whole being. “I’m glad to be here, Zet. Thank you for helping get me to this point. For now, though, I am going to lie back down and try to rest.”
“I’ll read really quietly.” Zet huddles back over towards her spot by the wall and picks up her holonovel again. “Have a good sleep.”