The very first thing Zetnu’ri did once they made the jump into hyperspace was reassure herself that Santos was alive, albeit not well. And then, after Ingrid gave everyone a once-over, she disappeared into the belly of the ship on her own for a while, no doubt investigating all its nooks and crannies for anything of value that isn’t nailed down. Though the Twi’lek seems rattled again — and who wouldn’t be, given how deeply into the bowels of that Imperial vessel they went — she actually seems less upset than she did after the bounty hunter incident.
She eventually wanders past the infirmary area again, her eyes downturned as she adjusts the way her utility belt rests around her hips. She actually almost walks right on by, but then she notices Callia laying there out of the corner of her eye and hesitates.
“Feeling any better?” she ventures after a moment.
The exiled Jedi was quite intent with Santos for a while, the two of them dicking around with the Nav computer to bring them where-ever the Force was urging her to go. After that, she collapsed into a cot in the makeshift medbay and rested. Ingrid did her work on Callia’s hurts and now she’s comfortably off in her own little world.
It’s clear she’s not asleep when Zet walks by but there is a delay before she answers the Twi’lek. “Yes, thank you.” Her eyes open to take her friend in. “Are you?” No doubt Callia can feel Zet’s sudden hesitation so the question rings with a double meaning.
Something has changed between them. After rooming together for the past week and sharing more than a few secrets, no doubt the two women were feeling much closer, but now there’s something palpably cautious about the way Zet is holding herself. It wasn’t present when they met as complete strangers on Tatooine. This is new.
“Ah- well, yet again, I don’t think I took a beating the way you and Santos did,” she replies with a shadow of her usual smile. Another awkward pause stretches between them. “Um. I’m not complaining, because she was using it to shoot me half to death at the time, but- … did you know you cut someone’s arm off today?”
These sorts of things are bound to happen. Callia considers the Twi’lek for a moment before sitting up properly. A ghost of a smile crosses her own features, self-reprimanding.
“Ah…yes. I am aware I removed a woman’s limb today. Not one of my finer moments.” She takes a deep breath. “I was worried for you, Zet. If I acted in a way you find reprehensible, I apologise.”
Well, that response surprises her… “Reprehensible?” Zet echoes, mystified. “You saved my life. When people pull my ass out of the fire I don’t tend to get hung up on how they did it. I just… wasn’t… expecting you to do it that way…” She pauses again, then adds, “Especially after all that stuff you said about killing people back on Bespin…”
Callia’s smile is gentle. “The Force works in mysterious ways,” She starts. There is clearly a bit of a lecture that is going to go in here. “As a Jedi, I was taught the value of a life is sacred. Taking a life or even just a limb is not something I do without being fully aware of my actions and what the consequences to those actions may be. The Force guides me, but so do my principles. I felt that woman may have killed you so as a last resort, I used the tool I have for those last resorts. I would prefer another way but there isn’t always another way.”
Zet folds her arms in front of her, studying Callia’s face as she explains. “Look, like I said, it’s not like you offended my moral sensibilities or something. She was kicking my ass and she was an Imp anyway. You got to miss how those guys treated all the non-humans while you were hiding in the vent.” Her lip curls faintly. It seems to be a struggle for her to nail down what, exactly, has her so perturbed, though. “… I’ve never even seen a lightsaber before. I guess I just didn’t realize…” Maybe she’s remembering how a week ago, she was drunkenly “lightsaber” fighting with glow rods.
She glances up and away, in the vague direction of the cockpit. “I mean- is Santos gonna get one of those? Actually?”
Callia dips her head. “Yes, the Empire is overly Xenophobic. It wasn’t always this bad.” The woman closes her eyes, falling silent for a long span of time. Perhaps she’s reliving the day or maybe she’s just deciding on the right words.
“They’re not a weapon to be wielded lightly, nor are they a weapon most are comfortable with. We all romanticize the idea of a laser sword until we see one in action. Even younglings growing up in the temple do. It’s a long, arduous process to even reach the point of building one. It requires much training, not only with the Lightsaber itself but also within oneself.” She’s clearly ramping up, here. “So…if it is Santos’ wish to carry such a weapon, I will make sure he is prepared to wield it with proper care.” For all that she’ll be able to. He is kind of a reckless fool, after all.
Zet nods slowly, two of her fingers drumming against the opposite arm. She’s silent herself for another long moment, looking off to one side.
“Thanks,” she says at last, then pauses to chew on her bottom lip. “You’ve bailed me out a lot lately. I don’t wanna seem like I’m not grateful, ‘cause I am. I’m really glad you’re on our side.” Flicking her gaze back to the Jedi’s face, Zet looks at her more directly than she has for this entire conversation. “Santos is… really important to me. More than a friend. I just want him to be safe.” With a self-deprecating smile, she appends, “As safe as he gets in this line of work, anyway.”
Callia nods her head again, locking Zet with the same look. “I know you do.” She replies. “And I will do my best to make sure he is safe, same with everyone else. Just note…if he does decide to pursuit his Force-sensitive abilities, he may not always be safe. Not just in the sense that being Force-sensitive in the galaxy is dangerous at the moment, but also in the sense that it is a fine line to walk and not slip to the Dark side.”
“I’ll look after him.” There’s a determined set to Zet’s jaw as she says that, a tightening of her shoulders. “He listens to me.” Sometimes. “So I won’t let that happen.” She tilts her head at Callia. “Should I be keeping an eye on you, too?” The Jedi will detect no suspicion or hostility in her tone, nor hidden beneath it if she’s attentive to the Twi’lek’s intent. It’s a genuine question, born of genuine concern for a friend, the consequence of growing up in a generation that has been fed nothing but lies about the order.
“Alright. Good.” Callia smiles. “Just know it’s not always that easy. He must be careful in how he acts according to his emotions. Reacting in heightened states when in a bad frame of mind can do a lot of damage.” She taps her fingers against her thigh. “I think I will be okay.” She replies. “I remember most of my training. If you see me react in a way that is in cold blood or anger, then you should start to be concerned.”
Well… given how emotionally driven Zet and Santos both seem to be, that might prove a challenge. Uncertainty flickers across the Twi’lek’s face, but she nods to show she understands anyway. “So if you’re the one to casually shoot the hostage in the head next time,” she says with a faint smirk. “Or if you don’t tell me off afterwards.”
Just a little bit of one. “Or if I show no remorse for a group of innocents we just abandoned to pirates…” Callia suppliments. “The list goes on.”
That makes Zet’s smile flicker. “I didn’t want it to end that way for them either. I was hoping we’d be able to use the cruiser as our getaway. I’m sorry.” She unfolds her arms, but twists her fingers together in front of her. “I should probably go see how Santos is doing… he was pretty beat up. And let you get some more rest.”
“I don’t think any of us wanted it to end that way.” Callia agrees. “The circumstances were dire, though. It was the will of the Force.” She pauses. “My Master used to say that to me when something upsetting occurred. It never made me feel any better, but it helped me accept that sometimes, things are beyond my control.” She bobs her head. “Yes. Go see how he is and I will go back to meditating. Thank you for looking up on me, Zet.”
Zet’s usual cocksure grin is a little wavery when she flashes it at Callia. “Well, things being out of my control – that’s something I’m kinda used to. I’ll see you later.” With a wave, she backs up a step or two, and then turns to head up towards the cockpit.