Friday, January 27, 2017

Ghosts (Part 10)

He had visited Hoth. Hell, he had been forced to sleep outside on Hoth. On top of that, he had spent years with his ex-wife. Neither of those situations, the coldest he could think of, could be built up to the dead look he was getting from the witch on his ship. 

Giving Grell a glance got him nothing more than a shrug in response. She knew something about this. He knew she knew something about this. But that smug look on her face implied that she was going to let him walk into this minefield alone, and enjoy watching him explode. Absolutely nothing about that was a surprise. Grell was easily one of the most vindictive women he had ever known, and she never passed up on an opportunity to watch him trip.

Some of that might have been his fault. Not that he was ever going to admit that.

"Is there an issue, recruit?" he turned back to the pale woman, whose yellow eyes narrowed on him. When she didn't respond, he prodded at her again, "Because if there is, we should solve it before we go through the briefing."

Gwynara turned, staring at Nadia for a moment. That smug look on her face only grew, and he had the sudden urge to thump her upside the head. An urge that he suppressed. Barely. The other woman eventually spoke, in an almost offended tone, still looking at Nadia rather than him, "You allow the maleling to make your plans?"

His eyes widened and he instinctively clinched his fists. Behind him a few of the other troops they were bringing along for security purposes snickered to themselves. Nadia couldn't have looked more pleased if she tried. She reached over, gently patting the woman on the arm, as though speaking to a child, and gently cooed, "He's in charge of the operation, dear."

She turned, considering the man for a moment. Before nodding slowly, "How quaint." 

Nadia looked to the man, "In her culture, men are generally considered slaves, unless they have saved the life of those above them, Andrews."

Grell had had to have known. He knew she had known. And he had been given no warning of that, and she hadn't bothered to have updated the recruit. Taking in a breath to try and make his blood boil less, he looked to the pale woman again, "We will land in approximately seven hours. You will make your way alone to a Hutt's palace." It was the most he could do. Just ignore what had just been said, and do the brief.

The witch nodded slowly, "And I shall slay the Imperials there."

He blinked, shaking his head, "No." Her eyes narrowed again, and he held up a hand to prevent her from protesting, "You will be killing a Hutt."

Gwynara frowned, shaking her head, "I am not here to slay pathetic slugs."

Andrews shook his head in turn. Pacing to a corner of the room, he took out a box, before walking back and placing it on the table in front of Gwynara. Opening it, he stepped back, allowing her to take in its contents. It held an intricate blade, which held the insignia of the Empire, carved into it and backed by a deep red, "You will kill the Hutt with this. And then sloppily discard it upon your exit."

Staring into the box, the witch reached forward to pluck the knife from its resting place. She ran her hand along the steel gently, as though if she touched the blade for too long or too closely her hand would suddenly catch flame. He could practically see the little gears in her head turning as she processed the idea. Eventually she looked up at him, a hungry look on her face, "And the Imperials shall suffer the blame."

He nodded, "And they lose any sort of deal out here. It hurts them more than just killing one of them would."

Gwynara stared up at him, expression changing to one of extreme certainty, "Then the slug shall die."

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