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Author Topic: "Hunting the Hunted"  (Read 6858 times)

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Offline Kremon

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #15 on: 06/23/17, 04:59:24 AM »
If it weren't for the security systems, Gharzog would have been tempted to shoot Ke'rii and to forget about the bounty.
First they went up the stairs, then right back down the other side, then across the dining room, then again up the stairs.
Over, and over, and over again. His bounty even took a call during this exercise, though Gharzog hold heard snippets of conversation that didn't make much sense. He was half tempted to take off his rebreather which certainly limited his breathing, but he doggedly kept it on so that his face wouldn't be revealed. He was fortunate that he'd grown up wearing breathing apparatus here on Nal Hutta and Nar Shaddaa, and knew how to limit his oxygen intake to what was allowed by it, otherwise he wouldn't have been able to keep pace and wear it at the same time.
But then something happened which piqued his interest.
Ke'rii shouted out something as he ran across the lobby:
"Wheelie! Two bottles of water, if you please, my main astro-ooo!" The little droid chirruped and made off.
Gharzog recognized an opportunity beckoning when he saw one. Content that Ke'rii would continue running around in circles, he followed the droid to where it retrieved two glass bottles of water from the cooler. This was his chance to use the quesh venom supplied by the Hutts late that night. He just needed to distract the droid.
"Say, Wheelie!" Gharzog said, approaching the astromech, using the same name that Ke'rii had called it. It chirped and turned it's head around to face him.
"I heard that Sol'ange is looking for 'ye on the landing pad. She arrived 'ere in a hurry and said it was urgent." Gharzog stated, gesturing in the general direction of the docks outside. Oh, please, let the ruse work.
The droid whistled and beeped, before racing off, leaving two bottles resting on the ground.
He had to be fast, very fast. Ke'rii could be coming up the other side of the stairs at any minute.
Gharzog leaned down and reached into his coat to pull out a neuranium-tipped syringe and a tiny jar of a slightly glowing green substance. Quickly now, quickly.
He carefully poked the needle into the jar and extracted a sliver of the toxin, before jabbing it through the lid of one of the bottles and pushing it in. He then shook the bottle around a bit to get it dispersed.
One down.
With one hand shaking from the pressure, he again extracted some of the venom and missed the lid of the other bottle on his first try. Kriff! Concentrate, slow down and breath, get it right.
He stuck it down into the lid of the bottle of water, excreted the contents, and shook it. Breathing quickly, he shoved the needle and jar in his coat before racing off in the direction in which Ke'rii had left. With luck, nobody would notice.
Hopefully Ke'rii would just think that he had fallen behind, and not that he had messed with his drinks.
« Last Edit: 06/23/17, 06:40:52 AM by Kremon »
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #16 on: 06/23/17, 11:02:33 AM »
Ke'rii carried on down the stairs and it took him a moment to realise he lost his shadow. He slowed as he entered the restaurant, and his gut told him something wasn't right. Upon reaching the middle of the restaurant, he came to a stop and listened. There was no tumbling sound of his shadow having tripped up on the stairs, and he didn't hear the others footsteps nearby.

So he waited.

It was unlikely that he lost him. His route was too predictable and there weren't that many places he could go. Quietly he backtracked and peered up the staircase.

No sign of Mr. Hat.

Ke lifted a brow in suspicion and waited at the base of the stairs, leaning on the wall, crossing his arms. Where was he? Should he wait here to see what happens next? Maybe he was planning an ambush---no, security wouldn't allow it.

Keiko came in from the balcony, but he kept his gaze fixated on the stairs.

“What are you doing?” she asked, heading up the stairs herself, but stopped to look at her father. It was obvious he was in the middle of his morning run as already beads of perspiration were forming in his forehead. Yet his breathing was calm, maybe too calm.

“He was tailing me... now he's not.” he said, pensive, quiet... suspicious.

Keiko watched him as he watched the stairs. “Need me to do anything?”

The Imperial Captain thought quickly. The man had brought up toxins before when he offered him a cup of coffee,  and now, so suddenly, disappears after he orders two bottles of water from Wheelie?

It didn't sit right.

“Tell Wheelie to change my order to blue milk,” he looked at her, then added. “But only if the droid is alone.”

Keiko nodded and went up the stairs. She suspected what her father thought, and she knew not to interfere. Though if she could get away with it, she’d shoot this hunter where he stood. But her father approached these things differently.

As Keiko rounded the curve, Ke put himself back to a relaxed stance. He eyed the surroundings and wondered if there were security cameras. Certainly there were, and it was highly likely he would be unable to slice into them to watch his opponent.

He let out a quiet breath, and felt a slight disadvantage to not being a regular patron of the Dancer's Palace like his hunter seemed to be.

He needed more details, if they were able to provide him with any information. The last thing he wanted was to disrespect the people who had offered their security to his daughter and himself.

Until then… he simply waited for Mr. Hat to show himself.
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Offline Kremon

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #17 on: 06/23/17, 06:02:02 PM »

Gharzog moved quickly down the stairs, before stopping and suddenly ducking back behind one of the decorations as he heard talking emanating from below.
"Tell Wheelie to change my order to blue milk... But only if the droid is alone." Ke'rii said, then Gharzog started hearing footsteps. Oh kriff. Someone was coming this way... Think quickly, think quickly.
He said if the droid was alone... So if Gharzog went up and just "lounged" around, perhaps it would look like he'd been there the whole time? Maybe, maybe. But he had to move now. Right now.
He turned and quickly scuttled back into the lobby quick, quiet, and low to the ground, where Wheelie the astromech was just returning from the landing pad. He needed a suitable place to sit down and look like he had been there the whole time. He looked around, before his eyes rested on a bench near one of the walls. He sprinted across the lobby, sliding the last meter before he sat down and leaned back. No, no, no, he needed something that occupied the eye, that showed he was up to something, just not what they were thinking of. Then he had an idea.
He pulled out his communicator, and switched it on before holding it up to his ear.
"Ye said that 'ye would have it ready by tonight, Vinny." Gharzog spoke into the communicator, before pausing as though someone else had spoken.
"I don't care what 'yer other customers are talkin' 'bout, I want the delivery as we agreed on." He stated, raising his voice as though angry. A short pause.
"I'm takin' care of it, a'ight? Just make sure 'ye-" Gharzog continued on, before pausing and closing the holocommunicator as he heard footsteps. Hopefully the ploy would work, if not... It was back to the planning board.
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #18 on: 06/23/17, 08:34:25 PM »
Keiko’li made her way up the stairs, hearing only a moment of the hunter’s fake call.
“...I want the delivery as we agreed on,” his voice rose in anger.
And she entered the lobby just as he ended his call. She gave him a mean scowl and hovered between the hunter and the doorway to Solange’s apartment. She had half the mind to say something to him, but opted not to. What good would telling him off do anyway? If only she could slice the security here, she’d at least shoot him in the shoulder, or the arm, or the leg… somewhere that’d hurt him… anywhere really, she didn’t care. She hated him. She hated him so much it made her blood boil.
Wheelie rolled into her view with the two bottles of water her father had requested, but Keiko’s attention returned to the hunter as he
“Can’t keep up?” she questioned with a smirk, believing the hunter to have given up on following her father during his morning run. She didn’t wait for an answer. She didn’t care what he said. It’d probably be a lie anyway. She looked to the astromech, calling him sternly to her. “Wheelie.”
And she walked towards the apartment doors, hearing the mechanics of Wheelie’s rollers as he followed her. Once she felt there was a decent distance between herself and the hunter, she knelt down and spoke quietly to the little droid.
“No water. Blue milk,” she said quietly, her eyes shooting to the hunter. “And I’ll take it to my dad, okay?”
Wheelie chirped and rolled off to swap the order. The poor droid must be so confused with all the swapping of orders he was receiving. Keiko stood, crossed her arms and stared at the hunter. She didn’t trust him and she wasn’t going to play nice like her dad. She waited for the serving droid to return, and when he did, she picked up the cup of blue milk and smugly raised the glass to the hunter and smirked before heading back down the stairs to meet her father.
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Offline Kremon

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #19 on: 06/24/17, 08:32:56 AM »

Gharzog watched Ker'ii's daughter, Keiko come up the stairs and cast glares and unfriendly looks his way. He'd definitely made an enemy out of that one, and while he was confident that he could draw much faster than she could if it came to a firefight (Not that the Palace's security would allow it...), the problem was with enemies is that they stuck around. Who knows when she might turn up again? It'd be at the most inopportune time too.
Too late now, all he could do was account for her at all times, keep his blasters handy, and start observing for weaknesses. He wasn't much one for psych games but he had the feeling that she wouldn't stand up to much pressure if her performance the night he interrogated her was anything to go by. Perhaps she relied on the strength of her father. He didn't know, but he'd act as he always did when he was in the dark; paranoid and cautious.
"Can't keep up?" Keiko gibed, to which Gharzog gave no response, instead watching her from beneath the brim of his hat. She walked off with the droid a fair distance away, before she knelt down to speak to it.
Perhaps she was asking if he'd told the droid to head off somewhere else, the hushed tones indicated that she definitely wasn't asking after it's health. The droid wheeled off, in which time Keiko continued to glare at him.
Well, let her glare.
As for himself, he rested his gaze in her general direction but blinked easily. Handy little tip... Getting into a staring contest with a person that could become violent at any moment was never a good idea, one did not need dry tired eyes in the moments before a firefight erupted. Unless one was a Trandoshan. But that didn't count.
As the droid returned, bearing a glass of something blue, Keiko took it and raised it in a smug little way that made it clear that his ruse had been discovered. Well, it was a long shot that the poison would work anyway. He needed a new direction, since Ke'rii would be alert for poison from hereon. He had no leads on that jawa which had piloted the Shengli according to his contact, so that couldn't be used as leverage. There was family potentially... He didn't want to go there though; once you went after a bloke's family, things became permanent and messy. No that would be a completely last resort.
Could he have some of his informants track down the Shengli? Find out where the ship was? Perhaps use that as a bargaining chip? No, that was foolish. When choosing between one's own life and a ship, the choice was obvious. What other powers could he bring into play? As with the Oasis Lounge, there was no point in doing anything against it, he still would probably not choose personal property over his life.
This was a troubling situation, very troubling indeed. What he needed was an out-of-the-box solution.
As Keiko left, he mused on the problem.
The trick was to get Ke'rii to leave, preferably in a state in which he was confused...
Then it hit him.
What if he tricked Ke'rii into thinking that these crimson pirates had a member of his family? He had the details of some of them from the bounty alert, he could surely investigate and somehow get a copy of one of them on a hologram. He knew some tech guys too that could alter holo-footage... Depict another bounty hunter holding them hostage, and make demands that he turn himself in. Then when Ke'rii went racing off to go rescue them, he'd leave the palace and Gharzog would have his opening. It was a plan, one that he would start getting ready to set in motion.
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #20 on: 06/27/17, 10:52:55 PM »
* * * * * * * *

Ke’rii waited until the next the morning to start a dialogue with Keiko about his conversation between Karmic and Mr. Hat. She wouldn’t handle it. She wouldn’t like it. And she certainly wouldn’t agree to it. Working side-by-side with the man who wanted to turn you over to flesh eating pirates wasn’t exactly ideal, but… Ke trusted Karmic, and Karmic had worked with Mr. Hat before. Even went as far as to call him “honorable”.

Well, if he was going to be at the mercy of a hunter who had an eight million credit paycheck waiting for him, at least the man was honorable.

The plan could work. It really could, but they need more people… more power. And Ke’rii needed to know just how bad the Crimson Dread Pirates had become.

He looked over at Keiko, who was sleeping in. Good grief the girl needed more sleep and he didn’t want to wake her. He’d drop this motherload of a plan on her later. So quietly, he gathered his bantha hide leather bound notebook, his datapad and left the room.

He looked around, wondering if Mr. Hat would actually get the sleep the poor guy deserved. No sign, at least not that he could see. So he quietly went down the stairs to the restaurant and sat at one of the tables nearest the window. He twiddled the pen in his hand as he watched the morning traffic. He ran as congested as any other time of the day. The Smuggler’s Moon certainly had a way of not sleeping.

First things first: find the pirates.

They were taking away any safe haven he ever sought protection from. Kol Darin was the first, but not where he frequented the most…

He opened his notebook and began to write:

1. The Oasis Lounge, Tatooine
2. The Lazy Luck Cantina, Ord Mantell

He sighed. Those were the obvious hits, but they were higher profile.

Think, think, think…

Kenny was crazy but not stupid enough to attack anything in populated space.

Hoth; maybe. But did they know he frequented there?

Bluedark Estate on Yavin IV; highly possible, but also too close to Imperial space. And they had turned that place into a kriffin’ fortress after they were attacked nearly a year ago.

Corellia… no, still too ‘mainstream’.

They weren’t that stupid to start another war. This was personal.

An incoming transmission interrupted his thoughts and he tapped the upper blue button on his cybernetics.

“What up?” he said and grinned, though the person on the other end wouldn’t be able to see him. Part of the whole encryption he had placed on his internal communicator.

“I got a message you wanted to talk with me,” it was his uncle, Gung’chul Areum.

“Ah yeah,” a serving droid placed a cup of freshly brewed caf in front of him, and plate of dustcrepes served with a side of nausage. He nodded his thanks and sipped his drink. “I need you to track these pirates for me. I know you last saw them out by Riflor--”

“I thought you wanted me to take care of your ship and Tutty,” Gung’chul interrupted.

“Well yeah, but… we’re developing a plan.”

“Oh for kriffin’...” Gung’chul didn’t like the sound of that.

“What?” Ke creased his brow. It’s not like this was solely his idea. “It’s a good plan.”

“I tell ya kid, you and your plans and your ‘on the whim’ mentality,” the lecture was beginning. “It’s gonna get you shot, or worse--”

Ke’rii bit into the nauage and chewed as he talked. “Look, I didn’t come up with it,” he swallowed. “A friend of the family did. Good friend of Mei’s so you know it’s solid.”

“Kriff! Ke’rii, don’t go an’ jinx it!” sometimes his uncle had little faith in him.

Ke laughed. “I’m going in willingly,” he said. “Sort of. There are terms. And it sort of involves a blaster to my head, but it’s a solid plan. Trust me--”

“--No don’t -- Kriff!” Gung’chul exclaimed again. “Never say ‘trust me’. When you say ‘trust me’, things always go wrong.”

Ke shook his head and sipped his caf. “Not this time,” he assured the other. “Look, you got The Shengli squared away or not?”

“I did.”

Ke raised a brow. That was quick. “Where at?”

There was a long beat on the other end. “Yavin.”

The answer made the hunted man frown. “Yavin? As in Yavin-Yavin? Or like ‘oh, yeah, generic Yavin’?”

“The place is a kriffin’ fortress. The ship is fine there,” Gung’chul assured his nephew.

“Mei’s gonna throw a fit,” Ke stated and cut into his dustcrepe, shoving it into his mouth. “But I guess it is what it is. So… okay. You got a new ship now or something I trust… so I need you track these pirates for me. Find out where they are going. I’m thinking they are probably not stupid enough to strike the major planets like Ord Mantell, Hoth, Tatooine.”

“Well, yeah… crazy but not stupid.”

Ke’rii nodded his head. “Good, so… find them--but keep your distance.”

He heard his uncle sigh. “You gonna clue me in on this fool-proof plan or what?”

Ke’rii turned on his datapad and cut off a piece of nausage as he skimmed over something. “Yeah, we need more friends. Like, a lot more friends. Fleet-ish type friends, you know?”

“Are you mad?”

“Nah, I like to think I’m happy,” he knew chuckled, knowing that wasn’t what his uncle meant. “It’s a solid plan. I’ve got connections and they’re helping. But we need to know just how big they’ve gotten and where they are currently based. We’re trying to set up a trap.”

“You know they’ll be thinking the same thing, right?” Gung’chul warned.

Ke’rii merely shrugged. “Maybe, but if we can get the numbers I’m hoping we get, they won’t expect this shitstorm.”

He looked up from his breakfast and saw Mei enter the restaurant.

“Look,” he interrupted his uncle, whom he wasn't listening to anyway anymore. “I gotta go, but can I count on you to do this for me?”

“Blood over politics,” was always what his uncle said when he agreed to something.

“Thanks,” he smiled as Mei came up to the table. “Talk to you soon.” he ended the call with a tap on the blue button. “Mornin’, sunshine.”

“You're in high spirits.” Mei commented as she slid into the seat opposite of him.

Ke gave her a ‘aw shucks, good golly’ look before sipping his coffee. “Well, you would be too if you made a new friend,” he explained vaguely.

“Oh?” she raised a brow.

Ke nodded. “Mr. Hat an’ I are pals now,” he grinned, fighting back a laugh.

Mei furrowed her brow. “Do I even want to know?”

She watched her older brother as he shoved a dustcrepe into his mouth. “We're gonna hun’ pi’ates to’ether,” he spoke with a mouth full of food.

Mei watched him, amused. “Remember when mom would slap your hand for talking with food in your mouth?” she smirked at him and playfully raised a hand, as if she were about to strike him.

He swallowed and made a face at her. “I said, we're gonna hunt pirates together. With Karmic. Her idea. Oh, but!” he quickly steered away from any questions. “I need you to help me get Keiko clearance to stay at Fort Marr.”

Mei considered her many questions. She would find out soon enough what he was up to. She nodded. “I'm sure I can get her there. She would be safe.”

“Thanks.” he nodded. “And I'll be going with you.”

Mei inclined her head in question. “What? What about--”

Ke'rii gave her a lopsided grin. “We're pals now,” was the only vague explanation he would give.
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Offline Kremon

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #21 on: 06/28/17, 02:49:39 AM »

Gharzog watched Karmic go, their brief private conversation ended. He might have brokered a deal with Ke'rii, but he didn't trust him yet. He seemed like a wily character, one that could just as easily shake hands as stab someone in the back. So he'd keep his distance and his blasters handy around him just in case because it paid to be paranoid in Hutt territory, some people would literally sell your for a quick credit.
That's not to say though that he wouldn't go through with this plan, and that meant he had to take a risk. Leave Dancer's Palace, and it's resident eight million credit bounty, alone for awhile whilst he prepared the battleground they would spring their trap on. Nal Hutta. It was the perfect place for him; he knew all the ins and outs of the planet like the back of his hand, the planet was his stomping grounds after all, and he had a vast network of contacts, informants, and fellow guns for hire on the intoxicated world. When the pirates showed up, they would be landing in hostile territory in every aspect of the word. Not only would the inhabitants be after them, but the coordinates he had in mind was in one of the most inhospitable parts of the planet with vicious carnivorous lizards that'd been mutated from pollution and puddles of flesh-eating acid. The local residents would be fine, they knew the tricks of how to survive in those kinds of conditions. Offworlders? Not so fine.
There was another added advantage though to fighting on Nal Hutta that he wouldn't admit; once Ke'rii set foot on the planet, he could only really leave at Gharzog's will. He had so many buddies and paid-off enforcers watching spaceports for marks that tried to flee the world that it would be impossible for Ke'rii to get off the planet. It was a little precaution, so that just in case he tried to run with whatever credits the pirates had without paying Gharzog his cut, he wouldn't get very far at all.
Just another little paranoid trick that he had picked up.
As he walked up the palace stairway towards the dock though, he wondered if Ke'rii was the type to pull a stunt like that. He seemed carefree and easygoing enough, but those were the types that always made the best con artists. He didn't know what to think of the supposed family-man-businessman-turned-Imperial. And when he didn't know what to think, a good blaster was probably the best way to make decisions.
Best way to make just about any decision, was his musing as he clambered into a taxi bound for the spaceport.

Nal Hutta; That same night.

Gharzog stepped off the spaceport's paving and back onto Hutta's squishy wet soil. Massive bugs the size of his fist buzzed about looking for an opening in his clothing whilst thick clouds of poisonous gases billowed into the atmosphere from massive factory smokestacks nearby. Ahh, Nal Hutta. Good to be back.
He secured his respirator a little tighter before pulling up the collar on his coat so that it covered his neck against the soot and insects buzzing around. After double checking that his pants were tucked into his boots, he made his way along the dirt road, lined by vendors hawking sizzling pans of food and piles of clothing despite the late hour. Hutt territory never slept, shifts filled the factories around the clock. Which was fortunate because he wanted to get some meetings done before the night was finished so that he could catch the early morning shuttle to Nar Shaddaa and be back at Dancer's Palace by the time Ke'rii was awake. He didn't want to leave him out of his sight for long at all.
His first stop was a dingy cantina shoehorned between two apartment buildings and lit up by a flickering neon sign. Inside, raucous laughter emanated from within.
Just as he came up to the staircase leading down into the sunken cantina, a Gammorean stomped up the staircase carrying someone dressed in worker fatigues before throwing him out into a puddle of mud. With a rude Gammorean snort that was probably not taught to him as a child, he turned back and went down the way he'd come.
Yep, this was definitely Chiz's place.
Gharzog tramped down the stairs into a wooden interior that was filled with clouds of cigarra smoke, drunken singing, and the continuous rumble of chatter. A few heads turned his was as he entered, before people went back to their drinks and conversations. He'd be willing to bet that there was at least two people around here that had bounties on their heads, but he wasn't here for them right now.
His eyes searched out the bar area, until he saw Chiz serving a customer from behind it over to one side.
Gharzog approached him, and got his attention with a wave of the hand.
"Gharzog. Good to see 'ye. The usual 'ere?" Chiz asked, raising an eyebrow above his roughly gnarled features. On one side of his cheek, he had some absolutely horrid looking chemical burns from a spill that had happened a couple years ago. Gharzog had helped him take vengeance on the Hutt and factory supervisor responsible, with no reward.
Now it was time to collect on that debt.
"Not right now, Chiz. 'Ere on business." Gharzog said, pausing for a moment before asking carefully:
"Ye remember that time back when I helped 'ye deal with that Hutt, Trimpo, I think his name was?"
"Aye." Chiz replied, wiping a dirty mug with a rag.
"Well, I need to ask for you to return the favour. Got a job that requires a little - A'ight, a lot of extra muscle." He went ahead and admitted. Chiz sighed, as though he knew this day was coming.
"A'ight... What's the job, Gharzog?" He asked tiredly.
"Need as many hands with guns or vibroblades or, kriff, even rocks in 'em as 'ye got. I'll let 'ye know where they need to assemble and when, but it's pretty much wiping out a pirate clan, a'ight?" He explained.
"I'll get the boys together. But after this, 'ye owe ME one, Gharzog." Chiz returned.
Gharzog tipped his hat to the bartender, before turning and walking out the way he came. That was one errand done here on Hutta, now it was time to go and see a Hutt.
He traced his steps back to the spaceport, before making towards a massive domed palace in the middle of the settled area. That would be Ubaba's palace, he oversaw a good chunk of Hutta's factories and production cycles, as well as collecting 'taxes' as it were from many of the residents. He was a very, very wealthy Hutt with access to a fair amount of personnel and starships, and he owed Gharzog a favour. He'd had him go after a bounty, completely blind to the fact that he'd already sent another hunter to do the job. They'd squared off, before a fierce firefight ensured in which Gharzog was the victor. He'd collected the bounty and threatened to come after the Hutt if he did it again. Now he was going to collect on that unpaid debt.
He walked up the sloped ramp that lead inside, entering into a sort of foyer lounge area that was surprisingly much cleaner than the outside. One expected these dens of iniquity to be filled with filth and trash, but if Hutts weren't picky about their appearances, they were picky about their surroundings. It was immaculate, with finely decorated hand-stitched silk couches of red and gold, beside carpets made of the finest nerf wool.
There were a couple businessmen and gun-for-hires that were waiting around here for a meeting with the Hutt, but he didn't have time nor patience for that. He went straight up to the Twi'lek manager, a stern female sitting behind a desk.
"I'm 'ere to see Ubaba." Gharzog growled out.
"You can wait like everyone else." The secretary returned without looking up.
Gharzog crossed his arms, and tapped a boot on the floor before adding:
"I don't think 'yer boss wants 'Gharzog' waitin' out 'ere."
The twi'lek practically jumped and looked up.
"Oh, Gharzog... Yes. I'll check right with him." She said, rushing down a wide vaulted corridor towards the audience chamber of Ubaba. Hutta never slept, so neither did the Hutts.
He could hear the Huttese wail of outrage even from here as Ubaba received the news. So it was no surprise to him when the twi'lek came rushing back looking fluster.
"The mighty Ubaba will see you now." She said, with a slight bow.
Gharzog huffed, before striding past her and down the corridor before emerging into the cavernous audience chamber.
It was decked out similar to the foyer, plenty of red and gold silks, soft crimson pillows around Ubaba's throne, and as a recent addition, plenty of Twi'lek slaves in various stages of clothing. There were enforcers scattered around the room, hands near blasters and other weapons.
"Gharzog! Jee roe wamma uba che da wah chee!" Ubaba cried from his throne, looking much as he remembered him.
Enormous rolls of fat, a slimy disgusting mouth, and a cybernetic monocle which allowed the Hutt to continually monitor his profits and his competitor's prices.
<<Gharzog! I already paid you for that bounty!>>
"You did, Ubaba, but if you recall, you never mentioned a second hunter. You owe me, echuta sleemo." He returned, insulting the Hutt at the end.
"Bargon cay jen!" The Hutt bellowed, to which the enforcers closed in with vibroblades, clubs, and blasters.
Alright, Ubaba... If you wanted to play it this way...
Gharzog reached around behind him, to pull out his whip and uncoiling it along the ground. Time to see how well this thing worked under pressure. He flicked a switch on the weapon, to which it lit up a crackling blueish colour.
Some of the enforcers hesitated, but others kept coming. Well, probably best not to kill them. With a thumb, he adjusted the dial to a non-lethal setting even as they continued to close in.
Once they entered within five meters, he flicked his wrist outwards, lashing the first with the barbed tip of the whip and sending a neuronic shock through his frame. As he fell with a shout, Gharzog whipped it around sideways, hitting two across the chest with the weapon, cutting open their clothing, smashing bones, and giving them a very, very painful nerve impulse.
The others began to back off, but a bellow from the Hutt sent them onward again. One of them was starting to aim a blaster from a ways off. No, that wouldn't suffice. Gharzog drew one of his blasters with his left hand and shot him in the leg, before lancing out with the whip to knock another's blaster out of his hand and searing it with the electrified whip.
He strode forwards, giving it another flick to strike an opponent in the arm with it then swinging it around in a wide arc to wrap around a group of three. They all fell with cries of pain as it wrapped around them and shocked them into unconsciousness.
There was just one enforcer left, a burly armoured brute holding a large customized blaster.
"Ye ain't gettin' through this armour, Gharzog! It's insulated so 'yer whip-" The man started to say, before Gharzog shot him in the visor with the blaster held in his left hand.
He turned towards Ubaba, piles of wounded thugs behind him.
"Hi chuba da naga?" Ubaba asked, quailing slightly.
<<What do you want?>>
"A favour. 'Ye owe me twice now, Ubaba. I have some friends coming 'ere, to Hutta, that need a welcomin' party of blasters and starships. 'Yer goin' to give 'em one when I tell 'ye to." Gharzog stated.
"Woy." The Hutt quickly said.
Perhaps he agreed a little too quickly...
"Remember, Ubaba... If you betray me... I'll be back." Gharzog warned him, before flicking at him with the tip of the whip and catching him in the neck. The shock was nowhere near enough to knock him out but it'd sure be a good reminder to not kriff with him.
As the Hutt bellowed in pain, Gharzog turned and walked out. He'd get his assistance.

Dancer's Palace; The next morning.

Gharzog walked into Dancer's Palace the next morning, quite tired, but successful. His side of the deal would be well taken care of, he even had an idea of the coordinates he'd want the pirates to meet him at and both the Hutt and Chiz would show up with their guys. It was just a matter now of keeping an eye on Ke'rii and making sure that he didn't try to run off and leave Gharzog in the lurch.
He peered into the apartment and only saw Keiko there, but he wasn't unduly worried. His 'friend' wouldn't leave her alone, which meant he was around somewhere. Gharzog walked over to the staircases and peered around. He didn't see him jogging either. He walked down one side into the dining area before he heard voices. Ke'rii was one, but there was another he couldn't identify. A female.
Might as well make his presence known. He strode into the dining area, before leaning against a nearby wall. The hall was practically empty, with Ke'rii sitting down eating breakfast, speaking to a woman who looked similar to him. Same species and skin tone at any rate, though she had long dark hair.
"What? What about--" The woman started to ask, while Ke'rii cut her off:
"We're pals now."
Oh, this would be good.
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #22 on: 06/28/17, 10:44:21 AM »
Mei'li stared blankly at her brother. Blinked. And watched him eat his breakfast. It didn't take the Force for her to notice Mr. Hat entering as she heard the door swoosh open. She felt him and tried to read him but he seemed to mask any true emotion well.

“Pals?” she simply asked.

“Mhm,” Ke nodded a confirmation. “He's gonna lure Bloodthirst out to,” he looked up and squinted in ‘thought', “Nal Hutta, I believe.” He noted Mr. Hat in the room.

“Nal Hutts?” she didn't like this, but her words came out calm and careful. “Do you even have protection for that planet? It's so polluted that--”

“--Ooh, thanks for reminding me,” Ke interrupted, he spoke quicker as the effects of his morning caf began to work through him. “Gotta remember to call Lara; see if she can bring me some gear.”

Mei watched as he jotted down a note in his notebook.

“Does Keiko know she's going to Fort Marr?” Mei asked.

Ke'rii shook his head. “Nah, she's still sleeping.”

“Well,” Mei seemed to hesitate. “I-I came here to say goodbye, I'm heading to Dromund Kaas like....now.”

Ke looked up. He hasn't realised she was in such a hurry. He sainted slightly. “We just got here.”

Mei'li gave a short nod, “Well yes, I only planned to stay for a couple days. I've got business in Kaas City, then I'd like to spend the rest of my leave with my family.”

Ke thought quickly, glanced at Mr. Hat, then back to Mei. He wasn't prepared to leave Nar Shaddaa just yet to take Keiko to Fort Marr. He stared at her and sipped his caf. He wasn't about to leave this place without his proper gear.

“Umm…” he blinked.

Mei smiled and leaned forward. “I'll take her to Dromund Kaas,” she finally said. “Perhaps then she will have the opportunity to re-enlist in the Imperial Academy, and perhaps I can write a letter of recommendation to get her aboard the Ziost,” she smiled and tried not to tease him too much. “You know, because I've always been on Nic’s good side, and unlike you, your daughter has always shown him respect.”

Ke blinked again, glanced at Mr. Hat, then back to Mei. “So get her securely behind Imperial lines?”

His little sister nodded. “But Ms. Sleepyhead will need to get up… Like, soon.” she smiled and stood up as her brother processed this.

Ke nodded. “Okay.”

“I'll wake her, as…” she looked down at his notebook, the datapad, breakfast. “You look busy just this moment and perhaps your new pal would like to join you,” she grinned, amused. “Since you two are new best friends,” she looked over her shoulder and smiled at Mr. Hat before heading out of the restaurant.

Ke waited for her to leave before picking up his cup of coffee again and taking a sip. He looked at Mr. Hat and pointed to his notebook. “Making my calls,” he explained. “You're welcome to join me if you want. They make some good dustcrepes… not as good as Matt’s but…” he smiled. “They'll do.”

Ke'rii once again tapped his cybernetic as he watched Mr. Hat to make a call.

“Agent Athuuna,” he spoke, setting down his coffee. “It's Captain Ogasawara. Might want to get back to Nar Shaddaa…” he grinned. “There's a plan.”

Tag: @Noth
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Offline Noth

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #23 on: 06/28/17, 04:33:55 PM »
Ke'rii had decided to trust the bounty hunter. Use him to lure out 'Bloodthirst' into the open... on Nal Hutta. Athuuna could have told Ke'rii that was a blasted horrific plan, but apparently, Darth Karmic had offered her assistance as well. A Darth getting involved certainly eased the agent's worries... She could bring firepower that a lone agent could not.

At the same time, Athuuna knew pirates. Even his name was taken from his pirate alias. It had caught on, more than Cipher Agent had. Numbers weren't catchy enough. And Athuuna the pirate suited this mission more than the Agent behind him. Athuuna packed up his rifle and his kit and was on his way to Nar Shaddaa in what was (outwardly at least) a typical pirate vessel.

Did Ke'rii want 'Mr. Hat' to know about his presence? If so, Athuuna did not agree. A surprise ally worked in Ke'rii's favor--an open ally worked against it. He commed the other Imperial from the spaceport when he arrived, scrambling the message as he did so.

"Captain Ogasawara. Are you free to talk? Are you alone?"
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
The Politicians: Varooth (Senator), Seirion (Aide/Spy), Ayrak (King)
The Mandos: Urziya (Rallymaster), Terr (Chieftain)
The Outlaws: Telen (Slicer), Majia (Pirate/Smuggler)
The Imperials: Athuuna (Agent), Zhekrazh (Lord), Z'ridia (Apprentice)

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #24 on: 06/29/17, 10:38:46 AM »
“Captain Ogasawara. Are you free to talk? Are you alone?” the voice came through Ke'rii’s encrypted cybercomm. He recognized the voice belonging to his new buddy with Intelligence, agent Athuuna. Am I alone?, he thought as his eyes drifted about the restaurant. Mr. Hat was there, so Ke subtly moved his hand to ‘scratch' the side of his face as he oh so carefully tapped the upper blue button on his cybernetic so the agent may hear him.

He casually began to pack up his notebook, stacking his datapad in top of it, and he smiled at the hunter. “Welp, time for my morning run,” he said to Mr. Hat, the agent hearing him on the other end of the call. “Rest up, I'm not stupid enough to run off without you,” he chuckled, “I mean, it's not like I need to go place a bet on the Frogdogs,” he smiled and passed the hunter on his way out.

He hoped the keyphrase wouldn't be noticed, but if Mr. Hat had been doing his homework, it was no secret Ke was a fan of Huttball. Though he cheered on the Rotworms, that couldn't possibly be knowledge the other could dig up… could it?

He climbed the stairs, remained quiet until halfway up. “Clear now,” he spoke just above a whisper as he moved into the upstairs lobby. He glanced around and only saw Wheelie rolling off to do whatever it was the droid did in his spare time.

He decided to linger by the door of Solange’s apartment. He had just enough time to drop his notebook and datapad off and get changed into workout clothing before the hunter would wondered why he wasn't jogging down the stairs… and that was if his new pal wasn't shadowing him.

Glancing at the door of the apartment, he could sense his sister, Mei, was inside talking to Keiko.

There, he thought, an excuse was already in play to explain his delay: girl talk.
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Offline Noth

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #25 on: 06/29/17, 12:01:21 PM »
As Ke'rii's face swam into focus, Athuuna gave him a welcoming nod.

"Captain. I've arrived on Nar Shaddaa. From here, I'll follow you both to Nal Hutta, but if you can, do place a tracking beacon somewhere, in case your new 'friend' tries to change the plan."

He shouldered his rifle in such a way that Ke'rii could see it.

"I'd ask you to watch your back, but I'll be watching it for you. Is our Darth friend in position?" He paused to wait for an answer before continuing. "I'll be her contact and eyes on the ground. Just patch me through."

After giving Ke'rii more time to respond to the final portions, he shut off the comm, hopping back into his shuttle to watch traffic reports. As soon as Ke'rii and 'Mr. Hat' were in the sky, he would follow them. He just hoped that 'Pirate' Athuuna wouldn't have come out... He didn't want to explain to the Krallice clan why they were suddenly enemies with Bloodthirst's fleet. The patriarch was bad enough - the daughter would never let him hear the end of it.
The Jedi: Bren (Archaeologist), Iirim (Healer), Zorru (Recruiter), Orans (Master), Aybekk (Padawan)
The Politicians: Varooth (Senator), Seirion (Aide/Spy), Ayrak (King)
The Mandos: Urziya (Rallymaster), Terr (Chieftain)
The Outlaws: Telen (Slicer), Majia (Pirate/Smuggler)
The Imperials: Athuuna (Agent), Zhekrazh (Lord), Z'ridia (Apprentice)

Offline Kremon

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #26 on: 06/30/17, 12:36:07 AM »

Gharzog watched Ke'rii leave the dining room, off on his morning jog apparently.
He had a chat with some woman, talked about sending his daughter off to some place in Imperial territory, sent someone a message with his cybernetics, and the first thing he wants to do after that is go for a jog? It didn't sit right with Gharzog, and he most certainly did not plan on letting Ke'rii out of his sight. So he gave the captain some time to travel up the staircase, before following behind him. The one droid, Wheelie, passed him as he came up, heading for who know's where, but he walked softly with an ear out for conversation or footsteps.
He came up to the first lobby which led to the stairwells, no-one here. Just the tinkling of water features.
So he proceeded over to the next door, keeping to the side to not have it whisk open before him. Once there, he put an ear to the wall to see if he could hear anything... Nothing.
After that, he doffed his hat for a moment to peer around the corner through the transparent portion of the door. Ke'rii wasn't going for a jog at the moment, he was standing next to one of the apartment doors. Not saying anything, nor did he seem to be doing anything.
Gharzog pulled back out of sight and put his hat back on. Why say he was going for a jog, only to stop outside the apartments? It made no sense.
Could he be awaiting a package? Maybe, but he'd do that on the docks.
Was he perhaps eavesdropping?... No, no. Those rooms were soundproofed, he knew, because he'd tried to listen in on a few conversations before himself. It couldn't be that...
Then it struck him - Cybernetics. He was doing something with his cybernetics. Accessing the holonet maybe? Looking through data? He wasn't sure, but he checked his coat and various holsters to assure himself that he was still well armed before settling in to wait. Whatever it was, his new 'friend' wasn't being straight with him, and he planned on being prepared for any trickery that he tried to pull.
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #27 on: 06/30/17, 05:10:45 AM »
The Imperial Captain merely leaned against the wall outside of Solange’s apartment as he listened to Agent Athuuna speak through his cybercom. His expression would give no indication he was even on a call as he stared off, seemingly bored. He even yawned. One could never be too careful, especially when one was trying to obtain as many allies as he could. Nal Hutta was an ugly planet. And when there was an ugly planet, nine out of ten times the people there were ugly too. Okay, so that was generalising, but this was Nal Hutta, and Ke’rii knew he would not be getting any home field advantage.
“Is our Darth friend in position?" he heard the agent ask.
“She’s rounding up additional support,” he explained, his voice above a whisper.
"I'll be her contact and eyes on the ground. Just patch me through,” the agent informed him.
Ke’rii smiled slightly. He liked this guy. He had a ‘let’s do this’ attitude. “I’ll alert her that you’re here. Hang tight and I’ll send as much information as I can about our coordinates once I learn them. I’ll be in contact,” he said, then ended the call with a quick tap to his cybernetic.
His agent was ready. Certainly Mr. Hat was ready. Karmic, no doubt, would be soon if not already.
He blinked his eyes as he thought and let out a sigh. Before anything, he wanted Keiko out of Hutt space. He didn’t need her in the sky when these pirate’s came. There would be no other leverage than his own life. Keiko would be gone. Mei would be gone. Just him and the people working this situation with him. No family. No blood.

But damnit… Nal Hutta. Polluted wasteland. Toxic world and his kriffin’ gear for that was back home on Tatooine.
Ke glanced at the apartment door before crossing the lobby to sit on the stairs. He set his notepad and datapad to the side and pulled out his holocom. His actual, not-as-highly encrypted holocommunicator that hung on his belt. The one where he could speak face to face, rather than voice to voice. Before dialing his call, he checked his chronometer and did a quick mental calculation of the time difference from here to back home.
He waited, running his hand through his hair as if to straighten it more to be more presentable to the woman on the other end.
“Are you an idiot?” Alara Slate appeared on the holo and crossed her arms.
Ke’rii couldn’t hold back his goofy grin the moment she appeared to him, and was of course, scolding him.
“Hey, amant,” <sweetheart> he grinned and took a moment to memorize her face. Her beautiful dark skin, dark eyes, short raven black hair and of course ‘the look’. ‘The look’ she gave him when he was being foolish or irresponsible.
“I thought it was ‘cybercom only’,” ‘the look’ continued and she raised a brow for added ‘irritation’.
“I wanted to see you,” he admitted, then returned her look with one of his own ‘charming but not cocky’ looks that seemed put Alara at ease.
“Ke, you need to be careful. Valle sel ne cnous hyon doko bahet via vok,” <You don't know who could tap your calls.> her voice softened as she slipped into Olys Corellisi (Old Corellian).
Ke’rii shrugged. “I know, I’ll make this quick,” he said and smiled. “I’m goin’ to an icky place--”
“--’Icky place’?” she shook her head. He certainly had a way of making things sound less horrible than they were.
He grinned, and continued. “I need you to bring some gear for me. Specifically my stuff to cover the whole mouth-breathing thing. Toxic stuff, you know… but not the bright hazmat one. I don’t want that much attention on me. And could you also bring my WL-29 blaster rifle. Not the sniper one, oh! and my vibroblade. You know, the Echani-made one that I picked up on Corellia that one time. The smaller one with the cortosis-weave.”
Alara was smiling. “I know the one. And sounds like you’re about to do something stupid.”
Ke laughed. “You know me.”
“You got Bian I assume?”
“Always,” he began to pat his hip where his blaster typically rested, but it wasn’t there. He just smiled. She’d kill him if she knew he was waltzing around with out a blaster on him, even if it couldn’t be used at the Dancer’s Palace.
Alara Slate tilted her head and observed him with crossed arms. “Why do I suspect this is a ploy to see again?”
Ke’rii gave a guilty grin. “Maybe it is, because you know--”
“--Don’t,” she said, firm.
“--it could be dangerou--”
“Don’t,” she repeated, even more stern.
“--And I don’t know if--”
“--Stop it.”
Ke fell silent, blinked and looked at her.
It was true. He wanted to see her again before he left for Nal Hutta. This was a dangerous plan, even with Darth Karmic’s involvement and the agent. If things went south, which with him was how his luck ran, he might just end up dead.
He smiled softly at her. “Minmin larel valle, Lara,” <I love you, Lara.>
Alara sighed and her honest response was held in her eyes before she simply said “I know,” and ended the call.
Ke’rii set down his holocom and picked up his datapad to compose a new message:
Ideally I’d like to keep this between you and me. I’ve got an agent on the ground looking to be our eyes and ears and be an undivided ally should I need it on Nal Hutta. Not that I don’t trust you or our deal with Mr. Hat. But Nal Hutta is a nasty place with some shady people and I’d like the extra back up. And without Mr. Hat knowing if at all possible.
Thought I’d let you know seeing as this is your plan. He’d like contact with you and I’d like your permission to get him set up to communicate with you if he needs to.
Thanks for your help in all this. I’m sure any plan I came up with on my own would have ended badly. As you can tell, I have a knack for interesting situations.

Tag: @Karmic
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Offline Kremon

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #28 on: 06/30/17, 08:55:57 PM »

It was quiet in the other lobby, no rustle of clothing, no conversation. Since he hadn't heard any further footsteps, then he assumed that Ke'rii hadn't moved either. A few more moments of quiet, then the sound of movement.
Gharzog glanced through the door for a moment to spot Ke'rii moving towards the stairs. Was he leaving? If he set foot outside of this palace without informing him, Gharzog was going to stun him and turn him into the pirates for free.
But then Ke'rii stopped to sit down. Close, very close...
He saw him pull out a holocom before he ducked his head back behind the corner again. Ke'rii was calling someone now, who? He listened closely as voices began to drift across from the other room. They were muffled, but understandable. He listened in closely for anything out of the ordinary. She was going to retrieve some hazmat gear for him, made sense... The two sounded like jilted lovers to him, he'd need to remember that connection. Their call continued for a while, with nothing else that interesting being said before presumably the call ended, since the talking stopped.
So his 'pal' Ke'rii didn't trust him enough to make a call out in the open, and he still hadn't gone for this supposed morning jog. He'd be keeping a close eye on this one. A close eye indeed.
Exephos; a haunted war-ravaged veteran.
Shad'ra; an indecisive ex-mandalorian.
Gharzog; a happy-go-lucky gun for hire.

Offline Mei

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Re: "Hunting the Hunted"
« Reply #29 on: 07/01/17, 06:19:03 AM »
Ke’rii was oblivious that Mr. Hat had followed him up the stairs. Perhaps there was too much going on for his mind to fully concentrate on the man. Besides, they were ‘pals’ now. Buddies. Possibly even ‘business partners’... to an extent. Trust worked both ways and Ke hoped the hunter would see if that way too.
As he hit ‘send’ on the message to Karmic, he opened another message box and began to compose another one to Agent Athuuna. He glanced up before typing it out and narrowed his eyes. Strange, no sign of Mr. Hat. And Mr. Hat had no sign of him for his morning run.
Oh he had to be nearby.
I’m expecting a package to arrive by tomorrow. A woman named Alara Slate will be arriving at the spaceport with gear and weapons for me. She’s got a sweet starship; an XS Freighter class called The Larel Guerfel. Please secure her arrival and make sure no one tries to do anything to her. You know how thugs work and not all are as professional as our lovely Mr. Hat here at the Palace. Ms. Slate means worlds to me, and that might just be discovered by the wrong people. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a very capable fighter but I don’t want to see her used as leverage against me. Everyone has their weakness.

He hit send on his message to Athuuna and quickly lifted his head and looked over at the door to Ange’s apartment. He couldn’t hear anything, but he could sense Keiko’li. He rubbed the back of his neck as the feeling seemed to course it's way through him. Kriffin’ Force, he thought and tried to push the feeling back. He wasn’t a Force user, not like his sister or how his father had been, but lately it seemed to have awakened in him. He cleared his throat, gathered his things from the steps and headed towards the apartment.
The door unlocked easily for him and as it swished open he peered in and saw Mei’li comforting his daughter. Keiko was in tears. He didn’t expect this idea to go over well with her.
He stepped inside, and the door closed behind him.
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