View Full Version : Bad Blood, Good Business

Baroness Tagge
Jan 9th, 2016, 04:01:21 AM
It had taken time to adjust to the sight of the clouds above her instead of below, but Tepasi was a far sweeter sight than Bespin had ever been.

The dusk sky was an amateurs watercolour, smeared blues muddied with grey. If there were stars, Sanya Tagge could not see them, but the lights of the mega-city sprawled before her were a galaxy in themselves, each cluster of buildings a constellation. In her childhood, her father had brought her to this very same rooftop terrace and gestured out across the cityscape with pride. You are part of a family so crucial to the prosperity of this planet, that they named this city after your ancestor, Unlos. The corner of her mouth wrinkled at that thought, the pride in her father's voice as he picked out the shapes of factories, foundries, research centres and more besides - all the property of TaggeCo. Even the roof they were standing on was the roof of a restaurant that was part of the Tagge Restaurants Association.

What he didn't mention - what none of them talked about - was where it had all stared. With the smuggler who had come to Tepasi under the pretense of charity, offering to help re-build a city torn apart by earthquakes - at a small cost, of course. Tarzen Tagge had built a name for himself on Tepasi and the name had stuck so firmly that the Republic had welcomed the Tagge family as leaders. That was the family shame, the topic of conversation that her grandparents, as proud servants of the Galactic Empire, had buried so deep in their subconscious that they had convinced even themselves that it had never happened. After all, how could you be shamed by something that had never happened?

Her eyes fixed on the horizon, Sanya took a long sip from a glass tumbler of something strong, dark and flavoured with bitter herbs. As she lowered the glass, Sanya pressed her lips into a tight line. She didn't feel ashamed. Not even now, in the knowledge that the Galactic Empire had bowed to the Republic and now crawled along with it in the filth and dirt.

"Lady Tagge," came a quiet voice from behind her, punctuated by a throat being cleared. Sanya turned her head a fraction and out of the corner of her eye she could see a pair of young men dressed in dark body armour, the yellow emblem of TaggeCo on their breastplates. A small detail of bodyguards, drawn from the House of Tagge's private military. The force wasn't anywhere near as large as it had been, but it was nothing to sneer at - and large enough for Tepasi. Large enough that the planet had not been dragged down into the Republic, like some other Imperial worlds. Tepasi was an island of sanity in an ocean of madness and no amount of grovelling diplomats and ambassadors would convince her otherwise. She would rather her family throne-world stand-alone, than stoop so low.

"Your... guests are here," the soldier went on, lowering a hand from his ear-piece commlink. Guests, Sanya thought, with a humourless smile. As if she was hosting a dinner party. Her smile soured at memories of decades gone by - of the young woman she had once been, and the woman she had loved. No, this was no social call. The men and women she had invited to the rooftop of the Tagge Restaurant Association were the kind she would have sooner poisoned than proffered a glass of wine, but she had need of them nonetheless.

Without turning to face the men, Sanya gestured in irritation with her glass, ice-cubes clattering. "Well, what are you waiting for? Bring them up here."

Codename: Abaddon
Jan 11th, 2016, 06:58:05 PM
The House of Tagge was far more prestigious that he had been lead to believe. The entire planet was too, for that matter. They wore their wealth and power on their sleeve; massive factories, high tech facilities, and a private military that he almost blended in with. Their black armor was not too different from his own, but he stood out with his impassive helmet visor. His armor had long ago lost the polished shine of Tagge's dogs. Instead it was riddled with scorch marks, blaster craters, and repair patches. Still, the armor was noticeably high quality; the best money could buy.

His weapons were no different. Most notable was the pair of antique slugthrower handguns tucked into the front of his utility belt, along with what looked like a modified full stock First Order F-11D blaster rifle, painted black, slung over his shoulder. Behind him stood, at attention, four wonderfully restored BX Commando Droids that looked well cared for despite their age and battle worn exteriors.

"She will see you now."

Pulling his Cigarra out of the ventilation port in his helmet, he smashed it into dish that might have been an ash tray. No idea. Nor did he care. He and the others gathered in the room followed the soldier through the structure into another room, where the owner stood waiting for them. Sanya Tagge. A familiar face. Family friend was too kind. Rival was too generous. Hardly mattered. She had no idea who he was, and he intended to keep it that way as he took his place in the room and maintained his strong and silent performance.

Jan 18th, 2016, 05:46:32 AM

Niko regarded the automatons and the man they accompanied with mild disdain. His eyes had scoured the armoured suit, the restored and cared for weapons, the layers of crutches and augmentations that the man wrapped himself in. Compensations. Boons worn to make up for the shortcomings of the man beneath.

He wore no such accoutrements, and needed no such trinkets. His clothing was sturdy but simple, rugged clothes for a rugged man, engaged in a rugged line of work. The battered meshweave was for utility more than protection, and the rough-spun cloak slung across his shoulders was there only to withstand the elements. The blaster carbine hung at his side was an old and proven design, one that relied on the skill of it's user rather than the sophistication of it's technology to get the job done. It was a last resort however, there only for when Niko's other talents proved ineffective. Vibroblades. Electrobatons. Weapons that required on skill and strength, on the ability of the warrior holding them to be a man. Anyone could take a life with a blaster in their hands, but there was a special bond that came between a hunter and a victim when it was your own muscles, your own prowess, your own terrifying capabilities that drained the life from their eyes mere inches from your face.

Niko extracted himself from the wall where he had been leaning, and fell silently into step behind the machines as they advanced into the lair of the Baroness.

Baroness Tagge
Jan 23rd, 2016, 01:09:02 PM
With their 'guests' deposited on the rooftop terrace, the armored guards took their leave. Sanya, her back still turned, waited until she was alone with the strangers before turning away from the sight of the city. There was no haste in her movements. Whether it was with weariness or languor wasn't clear, but as she sank down into one of the terrace's broad armchairs. One leg crossed over the other, she swirled the contents of her glass as she watched the two men: both silent, both waiting.

"My, don't you both look... impressive," she said, appraising both figures with an expression that was as featureless and dry as the Dune Sea. She glanced down at the data-pad on the low table to the right of her chair. It had been deposited there a short while ago by one of her attendants, intended to brief the Baroness on the men before her, but she hadn't so much as thumbed the data-pad to life.

Sanya sipped at her drink.

"I take it the two of you aren't together?"

Codename: Abaddon
Jan 25th, 2016, 02:08:37 PM
"No." The answer was short and to the point, although heavily distorted by his helmet, masking any ability to place his voice. He'd paid extra for that feature. "Abbadon; Official Bounty Hunter Guild Member. House Benelex."

His featureless helmet turned to look at the other man. He really had not bothered to look at the others who had gathered. It wasn't clear yet if they were competitors or comrades on this job. It all came down to however Tagge spun it. The man seemed simple. Nothing really popped out. No sense of specialization, or of strengths or weaknesses. A variety of weapons, with a emphasis on blades. Pssh. Swords. A genuine threat since a good vibroblade could cut through his body armor fairly quickly. He'd had a lot of guys try to open him up like a can and they had a hard time getting close enough to do that. Still, a few had gotten close, and he had the scars to prove it.

Feb 1st, 2016, 12:25:28 AM
Some people would have uttered a retort, or an agreement. Niko certainly felt the insistent curl of such a sentiment at the back of his throat, willing him to reinforce the notion that the two were in no way connected. He kept it at bay, stamped it down into the hearth that smouldered away in his chest, piling it up as potential fuel for later. That didn't stop the slight flare of nostrils as Abaddon turned his featureless mask in his direction.

"I am Niko."

There wasn't any need for more words than that; no merit to ostentatious titles, or superfluous words. Niko squared his shoulders as his attention returned fully to the Baroness, leaving a silence to linger without so much as a grunt of further information to break it. There were two schools of bounty hunter, once you distilled it down to the base concepts. There was the loud kind: the ones with flash and flourish, the ones who burst in with their fancy armour and their flashy toys, earning the reputation and the top tier contracts because their clients felt safe entrusting their business to such a notable name. Then there was the quiet kind: the ones who listened, the ones who did; the ones who disposed of your enemies with such subtlety that the only way you knew it was done was when the mark's head was dropped at the client's feet. Niko aspired to be the latter, though circumstances often forced his hand towards the former. For now though he would adhere to that ideal, maintaining his quiet until the task called for anything other.

Baroness Tagge
Feb 15th, 2016, 05:02:18 AM
House Benelex, where had she heard that name before? Sanya took another drink, washing away the thought.

"Now... boys. Before we get started, I have to do you the discourtesy of asking about your politics." She pauses, holding up a hand to stall any forthcoming comments. "I know - hardly polite conversation for the polite company we find ourselves in, but a necessity in these circumstances."

She set her drink aside.

"I haven't the time or the inclination to work with morons, so be truthful with me now. Do either of you boys support or work on behalf of the Resistance?"

Feb 15th, 2016, 04:22:15 PM
The air of entitlement that rolled off the Baroness was palpable; but Niko had dealt with such people before. Pride was one of the better sins, one of the more reliable and predictable. For those who tried to keep it at bay, it was an ever-present exploitable weakness. For those that embraced it, it became an eminently reliable trait. Even so, the implication of her query, the need to prove himself further still despite the reputation that preceded him, grated against his own sense of pride.

A new scowl formed across his brow, barely shifting from the one that was already there.

"Idealism is messy. Get's people killed."

He somehow shrugged without moving a single muscle, the hesitation in his voice and the intensity in his eyes conveying the same sentiment without their aid.

"I fight for credits, not for causes."

Codename: Abaddon
Feb 15th, 2016, 10:22:59 PM
Drawing attention back to his previous statement, he pointed a finger at the patch on his chest, which he wore like a badge. The official Bounty Hunter's Guild insignia in all it's feted glory. "They are capable of placing bounties just like any other individual in the galaxy, provided they have the credits. My allegiance is to the Guild alone."

And you would have to be a fool's fool to cross the Guild. That wasn't to say he didn't have a soft spot in his heart for the right kind of people, but the Resistance was far from little girls who's pet got stuck in a tree or a homeless man who's few credits got swiped by some shitheads. That was far from doing pro bono hits for the Resistance. There as no way those freedom fighters would be able to afford official Guild services, and doing them for free would get him thrown in an isocube; or worse. Still, if they had the credits he would take the job in a heartbeat. Credits are credits.