Jeset had come to Omega Station to disappear. After several navigational hops, a short break to check the new, and several more, he had finally arrived. The flight coordinators at Omega didn't care about your background, your business, where you came from or where you were going. Jeset wasn't even sure they kept logs of the multitude of ships that flew in and out of the station at all hours.
His first stop had been to pick up special hair dye that was said to be permanent and extremely hard to remove, only able to come out with special solvents. After making an inky mess out of a refresher station, his hair was now permanently black. At least until he decided to change that. Next up was the most important part and he had trolled the net on Omega Station through a proxy from his phone until he had come into contact with someone who could do what he needed done.
Now all he had to do was meet them. He headed to the prearranged meeting location, desperately hoping this wasn't a trap or some kind of setup. He had his vibroknives, three of them hidden on his person, and his garrote of course, but ideally he wouldn't have to use them. He hadn't come to Omega to hurt anyone after, all. Just to disappear.
Jeset would enter the room and lay eyes upon a woman with a visor and a mask seated behind a desk. The room was completely empty of anything else other than it, with bare walls, bare floors, and only a singular circular light flickering above them. In one hand, she held a datapad, and the other was drumming against the desk, leaving the distinct sound of metal on metal as her vibroclaws clinked on and off the smooth surface. She had her WESTAR on her hip and a vibroblade on her thigh, but the slicer wasn't worried. With a push of a button on her comlink, she could have backup, but who would pull something in the midst of Crimson Dawn's territory when they were coming to her for help?
"Come on in." Mars gestured to the chair in front of the desk and relaxed the hand holding the datapad, letting its screen fall to face the ceiling. "So, what all do you need from me?"
Jeset wore his hood low over his face as he made his way to the meeting. He just wanted to shrink into the wall and disappear as he walked, various aliens passing him by trying to take a peek. Couldn't they just mind their damn business. It took him a moment to find the room where the contact had told him to meet them.
He regretted it as soon as he walked through the door.
The room he entered was a blank room. Bare walls, bare floor, bare ceiling except for a flickering light. The person whom he assumed was the one he talked to on the net, was masked. Masked, and heavily armed. His eyes flicked around under the hood as the door slid shut behind him, the feeling in his chest like an animal walking into a slaughterhouse.
She gestured to a chair and Jeset sat and looked at her, the words taking a moment to register. Masked face, sharp claws clicking on the table. He was sure he had spotted a blaster. He looked down away from the woman and took a breath, forcing himself to calm down as his heart raced. He tried to shove down the fear, or at least transform it into something useful.
"I need to disappear. To become someone else." He said as he looked up at her, meeting her eyes with a sliver of determination in his own silver irises. "A new name, new ID's, new transponder for my ship." He tried not to let the fear well in his chest as he thought about the certain threats that lay behind him, and the unknown ones that lay ahead.
Mars was aware that the room was a bit sketchy, and thus potentially a bit intimidating, but she didn't know who she was dealing with. The stranger hadn't offered much information about himself, she so didn't know if she was dealing with a hardened old criminal, an undercover cop, or the man - no, boy - who walked nervously into the room.
"How old is this kid?" Even under his hood, she could see the youth in his face. It was even more obvious in his voice and his body language. What could he be running at this age? The only thing that immediately came to mind was a gang. She could sympathize with that.
"That I can do," Mars began, reaching up to place her hand on her visor. "Do you have creds?"
Jeset eyed the woman's hand warily as it moved, as if it might launch out and attack him with an eye of its own. No, she was just touching her visor for some reason.
"Some." He said. Not much. Barely enough to refuel his ship. He was cut off from the monthly allotment that the Sith Order had provided to Acolytes, didn't have any means of bringing any in on such short notice. He knew that the galaxy ran on credits, especially the underworld. The domain in which he likely would be existing for the foreseeable future.
"Not enough." He finally admitted bitterly, letting his shoulder's slump a little in defeat. Whether that defeat was real or faked... maybe a bit of both. He certainly could feel it in his chest. "How much do you need?" He asked, pausing for a moment before posing another question. "How can I get more around here? I really need this." His voice was a mix between determination and fear and he instinctively glanced over his shoulder.
Some, but not enough. He wanted to know exactly how much, and he wanted to work for it if he didn't have enough. "Which he doesn't." Her services, though not the most expensive out there, would still run a high price, especially for someone who was outside and unknown to her organization.
There was a quiet click!, and then Mars' visor came off in her hands. She placed it face down on the desk in front of her, then searched for Jeset's gaze. "On two conditions, I will help you," she began folding her hands on the desk in front of her. "Condition one: you work for me until you've paid off what you would owe me otherwise." He wanted to find more work? She could provide that for him, easily. There were always things that needed to be done, and there were always extra hands that could be used.
"Condition two: you tell me who you're running from, and why." Not everyone was willing to disclose details like that, but in her mind, he didn't have much of a choice. He'd have a hard time finding someone else to help him, and an even harder time finding someone willing to take services from someone with unknown abilities rather than hard cash. "If you can agree to these two conditions, then I will make you disappear. New name, new ID - even a new face if you want."
Mars tilted her head to the side ever so slightly, her dark eyes burrowing into Jeset's head. Without her visor, she seemed much more personable, but he would find it difficult to read her. Was she being sincere? Was he getting in over his head? Could beggars be chosers?
Jeset was shocked to say the least when the woman took off her visor, showing her face to him. Her eyes sought out his and he met her gaze, pushing down the urge to look away.
His silver eyes were filled with a variety of emotions. There was fear in spades, the shadow that he knew lay behind him, that he was running from, was terrifying. There was suspicion that rose within them as she listed out her offer. But there was also a cold confidence that lay behind all that, the sign of someone who was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish their goals.
He didn't answer right away as her dark eyes burrowed into him. Instead, he concentrated. His mind was attuned to the greater universe, and more importantly, the unreadable woman in front of him's intentions. He sensed... little.
There was little there to betray her intentions. She had him over the barrel and he knew it, if he accepted he would be greatly in her debt. If he revealed the truth, would she just betray him, sell him out for a quick credit. He breathed, his nose flaring in frustration as he thought about his options. He could turn around and try somewhere else, but he suspected that there weren't many who would take sympathy on a rogue Sith. Would she, if she knew the whole truth. He recalled a conversation he had with another of his ilk, a conversation about power and those who wielded it. Was he willing to give this woman power over him.
Did he even have a choice?
He took a deep breath, exhaled. He had to make a decision and quick, the clock was ticking. The base emotion of fear was good for grasping power in a pinch, but it made for poor decisions and he tried to flush the grip it had held on him since the events on Junction. He needed clarity.
"I agree." He said after a few moments of thought. Whatever dangers he would face with this woman, they were lesser than the might of the Empire on his tail. With a new name, a new ID, even a new face... He could become someone else entirely, someone that the Empire didn't care about. Someone that the Sith didn't care about. With those chains behind him he could focus solely on the new set of chains he was willfully ensnaring himself in.
The path of a Sith was often a winding one, the way ahead shrouded in fog. Every step was fraught with danger and only the strongest, smartest, and most mindful Sith would ascend the steps of power. Patience was key. He cared little for the Empire or the power struggles of the Order as a whole. The only care he truly held was for himself, and he would survive this.
"Wonderful." Mars unclasped her hands, placed them face down on the desk, and pushed herself up and out of her chair. "Follow me then, please."
Between agreeing and not, the former made the most sense, and she was correct. But they weren’t going to talk here, not if she was going to uphold her word in helping make him disappear. The flickering light above them hid a camera, and the plain walls surrounding them were far from soundproof. She never had any intention of meeting him alone, but now that he had agreed to her conditions, he would be afforded that privilege.
The slicer would walk toward the door he’d entered, hold it open for him to walk through, then follow. Once they were out and heading toward their destination, someone would enter the room and remove a bug from under the table to give to Mars later.
”What would you like to be called?” she asked as they walked, her voice still slightly muffled as she spoke from underneath her mask. Her visor had since been clipped onto her belt, so he would see her eyes glance sideways toward him.
They would walk for a little longer until they reached another building. On the inside it was almost office like, and she would direct him to enter a room. This time, it was more than just plain walls and empty space. There was a desk, chairs, bookshelves – the lot of it. There were no recording devices in this room, and the only device was a small terminal computer at the desk where Mars took a seat.
Jeset followed Acklay as she led him from the room, his thoughts spinning as they walked. He couldn't help but wonder if he had just made a deal with the devil, or so the Corellian saying went. Of course if that was the case it would be like making... a deal with one devil to get out of a deal with another one.
He glanced to the side at the woman as she spoke, meeting her eyes for a moment as they travelled the public throughways of Omega station. He shrugged after a moment, responding quietly. "Give me some time to consider."
It didn't take them long to reach a separate building. The layout and structure reminded the young Sith of an office building, and they would move to a room that seemed... much more used than the blank one that Jeset had met the slicer in. He scanned the room briefly with his eyes as he walked over to the chair, noting the various furnishings. One thing of note stood out. The only electronic device in the room was the computer terminal on the desk. Well, that and the variety of cyberware that the woman wore grafted to her flesh.
Taking a seat in front of the desk, Jeset looked at Acklay, meeting her eyes. He looked around the room once again for a moment, this time with more that just his eyes. As far as he could tell, they were alone. He took a breath.
"I am..." He started, stopping. Was he still? He was, but not so far as she needed to know. Besides, he had renounced the order with his own name, out of his own mouth... The reason he was in this mess in the first place. "I was... an Acolyte of the Sith." He watched her eyes carefully to gauge her reaction to his admission, his hands tense in his lap even if they remained open. "I never had much choice in the matter." That much was very true, and it might garner some sympathy
"The Sith have been expelled, banished from the Empire, likely scattered across the galaxy. This was my chance to get away from it all." He fabricated, spinning half truths as easily as breathing. He was running away from the Empire and the Order alike, this was true. "I ran away. From the Sith, from the Empire. But they know my name, they know my face. I can't get away from them like this... You have... You have no idea what they're like." He summoned up some of the fear he had felt the following days, very real, and let it leak into his voice.
He spun his tale, lies webbed with the truth in a way that would be impossible to untangle. He listened, he watched, he felt her through the force to gauge her perceptions and reactions.
"This is the only way I'll be safe." He said in reference to the change of identity he had requested. Even that might not be enough, but it was enough to put distance between the Sith Acolyte Jeset and... whoever he would become. Abandoning his name didn't bother him, for it wasn't even his. What is a name after all, but a mask to show the galaxy. What use was a mask if everyone knew the one your wore.
"As for the name..." He had thought about it a little on his way over, thought about it some more. There were many things that made a name, and so far he had just conveniently wore someone else's. He thought back to his reflection from earlier in the refresher, his hair dyed fresh black. A brief thought wandered across his mind, drifting through the fracture from the nexus. Was that what she might have looked like. He waved it away, focusing on the person he had seen. What is a name, but a mask. What would be the name of this mask. He spoke after a moment with a cold certainty in his voice. "Amun Seti."
A Sith acolyte. Mars felt like she'd struck gold - or at least some sort of precious metal - but she kept her face relaxed and her eyebrows set. There was a lot to take from someone in his shoes, and she certainly understood why he wanted a fresh start.
"Mmmm," she hummed, intentionally remaining impassive and vague in her reactions for the moment. Until she knew how much she could trust him, she would prefer to keep him guessing at how she truly felt about him and his situation. "Well, Amun," she began, reaching for a keyboard. She typed in a few words, her fingers flying over the keys. "I'll start by getting your ship some new identifications. Then we'll work on getting you a new ID and falsifying other documents."
With her connections with the Crimson Dawn, neither of those would be too difficult. He could just as easily have been a home-born nobody from Omega Station as an unfortunate acolyte running from the Sith. "In the meantime, would you like me to set you up with lodgings here on Omega?"
It certainly wouldn't be anything nice, but it would be better than living out of his ship if he desired it. It wasn't something normally offered, but she sympathized with his situation because of his age. She'd been taken in and taken care of by a gang when she was younger. Without them, she'd probably still be living out on the streets. The least she could do was make sure the kid wasn't shivering on a rust bucket barely space legal.
As Jeset wove his tail he was mindful of Acklay's reactions. There was little there. Her face was motionless as if set in stone. It was only through the force that the young Acolyte could get a glimpse into the slicer's thoughts, and even that was merely a shimmer on the surface.
There was a moment of relief as she confirmed that she could do everything he had asked, and a little bit more.
"Lodgings would be appreciated, I can survive on my ship but it's not preferable." He admitted. He hadn't been excited about the prospects of living out of his small ship like a vagabond. There was of course no doubt that this would all run his debt to the woman up. But how much.
"I assume this will all cost me." He said as a statement rather than a question.
"As long as you remain working for me, the costs will be minimal," Acklay responded, eyes focusing on something on the screen of her terminal. She wasn't going to just pay for his housing, but as long as he remained useful to her, she would pull some strings and get him a discounted place to stay. Her metal fingers hit a couple of keys, and she looked back over at him.
"Now, the question is: do you want cosmetic surgery as well?" It could be as little as a procedure to bleed melanin into his eyes to change the color, or as complicated as using cybernetics to give him a distinctly different look. She wasn't sure how unrecognizable he wanted to be. If his only goal was to be untraceable back to his roots, then the surgery would likely not be needed.
The response was given with little attention paid to Amun himself. There it was, the catch. As long as he remained working for the slicer, there would be little cost to his housing here on Omega station. Otherwise... Well that bridge would burn when Amun crossed it.
"Some. Enough to fool Imperial facial recognition software." He said as he thought about it. "But nothing too drastic, just a little bit off the top." He said, finally relaxing enough to make a small morbid joke about the situation. One had to find humor in hardship to survive.
"Not too much though. I still want to be able to..." He paused for a moment, realizing just exactly what he was going to be doing to himself to avoid unwanted scrutiny. "Recognize myself, somewhat." He finally let out. It had been such an easy thing to think up, but now that it lay ahead the ask was rather daunting.