The Stormy Present
The Stormy Present
Summary: Lieutenant Kian Sharp brings Iron Aegis some disturbing news from Corellia.
Date: 14/04/2011
Related Logs: None
Kian Taija 
Coronet Beach
Sand and water.

'I'll be waiting beneath the baby blue umbrella on beach block five,' the message read. 'P.S. Bring swimwear.' Which means that this secret meeting is probably going to be one of the more pleasant ones the Iron Aegis contact will ever have experienced, judging from the blazing bright sunlight that's attracted more than ten thousand thronging sentients to the white beaches of Coronet City.

indeed, CorSec has done its work well: there's only one baby blue umbrella in this field of white and pink, its nylon flaps fluttering in the salty ocean breeze. Beneath it on a towel lounges a tall human of indeterminate age, dressed only in a pair of garish red swimming trunks the same color as his casual beach sandals. He's flipping through the sports section of a holographic newspaper, pausing every so often to take a sip from the chilled Iridonian lager he's garnished with a lime. Because even after the arrival of intergalactic trade, some habits never die.

With the request to meet, Taija was obligated to answer it. 'Drop everything when we call.' Fair enough. Taija hopped a transport and jumped right away. Meeting at the beach at the designated time she's in a red bikini top and jean shorts. Reflective lens aviators sunglasses are worn with the brown stetson that seems to accompany her anywhere that isn't on official businesses. The bag under her arm seems to have some beach stuff in it like water and a towel. It actually looks like she is planning to spend at least a few hours here. Spotting the umbrella, Taija heads over in bare feet and smirks down at the man. "Nice choice on color." Its the same red she's wearing. "You the friendly neighborhood lifeguard?" Cop? Corsec, to be exact? The woman looks like she'll wander off if he gives anything but a 'yes' in reply.

His casual appearance aside, the man has the taut and controlled carriage of someone who's spent a lifetime in the force. He switches off the public holoemitter with a flick of a thumb, stabbing it into the sand for the parasol's next guest to use. Then he's pushing himself to his feet, extending a hand in greeting. "Friendly, sure. Neighborhood, not exactly - unless you think a few years jacking speeders round these parts makes me local." The man dutifully displays the easy assurance and boundless confidence that his current persona requires - and he even offers a few passing girls a gracious salute when, giggling, they saunter past. "The name's Sharp," he says, his voice clipped and professional. "Walk with me."

Taija nods to the response easily. "Sure. I'd count that local." She glances to the women walking by and quirks a brow before looking back to Sharp. "Colonel Havilland." They could easily be an alias. "Walk? We going somewhere? I want to slap on some sunscreen before we head off walking anyplace." She nods towards the beer. "Got another one of those someplace?"

"Fresh out, sorry. Block Five's got a couple of cabanas here and there, but their lines are usually crazy and their drinks are always overpriced." CorSec remuneration policies only go so far. "You can have the rest of mine, if you're really that thirsty, but you might want to hold onto the bottle. It's collectible." Which also means that nobody will be able to pull a DNA match from the saliva on its rim. "And yes. Walking. Over there." He points toward the beach. "Don't worry about sunscreen - you look you look like you could use a tan, anyway."

Taija shakes her head, lifting a hand. "Nah. Your beer, your bottle. I'm good, thanks. I'll grab a beer later before I jump on my ship." The woman seems utterly calm, casual about the meeting. There's a smirk to his comment about her skin tone. "Ya jerk," she chuckles. "Just goading me into the water with insults? I oughtta make you buy me dinner. At least I'd get something in return," she chuckles. But as he points to the water, the woman shakes her head and looks to the bag. Then to Kian. "I have things in here I'm not leaving around a beach full of kids." Probably a weapon of some sort. "Any reason you're keen on goin for a swim?"

"Other than the fact that it'd be absolutely criminal to come to Corellia without taking a dip?" The man looks over the woman's shoulder, flashing a roguish grin at a young coed who blushes a brilliant red when she realizes she's been caught staring. "I don't know how much you know about what's been going on around here, but let's just say there's no telling who's got eyes on us right now. And ten thousand people are great for blending in during a meet, but not so great for having a conversation about something other than the fact that you're looking pretty stunning in that little red number you've got on." The CorSec officer smirks as he crosses his hands across his chest, his gaze fixing on a pink parasol one column to the right and two rows down. "That's Andi. She's one of ours. She can watch your things."

"Took one last time I was in town. High Justice comp'd me a hotel room and practically ordered me to the beach to relax. Hard to deny that." When the supreme political leader on a planet orders you to go to the beach, you really don't argue. Taija shakes her head. "My group has been heavily involved in combat operations around Chandrilla during the last week. Search and rescue, blockade running, that kind of activity. Deaf and dumb about what's going on here." Its shrugged off like that's all normal. She smiles at the compliment, but there's a bit of a playful air to her expression. She leans in and, smirking, whispers, "That might have worked well if you hadn't been flirting with every young thing you're crossin paths with." She winks and wanders over towards the indicated woman. There's a few words exchanged before she leaves the bag and she comes back to Kian. "Tell you right now, Lieutenant, if that bag isn't as I left it, you will not wake up tomorrow. That's not a threat. That's a warning. I hate to bring that kind of wording to this, but it needs to be said. If you think you are the only one who brought their people to this, you'd be wrong." If he knows anything about her group, its that they are the people you call when things are really screwed. At least she is friendly about it all, though.

"Don't flatter yourself, Colonel: you aren't my type. But you wanted a compliment, and that was the first one that came to mind." Sharp polishes off the rest of his drink and wipes his mouth with his arm. His finger punches the wedge of lime into the bottom of the bottle before he sets off, his flip-flops flicking up little sprays of sand as he walks toward the water. He's pretty breezy about the threat, if the way he splashes into waist-high waves is any indication. He even ducks into a particularly big one before emerging with an amused little laugh. Look, ma: no bugs.

Taija snorts, chuckling. "Uh huh." She rolls her eyes at the man as he walks off, shaking her head with a smile. The jean shorts are dropped off and she leaves them with her bag along with the sunglasses. She walks casually into the water and on out towards Kian. If she were wearing a wire in that outfit, it'd be damned near impossible to hide. The Colonel dives below the surface and comes back up with hands wiping the hair from her face. Treading the liquid, she moves over towards him. "So. Satisfied?"

"As satisfied as I can be." The man's words are muffled by the shrieks of excited children and the steady swooshing of white-capped waves. It seems that he wasn't lying about his type: now that he doesn't have to keep up the act, he keeps his eyes trained on the shore, filing away in his head the faces of everybody who passes by. "Heard of a group calling itself Corellia FIRST!, Colonel?"

The Colonel leans back a bit in the water to relax and floats her arms front to back. Ahhh relaxing. He might be watching the shore but her compadres are probably there to do that for her. "Nope. C-One, eh? Sounds like trouble. They some kind of political body?" Iron Aegis is mostly a combat unit. Politics are usually reserved for their leader - who she is apparently not.

"Something like that." Sharp fiddles with the bottle in his hands, tossing it from one palm to the other and back again. The cheap paper label on its front begins to disintegrate. "They're a bunch of ignorant anti-eksters from the slums. They've got their panties in a twist over the fact that the government's granting asylum to alien refugees. By all accounts, their leader's a good guy who just wants the best for his people - but we think he's starting to lose control of the mob. Assaults have gone up a hundred and fifty-eight percent over the past two weeks, and bear in mind that I'm only talking about the ones that got reported. A couple of days ago we arrested three of their people for killing a Twi'lek waitress just for being Twi'lek." Kian's lips narrow into a thin white line. "They raped her, chopped off her lekku, and put her naked body on display. To give you an idea of what we're dealing with."

Taija listens to all this as her head leans back in the waves, eyes closing as her face turns skyward. She actually looks quite peaceful as her hair spreads out in the water around her. "Sounds like a wonderful group of individuals. Typical, though. Nice guy starts a political organization. The nice guy is too nice to put down the fringe and more violent activists. They take over to momentum. Used to see this on some of the Empire controlled planets. Its at this point we'd probably bomb the shit out of the civilian population to get them in line." Its delivered casually.

"You'll understand when I tell you that that option is off the table." Kian's voice is sardonic as he leans back into a wave, letting the water run over his face and body. He paddles backwards to keep from being swept away, planting his legs into the sand as he does. "Anyway, I'm not homicide police. If there's a city, there's a slum, and if there's a slum, there's a body count. I'm more concerned with the bigger picture. Smuggling, mostly. Guns, drugs, bombs, money, the usual. Normally it's just the gangs buying up for another frelling war, so my people and I mount up, take some doors, and cuff what guys we can. It keeps the unit's numbers up, it keeps the bosses happy, and it keeps me employed. Needless to say, I can count on one hand the number of times they've let me do anything except bark about stopping the problem where it starts." The tall man holds his bottle up to the sun, watching the lime bob up and down in buoyant seawater. "Anyway, last week I'm chasing down a lead on my current case - long story short, CorSec ordered some new blasters, the freighter touched down, and the blasters dropped off the grid - and, well, I found them. One guess as to where."

"You're talking to a unit that specializes in high-risk and deniability in operations. But if you say its off the table, though, its off." Would she really bomb a city? She's talking to the shy so its hard to be sure. That could have easily been an offer, though. Her legs hang lazily deeper into the water, the woman just floating about without much concern for where she is or the tides are carrying her. "Blasters ended up with your league of extraordinary gentlemen, didn't they? Wonderful. So I imagine this is where you tell me what you need from us?" There's nothing meant by the question. She's even smiling when she says it. Taj is probably imagining the armory full of high powered weapons back wherever she's from.

"It gets better." Sharp slicks back his wet hair, running his fingers across his stubbly sideburns. "I took this to my bosses. I guess I wrote a pretty damn good memo because lo and behold, they give me all the authorization I need to put together a sting. The courier shows up; we're about to close the deal; everything hits the fan. I got this." He pulls up one leg of his swimming trunks to reveal an ugly blaster burn on his outer thigh. "Andi got a new eye. And two of my boys got a fragmentation grenade. Which means Corellia FIRST!'s got someone inside."

Taija turns her head to glance at the burn and she cringes. "Yeowch. But that felt great." Her head rolls back into the water and she looks to the sky again. "Yep, that'd be my bet. So you need a group on the outside with the mobility, firepower, and capability to deal with these people, do ya?" She swims her arms for a few seconds. "Hopefully you didn't go through the same people to request that you get in contact with an organization like mine."

"This isn't coming from CorSec. Grow up in the slums and you've basically got three ways out: join us, get mobbed up, or win Corellia's Got Talent. A third of our uniforms probably came up in the same shithole as the CF people they're supposed to bust. It doesn't help that CorSec's higher-ups think that arresting its members is going to do much of anything. One of my buddies just resigned rather than lead a midnight raid on his cousin's house, but that's a different story." Kian tosses the bottle in the air, catching it right before it hits the waves. His dark, intense gaze settles on Taija's face, as if evaluating the woman lounging in front of him. "One of my CIs called in with a tip yesterday morning," he finally says. "CF's moving another shipment tomorrow afternoon - by swoop. We want you to take the messenger. Alive. Break him and you find the main stash. Find the main stash and you find his suppliers. Find his suppliers and you find out just how deep this insurgency runs. And then - " With a grim smile, the man brings the bottle crashing down on his fist - which now holds a large rock he's picked up from the seabed. Shattered glass rains down on his arm and her body, followed shortly by that half-eaten lime. "You get the picture."

Oi. Taija keeps her face pointed towards the sky. She thinks all this over, her brain churning along until he shatters the glass. Her body sinks below the waves for a moment before coming back up and she looks at him. "You know kids swim here, right?" So maybe she's not quite as heartless as she might seem. The woman sighs, running her hands slowly through her hair looking for shards of glass. "What's the shipment, how large, and where is it going? I'll need a make and model of the transport as well as all the intel you have on this courior. Family, friends, bank accounts, anything. You want this person broken, we can destroy them - without killing them. But we'll need that info."

Kian shrugs; his point's been made. He does, however, wade closer to shore, so as not to add to his list of wounds. "We don't have anything on the courier, but we know CF doesn't have enough money to afford both weapons and an expensive smuggler," he says as he walks. Water and sweat gleams as the sunlight hits his bare chest. "The swoop, though, we know: it's one of those ancient Mobquet S&S-types. My CI's trying to get a SRIN for you as we speak. As for the package, we know that too. A guy named Desmond Fallum is supposed to take delivery of twenty DL-44s at thirteen hundred hours - he runs a little corner store somewhere in those fracking alleys. Unfortunately, they're playing it smart. It's supposed to be cloudy tomorrow so we won't be able to uplink live satellite or anything else along those lines, but you'll have access to all the information we develop. Whatever you want, let me know and Andi'll handle the dead drop tonight."

Taija lifts from her float to make her own way closer to shore with him. "Clouds won't be a problem. We can run surveillance from any number of ships we've got. Worst case scenario, we have an X-Wing chasing this courior around town. But DL-44's? Hefty firepower for civilians." She takes a long breath and begins twisting her hair to squeeze out the water. "Alright, Liuetenant. We'll take the job as a favor to the High Justice - who I imagine is endorsing our involvement heavily. What we will probably need from you all are blanket passes for anything we need to do. You want us to bust these people, we can do that. But we can't do it if we have to worry about CorSec crawling up our asses for breaking traffic code or bringing in heavy artillery. Its all or nothing." She eyes the man. "You want the courior alive. Fine. The rest of these guys. We specialize in 'dead'. Got a preference on how we deal with them?"

"Passes you'll have - up to a point. People who shoot at you are legitimate targets. But - " Kian splashes water over his bare skin, using the broken bottle as a scoop of sorts. "No unnecessary casualties. That means no indiscriminate strafing, no lobbing artillery into the slums, and absolutely no cluster bombing or anything else along those lines. The last thing this government needs is an out-and-out massacre on its hands. Then it won't matter whether the insurgents are armed with DL-44s or pitchforks: they'll have your gold Twi'lek friend on a vibropike in thirty minutes and this really will become a civil war. The watchword is restraint. Am I understood?"

"Lieutenant, I've got a husband and two kids. I'm not interested in killing children or ruining families any more than another mother. That's one of the reasons you and I are having this discussion. We're not here because we like seeing things go 'boom'. We're here because we're very good at making precision booms. Whether the target be an organization, a person, or an object." Her arms cross in front of her. Even in a swimsuit its painfully obvious this woman spent a lot of years in someone's military. Her body language and confidence came from somewhere and it all speaks to rigid authority. "You don't want us lobbing artillery, no problem. We can keep that back. But we are a military organization. We meet violence with an overwhelming response of violence. We don't do paperwork, we don't wait for warrants. We solve problems. Permanantly. If at any point you want us to walk away, we will. I'm not worried about that. We'll keep away from gunfights where we can."

"Skirting our Sithspawned laws? That's fine. Sometimes I wish I could do the same." Kian's grin shows perfect, even teeth. "Just remember, Colonel, that if this problem were purely military we wouldn't need to call you in. We've been dealing with smugglers and thugs for who knows how long, and by now we've gotten pretty good at…how did you put it? Meeting violence with overwhelming violence. But Corellia's cloven along too many fault lines to count, and this nonsense over A'estshy's pet eksters has gotten all of them pushing up against each other at once. Nobody'll mourn a few thugs washing up downstream. But one spark - one! - and all of this…" The CorSec officer shades his eyes with a palm as he surveys the crowded beach: those cabanas, those swaying fronds, those gay pastel parasols, that beautiful infuriating gloriously thronging mass of people. And then, abruptly, he extends his hand again. "We'll be in touch."

"We have a few different capabilities, Liuetenant." Taija smiles but its not a kind expression. "There is a reason the High Justice referred us. We'll get it done." She reaches her own hand out to shake his. "Be seeing you. Best of luck out there." There's no move to leave the water. She's in already and damned if she isn't going to enjoy it a little while longer.