“When did you last see her?” Caer asked quietly, her voice soft and full of sympathy.
The woman tried not to let the tears fall from her eyes, but they spilled over onto her cheeks the harder she tried to fight them. “Three days ago. She was with her friend Marlee’a. They were supposed to just be out front. But then Marl screamed and came running into the apartment hall crying. Her face was covered in burns. She said a man came and threw something in her face and then took my little Suki.”
Caer’s jaw clenched and she nodded, giving a gentle pat on the woman’s arm. She stood up from the broken and dusty couch and adjusted her blades on her hips. “I’ll help find her okay?”
The woman nodded and thanked her for her time, showing her out the front door, begging Caer into swearing she’d call her up first thing if she found her daughter. Dead or alive.
Caer had gone door to door in the apartment, asking the tenants if anyone had seen or heard anything. Most feigned ignorance or worse outright slammed the door in her face, too scared or too reluctant to come forward. Frustrated she shook her head and headed back to Vaulks place.
He’d asked her when she’d shown up three days ago to ‘take care’ of a matter for him. One that would require some discretion but not so much that the message would not get across to the ones who were treading on Vaulks territory.
Neither he nor Caer liked to see the girls abused and when someone had taken it upon themselves to start kidnapping some of the workers families or the workers themselves, Vaulk had not reacted kindly to the transgression. She had shown up after her blow up with the Marran and the best place for her to cool her heels had been Vaulks place. He’d take her mind off of things at least for a little while. Plus the bonus of working off some tension might have also been part of the reason for her arrival on Nar Shaddaa.
This was something she could do. Something she could feel useful in. Hunting down and dealing with those who would do harm on someone else. Especially when those someone elses were just trying to make a living the best way they knew how on a planet full of Hutts, cut throats, Sith Lords, Jedi’s and whatever else happened to be skulking about in the depths of the planet.
She didn’t care or mind what others thought went on between her and Vaulk or what her work entailed with him. If people wanted to think her a whore… well there were far worse things to be called than a whore. Besides she knew the work she did for Vaulk helped more girls than she’d probably helped in her entire career as a Jedi.
Caer had told the Arbiters she’d been hunting a fallen Seeker and she’d continue to tell them that. They didn’t need to know what she was up to and she knew they would never understand helping someone on Shaddaa. Especially a Pureblood who owned a brothel. Believe the lie, she told herself. She was hunting and she was doing good. Just not necessarily their idea of good. Caer also knew that Tom would frown heavily on such an idea, since he well.. hated Vaulk with a passion.
So she’d come back to the planet to resupply and hopefully speak with Tom, but he’d not been around. Only two arbiters, the cat guy Caer called grunt kitty and Toms new girlfriend. She had found herself lectured once again when she’d cracked a few jokes about her outfit being a murder outfit.All she could do was internally shake her head at the fact that people seemed to think she’d just happily go off and murder people for shits and giggles. As if she was genuinely too stupid to realize the difference between right and wrong. She’d given up even trying to speak with them after that wondrous experience and had gotten her supplies and left the Monastery again.
She’d need Noodle for this job and that was who she’d gone to pick up. He could smell things and give her information other creatures could not. He could also point her in directions she might not think to go in. Sure he was just a cat, but he was a cat who she connected with and could use her animal empathy to communicate with. With any luck he’d be able to help her find the missing girls, help find the ones responsible for it and then she could make Vaulk happy. Caer liked it when Vaulk was happy. Not that he ever hurt anyone or that he ever became unnecessarily violent, no. But he did have a way about him that made it seem like the room dropped twenty degrees and he would brood or worse disappear into his rooms. She hated it when he did that because then she felt like she couldn’t go into his inner sanctuary. So.. when he did that, she would often go and hang out with the girls who would sit and gossip or teach her dancing techniques or sometimes try to convince her to do a show with them.
This is why she did what she was doing now. Because those girls were important to her. Those girls’ families were important to her. Maybe it was because they worked hard. They weren’t heroes. They weren’t in the news or rub elbows with Kings, Queens, Senate or the Council. They just did what they had to do in order to survive.
She could respect that. She’d learned a lot more from those girls and guys who worked for Vaulk. They were paid to strip, have sex, sometimes even do some pretty questionable things, but she couldn’t help but like them. Her time with the Syndicate and the time with Vaulk had made her feel fond of those girls. She even had some feelings for Vaulk that she’d never tell anyone; she didn’t want to ruin that good ship by admitting she was rather fond of him too.
Punching in the settings back to Nar Shaddaa, she rubbed the spot between Noodles eyes as he sat in the co-pilot seat. “C’mon Noodle. Let’s go find some missing girls.”
The cat blinked at her and then proceeded to lick his armpit. She sighed and punched the hyperdrive.