The Blue Lekku (Aayahpoy’shiri – SWTOR)
(Note: The character Salrik is named after the PC General Salrik Strongbow of the Kor’kron Legion guild on World of Warcraft’s Moon Guard server.)
The view ports of the Vatak’ultuka were left open for the night, to allow the cool breeze of another beautiful night on Alderaan work its way through the corridors of the freighter. The eccentric Smuggler that laid claim to the well-maintained freighter slept, sprawled out on her stomach laying half-haphazardly over the form of her lover. The Twi’lek’s lips moved with the whispered recitations of navicomp coordinates and fuel formulas that would maintain the most efficient hyperspace routes in Ryl. She had long kicked off the thick comforter that had covered her despite the goose bumps that formed along her spine with the feel of the breeze. Her lekku writhed actively over her pillow with dream images that played out in time with the song of the wind chimes that hung in the small temple Aayahpoy’shiri had built in secondary cargo hold. The sweet, musky scent of the incense that burned inside catching on the breeze. Aayahpoy’shiri no longer cared to hide her sanctuary from the Jedi who had come to share her quarters, he was now part of that sanctuary.
It wasn’t something she had come to expect. But then again, that was just it. Nothing was ever expected. Things happened without a sense of timing, and seemingly without reason. Seemingly. Poy knew better than to look at the surface of anything, ulterior motives were the only thing you could rely in her business. Everyone had their own plan. The hardest lesson to learn was being able to tell yourself something didn’t need to be dissected.
Then again the price for face value…
It beeped. That grating chime blast through the peace of the night faster than lightspeed.
Poy lifted her head when she heard Schutta’s scuttling to the cockpit, chittering the entire way. “It’s too early.” She mumbled, eyes still closed as she pulled her goggles down over her eyes and let her head flop back down against the pillow.
The beep sounded throughout the ship again.
The Smuggler groaned as she pulled herself out of bed, grabbing the comforter without thinking that was it was still in use. An old habit of sleeping alone for so long. Her feet padded with a sleepy stagger as she made her way through the freighter; pulling up her goggles with a yawn big enough to fit the entire Maw into.
The comm unit beeped again just as Poy slammed her hand down onto the console to answer it and flopping down into the pilot’s seat to curl into a semi-fetal position, “What do you want Sally?” A groggy voice emerged from her when she spoke before the image of the human man flickered to life.
“You always know.”
“Get a new routine. You have a tendency to disturb my peace.”
A course voice let out a low chuckle. “I heard you’re on Alderaan these days. Any truth to this?”
“Depends on who you’re getting your news from.”
“A source that also informs me you put three blaster burns down the center of Tiocou’s chest and made your Temple Guardian into Runan. A source that tells me you’re not alone in your bed tonight or that you’ve made yourself a long term contract with the Republic.”
Poy’s eyes narrowed at the flickering green image, barely making out the ghostly smirk that played at the man’s lips. “You sound jealous.” She cooed and reached onto the console to pull a cigarette from the pack to set between her lips; lighting it quickly and taking a deep drag before tossing the lighter back onto the pack.
Raucous laughter. Poy knew better, she was a pain in the ass to keep under thumb. To her surprise the man held up two fingers, holding them only slightly apart.
“If I’m hearing correctly, I’ve got a bit of a job for you.”
“So far you’re speaking my language, Sally.” She mumbles through a yawn as she exhales.
“You’re not going to understand this dialect, Little Aayah, nor will you like the translation.” His tone walked a thin line between patronizing and a fatherly chiding. “The words, however, have a deep meaning for me and if you were to speak them in my ear I would be willing cherish your voice.”
Poy leaned forward, letting the comforter slip down her shoulders a bit. “You always take such a sweet sound for granted.”
“I’m going to make you a star this time, Aayah.”
The image flicked and disappear.
The navicomp beeped.
Her datapad beeped.
The Smuggler tapped out her smoke on the small canister beside the center console and quickly looked at both; chuckling, she hadn’t even said yes and he knew she’d take the job.
Tap. The hydrospanner tapped at the well-worn black leather bandana that more often than not adorned the top of Aayahpoy’shiri’s head.
Tap. Long golden hued fingers twirled the tool idly whilst navigating the speeder through the narrow streets of Aldera.
Bonk. She tapped a bit too hard.
Clatter. Poy tossed the hydrospanner across the dashboard as she parked the speeder just outside the Royal Aldera Hotel.
The Smuggler set a pair of credit chits on the valet desk as she swayed past and through the sliding doors of the hotel. Once inside, she slipped her goggles up onto the top of her head. With a quick glance around the opulent lobby she was able to discern the direction of the repulsor lifts and made a point to swagger towards them. Part of her loved this part of her work. In places like this she stuck out like Gammorean in a beauty contest, there was no pretending her line of work. Low-slung brown leather pants that were worn down with their comfort preference. Low-slung utility belt complete with thigh holster. Worn black combat boots that never seemed to be buckled past the ankle. A brown leather bodice of a tunic that emphasized her curves, matching bracers adorned with a collection of thin silver bracelets. Grease stains on her hands.
There wasn’t an inch of Aayahpoy’shiri that didn’t scream, “Smuggler” in the company of higher classes.
This suited her just fine.
As she stepped onto the edge of the repulser lift, the Twi’lek turned and rolled onto onto the balls of her feet bouncing a bit as she waved with the corniest of smiles plastered across her face. Those caught staring, turning their heads quickly to pretend as if the odd waif with head tails didn’t exist. When Poy settled back onto her feet she snickered and hit the command for the fiftieth floor.
“Dop do de do do deo.” She muttered with the tune of the music played in the handful of seconds it took to raise her up to the proper level, leaving her to wonder why anyone would bother to play even the worst of songs for that period of time. She shrugged and stepped off as the doors slide open and reaching down to the check the information on the datapad.
“K’wanna nobo honocha.”
She looked down the right side of the hallway before turning on her heel and striding down the left, repeating the number in Huttese to herself until stopping in front of the door. After double checking the numbers Poy hit the button beside the door. “Dop do de do do dop.” A quiet curse. Even in those short seconds, that damned tune had become lodged in her head.
The door slid open.
“Aayah Poy’shiri?” A stiff and quite professional looking woman asked upoun seeing Poy.
“You got the name right but your pronounciation is a bit off.” The Smuggler replied with a wry smirk. “The Professor is waiting on your translations regarding the Rutian Temple.”
The woman smiled and bowed her head in greeting as she turned on her heel, disappearing into the hotel room. Poy followed her just into the foyer, slipping her hands into the pockets of her pants as she waited. “Dop do de do do dop.”
“Kark!” She exclaimed under breath upon catching herself singing that horrid repulser lift tune.
Just as Poy was rolling up onto the balls of her feet once more the woman reappeared with what appeared to be a students knapsack. “Please tell the Professor that these translations were hard to come by and next time he desires to utilize his student body he will have give higher marks.”
“I’m just the courier.” The Twi’lek replied with a wink, taking the knapsack and slinging it over her shoulder before leaving the hotel room without another word.
Nar Shadaa was home. The sort of home where one could drown in sleemo’s and chi’aki. The sort of home that would eat you alive if you allowed it to even taste what a person might call a soul. Aayahpoy’shiri had come to love Nar Shadaa, it kept her on her toes. She also hated it, but her visits here only solidified her love of space. The Smuggler’s Moon made the Twi’lek grateful for the field in which she made her living. Not many got paid to follow their passion.
The city opened up to her, each step of her thick-soled boots guiding her quickly through paths she could with with her eyes closed. There was a spring to her step, a sway to her hips and a confident smirk toying at her lips. Eyes followed her from time to time but the gaze never tended to venture above her ass. She slipped around corners and weaved through alleyways, making her way towards the largest Twi’lek holo-sign on the upper levels, The Blue Lekku.
She stepped through the doors of the ‘escort service’ and ‘gentlemen’s’ club; not quite understanding why they didn’t just advertise it for what it was. A whore house and strip club that specialized in Twi’lek’s girls sold into Vassij’ra. The Hutt’s ran a high-class operation; they’d purchase the youngest on the market and rake in premium rates for their youth for a few years. When they got too old they’d be transferred down to a club of the same purpose on one of the lower levels. By the time they reached the surface of the planet, they were nothing but an empty shell easily consumed by spice and the streets.
Poy had always been surprised that the Nar Shadaa native the Hutts had to run the place saw fit in his black heart to never take over Poy’s ownership.
Goddess be thanked for small favours.
The guards waved the Smuggler through, knowing her from previous encounters. She was sure that the old man informed them that he was expecting her. A guard was even waiting for her as stepped into the lobby. The large Mandalorian looked more like a Pod-Racer who had an accident too many than an actual guard but gripped Poy’s arms, pinning them and the knapsack at her back. “Mister Agapor is glad you could make it, Pateesa.” His voice rumbled as he pushed the little Twi’lek past the clientele staring diligently over an array of peepshow booths to a lift in the back.
“Hey! Hey! I’ve got the karkin’ translations! Let go of me you frotzin’ peedunky’s sleemo’s ass!” She screamed out and kicked at the lift doors just as they began to slide closed. The Mandalorian guard looked down at Poy; his expression deadpan.
“Poy.” He said flatly as he leg go of her arms.
“Ayup?” She asked, turning her head to look up at him.
“You got it, Naast.” Poy quipped and reached up to rub her arms where he had grabbed her. “Nice grip.” She added. The guard identified as Naast snerked, the doors of the lift sliding open.
“It’s the snake’s den in there tonight.” He told her quickly when she stepped off the lift. The doors slid shut, the sound of the sigh of the lift fading quickly as she made her way down the hall.
“Aayah!” She heard the exclamation come from the aging human as the blast doors slid open with her approach. Poy rolled her eyes despite being unable to hide an adoring sidelong smile when he approached her with outstretched hands. “ And to think I just spoke with you last night.”
“Calling it night is pushing it. Try wee hours of the morning.” She groaned, taking his hands and leaning in to kisses his cheeks; once on each side. “How are you, Salrik?”
He reached over to take the knapsack from her shoulder; Poy relinquished it and stretched out her arm without question of payment. He shrugged, offering a non-committal grunt as he took the satchel to his desk and set it down to unzip it. “Not enough ass comes in here with a brain. Keeps the Hutts happy, keeps me in a constant state of misery. It’s like talking to a krakin’ nuna after a game of nunaball around here some days; you ever try to talk to Naast in any language other than insults?”
The Twi’lek chuckled and flopped down into the posh chair across from the desk of Salrik Agapor. He tosses a tosses a cigar her way and the Smuggler caught it before leaning back in the chair and hooking her legs over the arm of it; crossing them at the knee. “I might if I ever talk to him longer than the lift ride up here.”
Salrik looked up from his obsessive rummaging of the knapsack’s contents and looked around his durasteel and glass office; painstakingly decorated in Soroccan design. “Don’t waste your time.” He said quickly, his attention returning just as quickly to the knapsack’s contents. “Perfect.” Grinning, he looked up once more. “Perfect. You never looked in here, did you?”
Poy’s brow furrowed and she shook her head quickly. “If I had, I’ve got a feeling I would’ve returned your comm with, ‘Sit on a Rancor’s cock and spin.’”
The cigar was idly twirled between her fingers with the idle passing of the conversation, Sally was stalling. She knew his tactics.
Poy set the cigar between her lips and clenched it beneath her teeth. “Sho.” She sounded a bit silly trying to talk with the cigar in her mouth. “What’sh dis I hears about starsh.”
He waved a hand at her. “Take that out of mouth before you talk.”
She obeyed and plucked the still unlit cigar from her lips.
“Your contact on Coruscant tells me that the little stunt you pulled on Tatooine has a set of eyes on you, Little Aayah.” He explained, setting the knapsack down behind his desk as he came to lean against the far edge of it the studious gaze of his green eyes focused on the wiry Tolian. “Dejan’s son has put a new bounty on your precious headtails, the sum is impressive.”
“And this correlates with my payment, how?”
“I’ve paid him a sum that equals to double the bounty for him to look past his need of vengeance. “
Poy raised a finger, “You paid out a bounty instead of paying me?”
She pinched the bridge of her nose. “For five minutes…”
“You don’t hate me. Come back in a week and I’ll have a real contract for you.”
“Why what?” He looked down at her, confused.
“Why’d you do that for me, Sally?”
“If one of these brain-tailed broads I pass around like collypod got enough gumption to put a few well-deserved blaster bolts in my chest, I’ll welcome it.”
Poy blinked in disbelief, visibly recoiling in shock from the statement. “Look at that, your heart bleeds red, Sally.”
“Get out of here, kid.”
Aayahpoy’shiri didn’t need to be told to leave the devil’s lair twice. She swung her legs down from the arm of the chair and hopped up. With a grateful smile she tucked the cigar into the pocked of Salrik Agapor’s suit jacket and swaggered out of the office.
A day’s job well done.