"Excuse me! Pardon me! Very sorry! Coming through! Oh, I like your hat! Where did you--"
"Right, yes, sorry, very busy, must be moving!"
D4-V3 rushed through the light crowd of industry workers just getting off one of their ludicrously long shifts, Doctor Wheatley Ubbit cradled in his large metallic arms. The Doctor look more annoyed than hurt, though his right wrist was limp, cradled under his left arm.
His new base of operations was even more dank, unkempt, and out of the way than his previous lab. He probably hadn't even needed to ditch the old one - though Tihan had vowed never to help him again, he doubted she would go out of her way to stop him. Still, there was no point in getting careless.
But that's exactly what he had been, hadn't he? Careless. He was supposed to be so calm, calculating, always evaluating the best and safest route to personal gain so as not to be caught with his proverbial pants around his proverbial ankles. Trying to broker a deal with those crazy Sith perverts...what was he thinking?
...What had he been thinking? Ubbit was used to others not quite following his often convoluted trains of thought, but he had always felt secure within his own brain. Now, though, he was starting to have doubts. Doubts that all of his thoughts were entirely his own.
Dave hustled into the trash-strewn alcove Ubbit had set up as his temporary home. Nobody in the area ever particularly wanted to be here; they were either rushing to or from work, paying no mind to the nooks and crannies of abandoned buildings. He doubted anyone would be able to track him down here. Nor would they find his valuables kept inside.
"Put me down--" Ubbit began, and Dave immediately dumped Ubbit onto the dusty floor. "--Over by my desk," Ubbit finished, writhing on the ground. "Auggh."
"Sorry!" Dave gasped, his voice overwhelmed with genuine concern. "Here, let me--"
"No, I can do it myself, you obtuse hunk of scrap metal!" Ubbit snapped, pushing himself up with his good hand and hobbling over to his desk where his more common medical supplies were stashed. He sat down at the table and pulled open a drawer, taking out some stabilizing adhesive. Thankfully he had made it out with just a simple fracture - he had no doubt that Sith could've done worse. He could be dead right now, and for what? Stupid, stupid.
Sweat began to bead on his forehead from the pain of holding his wrist straight, as he carefully applied the healing gel. He stuck his tongue out of the corner of his mouth in rapt concentration, then promptly jumped out of his seat in terror when a voice nearby said, "hi!"
"What?" he asked, spinning around to face the bound Twi'lek girl strapped to a gurney in the corner of the room.
"I'm awake," she said. "Hi."
"Dave," Ubbit snarled, feeling himself break out into a new wave of sweat. "Administer more sedatives to--"
"No!" the girl yelped. "I don't like the sedatives. I'm not going to escape. I promise. What happened to your hand?"
Ubbit stared at her, trying to figure out her game. What was she hoping to gain with this deception? He glared at her freckled yellow face and wide, purple eyes for several moments before realizing the question was genuine. And that, for whatever reason, enraged him. He stormed over and grabbed her head with his good hand.
"Do you know what a Twi'lek brain looks like?" he whispered. "It's quite interesting, you see, because most species have the good graces to keep their nervous system contained on the inside of their body. Somewhere along the line of Twi'lek evolution, your brains sprouted stems that wrap around the outside of your head. A pulsating, blue mass, leaking down your back, containing every sensation you've ever felt." And, he added to himself, the key to what makes you a Jedi. I just know it. He began to run his fingers down one of her lekku, causing her to flinch somewhat. "Now why don't you be quiet, before I make some of those sensations decidedly unpleasant?"
He released her and moved back to his desk.
Why did you do that?
"Do what?" Ubbit growled.
You don't need to torture her. This is science! For goodness sake, you're a doctor! She may be an unwitting participant, but this is for the greater good! Not for your sick amusement, like some Sith!
Ubbit paused. Who was he talking to? Himself? Which one was him?
"Dave, bring me the artifact."
Dave quickly went to a sealed lock box hidden along the lining of the wall, typed in the passcode "D4V3 RU135," and pulled out a pulsating black and red statuette, escorting it over to Ubbit.
The Doctor looked at it for a moment, slowly reaching out a hand to caress it.
Maybe a little bit of torture wouldn't hurt. Well, wouldn't hurt you.
Oh sorry sorry sorry; Hope that didn't disturb you too much there. It was the sound of books... pages being turned. So, that's just what I was doing, just reading, uh... books. So not a moron. Anyway, just finished the last one, just now, the hardest one. Machiavelli. Do not know what all the fuss was about - understood it perfectly. Have you read that one?
Skorlen wrote:Ubbit has been acting strange lately.
Alright. Clarification: Stranger than normal. For Ubbit.
First I saw of it was when I paid him to cook up some tranquilizers for me. I had a bounty I needed to bring in live. A large bounty. So I need something higher strength than normal off-the-shelf sedatives.
When I first met with Ubbit to order the tranquilizers, he looked pretty haggard, I made the order and he told me to come back in a few days. On the way out I asked him when was the last time he’d slept. It was offhand, I didn’t think about it. Dave – his droid – told me it’d been three days and then some.
Can’t say I paid too much attention to it then. Twitchy is a strange sort – that’s coming from me – I’d figured he’d only been up working on some kind of experiment or discovery.
It was when I came back that it got . . . weirder. I didn’t come back the next day, as promised, it took me another two. He looked even worse when I picked up the tranquilizers. This time I really did ask him seriously when he’d last slept. He snapped at me to butt out, but Dave spoke up and said that Twitchy hadn’t slept since I’d last seen him. Five days and change? Who does that? Even on long assignments – recons – I couldn’t manage that without stims, and he wasn’t . . . well, he didn’t show the signs of stim use, no shaking in the hands. Just really drawn, haggard. Maybe Zabraks can do that? I’ve not heard of it.
And then there’s the other piece. Ubbit keeping long strange hours really isn’t my business, unless I can take a cut of the profit, or it threatens to detonate on me.
But then he showed up at the Nar Shaddaa cantina a few nights ago. Again, not my business. But he showed up in time to catch an almost-fight between a few of us and a Jedi. It was over Cinia bugging out.
I “overheard” him chase down the Jedi we’d just run off. He was asking about Cinia. Ubbit concerned? Ubbit soliciting after someone else’s well-being? Yeah, that got my attention. Something about this stinks.
I followed, and heard him inquiring the Jedi for assistance (thank tech-dev for high-sensitivity audio!). I didn’t catch it all, but it sounded like he wanted a chance to examine Cinia.
Considering the last time I saw Cinia, she’d just thrown Jeos off the Promenade balcony, if Ubbit started poking at her – comatose or not – I can easily see a mess developing. A mess that would draw a lot of attention our (the Syndicate’s) way. Attention we wouldn’t want.
I’m probably jumping at shadows. But I’ve learned to pay attention to my gut. When I don’t, things tend to go south. There’s also the fact that frail, frazzled-looking little Twitchy can be quite a force of mayhem. Pairing him up with the force of In-Cinia could be twin engines of destruction.
Again, I’m probably jumping at shadows. I’m being more cautious anyways. I had some of those tranquilizers left over after bringing that bounty in. Each dose was enough to knock down a Wookiee. I split each dosage down to halves; more than enough to knock out a humanoid.
I gave out two of the syringes – one dose each – to Llinos, two to Mikita, and kept two. I also talked to Mikita about moving Cinia off her ship. To another ship, off-planet, or to an apartment.
I can’t be the only one who’s seen Ubbit acting extra-weird recently. If I’m the only one who’s thinking this, I’ll just keep an eye on him. If there’s others, we might want to start digging. If he (or In-Cinia for that matter) makes too big of a mess, we could all end up running from the Republic.
Note to self: Also need to get this armor scrubbed clean and dried out. Ubbit caught me listening to his conversation with the Jedi. I faked drunk to escape his notice. I did a little too well. Llinos and Mikita took me out and dumped me in the Lower Promenade fountain to try to sober me up. It got me away from Ubbit, and out of the cantina. I just hope I didn’t pick up anything contagious. I don’t trust my doctor.
Everything with a purpose.