Tcho knows this level of the ship well. He leads Jai Tessa through the corridors past the records room where she first approached him. Their destination is a small sideroom, a glorified storage closet where most of his personal effects are stashed, including his medkit. Not a doctor’s bag.
“So how do you know Petey, then, if you’re not…?” the human asks him.
Tcho closes the door to the hall before he answers. “PD-101 is my contact.”
“Oh! Petey’s your handler!” This guy clearly wants to be a Rebel, but there is an unsettled air about him. Maybe he just needs a confidence boost, and that is the sort of thing JT is happy to provide. “Oh, jeez, that’s so cool. I wonder what his Rebel codename is. They’re always so weird.” Draac was the Mortician, and she heard him calling Tae Lorr by the name Tinker. Renn was Amulet, of course. Renci… JT realizes that she does not know her girlfriend’s code name. That’s probably for the best.
This woman continues to surprise. She knows an awful lot about Rebel protocols, more than Tcho does, certainly. Handler is not a title PD-101 has claimed. The droid will get the information where it needs to go, that is all Tcho meant. Or he will tell Tcho where to take it. He has certainly been a supportive ally during this whole… operation. Tcho frowns at his own mental word choice and redirects his attention to the task at hand, ushering Jai Tessa into a seat and examining her injury.
Tcho delicately feels around the swollen joint. Jai Tessa tenses, probably expecting him to slam her shoulder, but instead he applies pressure to block the pain while he slowly manipulates the joint gently back into position. Then he administers a few shots to decrease the swelling, and the procedure is complete. He turns away from her to put the few items he needed back in the case.
The anticipation is far worse than the actual treatment, and JT is shocked. “Are you sure you didn’t go to med school?” she asks. Tcho’s back is to her, and he does not answer, just continues repacking the medkit. He looks like he knows what he is doing, like the positions of all the tools are second nature to him. And he did not even consult a datapad before working on her arm, just sat her down and felt around the injury. JT rolls her arm. “Ah, that’s perfect. Thank you, citizen!”
Tcho cannot help himself; a mild snort of amusement escapes him.
“But you can’t tell anyone I’m the Blue Streak,” JT whispers.
He turns his head to look at her over his shoulder. “Do people know who the Blue Streak is?” Before the question is all the way out, Jai Tessa interrupts him with a blustering defense, the rambling he has come to expect of her.
“Lots of people know who the Blue Streak is! She’s a hit on Cloud City. Well known for various things on Ryloth…” Some of them hits. “Uh, I don’t know if you heard about Empire Day last year on Ord Mantell. She made quite a show.” Tcho admits he has never been there, and she cannot help but wax nostalgic over the planet where she got her jetpack and met Renci. “Ord Mantell is such a nice place.” She tells him about the beauty of Sludge Falls in the Scraplands and concludes by mentioning that the Rebels did an operation on that planet. “You didn’t hear about the Em—Oh, no, of course not, the Empire would have suppressed Empire Day getting ruined—getting way improved by the first, the very first, Blue Streak show.”
“What does the Blue Streak do?” he asks. So far, it seems like she just flies around a lot.
“Fights crime! Rights wrongs. Tries to be a symbol of the people.”
“Are you talking about grabbing muggers off the street? What sort of—”
“If I encountered a mugger—I mean, if the Blue Streak encountered a mugger, probably. More like trying to stop Hutt crimes. You know, like organized crime.” But not DRS; JT supposes some might view them as a kind of mafia. Also not the Veiled Sorority out of Seleucami… So it is kind of more complicated. “She tries to convince people that there are other ways out. Maybe you’ve heard of Madame Lylek on Ryloth? No? Well, she is someone who I helped inspire and now she is also doing good works out there.”
Yeah, JT remembers, there were a lot of political shenanigans on Ryloth… “Or there was this Rylothian noble who was kind of abusing her position, but she didn’t really want to be in it anyway. I convinced her to give it up and go marry the person she wanted to. It’s a whole complicated system they have on Ryloth, kind of messed up, but… now she’s doing what she wants to do. She’s being a better person.”
Every time Tcho thinks he has this human figured out, she puts forth another ridiculous statement. “So this charity is your cover?”
“No! The charity is real. The Blue Streak is just helping out. The charity is the War Orphans Fund.”
“And it’s legit?”
“Yes, it’s almost a year old! This is our first big fundraising event; I haven’t had a lot of time to devote to it. But we’ll get some funds and hire some staff so I don’t have to juggle all this on my own. ‘Cause charity fundraising is not my area of expertise.”
“What is your area of expertise?”
“I was going to ask you the same question, although it seems like medicine is one of your areas of expertise. For me, machines, technology, things like that. And, you know, finding friendly people. Like Petey! And I guess you.” She gives him an encouraging smile. “You’re a friendly person, Tcho. Thanks for fixing my arm.”
“You’re welcome.” He pauses, considering, and then asks another question. “Do you think you can get the moff to go to your gala?”
“It sounds weird when I say I was hoping so because the moff has money. And, well, the less money the Empire spends making war and the more that it spends fixing the war, the better. That’s like a double bonus. I don’t know though… If the moff is going, there’s probably going to be other people nervous about going… but then again there will be other people who want to make a good show to the moff. If I could convince the moff to come, I probably would. But, I mean, if the moff is going to be there, I don’t want this gala, you know, ruined.” JT looks pointedly at Tcho. “If you catch my drift.”
“If the moff is at your gala, he won’t be in his rooms,” he observes.
That suits JT just fine. “Yes, that would be fine. And I think we can keep each other’s confidence in this regard.”
“I won’t ruin your event,” Tcho reassures her.
“And also don’t tell people I’m the Blue Streak.”
“Well, that would ruin the event, wouldn’t it?” he replies with a small smile. “I won’t out you, and I won’t take action against the moff at your gala.”
“Yeah, you’d make a big show, but it would just get you killed.”
Tcho’s brow crinkles in distaste, all trace of good humor gone. “I’m not here to take out the moff.”
Interesting, JT thinks, is he a pacifist? She quietly voices her question as she pieces it together. “So you want to be a Rebel… but you don’t want to hurt people…” She looks up at him, making eye contact. “Is that right?”
JT is not sure what that shade of bluish-purple means on a Pantoran’s face. Is that embarrassment or discomfort? Not emotions her outgoing Pantoran friend Icepick often displays. Tcho turns away from her and finishes packing up the medkit, his hands moving quickly but precisely. “We both probably have places we need to be,” he says, “that aren’t on this floor.” JT agrees, uncertain about how her words upset him. Things on this ship are not as simple as she expected. Petey is actually a contact for the Rebel Alliance. And the moff is up to something with this weird repulsor technology…
Tcho steps to the door of the small room and pauses, turning back to Jai Tessa. “Can you find your way to the turbo lift?”
“Yeah,” she replies, subdued. “I’ll see you around.” He nods at her and slips off. She does not even hear his footsteps sound from the corridor. She stays in the room for a bit, giving him some space and mulling everything over. There are a lot of things going on, but she does still need her decorations. At least now she knows the size of the space.
And she even has a reason to talk to the moff! He should sponsor a table, then he can keep an eye on his stuff. Or maybe, he should take those crates out of there. He’s got a ballroom, which he took from me, that he can put them in if he wants. She could also invite him to speak at the charity event; he might be a veteran of the Clone Wars. Maybe she should try to learn something about him. Probably a staff officer is a good starting place.