A ship security officer stops Tcho and Gomarr at the exit of the Snowscape and says he will need to ask them some questions since they have a Pantoran in their party. Although it is his own life on the line, Tcho defers to Gomarr, sticking to his teaching assistant role.
Gomarr snorts in frustration at the delay that threatens his own safety as well as the health of this student who is now his responsibility. He pulls out his wallet and the paltry discretionary funds it contains. “Listen, pal, we don’t have time for this. C’mon, man.” He holds out some credits. The guy coolly takes the money and radios in that there is nothing happening at his location. Gomarr and his student proceed out of the Snowscape complex.
As they head down the corridor, Tcho tries to reassure his clearly stressed collaborator. “It’s fine. Just put out a scholarship fund box at your lecture for people to put money into.”
“I’m not going to ask people to donate money and then steal from them!” Gomarr exclaims. “What is wrong with you?!”
The high of getting away has made Tcho a little cheeky. That, or the loss of blood. “I’ve been shot and cut up. And smacked by a bench! That’s what’s wrong with me.”
“So larceny? That doesn’t make any sense!”
“Giving credits makes a lot of people feel better,” Tcho tells him. “That’s how charities work.”
“Yeah, well, right now I’m not running a charity. That was most of my funds, okay?”
That sobers Tcho up. This man has already done a lot for him, and despite all the layers of lies and discussion of the underworld, he is no mark; Tcho is not here on a job for his former employers. “I’m sorry. You’ve extended yourself pretty far for me.”
“Look… let’s just get you… do you have a room here?”
Going back to the closet he was based out of is entirely out of the question. That Stormtrooper mentioned the moff’s cargo, so that deck is going to be crawling with soldiers. The talk of charities has reminded Tcho yet again of the sympathetic woman he met earlier in the day. Her quarters are the safest place he can think of right now. He doubts she is in them at this time of day, but if she were to come back and find him there, she would probably just greet him cheerfully. “I’ve got a place I can stay,” he assures the Gamorrean.
Gomarr nods. “Okay, let’s take you there and get you cleaned up a little more seriously. You don’t want the ship’s doctors to see you, but there are other medical areas.”
“I don’t need their help,” the Pantoran states plainly.
“Yeah, I kinda think you do. Did you look in that mirror, man? Buddy, you were passed out on a chairlift. Without help, you would have just gone right back down to the Stormtroopers.”
“I appreciate your help.”
“I’m not saying you owe me,” Gomarr clarifies. “I’m saying you do need help.”
“And I’ve gotten it,” Tcho says with a grin. “Thank you.”
“You, you still—” Gomarr fumbles around for words, trying to get through to this man. “You need help everyday. Everyone needs help everyday, okay? Every door you open, there’s going to be a trap in there. That’s like the first rule of archaeology.”
“I…” Tcho catches his posturing and stops himself. Having more allies would definitely be nice. “Yeah. Doing things alone is… is not the way they should be done.” He sighs and continues seriously. “But there’s no way I can just show up like this at the ship’s clinic. I just need to get—”
“That’s how you’re supposed to! If you show up healthy, that’s what doesn’t make sense!” Gomarr sputters out. “Look, I understand you don’t want to get caught or whatever. Maybe we can find a doctor who’s on the down-low.”
Tcho shakes his head. “I just need to get to a quiet space with some proper mirrors and good lighting, and I can take care of this myself.”
“You’re going to stitch that up yourself?”
“That’s why I said mirrors.” Gomarr, who has done that himself a time or too, insists that it would not be good, but Tcho just shrugs. “That’s just the way it is. They’ll file reports, and I can’t have that.” Gomarr tries a new tack, recommending maybe finding a veterinarian or non-human doctors who are not sympathetic to the Empire. He asks whether Tcho has anyone at all on the ship who can help him, and the Pantoran nods, then pulls out his comm and places a call.
“Hey, PD,” Tcho says.
“Oh dear,” replies the protocol droid. “I heard there was quite a stir in the Snowscape sector. Are you all right?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Look, that woman I talked with you about earlier, where’s her room?” When PD-101 initially balks at giving out a passenger’s information, Tcho insists, “No, it’s cool. She said she would work with me on some things.” PD-101 supplies the information but reminds Tcho that the woman is a civilian so to stay cautious in how he involves her.
Tcho leads Gomarr through the ship to the third class berths. When he reaches Jai Tessa’s door, he positions his body so Gomarr cannot see that he is trying to pick the lock. The Gamorrean is completely right that he needs medical attention; his hands are shaking and his vision keeps blackening around the edges. These are not good conditions for activities that require intense focus and a light touch. He cannot get the pins to align properly, so he slips his tools back away and raises his hand to knock. At that moment, he hears footsteps pounding down around the bend in the corridor. Tcho does not have it in him to run, not at this point. He turns to see who is coming.