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Jan 27, 2021 9:08 AM
the phantom menace
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She eyes him.

"You're strange," she says, after a long pause.

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"May I ask in what way?"

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"Adults usually don't care if they make sense or are fair."

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"I'm sorry to hear that has been your experience," he says; and, as his face almost-but-not-quite breaks into a sad smile, "Many of us are rather unreasonable about that, yes."

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She nods. "Being weird's good," she says after a moment.

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"I do my best."

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Grin. "I'm gonna be the weirdest adult."

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"I look forward to seeing it."

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Heh. "You're neat."

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"So are you, if I may say so."

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She grins. "Was there other stuff?"

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"Not unless there's anything else you'd like to discuss with me away from prying ears," he says.

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She hesitates. "I don't know who Gardulla has in her gardens right now... I don't think I want to talk about those in front of - everyone, though, and - we need to get people out of them..."

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"I'm happy to discuss them in private, if you'd like," Qui-Gon says.  "Or we can work out another solution if you need to."

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She bites her lip. "I can tell you about them..."

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"I'll need the information to plan a rescue," Qui-Gon says gently.  "If you're comfortable talking to me, I'd like to hear it."

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She nods.

"Gardulla has a bunch of gardens for entertainment. The hunt ones have different environments, and she's got animals for them, and she'll release slaves that're all on - a theme - and then release the animals to hunt them - she likes kids and newly enslaved people, thinks it's - funny, for the innocent to be hunted - "

She curls in on herself. "I know how to get in and out of them. I figured out the going invisible thing in those, and I didn't have a slave implant, so Gardulla thinks I'm dead... The animals are dangerous enough to be impressive but not so dangerous Gardulla's people can't handle them at all. And most've the slaves meant for there don't get the implants, anyways, 'cause the animals are expensive and Gardulla doesn't wanna risk them eating explosives, so I sneak kids out whenever I can - that's how I figured out making other people invisible - but it's not often enough..."

"There's also other pleasure gardens but the people in those don't usually end up dead unless they're really dumb and make her mad."

She seems to be rambling, a bit, thoughts out of order.

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He nods along, solemnly.

He asks questions, to get a sense of the layout - of the gardens and of the palace itself.  He asks, gently, about the slave implants, whether they can be made impossible or at least more difficult to activate with access to Gardulla's computers.

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She's pretty sure impossible if they're clever... The implants can be disabled and the codes transferred, so Gardulla can ever sell slaves.

She knows the layout nearly by heart.

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"Thank you, Anakin," he says, once he feels he knows enough to start formulating a plan.  "I'd like to discuss this information with my allies, if you're comfortable with that.  You can be present or absent for those discussions as you prefer."

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She thinks. "Can I be present but hiding?"

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He considers this.  "Would it be all right if I told them you were there?"

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Slow nod. "Yeah."

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"I don't think that will bother anyone, then."

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"Alright."

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