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Pickled Onions

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“This place is… interesting…” Kallus sat in the sticky booth across from Cassian. In a seedy bar, there seemed to be a layer of grime covering every surface. Klatooine was chosen for their meeting place, because it was just inside of Hutt Space. It kept them away from the Empire, but still far enough away from bounty hunters that looked for people like them.

Cassian chewed his food a few moments before washing it down with metal tasting water. He nodded to the doorway where Zeb lingered to keep watch, “I see you brought your boyfriend this time.”

“And you brought both of yours,” Kallus noted K-2SO and Bodhi eying them from a booth across the room. “After what happened at our last meeting, I guess we both figured a little extra protection was necessary.”

“I have K2 for that. Bodhi flew the ship,” Cassian stabbed the thinly sliced red vegetables in his bowl. They floated in a sharp scented, pale green liquid.

Kallus wrinkled his nose, “What are you eating?”

“Pickled onions,” Cassian wiped his mouth. “They’re popular here. Wanted to fit in. People come from all over to get them.”

“I’ll pass, thank you,” Kallus waved away the waitress who wandered over.

Though, he mused, it was a fitting dish for the two men at the table based on their pasts and what they were now. So many bitter layers…

“Business then?” Cassian raised an eyebrow.

“Yes. You said you had some vital information.”

“More of a possible lead, whispers from across the galaxy.”

Kallus knew where this was going, “And you wish for me to investigate it.”

Cassian nodded, “Rogue One is heading over to Zygerria. Probably be there a week or more. The Empire hit some of their slaver outposts hard, but their Star Destroyer got beat up in the fight. We’re going to sneak in, free some slaves, and see if they want to join up with the Rebellion.”

“And if they don’t, return them to their homes,” Kallus stated firmly. It was a demand, not a request.

“What happens to them afterwards isn’t my concern once we drop them off on Manaan,” Cassian shrugged, mouth full of food.

Kallus bristled, but didn’t say anything past that. He didn’t always agree with his fellow spy, but he knew nothing he said would change Cassian. There was a heart under Cassian’s cold demeanor, but it wasn’t something Kallus was privy to. The man didn’t trust many outside of his fellow crew members. Kallus knew that Bodhi, Chirrut, or the rest of Rogue One would convince Cassian to do the right thing.

Or at least he hoped so.

Kallus leaned in on the table, “What do I need to look into?”

“People have reporter her being back,” Cassian said in a low voice.

“Who?”

Her.” Cassian smirked, a twinkle in his eye.

“The original Fulcrum?” Kallus breathed in sharply.

She had been lost. Ezra and Kanan reported her lost Malachor! No one had heard from her since then. They all assumed Darth Vader claimed her life.

But now with Ezra and Kanan gone and that Skywalker kid, under trained in many ways, as the only known Force user in the Rebellion, they could really use her in this war. Kallus needed to take this mission.

He owed it to Rex.

He owed it to what was left of the Ghost crew.

He owed it to the people who saved him from the Empire.

Cassian could see he had Kallus’ attention. He slid a datachip across the table, “It’s not much-“

“It’s enough,” Kallus took it and slid the chip into his pocket. He rose from the table, “Thank you.”

“Alex,” Cassian snagged his arm. “Memorize that and destroy it. No one can know.”

“Not even Zeb,” Kallus flicked his eyes to his friend and back to Cassian. “Until we know for sure it’s her.”

Cassian released him and nodded, “Good luck.”

“Enjoy your onions,” Kallus turned away and headed for the door.