|Rayne's Rooftop Reminiscing|
Building: 2nd Avian Fleet Headquarters
Office: Rear Admiral Maniko Hurris
Rayne sighed uncomfortably as she looked out the window at the night sky. As always, her mother was making her wait after summoning the 13 year old to her office, and Rayne hated every minute of it. She and Cynthia had planned on going out slumming in disguise that night, but no... The mighty Admiral Hurris demanded her daughter show up for some meeting that couldn't even be discussed ahead of time. The teenager audibly grunted out her frustration at the situation, as teenagers often do, even those of noble houses. Oh, well, it wasn't like Rayne was a real noble, anyway. As so many other nobles she's met had pointed out, even her 'relatives' in House Hurris, Rayne had no actual noble blood. She was just the daughter of an adoptee into the family, and was born out of wedlock, to boot. Sometimes it seemed that only Cynthia cared about her at all. Occasionally it seemed even Cynthia didn't care, but tonight wasn't going to have been one of those nights. Probably. It was too late to tell by then, and Rayne punched the window in anger over a possible missed night of fun.
"You should be careful. In a place like this, a strike against a window could set off alarms."
Rayne whirled around at the heavily filtered male voice and snapped back at him, "What do I care if I set off any alar-" Her voice, however, caught in her throat as she saw who was addressing her.
He was the subject of novels, of movies, occasionally inserted into adventurous holo-serials. A legendary bounty hunter of Sidran space whose exploits managed to get him into the popular culture across most of the galaxy. His infamous felinoid armor was unmistakable, the pattern of voice distortion itself almost a phenomena of itself. He was terrifying, he was heroic, he was deadly, he was mysterious, he was...
Right in front of her.
"I would prefer not having to listen to those alarms myself," he told her, his emotions unreadable beyond the complete armor and voice filter. "So I would appreciate it if you don't attempt to set them off."
"Why are you here?!" she blurted out before she could catch herself. As much as she wanted a holograph of herself with him, as much as she wanted an autograph, anything to show that she had met this elusive figure, she remained terrified of him. She knew she should just keep to her self around him, to not catch his attention, to just ignore his presence for her own good, but she remained staring at him, dumbfounded at the situation.
"I have a meeting with the Admiral," he told her, then walked on to her mother's secretary, an older woman that somehow didn't look the slightest phased by who was approaching her. Didn't she know who that man was? No, though... Noone really knew who he was. Noone even knew what species he was, though most presumed Diamondian. After a brief conversation, the bounty hunter entered the office of Rear Admiral Maniko Hurris.
Rayne had never before actually worried about her mother. But now was a new situation. Now within that office, Rayne's mother was talking one on one with quite possibly the most dangerous being in the galaxy. She sat down on the overly plush couch, the color draining from her face. Surely this was why her own meeting with her mother was delayed. After all, when someone the likes of Gonthri Fei arrives, anyone, even Admiral Maniko Hurris makes the time to meet with him as requested.
The rainbow haired teenager paled. The angry shout coming from the office was definitely male, not that of her mother. Rayne might not have gotten along terribly well with her mother, but never would she have wished such an ill fate as angering one of the most dangerous men in the galaxy. Still, there was nothing Rayne could do for her mother. All she could do was hope that she wouldn't somehow get pulled into whatever argument was happening inside.
"Okay, Hakura, send Rayne in."
Rayne stared in horror at the speaker on the receptionist's desk. "Wait, you can't be serious. You want me to go in there?"
Normally Admiral Hurris' assistant was unflappable, but Rayne could see a bit of worry in the older woman's eyes. "Your mother is expecting you, Rayne. Please don't hold her and Mr. Fei up."
"Uh... y... Yeah," was all Rayne could stammer out before walking to the door. She took a deep breath and opened the door, stepping inside to see...
Her mother at her desk, and an annoyed human man seated across from her. In his lap was the famous helmet of Gonthri Fei, but nowhere else was there any evidence that the man seated there was the dangerous bounty hunter. No weapons, no armor could be seen. Instead, just this fiery haired man in his jeans and black leather jacket. Though to say fiery haired is a bit closer to being literal; his hair seemed to go from a yellow at the roots to a red through most of the length of each hair, into a smokey gray at the very tip.
"Rayne, thank you for coming. I know you had plans for tonight, and I apologize for forcing you to break them, but this was the only time I could get this meeting arranged." Her mother seemed oddly at ease with the situation. A perfect image of pleasant calmness that was in complete disarray with how Rayne would think anyone sane would act in the situation of having an annoyed Gonthri Fei across a desk from them.
Rayne could only flicker her eyes briefly from the man to her mother. "Uh, I, it, uh," she managed to stammer as the man sighed in annoyance.
"You know, if you'd told her earlier, she'd probably be able to form words right now. I'm not gonna hurt you, kid. Don't worry. I'm not even gonna take out my aggression on your mother." He gave Maniko a glare. "Though she's given me reason to."
"Please, Gonthri, let's not fight in front of Rayne." Admiral Hurris offered the bounty hunter a smile. "Rayne, please have a seat. You've been a bit of a fan of Mr. Fei, haven't you?"
"I, um, uh, I've seen... movies? And comics and books and some serials have him as a character and... yes?" Rayne fidgeted nervously as she sat down in the chair next to the bounty hunter. "I've... kind of followed stuff." She averted her gaze down to her hands in her lap, watching as her fingers grasped at each other in nervousness. "He's sort of, um, a big deal in a lot of circles?"
"Are you aware that I had met him prior during and after the battles for the liberation of Diamondia?" The elder Hurris watched her daughter nod. "Well, we actually were more well acquainted than you were probably aware."
"Oh, for- Maniko, stop dancing around the subject!" The man turned from the admiral to the daughter. "Rayne, what she's trying and failing to get at is that there's a good chance I'm your father."
"WHAT?!" Rayne's gaze snapped up towards the bounty hunter as her eyes widened as much as they possibly could. "You're... I'm... WHAT?!"
"Yeah, that was my response, too. I'm going to insist on getting a DNA test of course, but..." He looked closer at the teenager. "That's actually your natural hair color, isn't it?"
Rayne unconsciously clutched at a strand of her hair, her eyes seeking the ground in front of her at the infamous bounty hunter's intent gaze. "I wh- y- yeah. I let people think I dye it, but... Yeah."
"That's what I thought." The man stood up straight again. "We will keep in touch. But I do have actual business to attend to." He turned to the admiral and gave her a steel look again. "You WILL keep in touch with me. If this is what it seems, then I have a lot I will need to talk to her about. Is this understood?"
"Of course, Gonfei," replied Rayne's young-looking mother with a too-pleasant smile. "I wouldn't dream of keeping you from your daughter."
"Good. Because you've done that for too long already."
With a jump, Rayne brings her attention back to Twisted, thanks to a flash of lightning. She blinks and quickly gets up to her feet as she looks out at the approaching storm. Thoughts still remained on her past, however. On how less than a year after she met her father, she ran off to live with him. And how, knowing she was a phoenix, she killed herself at age 17, a rite of passage, as her father said, that, in effect, locked her physical appearance and kept her from aging.
Rayne turns back to the door to leave the roof. A storm is coming, and though water doesn't actually hurt this being of fire, it doesn't mean she likes to get rained on.