❛ [ ☢ ] ███ RADIOACTIVE DECAY ↯ —— There were people who would do anything to get their hands on the information held within the walls of Cythera ; what whispers must have been passed from clients to disciple, what secrets their madam held that she wouldn’t tell anybody, not even the highest or most charming bidder. Information was a lucrative trade in the twenty-second century and an even more profitable one during a war. The Commander understood the incredible important placed upon solid intelligence, her entire life consisted of knowing things others didn’t and hiding things from the greater public (like her face ; the mystery surrounding her was immense, transformed her into an enigma and a presence that was easily recognizable upon first sight, yet made it hard to talk about — it was difficult to discuss the view when the blinds were pulled shut).
Ariel knew the Magdalene to be a woman who was just as secretive, careful in those she picks to reveal information or let it sit locked away in her soul for eternity. Her hand lowered from the area of the lady’s visage where the bruise blemished it’s flawless quality. The military officer knew the madam to be a strong woman, a frail body served to be vessel for an indomitable spirit. The older woman would always listen the the wise counsel of the younger, a special member of her inner most circle of confidants.
❝Slavery in Citadel space is illegal,❞ she replied as brow furrows slightly upon a ghastly facade, the prominent lacerations upon her facade moving slightly in tandem with the muscles beneath her pallid complexion. ❝I thought the Reapers would have put a halt to the trade, unless there are those who see the refugees as low hanging fruit.❞ A pause, the corpse of her childhood’s stammer lodging itself in her trachea, the sensation of her esophagus filling with radiation accompanying the five second interruption. ❝Do you think the attack might have had something to do with it?❞
Magdalene smiled sadly. “As usual, Commander, your perception is uncanny.” She took a steadying breath to prepare herself. “A man came here two days past asking to speak to me. I thought he was a client who needed help choosing a disciple.” It did not happen often, but sometimes customers would see ‘pleasure house’ and think ‘brothel.’ Nothing about Cythera was quite as crass. To some it had become synonymous with sanctuary. Many lost and lonely souls found succor here.
“He told me he had an offer for me if I was looking for chattel, though not quite so eloquently. I couldn’t bear to listen to another word; I would have had him removed from the premises if I had acted on my instinct.” But Magda did not have him removed. She had listened patiently to his proposal, committing whatever details she could to memory. She had asked questions, enough to feign interest but not scare him away. Years of navigating delicate social situations had been a boon to her then. “His…associates…take advantage of undocumented refugees from border planets, tricking them into indentured servitude to whomever will buy them. Some of the less fortunate are sold into places of ill-repute—whorehouses.” The word is poison on her lips. She remembered her anger, an emotion she was entirely unaccustomed to. She remembered praying to stay her hand.
“I know you are very busy, Commander, but I wonder if you could spare any resources to help me end this repulsive practice. I cannot sit idly by while I know sentient beings are being bought and sold in my own backyard.”