Syn excused himself from the group for a moment to approach the counter himself. He followed a little after Keris and, after slipping past the opening she'd forged through the crowd, stepped up to an unoccupied clerk.
"Hey there, so I'm here to win a tournament."
The clerk looked up at him, smiled, and pulled up their tablet.
"Aaalrighty then, so I'll need your name before I can start asking how exactly you intend to do that."
"Just put me down as Syn, S-y-n. I'm basically a really overpowered fire elemental, with an extensive martial arts background, and nearly.. six hundred lifetimes of mercenary experience." He smirked, "There are no rules against setting yourself on fire, right?"
The clerk, to their credit, only blanched a little at the information.
"I.. I see. Well. We'll need you to attend the prelim's, so we can make sure you're suitable. They'll be able to answer your questions about self-immolation there, I'm sure. Now, I just need to ask you a few specific questions to finalise your application."
Syn and the Clerk managed to have a relatively serious conversation from there, with only a few silly interjections on Syn's part. He quite liked this clerk, he decided, they could take a joke.
"Okay then, Mr. Syn. You're all signed up, now if you have a personal communicator, yes that one's fine. I'll just send you the details and location of the preliminary test site... there we are."
"Gotta love technology." Syn grinned, pulling up the information and flicking over it briefly. "Thanks, I'll head there later. Y'know, you should put some money on me, have your friends do the same. Oh, actually, if anyone else from my crew enters that would be a bad idea.. On second thought, gambling is wrong, so don't do it. Cheers anywho, hope the other applicants aren't too dull in comparison after me." he smiled and waved as he turned to move back to the others, just as Keris had finished on her own application, a tall figure in a featureless brown cloak stepped into her place, and Syn found himself stopping cold as a mechanical arm slid out from beneath the cape to lower the cowl. The droid's face was angular, distinctly skull-like in appearance, and plated in a distinctive ceramic-like material.
"Unit designation: Nerosis MKI, reporting for registration." It's voice was very different, almost sounded natural, but Syn recognised the design, he decided to move a little away from the counter and keep an eye on this one. He kept within earshot, appearing to join behind a group of stragglers discussing other applicant's chances.
"Nerosis, Mark One, was it? Do you have a preferred handle, or will you be going by your full designation for the duration of the tournament?" The clerk asked.
"This unit finds the name 'Nero' to be an acceptable shorthand." The droid replied.
"Nero then, okay, would you be able to answer some questions about yourself?"
"This unit will answer any question it can. Please note, some information is regarded as classified."
"You're a combat droid, I take it?" The clerk asked, mostly unphased by their interviewee.
"This unit's designated function is combat. Yes." The droid answered, tilted its head a little, then added "Correction, designated function: assassination."
"An assassin droid? Haven't seen one of you guys enter in a while. That narrows things down a little."
The clerk continued to ask questions, and surprisingly only a few of the responses were 'Classified'. Syn approved, it was clear that these guys knew what they were doing.
"Query, this unit understands that there are restrictions on firearms and projectile weapons, would those restrictions extend to concealed weapons on the agreement that they will not be used during the contest?" The droid asked, tilting its head again.
"Well, yes. You would have to talk to the people in charge at the preliminary tests to work out the specifics. We do understand that some droids might have hardware they are unable to remove, and I think a few exceptions have been made in the past. I do have to inform you that the use of any firearm or projectile weapon, concealed or otherwise, will disqualify you immediately from the tournament, and that the application of lethal force to anyone on the station is strictly against the rules. Station Security would be forced to intervene."
"That is acceptable." Nero nodded this time, an oddly jerky motion. "This unit will repeat the query at the preliminary testing site."
"Glad to hear it. And I think we're all done here. I'm sending you the details for the preliminary test now, good luck out there!"
"Your assistance is appreciated, this unit is grateful." Nero bowed smoothly, then turned away. It walked straight towards Syn.
"Bollocks." Syn muttered, darting away from the crowd. Nero gave chase immediately, and a couple of minutes later, the two of them stood at either end of a quiet street.
"You were observing this unit. Query, why?" The droid tilted its head.
"Why does 'this unit' want to know? Maybe I'm just curious about killer robots." Syn retorted, hands on his waist and ready to make a grab for his weapon.
"Correction," the droid's head snapped back upright, "Assassin droid. You were already aware of this unit's purpose, this unit has no memory of you. Query, how could you know this?"
"Alright, yeah, you're definitely one of Nec's boys. I see he passed his love of chattering on to you." Syn sighed, but visibly relaxed "Are you aware of your point of manufacture, and who designed, or built you? Because I think I knew them a ways back."
"This unit is aware. That information is classified." though the droid didn't move at all, Syn figured it was relaxed as well, or at least less likely to quickdraw on him. "You imply that this 'Nec' was involved in my creation. Query, who is 'Nec'?"
"NK Necrosis, MKII. Or MKIII, I forget, we didn't use the full designation once in the while time I knew him." Syn laughed a little, he'd never actually realised that. "He was an assassin droid built into an old war hero's hollowed out shell. Well, he was the second assassin droid to be put in there.. that's kinda complicated. Anywho, he used to be a part of the same crew as me. We parted ways years ago, but he did mention that he'd like to try his hand at building things, rather than killing things. And look at this, you're here, so I'm guessing he's built something that kills things. Clever. So you're Nerosis, or Nero? A little lazy just dropping one letter to make the new designation, but I like it. What brings you here?" The droid paused for a moment.
"..This unit requires more information before an interface may be reached. Query, what is your designation?"
"Name, dude. My name is Syn. Any other 'queries', or are you going to start answering my questions?" Another pause.
"Syn. This unit requires more information. Note, you and your crew are of interest to this unit. We will meet again." And with that, it left.
".. Really? Dammit Nec. Fine then, another time." Syn shrugged, then sighed again. "Dammit, which way did I come from?"