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 101 Ways to Ruin a Party

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Anashaan

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PostSubject: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:38 pm

The golden light of the setting sun filtering in through the windows bathed Anashaan in it's glow, shimmering in tandem with the gold of her dress. She smoothed down the folds of fabric, checking one last time in the mirror that all was in place. When she was satisfied that she looked befitting the role of a senate member's daughter and trained jedi, she turned away and headed out of the room.

Her heels clicked rhythmically on the floor as she walked, alerting anyone who could hear that it was nearly time to leave. Tonight was an important night. Her and her companions were to attend a gala at her parent's estate here on Coruscant; an affair with an elite guest list, an elaborate wine and dinner menu, and an Imperial spy.

That was where Ana and her friends came in. Her mother, Senator Zohla, had told her daughter of the suspicion that one of her fellow council members was working for the enemy, and that the threat needed to be dealt with right away. She was hosting this event for that very purpose – Ana and her friends were to attend and weed out the spy and then arrest them. There were four other council members attending, and each of them was as likely to be the spy as any of the others. It would be up to the wits and talents of the jedi to determine who it was.

She knew her friends were up to the task. She had never known anyone so in tune with other's true natures than Ellbert, nor as good at playing the spy herself as Keliso. Tharan and Holiday had their uses as well, and Arkeyeus was good for more than just a handsome arm to lean on. The mission would go smoothly. At least, that's what Anashaan kept repeating to herself as she searched the house for the others.

She found Ellbert in the dining room with his nose stuck in a datapad and an aura of calm radiating off of him like cold off ice. He looked dashing in the dark tunic she had picked out for him, the blue embellishments along the cuffs and collars matching his eyes in a near perfect hue. She could see why so many women fawned over him; even the scars on his face added to the effect. If he had the confidence to back up his looks he would be more popular with the ladies than even Tharan himself.

“Oh, Bert sweetheart, your collar is all ruffled.” He looked up from his datapad at her words, taking a moment to fully bring himself back into reality. Ana bent down and straightened the rumpled collar of his tunic, wondering if he ever would have noticed it himself. She imagined that was unlikely. “Much better.”

“Thank you.” The color on Bert's cheeks rose, hinting at the beginning of a blush. Ana's nearness must have been too much for him. He rose from the couch and stood with her, though left quite a bit of distance between them. He fiddled with the hem of his clothes, clearly uncomfortable in them. “Thank you for these, too. It's very kind of you, but really, I don't need anything so extravagant....”

Ana grinned and shook her head. “Of course you do! You look the part of handsome jedi now, which is important tonight.”

They all needed to look their best tonight if they were to fit in. Her parent's galas were always the extravagant affair and if their plans were to go unnoticed they had to act the way that was expected. Not for the first time Ana felt the twinge of unease start in her heart; she was accustomed to these type of events, but her friends? They certainly weren't.

She turned from Ellbert to scan the rest of the room, hoping to find someone else. “Speaking of...have you seen our handsome solider?”

“Ark? I think he's still getting dressed upstairs.”

Back upstairs it was, then. Trying to get all of her friends dressed and prepared for the gala in a reasonable amount of time was like herding cats. She felt she had to be everywhere at once, overseeing each step of the process. She didn't even want to think about how difficult it was to get Keliso to agree to wear the dress she bought for her.

Ana sighed and ran a hand down her lekku – a habit she had when she felt overwhelmed.“Would you go get Keli and meet me up in the library? I want to go over the plan for tonight again before we leave.”

With a nod and polite agreement Ellbert left the room, heading towards where Keli was likely hiding out. It would be easier for him to find her than for Ana – the two of them seemed to share an almost psychic bond at times. She followed behind him a moment later, heading towards the stairs.

She knocked on the door to the room the boys shared when she reached it, pushing it open slightly at the same time. “Arkeyeus? Are you in there?”
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Keliso

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PostSubject: Re: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:54 pm

Arkayeus was adjusting the cuffs of his shirt when Anashaan came through the door, and his straightened up his formal military uniform before offering her a smile, "Hey beautiful." He turned to her, and several medals hung on the left side of his dress shirt, and with a small peck on her forehead as greeting, he then asked, "The others aren't troubling you too much are they? Don't worry, I'm sure everything will go according to plan."

He pulled away to get a good look at her, and his smile widened, "That looks great on you, is it new?" She was dressed in gold, the spitting image of a goddess, and he couldn't help but scratch the back of his head and laugh nervously. He imagined he looked rather boring, being limited to his only two variations of his military gear- both the combat outfit and the formal uniform, but it was something he'd grown used to. It had taken him only a few minutes to get dressed.

"Well then, shall we get going?"

---

Keliso was downstairs in the garage, fiddling with gadgets and attempting to figure out what she could smuggle into the party that would help with their mission. She was dressed in an simple, navy blue dress with a modest boat neck, and an intricate design along the sleeves that reminded her of stars and galaxies. She was glad for Ana picking a less extravagant dress for her to wear, though it was still fairly restrictive, as the dress was cut short, just above her knees, and very tightly fit. She didn't feel comfortable with her legs exposed, and she was still adjusting to the high heels Ana lent her, as seen by the way she clambered from one table to another.

Theran Cedrax was standing nearby with an amused look on his face as he watched Keliso work, and he himself was dressed in quite the princely attire, with white fabric and gold trimmings. "Perhaps a tracker would be of use to you. I have one of my own design right here, and I'm certain you could fit somewhere along your slim figure." He offered a smirk, "And if you'd like some help fastening it, I'd be more than happy to oblige."

Keliso paid him little attention, "No thank you," her tone was slightly irritated, as per usual when he resorted to his flirtatious ways, "Can't you go help Anashaan, or be anywhere but here?"

Theran chuckled, "But I'm so much more helpful here. Come now, my trackers would be incredibly useful for tailing the Council Members. Here." He set them on the table in front of her, and then picked up one of her gadgets to examine it.

She sighed, and after a slight hesitation, she picked up the small button sized trackers, "Very well," and slipped it into her purse. "And the interface?" She glanced to him, and he sort of nodded, as though he'd 'almost forgotten'.

"Of course, here you are," He pulled out a small box with a screen and a few buttons, and she put that in her purse as well. She then glanced at her lightsaber on the table, and knew she would be sorely missing it tonight, but there was no way she could bring that giant thing to a gathering of important council members. (If we decide that they can take their sabers, I'll change this) But there was little she could do about that.

A few moments later, someone entered the room both Keli and Tharan turned to see Ellbert enter. He looked sharp in his dark blue suit, and very handsome, but as she looked down at her dress, her face reddened at the realization that they matched. She feared Ana planned this, but for now she had to assume it was simply coincidence. Blue did suit Bert after all, and perhaps Ana was only trying to get Keli to wear something other than tan, brown, and earthy colors. Tharan smiled all the while.

"Is it time to go then?" Keliso asked Ellbert as she slipped on a couple blue wristbands, a necessary part of her attire to hide the cybernetics on her wrist. She couldn't do anything about the cybernetics on her cheeks, but hiding the display on her wrist would allow her to access it without drawing attention to herself. It was just simply more discreet.
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Anashaan

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PostSubject: Re: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:59 pm

Ellbert headed towards the garage after speaking with Ana, knowing that if Keliso was anywhere, it was there. That was were they kept all the important technology that was used for their missions, primarily by Keliso or Tharan. Bert himself rarely came in here unless he was trailing behind Keli or checking up on her to make sure she had eaten that day.

He found her by one of the many tables over flowing with gadgets whose purpose he had no idea of. She was in a dark blue dress, much shorter than anything he had seen her in before. It looked nice, he supposed. It would have looked better if she seemed comfortable in it. Like him Keliso didn't often dress outside of the clothes she found easy to fight in. There was hardly any occasion to.

Tharan was with her, dressed in a way he was certain Ana would approve of. The man seemed to have a way with charming others, though Ellbert found he rubbed him the wrong way most of the time. There was something uncomfortable about the way he always hung around the girls. Keli seemed to feel that way right now, too, as she was bickering with him when he approached.

“I'm not interrupting, am I?” he asked, choosing a spot nearby to stand quietly and wait. He noticed the slight red creeping up her cheeks and frowned. He was interrupting, then. Perhaps the other two hadn't been bickering after all. Maybe something else was going on.

Keliso recovered quickly and asked if it was time to go. He nodded his head and replied. “Ana wants us to meet her upstairs. I think she wants to go over the plan.” They had all heard it before, more than once. He was uncertain what else she could add that they didn't already know, but if that's what she wanted then he wasn't going to argue. She was in charge tonight, after all. He just hoped his role hadn't changed – focusing on the intentions and emotions surging through the gala was going to be tough enough even if he didn't have to socialize as much as the others.

When Keliso and Tharan were done packing away their equipment they all headed up to the library were Anashaan and Arkayeus were waiting.

-

Anashaan stepped inside the room in time to see Arkayeus finish getting ready and grinned as he greeted her. She waved her hand in answer to his question about the others – they weren't too much to handle, not really.

She busied herself straightening the patches and medals on his shirt. She was always surprised how many there were. Arkayeus was not some ordinary solider, and once again she found herself beaming with pride for him. He look a step away when she was done and looked her over. She felt the familiar rush of excitement as he smiled at her; if there was anything better than that in the whole galaxy she hadn't found it yet.

“Thank you. I picked it up yesterday when I got Keli something. You wouldn't believe the convincing it took to get her to wear it. She looks absolutely lovely though.” She pressed up onto her toes and gave him a return kiss on the cheek. “And you look handsome as always, darling. You'll be the best looking man there without a doubt.”

She heard the sounds of the others making their way up the stairs then, and took Ark's hand to lead him into the library. They were waiting when they shuffled into the room, all of them looking fit to walk down a runway.

“Oh my, look at all of you. We're like the cast of a holovid aren't we?” She laughed, clearly happy at how everyone had turned out. “Ok, one last time. Senator Zohla, my mother, has arranged this event so we can find and apprehend a suspected Imperial spy. Due to certain occurrences and issues that have come up, she believes it is one of her fellow members of the senate. She has invited the four people who had access to information that has been leaked and misused by the enemy. I've given you a dossier on each of them, it was in that datapad message I sent out.”

She paused, trying to gauge if they had all read it. There wouldn't be time to go over each suspect again, so she hoped they had done their homework. It had taken her a while to compile the dossiers, too, and she was rather proud of them. Ana enjoyed gathering information on people almost as much as she enjoyed interacting with them. After a moment she continued, this time looking around at her friends pleadingly.

“You all know what you're supposed to do, so I won't go over that again. But just...please behave. I know you are all wonderful perfect people, which is why I love you all so much, but...this is a very elite event. Play nice, be somewhat social and for the love of the gods Tharan please don't hit on my mother.”

Ana gave the man a stern look to which she only received an indignant frown. Without waiting for a response she headed towards the room's exit and ultimately the front door. “Let's go then, we can't be more than fashionably late.”

As she walked, arm linked with Ark's for support in her heels, she turned to him and smiled nonchalantly. “Oh, Ark, by the way. I haven't told my parents about you yet, but don't worry I'll do it as soon as we see them.”
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Keliso

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PostSubject: Re: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:38 pm

As they headed upstairs and into the library, Keliso worried that Ellbert might have some false assumptions about Tharan and her, so she made a point to stand away from Tharan during the meeting, with Bert standing between them as she listened to one more briefing from Ana. It was right for Ana to be thorough like this, after all, none of them had many missions like this in their experience. There just really hadn't been any missions that didn't require direct lightsaber combat, but then, that was why Ana was put in charge of this one, cause she grew up around fancy dinner parties and social occasions like this. She had even outfitted everyone on the team to make sure this went off without a hitch, though, Keliso thought she enjoyed dressing them up, mission or no mission.

As Ana and Ark entered, Keliso smiled and rolled her eyes at Ana's holovid comment. As Ana jumped right into the rebriefing, Keliso listened attentively, taking this matter as seriously as any other mission she had been given, and she understood and was quite comfortable with her role in it. Being the most skilled in concealing herself, she would be talking least at the party, so as to slip away when need be, should any of the suspects excuse themselves. It was her task to keep tabs on each of them, and alert the team immediately if anything is amiss. She had a feeling this was easier said than done however, as every politician had their dirty secrets, so it would be hard to find the actual spy. He certainly wouldn't make himself obvious.

Ark stood at ease beside Ana throughout the mission rebriefing, but once all was said and done, and the last thing she did was mention her parents having no idea about them as a pair, Ark's face fell, "Uhh, what? You're going to tell them tonight?" He was suddenly feeling quite self conscious, knowing that the first look they have of him could be their most lasting impression of him, and he did not want to mess that up.
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Anashaan

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PostSubject: Re: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:17 pm

The ride to Anashaan's parent's estate was uneventful. The large speeder rushed along past city streets and out into the more sparsely populated country side. Ana spent her time gazing out the windows, recalling what it was like to leave her home behind to attend the academy long ago. She didn't visit home often enough now. She always had some excuse – the life of a jedi was a busy one. But truthfully it wouldn't have been hard to find the time. It was simply easier to meet her mother for a rushed lunch in the city, or to have a lengthy holocall with her father about the state of the gardens.

They reached the walled estate as the sky darkened to a deep indigo and the first stars began to shine. There were already cheery lights visible in many of the windows and a line of speeders carefully parked outside the main doors. Ana lead everyone inside, comfortable in the home she had spent much of her young life in.

The house was large and thoughtfully decorated. It spoke of wealth and status, as did the guests that milled about in their expensive attire. Food was set out around the large ballroom where most people were located, and caterers walked among the crowd with glasses of wine.

As the group walked through the ballroom an older man caught Ana's eyes and headed towards her. His hair was a stately grey, matched perfectly by the well groomed beard he kept. She recognized him right away as Senator Kamrey, who had been guest to many of her parent's gatherings throughout the years.

“Is that you, Anashaan?” he said, his eyes lingering too long on the curve of her body under the glittering dress. “I hardly recognized you. You've certainly grown up since that last time I had the pleasure of your company.”

“It's been too long, Senator.” She leaned in for a curt embrace as was expected and did her best to keep the distaste from showing on her face. Kamrey's body flushed against her in the most unappealing and inappropriate way. When she pulled away her expression had settled into a friendly smile. “Is your wife with you tonight? I'd love to bore her with questions about Corellian culture.”

“Yes, yes she is somewhere.” He waved his hand back in the direction he had come from. “Walk with me and we can find her together.”

“I would love nothing more but I'm afraid I must greet my mother before she thinks I am avoiding her. Later, perhaps?” Without waiting for his response Ana gave a slight bow and walked away, motioning the others to follow.

When they were out of earshot of the Senator she turned to Keli and grimaced. “Be careful of that one, Keliso. His hands are known to stray where they don't belong.”

They made it the rest of the way through the room without distraction and soon saw Ana's parents speaking quietly to each other nearby. One took at Zohla was all it took to see that Ana took after her mother in looks: she had dark, warm skin and eyes that shone like emeralds. The togruta couple were dressed in fine clothes and were nothing short of what was expected from a senator and her husband.

Ana hurried over to them, heels clicking delicately on the floor. Her father saw her first and swept her up in a hug, his strong arms making her feel like a child again. After he let her go she pressed her cheek to her mother's, her greeting more reserved than her fathers but no less heartfelt.

“It's so good to see you. Everything looks so lovely,” Ana said as she pulled away. “Let me introduce you to my good friends...” She motioned to everyone in turn, introducing them by name and a quick note of their status – Keli and Ellbert were jedi, Tharan a well known scientist. She left Ark for last. “And this is boyfriend Arkayeus. He's a Sargent First Class in the Republic military and absolutely wonderful. I'm sure you'll have plenty to chat with him about.”

She beamed at Ark and let her hand slide into his for a brief moment. It wasn't the best way to let her parents know about her relationship, but it would have to do. Both her mother and father turned their eyes towards Ark, now more interested in him than any of the others. Ana took the opportunity to learn forward and speak to Zohla quietly, so as not to be overhead by curious guests.

“Don't worry about tonight, mom. We have all our bases covered. Everything will work out just fine.”

The senator nodded, and Ana took a step back to rejoin her friends. She took Tharan by the arm and if he was surprised he did not show it. “Come on Tharan, I want to introduce you to Senator Tep'bazem. He's sure to be awfully interested in your work. The rest of you please enjoy yourselves. “

As she walked away, her arm now in Tharan's, she gave Ark an apologetic smile. She would find him again later, after some ground work had been set. She trusted him to make a lasting impression on her parents and occupy himself until she returned. She wasn't abandoning him, not really. She was sure he knew that. Anyone that knew Ana knew she was not the type to remain in one place at a party for long.
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Keliso

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PostSubject: Re: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:21 am

Both Ark and Keliso were rather quiet on the journey there, and when they finally approached the estate, niether of them could help but stare. Keliso simply wasn't used to seeing such extravagance, spending so much time on the war wrought planets during her missions. And Ark, well, he knew Ana's parents were well off, but to see it in person was another thing; he didn't see how her parents would approve of such a small town scruff like him. He scratched the back of his head, looking to Ana for some assurance- he imagined she was focused on the task at hand though, and with the rest of the group with them, he said nothing about it.

Once she had gotten over the inital shock of her surroundings, Keliso tried to think of how best they could use all their skillsets. She automatically assumed she would be eavesdropping on select conversations, in hopes to learn of some clue here or there to lead them to the traitor. And perhaps Bert would sense if anything was off about any of the suspects- then again, they were walking into a den of politicians, and they were all sharks one way or another. She was interrupted from further thought on the matter as they entered and someone recognized Ana. Keli's skin crawled as the man looked Ana up and down, the same way she felt when she thought Theran was watching her too closely.

Ark raised an eyebrow as this 'Senator' wrapped his arms around Ana in a way he did not approve of. It didn't make him feel any better when Ana mentioned the Senator's wife- his behavior was wretched. He couldn't help but glare the man down as the group continued on.

Keli couldn't help but notice this different side of Anashaan. Whereas Keliso was an expert at concealing her presence, a true spy for the Jedi Order, Anashaan seemed a master of concealing her thoughts and emotions- and motives. While most Jedi are encouraged to suppress all emotion, Ana was a master at wearing a mask in front of adversaries. It was quite the skill, one Keli was surprised she hadn't seen before from her dear friend. She listened well to Ana's warning, even so much as muttering, "Gross," under her breath.

And then they were all faced with Ana's parents. Keliso gave a respectful nod as she was introduced, and though Ark did not pull his hand away from Ana's, the hand holding did make him fairly self conscious. "It's an honor to meet you Senator, and Mr. [insert parents' surname or military stuff]." And then shortly after the introduction, Ana whispered into her mother's ear, and then walked off with Theran on her arm, and leaving Ark to converse with her parents- alone. He had to suppress a sigh, knowing that there were more important matters for them an the others to attend to. There was little that could rattle Ark's nerves, but this was one.

As Ana and Theron parted ways from the group, Keli took the time now to scan the heads around them to try and spot some of their targets. She thought now would be a good time to break off from the group as well. She had little to say in the way of conversation, but it was for the best- the smallest presence had a way of going unnoticed when absent. She turned to Ellbert, realizing he must not be feeling too comfortable in such a crowded place. He never did well when so many could gaze upon his scarred face. She placed a hand on his arm to get his attention, "I'm sure we'll have this wrapped up in not time." And with that, she weaved her way into the crowds and went to find one of their suspects.
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PostSubject: Re: 101 Ways to Ruin a Party   Fri May 06, 2016 3:28 pm

After introductions were made to Sentor Zohla Bert was uncertain of what to do. He watched Ana walk off with Tharan, knowing that he was unlikely to see more of her tonight. He turned at the touch of Keli's hand, having long ago curtailed his tendency to flinch at an unexpected touch. She looked concerned, as if he was the one that she should be worrying about and not the dangerous traitor in their midst. That was Keli though – no task seemed to daunt her. He often thought she could do with a little more reserve, and each time was proven wrong by her success. Still, he couldn't help but feel the same worry towards her.

He gave her a gentle smile and nodded at her reassurance. “Please be careful tonight.”

She flitted away without another word and Bert was left alone in the rapidly growing crowd. More party attendees were filtering in through the ballroom doors, adding their voices to the chatter. Bert knew what Ana expected from him tonight, though now that he was here he was uncertain of how well he could do it. Focusing on the feelings and deceptions of others was no easy task. He had a gift for it, yes, but even so trying to narrow down his search with so many people would be difficult.

Scanning the room for a quiet corner Ellbert noticed eyes looking him over. It was to be expected – he was a jedi among civilians, and one with a very striking appearance. Color started to creep up his cheeks and his hand twitched unconsciously, trying in vain to pull up a hood that was not there. He settled for looking down at his feet and walked towards a mostly deserted area of the room.

He took a seat on the plush cushion of a chair and did his best to look inconspicuous. Taking a few deep breaths he quieted his mind, letting the inner stream of thoughts and worries fade away until all was serene. Then, little by little, he reached out with the Force.

He could sense Ana across the room, radiant and in her element. Keli's familiar presence was comforting even from the far off halls she roamed. The over all atmosphere of the party was bright; he couldn't feel any noticeable danger right away. Danger wasn't exactly what he was looking for, though. So he concentrated harder, the view of the ballroom around him blurring at the edges.

The force of all the mingling emotions hit him like a cloud of thick smoke. There was desire, hot and cloying; ambition as cold and sharp as durasteel; petty hate and unadulterated affection. There was something else there too, something deep within the storm of emotions. It felt almost like the ice cold pain of the dark side that radiated off Sith; a greed and a selfishness that went beyond what everyone felt at some point in their lives. Bert was drawn to it, not because he wanted it but because it was so out of place. He struggled to wade through the thick cloud of so many people to pin point where the darkness was coming from.

“Excuse me, sir?” Bert was torn from his mediation by the sound of a woman's voice close by. His eyes refocused on the physical, noticing not only one but three women standing by his chair. They were dressed as nicely as anyone here, and looked to be around the same age as himself. “You're a jedi aren't you? We saw you come in with Lady Anashaan.”    

Bert nodded, still somewhat dazed from being jarred back into reality. He realized too late he was being rude and stood to join them, giving a small bow like Ana had taught him. The girls smiled and introduced themselves in turn, relating that they were daughters of some of the senators friends. The light haired one took a bold step closer to Bert and motioned back towards the thick of the party.

“We don't get to meet many real jedi. Would you come get a drink with us?”

“I-yes. Of course,” he stuttered. This is what he had wanted to avoid tonight. He had found a lead to follow and now was stuck unable to continue his search. Bert wanted nothing more than to slink back into the corner and be left alone with his thoughts, but knew to do so would only draw more attention to himself. For now he had to attend to his new admirers and hope that they would grow tired of his quiet behavior.
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