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War wages on the frontlines, where the Imperial and Republic armies fight for domination over the Outer Rim.
 
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 The Uneasy Starting Line

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Anashaan

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Join date : 2016-04-10

PostSubject: The Uneasy Starting Line   Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:21 pm

The galaxy was a large, large place.

Sometimes Ana forgot that. So much of her life was spent on Coruscant and the Core Worlds that those distant, far away places faded from her mind. She knew war waged on many of them, and some still remained untouched by either the Republic or the Empire. She knew there were endless adventures and missions to be found scattered all across the vast blackness between stars. It was just easy to get caught up in her own small corner of the galaxy.

That wasn’t the case anymore, though. She couldn’t stay safe and comfortable forever, and when the opportunity came to be part of groundbreaking negotiations with the Empire Ana was eager to request a spot. She was delighted when she learned her friends and closest allies were selected to go as well, and talked her way into allowing them all to form one squad.

Now she sat in the meeting room of a provided ship, their destination fast approaching. They’d reach the Imperial Dreadnaught that was hosting the negotiations within the next few hours and for the first time Ana felt the icy touch of nerves around her heart. This mission was important; the most important one of her life so far. She couldn’t fail.

Sighing, she rubbed at her eyes before glancing across the table to see Ark sitting there going over his own orders. The vice in her chest released a little and she exhaled softly. She could do this. She had the best, most capable people surrounding her. Everything would work out.

“Ark,” she said, asking for his attention. “Don’t let me yell at Devery and Nekesu when they’re late, okay?”

She had little doubt the two SIS agents would stroll into the meeting after everyone else. The two of them were thick as thieves and just about as reliable. At least when it came to meetings and stuffy briefings; in the thick of battle or a dangerous mission Ana would trust them with her life.

“Excuse me,” a voice came from the door, and Ana looked over to see Bert stepping inside. He was dressed in a simple robe again, the hood laying bunched around his neck. That meant he was comfortable here, Ana thought. That was a good sign.

“Bert, come in and sit down,” she said with a smile. “You’re the first one here. Which I suppose isn’t surprising is it? Have you seen Keli?”

Bert shook his head as he took a seat at the long table. He had spent much of the last few days in his room meditating. He thought he would need a clear head for the negotiations to come. Meeting face to face with sith and controlling his feelings about it was sure to be a draining and difficult task, and he wanted to be ready for it.

“I should pull her in here myself,” Ana said with a fond roll of her eyes. “We’ll wait a few more minutes and then I’ll go teach her and the spies that fashionably late doesn’t apply to mission briefings.”
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Calcariidae
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PostSubject: Re: The Uneasy Starting Line   Wed Dec 12, 2018 12:03 pm

The halls of the Imperial Dreadnaught Xeris were wide and cold. Cal suspected that was on purpose. The looming ceilings and the chill wind that blew from high vents was disorienting and uncomfortable: a perfect place to make your enemies ill at ease without them knowing exactly why.

Not that the coming Republic ambassadors were their enemies. At least not right then.

Cal hurried from the mess hall with his cup of much needed caf, by now finding his quarters without getting turned about. It had taken a few days, but days they had. The trip to the outer reaches of the galaxy spanned over a week in deep space, the empty blackness pushing in on the ship from all directions.

When he reached his room Cal pushed the button mounted near it and watched the doors slide up, then continued inside. He wasn’t two steps in when he noticed the figure laying on his bed, pink body propped up against the pillows.

“You do know if your father found you in here he’d kill me, right?”

With a tired sigh Cal moved towards the desk across the room and sat down, sipping at his caf as he did. He was growing used to this game Marette played, though he wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not.
On the bed the young zabrek stretched her legs out and gave him a look Cal thought she must have been trying to perfect all week.

“Not if I didn’t want him to,” she said. Her voice sounded almost adult then and it made Cal shiver. It wasn’t a sound he liked from her.

“I think you might be misjudging your sway over him.”

He turned away and back to his caf, sipping at it until the chill from the hallway ceded its hold on him. Marette wasn’t aware of the many conversations he and Eovras had over the years where he’d made perfectly clear his position on the matter of his daughter. Cal knew without a shred of doubt that if anyone touched Marette Eovras wouldn’t wait the thirty seconds it might take to explain before bringing his lightsaber down on the offending party. Especially if it was Cal.

“Well, he won’t find out then.”

Marette moved down the bed, inching closer to where Cal sat. He could hear the shuffle of the sheets beneath her, and the slight creak of the frame as she put all her weight at the end.

“We can keep it a secret between just the two of us.”

Another sigh pushed past Cal’s lips and he set his mug down with a slight clang of metal on metal.

“I’d rather not,” he said, his voice devoid of the charm he used so frequently. There were places and times for certain things, and now was neither of those. Marette’s increasingly frequent advances were likely a misplaced crush on someone who’d been around almost her whole life, and he knew he should be gentle with how he handled it.

The bed creaked again when Marette flung herself backward, the horns on her head piercing the pillows. Her thin arms crossed over her chest, frown held tight on her lips.

“Why am I the only person in the galaxy you don’t flirt with?” She asked, as if one of the myriad of answers weren’t clear in front of her in the way she reacted to Cal’s rejection. “It’s not fair.”

Cal didn’t miss a beat in the conversation, or let a pause settle between them that could instill any ideas into Marette’s head.

“Because I am not in the habit of flirting with children.”  
     
“I’m not a child.”

For an instant Cal could see clearly the flash of Eovras in Marette. It was in the way her eyes hardened and glimmered with a sizzling force, and in the way her words felt heavy and final. She would make a good sith, he realized. Better than her father, even. At least by Sith standards. Just as the thought of her as an adult left him uneasy, so did this.

He still remembered looking at her through the scope of his rifle years ago. She was pink and slender and small; a lot like she was now, but still with soft edges that would be polished away by years of training on Korriban. It reminded him too much of his own innocence being ground away, and some deep, nearly buried part of him wanted to keep her away from the future as much as he could.

“For now, Marette,” he said. “You certainly are.”        
     
His word choice was a mistake, he realized a moment too late. Marette sat up again and the shine in her eyes changed from defiance to hope.

“So when I’m not a child anymore?”

This time Cal laughed and shook his head. The persistence of youth was something else.

“Not going to happen.”    

Marette made a sound between a shriek and a sharp exhale as she again inclined back against the pillows. Cal could play at this game all day; he had infinitely more patience and tact than she did. Though he did have other things to attend to once she gave up.

“Why am I even here anyway?” She asked after a short break of silence. “When are we getting to these stupid meetings?”

Cal had asked himself why Marett was here on this mission before, too. It didn’t seem the place for sith in training to be, given the delicate nature of the negotiations. Whatever logic their commanding officers had was above his pay grade, however, and he didn’t feel like wasting the resources finding out the answers. There was too much else to focus on coming up.

“Bored already?” he teased towards Marette. With a quick glance at a holopad on the desk he tracked the ships progress, their destination approaching fast. “We should be arriving within the next few hours. Did your father go over the procedures with you?”

“Yes. I’m to behave and observe how the jedi act. He says its a learning experience.”

“It is.” Cal agreed with Eovras’ assessment. Marette could use the extra training when it came to figuring out the intricacies of others. Most everyone could, he believed. It was amazing how many small details about people others missed.

“Always keep your eyes on your enemies, and your friends,” he went on. “When you know the way someone works you have power over them. And when you have that, you can do whatever your little heart desires.”

The edges of Cal’s lips turned up into a smirk, the white glint of his teeth almost sinister in its perfection. Marette shrunk back into the pillows, and Cal watched as her eyes dimmed and she looked away from him. It was a moment before she spoke again, this time the confidence lacking from her voice.

“How do you work, Cal?”

“Watch me and see for yourself.”

In contrast to Marette’s tone Cal’s dripped with so much self assurance it sounded like a a dare. He let it hang in the air, filling the room with a weight that pressed down on the both of them.

Marette’s pink skin darkened along her cheekbones and she stood up, leaving a small dent on the bed in outline.

“I’m leaving.”    

Cal went back to his caf, the dregs now half cold. He’d need another cup before his work began today.

“Goodbye, Marrette,” he said, and waved her out with a pass of his hand. “Don’t be late for our little negotiations today.”

When the door slid shut again the room was quiet. Cal enjoyed it for as long as he could before he grew bored himself. Maybe it was the caffeine now coursing through his system, or maybe the compounded days of being stuck inside this ship, but he began to feel restless.

Leaving the room behind, he followed the halls to Gelathora’s quarters. A little bit of antagonizing his sister would brighten his mood. It always did. Beside that, he did need to double check she was ready for the negotiations.

When he reached the door he knocked and waited, then knocked again.

“I know you’re in there, dear sister. Open the door.”
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