The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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07.28.2012 , 01:17 PM |
, but I warn you beforehand, it's about a female character.
Miriah and Corso on Ilum, only because I am intimately familiar with his canned responses
Miriah stepped off the transport shuttle and looked over at Corso, waiting for his inevitable remark. He looked at her sheepishly, not able to help himself.
“Can’t we ever go to a nice world?
”he asked, grinning at her as she rolled her eyes. “At least it’s not hot,” he said, thinking of Tatooine and the sand that scorched as it worked into places sand ought not be. Ilum, in its pristine frozen state, was greatly preferable to that, he thought. Besides, he knew Mir would get cold soon, and he’d get to hold her close for warmth.
Miriah looked around her, and figured she’d haul jets to the Jedi temple ruins, at least at first, just to get a feel for this place. She set off toward the settlement, looking over her shoulder at Corso, who was still looking around the shuttle pad. “You coming?” she asked him.
“You got it. Right behind you, Captain.”
He lifted the two packs of gear and shuffled off, appreciating his view of her as she strode toward the shelter. He didn’t know what was wrong with him lately, she’d proven to be more of a distraction than ever since they’d left Voss.
I didn’t think it was possible for this job to get more complicated,
he thought, but Voss had changed his mind. He was lost in thought as he stumbled down a frozen ramp, missing the patch of ice his heavily treaded boot slipped on. Down he went, the packs eliciting an “Ooof” when they landed on him. Miriah hurried back to help him up, tsking about watching his step in this ice.
“Don’t worry bout me,”
he chuckled at her, as she brushed snow off them both, her gloved hands stiff with ice already. He could see her shivering under the dozen layers of clothing she’d put on. They walked to the quartermaster, discovering that the entire place was essentially packed ice. Corso could hear Miriah grumbling, muttering something about “damned frigid wasteland of a planet, no heat even inside.”
Miriah glared at the quartermaster, then turned her sullen gaze on her partner.
“Don’t know why you’re looking at me, you’re in charge,”
he told her, turning to the other man. “We’ll be fine, thanks.” He took the lead then, heading out to the speeder path. “Might as well keep moving, darlin’. Warmer that way.” He took the rented speeder from the vendor and turned it, gesturing for Miriah to climb aboard. When she did, he sat behind her, touching her every point he could to transfer some warmth to her. They took off at a moderate speed toward the Jedi ruins.
When they arrived and dismounted, Corso looked around with wonder.
“Now we’re fighting to reclaim Jedi ruins? What have we gotten ourselves into?”
He turned his confused look to Miriah, who was jumping up and down trying to keep warm. He shook his head at her,
“I’ll say one thing, traveling with you is never dull.”
Under stealth, they moved through the ruins, Corso marking reference points on the map in his head, Miriah shaking so hard she was afraid she’d break stealth. When they made it back to the speeder, she’d had enough. “Let’s go back and I mean back to the ship. I’ll freeze to death out here.” He nodded, but when she tried to fire up the speeder, they discovered it had indeed already frozen. Miriah dismounted, kicking the disabled speeder with her numbed foot, then jumping around on the other, muttering curses worthy of a Nar Shadaa gang member.
When Corso had unpacked the portable solar generator and heater from his pack, she stopped hopping to stare. “Oh!” she said, “You’re a genius!” When the heater had thawed her a bit, she injected kolto in her injured foot, and for a few moments she was warm and happy.
“The heater won’t last all night, though, the generator doesn’t have enough time to charge, it’s almost dusk now,” he told her, prepared to trek in the bitterly cold night. “We can travel by foot, or wait til morning, your choice.”
“Grrrr, I guess we’re camping, and you know how much I like camping even in decent weather conditions,” she told him, testing out her foot before putting the three socks and her boot back on it. “Let’s at least drag our stuff back to that little ice cave closer to the entrance.”
When they’d found the spot, they unpacked what they’d need, rations, water and sleeping bags. Miriah maintained it was too cold to eat, and sat wrapped in her sleeping bag, coiled up in a little ball. They shared quarters on the ship, but now she was keeping her distance? I’ll never figure out women, he thought. Instead of voicing that thought, he simply said her name, opening his sleeping bag to her.
She didn’t need to think about it, she hastily climbed in next to him, setting the stealth generator up so that they could remain undetected by any passers by. He arranged her sleeping bag around them for extra insulation, and settled in, his natural heat generation quickly warming them both. He tried to remember that they were on a hostile planet in less than ideal conditions, but his senses were filled with her and he was definitely having trouble focusing on anything else.
“Corso?” she whispered, “Remember when you asked why we were doing this? My oldest sister is a Jedi.” He didn’t say anything for a minute, wondering why she hadn’t told him that before. He had no real issue with Jedi, he just didn’t know any personally. “For that matter, my mother and father as well.” They lay there, silent but not uncomfortably so.
“So you want to fight for these ruins for your family?” he asked her, not surprised at all when she nodded. “I get that,” he told her, kissing her head. He felt her relax against him, and just before he fell asleep, he whispered,
“Anything you want, Captain.”
Love is the strongest magic of them all.