The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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08.12.2012 , 12:02 AM |
Well, well, first post for me as I usually lurk in the shadows of this thread but, I decided to take the plunge so, here it is.
What's in a name? featuring my light side agent with some minor spoilers from the IA storyline
Her room was almost silent. The low humming of the ship's systems was all around, a normal sound, yet, for some strange reason, she took notice of it as if she had heard it for the first time. Was this the cause of her lack of sleep? She smirked knowing that such sound was almost a second nature, a constant melody which had been added to her life not too long ago and that, some nights, it had actually helped her fall asleep.
She took a deep breath and sighed. Silence. Again. The humming had faded to the back of her mind, now inexistant. Yet, something else caught her attention. What was it? Clicking? For a moment she let her thoughts run and a smile appeared on her lips, turning into a chuckle. Clicking. Somehow she imagined Vector suddenly transforming into a Killik, his mouth replaced by mandibles trying to have a conversation with the doctor. All the while, Lokin would try to take samples, fascinated by the sudden transformation.
She remembered the first time Kaliyo had met Vector. Bugboy, she had called him.
The agent continued to smile. However, it faded after a moment. What was it? There was something tugging at her mind, something that was keeping her awake and she was starting to get annoyed. She covered her head "I need sleep, damn it!" her voice came muffled from underneath the pillow. Yet, the more she tried to fall asleep, the more noises she would hear, making any form of sleep be impossible.
Giving up, she switched the light on. Maybe sitting in the captain's chair would ease her mind, she thought. Grabbing her uniform, she dressed nonchalantly. She did not bother to fully button it up, it was too late and she did not care.
The ship's bridge was a familiar place, with all those blinking lights, beeping terminals, switches and screens. It was almost like a miniature Nar Shaddaa without the casinos, nightlife and vices...and without Hutts. And for that, she was grateful. Having a slimy, sweaty Hutt sitting on the controls may...
"Ewww..." She shuddered at the thought.
"Sir?" came a voice from behind her. She quickly turned around, Ensign Temple was looking at her with a puzzled look.
"Ensign?...you are still awake?"
"I was recalibrating some of the systems, sir. I wanted to rectify some of the fluctuations in the power matrix which, I believe, were caused by the installation of the new defensive grid which..."
Seeing the look in the agent's eyes, she stopped "Sorry, sir"
The agent shook her head "No apology needed ensign, It's just that..." what was it? What was poking and tugging the back of her mind? Not knowing how to explain it to herself, she was in no condition to explain it to another person. Luckily, the ensign broke the silence:
"I will continue later, sir."
The agent followed Temple with her eyes till she disappeared in the corridor leading away from the bridge. She then sat on the captain's chair, finally catching the show of the tiny luminous dots outside. Watching the stars was something that had always calmed her, since she was a child. When she was nervous or upset, the sky with its stars was were she would find peace. But not now. Why?
What was wrong? Was there something wrong? Or was it just her mind slipping away, as if under the influence of another brainwashing? She stood, a growing sense of unease growing within her and she did not know how to stop it. But then, she thought of something, or someone...
Entering the storage area of the ship, she found him there. Vector was seemingly meditating but she knew better. His connection to the hive and his status as Dawn Herald allowed him to communicate through the vastness of space with the Killiks. She did not know what it meant to be a joiner but, from what she had seen back on Alderaan, all those who joined possessed such inner peace that it seemed to rival even the peace so stubbornly beseech-ed by the Jedi.
She stood in the doorway, watching him. And that is where Kaliyo's voice resounded in her head - Bugboy - causing a smile to cross her lips once more.
"Agent..." his voice interrupted her thoughts "...we did not hear you enter"
"I did not wish to disturb"
"You never disturb us Agent. Is there something you require?"
She hesitated "It's just that...I don't know" she let her gaze fall to the floor.
He stood and walked towards her but she did not notice, that sense of unease still pulling the strings of her thoughts. I was only when she felt his arms around her that she snapped out of her stupor. She hugged him, feeling her inner turmoil slip away.
"Are you troubled?" his voice soothing her. She did not wish to reply, fearing that it would break the calm he had brought but, she knew she had to find the cause and a solution to what was sitting at the back of her mind, mocking her.
"I don't know Vector. It's just that there is something that bothers me and I do not know what it is and that's unsettling"
"You do not give us much to go with, but we will try our best to help you, if you want us to, Agent"
Agent. She felt a sudden rush, as if she had just found the key for the unlocked door. Agent. That's what it was. She slipped away from him, taking a step backward. He let go of her, surprised by the sudden reaction
"Did we say something to upset you?"
"What did you call me, Vector?"
He paused, puzzled by the question "We called you Agent..."
There it was again. Throughout her career she had heard that word so many times. Keeper had called her like that. Kaliyo addressed her as agent and so did Lokin and Vector. With the exception of the ensign, who referred to her as sir, following military hierarchy standards, everyone else called her agent. She had been an agent for the imperial intelligence, a double agent while undercover and a cipher agent nine. All those were nothing but titles, aimed at her identity, making her a nameless creature, someone without a name. Her thoughts raced as she felt anger grow within her; she hated that word, which was nothing more than a mockery of a name.
Somehow, she never realised how much she hated that title, but to hear it from Vector, it was too much
"Do you even know my name?" she spat out the words
Vector remained motionless for a moment, unsure on how to respond "Agent, we did not..."
"Do not call me like that!!" she interrupted him, her reply coming out like a whiplash
"We never called you otherwise because you never told us your real name."
She felt bad as her anger suddenly turned into embarrassment "I'm sorry, Vector, I shouldn't have..."
"It is alright" he replied, smiling
She turned away from him, cursing herself for being so stupid. Of course, he had never known her name, as an agent for imperial intelligence is supposed to remain nameless and faceless. A shadow walking among people, forced to see without being seen. Maybe her name was what had pushed her to join the imperial military, maybe it was that same name that made her so attracted to the night sky and its stars.
"Lilith, that is my name" she said, almost whispering. She was surprised at hearing her own name.
How long had it been since the last time someone had called her by her name? Too long, as she could not remember.
"Lilith" he repeated. She turned to him. It felt strange to hear someone else pronounce her name.
"We will remember and cherish it"
Of the night, she was once told it meant. Of the night and its sky and its stars and of the shadows that lurk in its darkness. Shadows like her, nothing more than a fleeting glimpse in someone's eye. But she knew that shadows are also cast by light and she had found that light.
She hugged Vector.
My Agent's name is now Lilithy, unfortunately, following the server transfer. Server transfers, oh how I love thee....