The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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09.12.2012 , 04:09 PM |
Quote: Originally Posted by
This is a little background for my smugglers, female Mirialan Aurai and my male human Markus Kinbridge. No spoilers.
Her husband had not been a faithful man. But she had loved him, forgiven him, stayed at his side. She had been the one he came home to, the one he wanted a family with. She hadn't grown up clean and his shadows hadn't scared her.
Had she really only known him for four years? It felt like a lifetime. She had been 16 when she first saw him. Mirial wasn't a place one immediately connected with seedy cantinas and dark corners. But it had them, and she had worked one. Tsarren had come in with his best friend Markus, threw around credits, drank like liquor was being outlawed the next day. She'd served them all night. She'd woken up in Tsarren's bed the next morning.
She'd lied about her age at first. He was so much older at 22 she had thought at the time. A scoundrel, a rake, a rogue. It was Markus who discovered she was still really a child. Markus with his dark hair and debonair smile and his jealousy. Markus had wanted her too, had made a half-hearted attempt to get her himself by telling Tsarren she was too young. Tsarren didn't care. He came around as often as he could between shipments. She was head over heels in love with him. He wanted her. He loved her certainly, obsessed over her, was possessive from the first. Eight months after meeting him he asked her to marry him. She was 17. She had said yes without a thought.
Her parents weren't happy. Furious really. Especially when she left home to cruise the galaxy with him. That didn't last long. He said he worried about her, wanted her somewhere safe so they could start a family. She knew now that she cramped his style. He wouldn't give her up, but he didn't want her with him. She was so in love with him she believed every word. He had bought her this big house and dropped her off to stay and make it a home. The next time he came back he got her pregnant.
She could remember fondly now. Her husband wasn't the best man in the galaxy. But he was a good man, and he had been her man. He'd loved her, in his own way. And she'd taken him anyway she could get him.
Her pregnancy had been difficult and the baby came early. A little girl. He hadn't been there for the birth. He tried to be, racing the hyperlanes and sitting with her on holo. He never got to meet his daughter in person. After a day of life, she left.
It changed him. He started taking fewer jobs. Started talking about retirement. He even started talking about having another baby. She would have done anything for him and they started trying again.
But that one job, that one single, can't-say-no job always cropped up. The last time it was for the Jedi Order. All she had known when he left was that he would be going into Imperial Space. He'd died on Voss when his ship was shot down. He'd had a cargo hold full of Force sensitives, trying to get them out of the Empire.
The Jedi Order praised him as a hero. She'd always known he was. Tsarren was a good man and he'd died doing a good thing. She had that always.
Now she stood outside the ship yard, her fingers fidgeting with the door code. Tsarren's ship was in there, resting these last months while she grieved. But the creditors had come calling. Tsarren may have been a good man, but he died with a debt that could have bailed out Coruscant's economy. She was going to lose the house. The speeders were already gone and she'd sold off most of what they had owned already to keep the worst of the leg breakers at bay.
She wouldn't miss the house. It had been home at one time. But they had left her to rattle around between empty walls and listen to the echoes of the life she could have had. She felt like she was a hundred and eight year sold. She wasn't even twenty-one yet. She would not allow it to be this way. She couldn't.
Tsarren would never forgive her if she gave up.
She entered the ship yard and ignored the protocol droid that came to help her. She could see what she wanted already, a familiar curve of power and metal. A ship she had known like she had known her husband's body.
She stepped to the door and uncoded it. The air was stale and dusty. Something had gone bad while it sat and the offness smeared the air with rank.
A C2-N7 unit was standing guard at the door. It had been turned off when the ship was stored. She fired it up without a thought.
“Oh, oh my,” N7 said as the lights flickered to life. “Master Aurai, it is wonderful to see you.”
“Hello N7,” she said quietly. “How are you functioning?'
N7 performed a basic internal scan. “My joints are rusty, my chips are dusty. It has been three hundred and eighty-four days since I was last active. But I am functioning satisfactorily.”
“Excellent. I need you to show me how to fly.”
“I'm sorry?” N7 asked, though it had processed what she said perfectly.
“We're going for a low atmosphere test run,” Aurai said. “And I'm going to need you to make a full diagnostic on the ship. After you show me how Tsarren flew.”
“Of course, Master. Right this way.”
She could pilot speeders and basic ground hoppers. Flying the Carnivale was going to be another thing all together. N7 was a sufficient enough teacher that she managed not to kill them both but she was going to need a better instructor. She knew exactly who to call.
He answered his personal holo after a moment, looking annoyed until his eyes met hers. “Aurai.”
She smiled warmly. “Markus. You look good.”
“Uh, thanks. You look... you look good too.”
She lowered her eyes modestly even though she had worked very hard on her appearance specifically for this call. “It's nice to hear you say that.”
“Uh listen. One sec.” Markus turned away and spoke in hushed tones to someone. Aurai heard a giggle then a female sigh of displeasure.
“Is it your wife?” the female voice questioned.
Aurai chuckled as Markus assured her no. He shooed her away and turned back to her.
“I'm sorry. You have company,” Aurai said with a slightly disappointed frown. “I shouldn't keep you.”
“Oh no, it's fine. She'll keep. Listen, Rai. I... I'm sorry I haven't been around.” Markus looked uncomfortable and apologetic and Aurai took pity on him.
“Losing Tsarren had to be a nightmare for you too. We handled it in our own way. That's kind of why I'm calling you now.”
“Yeah?” Markus looked hopeful.
“Do you have any time available for me?” She smiled softly, dipped her chin and looked at him through her eyelashes.
“I'll make all the time you need, Rai. You know I'll do that for you.”
“I want you to teach me to fly the Carnivale.”
That shook him. “The... I thought she's been destroyed when Tsarren went down.”
Aurao put her finger to her lips. “Officially she's scrap. But Master Bard Xern, the Jedi that went with Tsarren to smuggle those Force users from the Imperials, paid to have her fixed up for me. He respected Tsarren. I got the feeling they had been close on that job. Master Bard wanted me to have something that was important to Tsarren. And now I want to fly her.” Markus hesitated. “I can pay you,” she said, trying to keep desperation out of her voice.
“Aurai. You know I won't take payment from you.”
She gave him a secret smile. “We'll discuss a method of payment when you get here.”
He froze and looked at her closely. She lowered her eyes shyly again and continued to smile. “Yeah. We'll talk,” Markus said finally. She had him. Aurai knew that Markus Kinbridge would never accept credits from her. But he would take something else. Something he'd wanted for a very long time. Whatever blonde floozy dripped off his body tonight, he'd be thinking about her and what he would teach her.
“When do you have time?” she asked innocently.
“I'm actually between jobs at the moment. I put in interest to ship some freight to Ord Mantell, but that deal hasn't come together yet. I can be there in a couple days.”
She smiled wide now, feeling her plans come together perfectly. “I can't wait to see you. But I'll let you get back to your guest. Thank you, Markus. I knew I could count on you.”
“Anything for you, Rai.”
She blew him a kiss and cut the connection. Soon. Soon she would be free of this house of what could have been and would be flying the galaxy doing what Tsarren had loved. His memory would live on in her actions and the credits she made would go back to getting the grog off her back that he had left her.
Markus would set her up with a job to start. He had amazing connections. She would make a name for herself out there. And she would leave this all behind her.
She was more than ready.
Wooow!!! This in contrast to the Aurai we met in that Ipha story!! Wow!! Really good!
Force of Wills
Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind