The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
View Single Post
09.28.2012 , 04:16 PM |
Minor spoiler for light side choice in False Emperor flashpoint.
Part 1, Ipha wakes in Wrongville
Part 2, Brei'yu wakes in Wrongville, finds Pierce in her bed.
Part 3, Brei'yu meets Pierce's Sith lord, gets a surprise.
Part 4, The brain burns are discovered, a mystery
Part 5, Ipha talks with Jorgan, Brei'yu gets a warning.
Part 6, Brei'yu contacts Ipha.
When Ipha opened the bedroom door, she found Jorgan standing on the other side, his hands on the door frame and leaning forward. The way his head was bowed, she could tell he'd had his forehead against the metal.
“You shut me out,” he said quietly.
Ipha glanced behind him. Elara was nowhere in sight. “I'm sorry,” she murmured. She reached out to touch him but he pulled back from her. She dropped her hand and for the first time actively reminded herself that this wasn't real. It couldn't be real. That didn't stop the tears from wanting to come.
He seemed to sense her distress and abruptly changed his mind. He pulled her against him and buried his face in the crook of her neck, breathing deep.
She held on to him, conflicted, then pulled away. “We're going back to Hutta. I have to contact Garza.”
“I have to do this. You know I have to do this.” She pleaded with him with her eyes and he finally nodded and stepped away.
She went the holo and programmed it for General Garza. Her lovely assistant Lieutenant Mai answered with a smile.
“Hello, Major. Nice to see you,” the pretty Mirialan said.
“I need to speak with the General please, Lieutenant,” Ipha said, skipping the greeting.
“I'll let her know.”
Ipha wasn't made to wait long. Garza appeared looking crisp and battle ready in her uniform as always. “Major. What can I do for you?” she asked pointedly.
“I need to return to Hutta, General.”
“Yes, you do,” Garza said. “Something is wrong. There is the outside, and then there is here. You'll lose it all, all that is here. Choose wisely and hold on to yourself. Permission granted.” Garza severed the connection.
Ipha stared and turned to look for Jorgan, but he had already gone to the bridge. What had Garza meant there was the outside and then there was here? And to hold on to herself? Numb, she headed for the bridge. “Time to go to Hutta.”
“Sir,” Jorgan acknowledged, and sat down.
This couldn't be easy for him. Ipha worked a computer console behind Jorgan who piloted silently. She knew this was all wrong, this world where he had found happiness with her and what was she doing? Meeting with her traitor sister to try and prove it all to be wrong. This had to be hard on him, but ever the true soldier, he followed her, had her back, made sure she knew he was there for her. He had covered for her, stood over her, pleasured her. She was the worst wife in the galaxy. This galaxy.
Her head was starting to hurt.
There wasn't much she could dig up on Brei'yu that wouldn't send out flags. And what she could find was sparse. She would be woefully unprepared for this meeting. She didn't know how much of Imperial life Brei'yu had absorbed. She'd always been the outspoken one, had had the bigger issue with non humans. Had that only gotten worse in the last 13 years?
Jorgan's silence was too much for her. She made her way off the bridge and to the briefing room where Forex stood, mapping out recent sightings of high profile Imperial targets.
“That's pretty intricate,” Ipha said by way of greeting.
“Indeed, sir. The Imperials may spin their web of lies and deceit, but the might of the Republic will always cut through to the truth!” Forex made another connection.
“Sure,” Ipha answered, distracted. “Forex, why is the center of this... uh... thing an Anomid? They are allied with the Republic. Mostly.”
“Truth can be shrouded. It takes the strong light of true honor to shine through murky and clouded falsehoods. The Republic is that true honor!”
“Listen, Forex,” Ipha said, unsure what to make of that last bit, “I'm not sure how much you've been following.”
“Sir! Confusion and deception strive to bring down even the mightiest of mighty soldiers. No one can be immune! Whatever Imperial trickery ails you, we will find and destroy it!” Forex waved a limb and produced one shoulder turret.
Yeah, bringing him along to meet Brei'yu would be disastrous. “I need this Anomid's name, Forex,” she said, tapping the holophoto. She felt guilty stooping to giving him busy work, but she didn't really want her sister to get shot. No matter what she'd muttered under her breath in the past. “Keep working til you have it for me.”
“Sir! For the Republic!”
Ipha left him alone and crossed toward the med bay. There was a whisper of sound behind her as she passed the ammunition room and then she felt a slight hand on her shoulder. “Elara?” she asked, starting to turn.
There was a strangled sound suddenly and instinctively she dodged to the side. What she saw she almost didn't believe. Tanno Vik stood gripping Elara's arm and twisting a dripping needle from her grasp. He swept her legs our from under her and kicked the syringe away.
“What the hell?” Ipha went for the fallen needle. “Elara, what is this? What were you about to do?”
“You can't go to Hutta, sir. You can't.” On her knees before the Weequay, Elara hung her head. “It's just a sedative. It just would have made you rest until we could figure out what to do with you. You aren't thinking clearly, sir. You're going to put a stop to everything.”
“I don't even understand a word coming out of your mouth, Elara!” Ipha shouted. She looked up in shock. “Vik, what are you doing here?”
“I been here, boss,” he answered. “Good thing too.”
“I thought you were on Dantooine. Jorgan said you'd gone to get medical supplies.”
Something passed through Vik's eyes that she couldn't even begin to understand. “Got back hours ago. My stuff's in the cargo hold. What do you want to do with her?”
Jorgan came down the stairs, drawn by Ipha's alarm. “What's going on?”
“Dorne just tried to knock me out,” Ipha said, going to him. “Vik stopped her.”
“Dorne?” Jorgan said sharply. The blonde woman just hung her head.
“She said I'm going to stop everything. What does that mean? What am I putting a stop to?” Ipha stared up at her husband, desperate for answers.
Jorgan shook his head. “I don't know. I'm not going to pretend to understand any of what's going on with you. But I'm here to find your answers with you.”
Vik crossed his arms. “Adorable, but we got rat in the trap. What do we do with her?”
“How close are we to Hutta?”
“Less than three hours.”
Ipha looked sadly at the dejected woman at Vik's feet. “Restrain her to the medical bed.”
Vik hauled Elara to her feet. “Done and done.”
Under the guise of smuggling goods, because where else other than Nal Hutta would that sort of behavior be tolerated and even celebrated, Brei'yu got leave to land on the planet. She and Ipha had chosen a sizable city far away from the Nem'ro/Fa'athra turf war. This particular stretch of bog land was owned and operated by one Hiz'ri the Hutt. Word was that Hiz'ri was female, but really, who could tell with a Hutt? Brei'yu just didn't want to cross her. Him. It.
She sat in the pilot's seat after shutting down her ship's systems. Closing her eyes, she pictured Adris' face. The strong line of his jaw, the mirth that danced in his eyes. He was handsome in a way that put women at ease and he used it to his advantage every chance he had. She missed him. Where ever he was, Vector was probably with him. She thought of Vector's unreadable black eyes and how much she knew of him now that he had shared the nest with her. She didn't know his face the way she knew Adris' but she wanted to. And if she was ever going to, she had to suck up her courage and get off this ship.
She wanted to find her way home again.
Out in the spaceport, Brei'yu locked her ship up tight and turned to survey the scene. Being on Hutta she would have expected to see mostly Evocaii laboring and there were a few. But strangely she mostly saw Anomids milling about. The tall pale humanoid-ish aliens wore dark clothes and rebreathers over their noses and mouths.
Her attention was diverted to a second ship that landed gracefully in the port. Brei'yu watched from the shelter of her ship as the ramp lowered and Ipha, trussed up in Republic armor, strode down. She was flanked by two men and as Brei'yu cautiously got closer she saw that they were both alien.
Ipha spotted her immediately and put up a hand to to halt. Brei'yu pulled every fiber of nonchalance she had in her body and sauntered over. The alien to Ipha's left was a Cathar male and over her right shoulder was a Weequay. Neither looked friendly.
Brei'yu stopped, leaving a good distance between them and gave Ipha a thorough once over. “I didn't realize the Republic Military was supplying its officers with the Beefcake Brigade,” she said easily, proud that her voice didn't shake.
Ipha glowered.”Did you leave your maturity back on your ship? You still have time to go get it, we'll wait here.”
Brei'yu crossed her arms, then let her hands fall to sides then cocked her hands on her hips. “Come on, you can't tell you me you don't feel like some primitive dragon queen flanked by studly warriors.”
“Brei'yu!” Ipha's cheeks colored as Vik chuckled darkly. She shook off her embarrassment. “Usually my squad is bigger than this. But Lieutenant Dorne seems to think the answer to everything is knocking me out and Forex would sooner shoot you in the face than look at you.” And Yuun was missing. Ipha's mouth pulled down. Part of the reason why she was here. “Captain Aric Jorgan,” she said gesturing to the left. “And Specialist Tanno Vik. He blows stuff up.”
“Handy. I'd introduce you to my people, but I woke up this morning and they were gone. So, you'll just have to miss out.”
Ipha frowned at the sadness in Brei'yu's voice. Someone that was missing was special to her. “Can we just put this away? We're here to find answers.”
Brei'yu dropped her head forward before looking up and nodding. “Yeah. I want... my people back. But I'm glad you got to keep yours.”
Ipha couldn't help but steal a look at Jorgan. He was sizing Brei'yu up unabashedly. He always had her back. “Where do we start?”
Brei'yu approached so she could lower her voice. “Look around. Are you seeing what I'm seeing?”
Havoc swept the room subtly and Ipha frowned. “Where are all the Evocaii?”
“And where did all the Anomids come from?” Jorgan finished. “I didn't think they dealt much with the Hutts.”
Ipha thought back to Forex's project. “This is important. I remember that the last thing I heard about the Anomid species was the splintered Schism Collective was joining the Republic.”
“Okay,” Brei'yu said slowly. “So what? Why are they in Hutt space?”
“Let me pull out my data pad with all the answers. One sec.”
Brei'yu put her hands up. “Hey. Just thinking out loud.”
“They're starting to look at us,” Vik said. He thumbed his utility belt.
Ipha and Brei'yu looked around to see the Anomids slowing and stopping their work, their attention on the small knot of Havoc armor. “We should go,” Brei'yu said.
“Right.” Ipha brought speeders down. They zipped out of the hangar and into the reeking air of Hutta.
<to be continued>
Be to her Virtues
Be to her Faults
a little Blind.