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bright_ephemera
08.05.2012 , 08:48 PM | #38
CHRONICLES PRESENT, 21: In which Nalenne and Andronikos discuss life

Time period: After Andronikos Revel comes aboard the Helicarrier


Nalenne was carving through a crowd of panicked rabble, and it was a good day.

“My lord,” yelled Quinn behind her, “I have secured the sequencer here. We need to get around to the north side.”

“Busy,” said Nalenne. She could disengage from these poor gangsters at any time, but it was much more fun to keep killing.

“My lord. We are on a limited timeframe and you’re free to disengage right now.”

“Busy,” said Nalenne. “Buzz off.”

Quinn darted to a control panel on the wall and pressed some rapid code sequence. Huge blast doors slammed down to block Nalenne’s rampage, cutting her off from the bulk of her enemies.

She rounded on Quinn. “What the hell is that? I’m not done here!”

“Yes, you are. We need to proceed to the north face to finish the fine work there.”

“The busywork, you mean. No. Screw it. I’ve done enough of your heavy lifting on this stupid op.” She deactivated her saber and stormed out the nearest door.

She didn’t really have a plan after that. “Stomping dramatically away from Quinn” seemed adequate for the time being. She walked until she could hear herself think, then found a relatively clean ledge in a brick-wall alley to settle on so she could sulk in privacy for a bit.

There wasn’t even anything to kill nearby.

A scuffing sound from the street grabbed her attention some time later. She watched, maintaining her sulky face, as Andronikos came around the corner. He nodded at her and leaned against the alley’s opposite wall.

“I wouldn’t intrude,” he said, “but I don’t think you’re accustomed to stomping off like that. The anger part here gets lonely if you’re not used to it.”

Then he looked out at the street for a while.

In time he pulled out a flask. “Thirsty?”

“Nah. I was gonna get that all done in one semi-suicidal binge in a little bit.”

“Okay.”

A little while later she spoke up. “I’m not being unreasonable, wanting a few seconds’ freedom a day, am I?”

“You’re Sith. Wanting is kind of your thing. Wanting, and taking.”

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s right, it is.” She waited. “So you finally have me alone. You gonna kill me now? Nis would be thrilled.”

He smiled. “Nah. I try when Nis asks me to, but I’ve got nothing against you. And, frankly, watching you walk out on your control-freak captain was the best thing I’ve ever seen you do.”

“I don’t usually run away. I usually just kill people until all the survivors agree with me.”

“Sometimes it’s best to just go. Clear your head a bit. If the killing’s worthwhile, it’ll still be there when you get back.”

“’Just go.’ Think they could get by without me?”

“Anybody can get by without anybody. It’s all a question of whether it’s any fun to try. Ever think about it? You know, kick the crew out, take the ship, just…fly. No orders, no running interference between these lousy egomaniacs, no nothin’. Just stars an’ blasters.” He considered. “And a lightsaber,” he added thoughtfully. “Oh, and a well-stocked bar.”

“And comic books,” added Nalenne.

“And comic books,” agreed Andronikos, “if you’re that big a nerd.”

“You don’t complain about Scarlet Nexu, particularly the Insatiable run whose archive you’ve moved to underneath your bed.”

“We’re getting away from the question. Ever think about going? With any necessary or desirable supplies?”

“It’d be lonely,” she said.

“I know you like your people. But it might be good for you to maybe spend two minutes not bending over backwards catering to their every whim.”

“I like taking care of them.”

“Even him?” He raised one hand. “Wait, before you answer. Recall that this guy is about as sane as my girl, and he can’t even do tricks like killing people by looking at them like mine can. I know love makes you do the stupid. But he treats you like his personal lifting droid. It’s absurd.”

“He knows me well enough to know how to make my life hell if I don’t give him what he wants.”

“Screw that. Cut him loose. Him and his buddies on the Emperor’s Hand. Skip Jaesa’s lectures and let’s just go. It’d be a change, yeah, but freedom’s enough to keep you going for a long time.”

“Is it freedom if I’m doing it because you told me to?”

“Better’n waiting for the next schizophrenic round of orders your current babysitters give you.”

“They’re not my babysitters.”

Andronikos shrugged and stared up at the city skyline. They were quiet for a while.

“You going to get back to lecturing me?” asked Nalenne.

“Nah. Already did too much. I figure you get enough of that.” He pushed away from the wall. “I know storming out alone isn’t your usual thing, and I wanted to make sure you were okay. Just so you know, it was a sight to see.” He chuckled. “You should consider doing more of it, but I leave that up to you.”

“Don’t go yet,” she said, standing up. “On the scale of rash and possibly regrettable things, I’m going to have to work my way up to ‘abandoning everybody and running away forever.’”

“You got a lesser rash and possibly regrettable idea in mind for the short term?”

“I do.” She moved closer. “You in?”

“Nalenne, uh. I’ve slept with your sister.”

“I am way too upset to care about how creepy that is right now.”

“Okay, then. Sure.”
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