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Thoughts and Musings

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KimbriOnasi
12.04.2013 , 05:24 PM | #1
Kara Jade Onasi is a human female Agent. She considers herself a servant of the Empire in its purest sense. She generally chooses light side options, although sometime practicality or even vengeance for wrongs will lead her down a darker path. She and my Jedi Knight, Kimbri are the two matriarchs of my Onasi Legacy on the Shadowlands server.

This won't necessarily be a continuous chronological story, just episodes about my Agent's life in the game that struck my fancy enough to write about. I'll always make sure it's clear when in the story the post takes place.

This one takes place between Tatooine and Alderaan.
///
Agent's Night Out

“Oh come on, Agent. Enough moping.” My back was to the Rattataki woman as I stared out of the transparisteel cockpit.

I rolled my eyes. “I’m not moping. I’m just…” I paused, not quite sure what I had been doing really. Daydreaming perhaps. Zoning, really.

“You’re moping,” Kaliyo said definitively. “You’ve been moping about Sanju ever since we finished on Nar Shadda and went looking for him on Balmorra.”

Before leaving Balmorra, Sanju and I had had a lovely time --a little respite for both of us after having been undercover with the Balmorran Resistance together for a month or so. From the first time we met there had been...something. A spark between us. And it wasn’t just physical. He showed promise for this life--he could be really good, especially if he learns to weigh his desire to help individual against the greater good for the Empire a bit more. But the fact that he did want to help to protect people so much was one of the things that really drew me to him.

“I just think that he could be a good addition to our crew. He has the basic skills and we could teach him the rest.”

“He’d be a good addition to your bed you mean,” she teased. “But I told you from the beginning that it’d never work out.”

I swivelled in the captain’s chair, my lips curled into a mischievous smile, and tossed my head back. “You’re just jealous that he was interested in me.”

She snorted, leaned against the doorframe and crossed her arms over her armored chest. “So he preferred a couple of nights between your thighs rather than mine. Big deal. I don’t see that it mattered enough to get him to leave that hole of a planet and come with us.”

I turned back to face the transparisteel. I had been telling myself that it was just that he had his mission now that he was undercover again as Gray Star--a mission that I had set the groundwork for. And I had my own mission. But deep down I had been thinking the same thing as my only companion. Even if what we felt was real, it just wasn’t enough. Not for him at least. Not enough to make good on his offer for me to visit him. Not enough for him to keep in contact. Perhaps his mission went wrong and that’s why…I didn’t know anymore if I wished that were the reason or not.

“We’re going out,” Kaliyo said emphatically, turning my chair to face her again. “You need to loosen up--not to mention get laid.” I rolled my eyes, this time so she could see.
//

Kaliyo was true to her word. We did have a good time. Perhaps too good of a time, I thought as I gingerly tried to maneuver my way from between the two naked men asleep in the hotel bed. They were just as gorgeous as I had thought them last night while under the influence of something called ryncol that Kaliyo had us drinking last night. Some exotic alien drink from part of the universe out of the reaches of either the Empire or the Republic. Strong stuff. Strong enough to make me forget my moping and live in the moment. One man was a Twi’lek of a lovely shade of light blue, delicate patterns of light gray swirling over his lekku. He was beautiful, as pleasure slaves often were. And it was true what they said about Twi’leks. Then really didn’t have any hair. Anywhere. None. It was unusual and I faintly remembered exploring that novelty with all of my senses last night.

The other man was large and muscular (in Intelligence we would categorize him as a size 3 body type) with blonde hair. Last evening I thought that he had been wearing tiny sunglasses but this morning it was more obvious to me that he was Miralukan with the more modern eye coverings that have a similar appearance to some ocular cybernetics implants. That would explain some things about last night--like him using his hands much more than men usually do since most men tend to be heavily visually oriented.

Luckily, I was able to slip into the fresher to grab one of the hotel’s bathrobes without waking the men. I padded into the common room of the suite that apparently we had rented to find Kaliyo sitting on the couch sipping a cafe, a nexxu-who-ate-the-canary look on her face. “So…feeling better?”

I grabbed a cup of cafe as well and plopped onto the couch beside her. “Sure,” I started reluctantly, “except I’m a bit fuzzy on how I ended up with two men in my bed.”

The rattataki woman smirked at me. “Oh, that. Never figured you to be a prude, Agent.” I raised an eyebrow at her and she winked back. “Well, I started the night by leaving you to your own devices. Boy was that a mistake!” she rolled her eyes. “You got all cozy with someone that looked similar to him. As I dragged you away you complained--about how pretty his eyes were. So I found you the Miralukan. You know, as a bit of a joke. Besides, he looked like the type that wouldn’t be shy. And judging by how he was pawing you in the club, I was right.” She made a disgusted noise. “But I still caught your eyes looking for the Sanju look-alike. Obviously you needed more distraction. So I spied the Twi’lek boy and paid him to make sure all your needs were met for the next 24 hours.”

So I had been right. The Twi’lek was a pleasure slave. Probably owned by the blasted Hutts, too. What I remembered from the night, the man had been very attentive and kind, yet strangely passionate for someone who got paid for sex. I’d never been with a paid escort before. Never had to. Seduction was part of the job and I was good at my job. Unpleasant memories of that portion of my training began to surface. Thankfully my partner interrupted my thoughts.

“You going soft on me, Jade?” I had never given Kaliyo my real name and had no plans to. Only those with the highest clearance in Intelligence knew that I was born Kara Jade Onasi. She usually just called me “Agent” but on occasion she would use my more common alias, Jade. “Although,” and she leaned in closer to me, “if you were thinking of staging a coup against his Hutt master, I’m in. I could use a good fight and would love a chance at payback for old grievances against the Hutts.” A malicious gleam flickered in her eyes.

I laughed. No. I had no intention of fighting the Hutts. No point in drawing undue attention to ourselves. But the thought of giving the poor young man enough money to pay for his freedom did cross my mind. “We’ll see,” was all I said and then sipped my coffee.
////

I gave the blonde Jedi a warm hug and received one from the man with her. My first cousins Kimbri Onasi and “Moff” Dillon. Our fathers were brothers in the Empire together, had their first children together and eventually Moffy and I had even gone to the Academy together. But when Kimbri had been born, everything changed for my uncle. He couldn’t bear to send his Force-sensitive baby girl to the Sith to be twisted into something evil and self-serving. So he and my aunt had defected to the Republic in the hopes of securing a place for her amongst the Jedi. Upon graduation from the Academy my cousin Moff followed suit, albeit in a more mercenary fashion as a smuggler pilot. My father had disowned his brother from that point on. But I hadn’t. They were my family, my blood. The greater good of the Empire and its people is and will always be my mission with only this one exception--those that belong to me.

“Thank you, Cousin,” I said quietly since the cave, although remote, still produced a lot of echo.

Kimbri looked behind her to her padawan, Kira, who was talking to the young Twi’lek man who we had come to call Olo since he apparently didn’t have a proper name of his own. The Hutts had just given him a binary number consisting of 0’s and 1’s. His was 01010101. So we called him OLO for short, which resembled his numerical name. “We’ll do what we can for him. Perhaps the Jedi could use his skill with massage and caretaking of others in their healing centers.” She blushed and I knew that she was embarrassed at the thought of his primary set of skills. She then looked into my eyes. “It warms my heart to see that you still care about people, about individuals, Kara--that the Empire hasn’t taken that from you. It gives me hope that if there are more like you in the Empire perhaps we could come to a peaceful resolution afterall.”

I chuckled. “The eternal optimist, Kimbri.” I patted her on the shoulder affectionately. “I hope the realities of war never change that about you.”
///
I hope that you enjoyed it. And there will be Vector in the next one.

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KimbriOnasi
12.18.2013 , 04:32 PM | #2
Meeting the Agent

We stand, our eyes closed, absorbed into the nest’s song of new life. It distracts us from our thoughts of the Empire’s mission for us. It has been months since we had heard from the Empire. And usually, as with this last contact, it is by electronic mail. We used to communicate by holocommunicator, however we think our appearance unsettles our superiors in the Empire. They would rather think us still an unaffected emissary to the Killiks--actually, we believe they would rather not have to think of us at all. But duty calls.

The nest heralds the agent’s arrival as she walks up the winding caves where they work. Spinning Leaf announces her, annoyance in his tone. But it wasn’t necessary. We could feel the presence of her aura, like a soft whisper as we stand facing away from her. “Yes, this is the one as the song schedule determined.” We steel ourself. We’ve never relished greeting Imperials for the first time. The look of revulsion when they see our eyes, when they hear us use the third person is...unpleasant to us. But the nest sends love and acceptance through our shared consciousness. You are the Dawn Herald and you are cherished here. Be our voice to these outsiders, but do not fear them. You are special and you are mine. Our Queen. And we are touched that she would choose speak to us personally when we know how occupied her time and efforts are with preparing her children for the expansion of the nest.

“We are Vector Hyllus, Dawn Herald of the Uroboru nest.” We straighten our posture and approach our visitors. We obscure our eyes from view as we approach. “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Agent.” We look up directly at the woman in front of us, awaiting the inevitable reaction. She pauses only a split second. In that time we study her. We are a bit surprised. Her aura is a rich shade of violet. It is rare that people display complex colors. Most are the base colors--red, yellow, blue. Only those with more depth, more complexity to their minds, their personalities tend to produce auras with complex colors such as orange, purple and brown.

She erects her posture, clasping her hands in front of her in an official Imperial stance. “Cipher Nine. I’m with Imperial Intelligence.” Her eyes remain fixed upon ours. No flinching or darting even indicating the desire to look away from our Joiner eyes. Only a slight flicker of her aura gives away her surprise at our appearance. She must be quite good at her work in Intelligence with such control over her reactions.

We feel the tension in our body relax and her eyes seem to be not just holding our gaze but examining us. We break the eyes contact, inclining our head. “Of course.” Might as well bring the topic out in the open. “We trust our appearance doesn’t disturb you. Our superiors in the Diplomatic Service find our Joining...disconcerting. But it was necessary. The Joining allowed us to share thoughts and senses with the nest, forging a bond between the Empire and Killiks.” Why are we trying so hard to justify ourselves to her? Perhaps because she’s the first Imperial to actually look at us, to take us seriously since the Joining. “The change is a small price.”

Her aura shifts from violet toward magenta and we feel it brush against us lightly. The feel of it is like velvet whispering across our skin. The corner of her mouth turns up at the corner as her posture relaxes and the green of her eyes deepen. “Changed or not, you clean up well.”

Is she laughing at us or with us? we wonder. “You are very kind,” we reply a bit confused. The nest helps by bringing memories to our awareness--ours from before the Joining as well as those of others. Understanding comes to us, although it’s a bit unbelievable. Is the Cipher actually flirting with us? We used to be so good at that game--the witty repartee with double meanings and innuendo. But after so long in the nest, away from that life… “We would rub forearms, but it might not...translate,” we try to tease. Damn. That was lame. But still her mouth quirks up and we see a perceptible shake to her shoulders. She is stifling a chuckle! She understood us despite the oblique reference. We stand frozen in amazement and disbelief.

Spinning Leaf wakes us out of our reverie. Stop making eyes at the dumb outsider and get to the point so they can leave. They give me the creeps. She didn’t say it is so many words, but the meaning was clear through our bond. We blink at our friend for a moment then return our focus back to the woman. “Imperial Intelligent provided us with a list of names, dates and locations connected to your terrorist financier.”

Her posture returns to that crisp, erect stance of Imperial officers, her aura having shifted again, this time to a plum shade. We feel a bit sad that the small smile has left her face. “Do you have an ID on the target?” she asks, all business now.

Part of us wishes that we had more direct information for her. But part of us is glad that the hunt will take a bit more time and collaboration with this intriguing woman. “We can’t identify the financier himself, but your information shows that he has visited House Organa, House, House Panteer, and House Cortess. Cortess is a vassal of the Empire’s proxy, House Thul. If you should give the Cortess Barron a copy of our findings, he might close in on your foe.”

“If I could manipulate a Hutt, I can handle a Baron,” she replies with self-assurance.

We only just met the Agent, but from the little information gathered, we have no doubt of that. We try to suppress a smile, but aren’t completely successful. “A Hutt. Indeed.” We hear the song of the nest rising again. We are pulled by the desire to add to the chorus. “We must proceed to the Dance of Unlighting. But we’ll remain here for the duration of your mission.” We almost turn to leave, but we feel there is something more that we could offer to the woman. Our expertise as a diplomat and one that has come to know the Alderaanian nobility well. “We suggest that you present yourself to Cortess as an ally of the Empire. Show strength and don’t mention your Intelligence connections.”
///

We walk down the twisting corridor of the cave toward its entrance. I barely notice the length of the walk as I’m wrapped in thought about the encounter with the Killik Joiner, Vector. My companion is not, however, given to quiet contemplation. “I have two words for you, Agent.” I look at her, my eyebrows raised. “Creeeee-peeeey.”

I look at her. “So you were employed to serve Hutts in a variety of disgusting tasks and that creeps you out?”

“I know you have to pass eye exams for that Intelligence service of yours. You can’t tell me you missed those eyes.” She shuddered.

I smirk at her, my tone matching my expression. “Now, Kaliyo, I know I’ve seen Chiss men exit your suite. And their eyes are entirely red. Red, black, what’s the difference?”

“The difference is that red is like blood. And I like blood. Black is just...just like it has two deep pits in its head where eyes should be.” She closed her eyes and shook her head, as if to fend off the memory. “I can’t believe you were actually flirting with it!”

I want to roll my eyes but I resist. I keep my tone calm instead. “First Vector is a he, not an it. And you’ve been with me long enough to know that I’ll use seductive persuasion wherever necessary to ensure our success. In my experience sex works better than violence. You know the old saying. ‘You catch more bees with honey’.”

“I’d rather use a giant fly-swatter in this case.” She looks at me sideways. “But I like violence. And sex.”

My laugh comes out as a snort. “For you, violence is foreplay.”

She laughs with me. “You know me too well.”

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KimbriOnasi
01.03.2014 , 11:59 AM | #3
House Cortess

I stand in the Audience chamber of House Cortess staring at the limp body on the floor in horror. I’ve killed more than my fair share of sentients, so it’s not like I haven’t seen a dead body before. But this...I take a hold of the shock and turn it into righteous anger. I step forward with my right foot, setting my stance in readiness for a fight. “She didn’t have to die. How could you?”


The older man simply lifts his chin, looking down his nose at me. “I had no other choice. Now, take your...insects from this place. We can discuss further recompense as civilized people.” I look at Vector in my peripheral vision. He has not moved from his parade rest-like stance since he had told me that the hive was awaiting my order to attack. I was sure that the Baron’s insult was directed at Vector as well, no longer considering him either civilized or people. I couldn’t help but *****le at the insult. Afterall, Joiner or not, he is still a representative of the Empire. Besides, he is my backup and Cortess had just demonstrated how ruthless he can be if pushed. I have no desire to leave myself at his mercy and that of his house guard.


I open my mouth to retort, but Vector speaks, taking two long steps forward, “We’re afraid that’s not your decision, Baron.” I lift my chin, a silent agreement. A killik behind us rumbles out an angry sounding interjection. Vector looks at him, then turns to me. “Denri Ayl and the Baroness are dead. With our assistance, the terrorist funding has been stopped. Now the nest will claim its price.”


I blink at him. Price? It’s an odd time to look for payment. A diplomat should know better. I lower my voice. “We’re standing in a woman’s blood. Can’t this wait?” I can’t help the reprimanding tone in my voice.


His gaze drops. “Apologies but it can’t.” His eyes return to mine, the lines around them hard, stubborn.


I cross my arms over my chest. It would have been nice if he had brought this up before. I would rather not show disunity of the Empire’s representatives in front of Cortess. I shift my weight angling my back to the Alderaanians and lift an eyebrow at Vector. And why not? I challenge silently.


He stands straighter, his hands clasped in front. “House Cortess will make a perfect extension of the hive. These rooms will become egg chambers and membrosia pools. The family can become Joiners.”


“What?!” the noble exclaims indignantly. “You cannot do this! I gave you my wife.”


I turn my head and glare at him. Shut up. Let me handle this.


Vector’s demeanor remains calm, his attention remaining on explaining to me. “House Cortess opposed the Empire and must be subdued. The nest is growing and must expand its territory.”


I feel sick at the idea. I had been so proud of myself throughout working with Vector and the Killiks on Alderaan--like I was so open minded, so open to working with others unlike myself. I defended them to Kaliyo, shushed her snide little comments and even defended Vector as still being a loyal human servant of the Empire. Perhaps I had been tragically wrong. Perhaps he was neither Imperial nor human any longer. I feel a bit of loss at the thought. I glance again at the Alderaanians. Although I would have preferred taking his wife prisoner, learning more from her, the threat was over from his house. And Cortess was right. He had gone above and beyond to prove his loyalty to the Empire. This abomination would not happen. I would not allow it. “I never agreed to anything like that” I state firmly, readying to place myself in front of these infuriating nobles if need be.


The Kilik Joiner tilts his head, apparently perplexed. “You agreed to an alliance, surely?” He nods to himself. “By allowing the Killiks to absorb House Cortess, both the Empire and the nest benefit. Why would you object?”


The man shows no sign of outward aggression or anger at my refusal, just confusion that I don’t see the logic in the hive’s plans. And he’s wrong. I do see the the logic it in. But it’s a cold logic, without mercy or compassion for what the Baron has lost today. Not only the loss of his wife but also the loss of the illusion of the life he had thought that they had together. She had lied to him and betrayed him. Their whole life together had been a lie. And the fact that neither the nest nor the Joiner could appreciate that fact causes a shiver to run down my spine. I know trying to explain that won’t help. “The Baron got us what we needed. The threat is over.”


“A member of House Cortess acted against the Empire. Therefore, it is the will of House Cortess to oppose you.”


Well, that’s just frakked up.


“The nest…” he pauses and I wonder if he is starting to see with whatever sliver of his human consciousness still exists within him how wrong this is. He continues, “doesn’t distinguish between the actions of group and individuals.” He looks at me intensely, like he is trying to will me to understand. “And the colony must expand.” An angry-sounding killik interjects, seeming to push for Vector to get on with it. He persists in trying to explain, however, but his tone and manner is becoming more imploring, more strained. “Agent. We--I--” he briefly touches his eyes with steepled fingers. His change to the personal pronoun demonstrates a weakness that I might exploit. Perhaps he is feeling the division of his loyalties between the Empire and the nest. “We--I--must know if you intend to oppose us. If you do, the nest will fight to defend its claim.”


I soften my stance as well as my countenance. I try to make myself open to him, to show him the hurt and betrayal that I have felt at this unannounced power play after all we had been through together in the past several weeks. I look at up him through my lashes, making my voice low and persuasive--my “seduction” tone. “And what about you, Vector? Would you fight me too?”


“We...” he starts and I realize I’m holding my breath, awaiting and dreading his answer, “would not.” His dark eyes hold mine. “Our loyalty to the Empire comes first.”


I can breathe again. And despite the fact that I am facing a battle against a room of Killiks, I am relieved. I don’t have to fight Vector. Not that I couldn’t take him. We had fought together against Ulgo and his forces. I had studied him...I mean, I had studied his form...lol...I had analyzed his tactics and the flaws in them. If I had to fight him, I would win. But it would have given me no pleasure. Instead, he will fight at my side with his own people. Against his own people. I realize with regret that there is no winning outcome for him in this battle. He loses either way. “We have to defend Cortess. I’m glad you’re on my side.”


“We understand. We will do,” and he pauses, seeming to be in pain at the thought, “what needs to be done.”


The Baron calls his men to arms and I apply kolto probes to myself and to Vector before activating my stealth generator in preparation for battle.

///

We stand in the entryway of the Cortess Manor watching the retreating forms of the Killiks grow smaller in the distance.


“The nest has withdrawn. House Cortess is safe--for now.”


I look at the man, trying to discern what might be going on under his always-calm demeanor. It had to have been a rough battle for him, to fight sentients that are like family to him. We are alone in entryway, the Cortess forces remaining are in the audience hall with their master. “You turned on the nest. That couldn’t have been easy.” I want to touch him, to offer him a small human comfort but am not sure of how it would be received. So I disguise it as examining him for injuries, but put more care into the touch than strictly necessary.


He bends his head, watching as I carefully spread kolto gel onto a laceration on his arm. “The nest transformed us into the Dawn Herald. The nest gave us peace and understanding.” He lays a hand over mine where it lingers on his arm. I look up to meet his gaze. “But we were always the Empire’s emissary.”


I know that it had been the right thing to do--that we had both done our duty. But I am saddened that his peaceful life has been destroyed and that I had a hand in that destruction. Even Joiner though he is, he has always given me the impression of a kind heart and desire to believe the best in people. He didn’t deserve this. His black eyes are soft as they look into mine. I want to say something to help ease his pain. But I don’t understand the psychology or sociology of the Killiks enough to know what would be appropriate to say or do. So I remain quiet and simply be with him in silent support as his thoughts turn inward.


After a moment or two he nods at me and we re-enter the audience chamber. The Baron and his men stand stiffly on the dais. “I am grateful for your aid.” I can’t help but notice that the Baron looks only at me when he says this, as if Vector didn’t defend him as well, as if the man is not standing right next to me. “House Cortess has suffered enough.” As if he’s the only one that lost something precious here today. I tap my anger down. I just need to keep my composure long enough to finish here, then I want nothing more than to leave Alderaan and these self-righteous, self-important nobles behind me.


“You’ve endured some terrible losses, Baron,” I reply in my sympathetic voice. Keeping the bitterness out of it is no easy task.


“The weeks ahead may prove trying. But we all endure.” I look at Vector who is standing tall, still, impassive. I know that is true for all of us. We are all fighters, survivors. But I wonder that those weeks have in store for the Joiner man. Part of two worlds and now truly belonging to neither.


He turns to Cortess as I think this. “Baron, perhaps you’d allow us access to your computers? We’re certain our superiors would like to see the Baroness’s files.” I smile to myself that despite what he has been through today, he has thought of it before I did.