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Ninety Seven Percent


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irishfino
08.05.2012 , 08:43 PM | #21
In which Jaesa invades another dream...


In dreams like these, death was his only release. It often skirted just out of reach. How could he tell if he was dreaming? He couldn’t, but for the tiny details. The stitching in his gloves, for example. He had stitched and re-stitched them several times; he knew the pattern well. The weight of his modified blaster hung just so in his hands. Little things kept him grounded, but the dreams persisted. The medication given to him by Imperial doctors made him feel sluggish. It made sense to stop taking it. Then the dreams started up again and that decision was beginning to make less and less sense. So he organized. He requisitioned. He busied himself with menial tasks. But the dreams were relentless. He only found peace if he happened to be in the medical bay organizing the supplies when Jaesa was meditating for the day. He noticed she shifted her schedule just so to accommodate him. When he asked her if she had, in fact, shifted her schedule for his benefit, she played an innocent as badly as she postured her love of the dark side when Baras came a-holoing.

“I’m not sure what you’re implying, Captain,” she said one morning as she prepared herself.

He closed a drawer then opened a cabinet. Things were always messy after a jump.

“You usually meditate from oh eight hundred to oh nine thirty. After which you join Vette for what I can only assume is a gossip fest over a bowl of Sith Os and a glass of Nerf milk,” he said as he neatly re-stacked gauze.

“That’s creepy… and they’re Lightsaber Puffs,” she said softly.

“I know what every person on this ship does,” he stated. “I still haven’t figured out how they avoid my presence and how they know I’m trying to find them.”

Jaesa chewed her bottom lip. She knew how they avoided him and she knew why (he knew why as well, of course).

“I’m not sure either,” she lied horribly.

He shook his head at her. “You lie terribly, Miss Jaesa. I wouldn’t recommend a job in Intelligence.”

She spat a short laugh before covering her mouth with her hands. He told a joke. Captain Malavai Quinn told a joke!

“I’m quite serious. You would be a horrible agent,” he said stoically.

He stared at her side long and waited. If not for the subtle crinkling of the corner of his eye, she might have thought him completely serious.

“That’s true, I’m no good at seduction,” she giggled.

“I could teach you. I’m Intelligence trained and certified in seduction,” he said lowly.

She giggled again. He closed the cabinet he was busying himself with and turned to face her. She was sitting on the floor cross legged and staring up at him with those wide brown eyes. He knelt across from her and stared at her. Hard. She looked away and coughed softly. He was so strange. Those blue eyes so calculating and cold.

“Don’t look away,” he said softly.

He cupped her chin gently in his gloved hand and tilted her head to face him.

“You have potential, but your face is far too open,” he explained gently.

“How do you close your face?” she asked quietly.

“I was born and raised for this, Jaesa.”

“What does that mean?”

“The Empire has a eugenics project that is on-going. I am a direct product of the Watcher program,” he said plainly.

She didn’t ask what a Watcher was. For all his bluster and emotionlessness she could detect undercurrents of… regret and anger. He must have failed at being a Watcher, though he was bred specifically for it.

“So,” she said lowly, “you can teach me how to seduce someone?”

He chuckled low in his throat. It was a pleasant sound. She smiled softly.

“You know, Jedi aren’t always subtle about things like seduction,” she smiled.

He treated her to another short laugh. She wanted more. She leaned forward and closed the gap between them, pressing her lips firmly against his. He chuckled again.

“It’s a start,” he said against her lips.

She pulled back from him at that, but he leaned forward to keep his lips firmly pressed against hers. He was insistent, but gentle. She threw caution to the wind and pulled the Captain to the floor with her. Time to indulge her passions.


***


Quinn woke up with a grunt alone in his bunk. He lifted the sheet covering his waist and sighed. Well, that was another way to wake up from a dream. He thanked the stars for his tiny, personal refresher. As he cleaned up, he was certain that the actual Jaesa had not intruded on his dreams again. He didn’t feel that strange warmth in his head like he had last time.


Notes:

Spoiler
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

irishfino's Avatar


irishfino
08.07.2012 , 07:35 PM | #22
Struck a bit of writer's block. The ending I had been leaning toward is getting more difficult for me to steer back too. Hope to be through it soon.

Check out this thread in the meantime for funny things that have nothing to do with anything.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

irishfino's Avatar


irishfino
08.08.2012 , 10:00 AM | #23
Scars. They lined his back and front in haphazard patterns. Some were straight as though he were lashed. Others were star burst patterned burns. His torso was covered in them, his back especially. Had she known he would be punished even after her wrath had been taken out on him? After all, she had reported his betrayal and loss of position aboard her ship. He had grown used to soaping over them, their pattern. What they represented: fear, cowardice, weakness.

He inhaled the steam the hot water sent spiraling around his stiff form. It settled heavily in his lungs and he enjoyed the feeling. Any feeling. He was awake and alive and could feel pain.

Alive. His first few weeks after the transponder station were filled with murmurings of pain. Surgeries, dreams, injections, nightmares. All sources of pain. His first encounter with a Sith lord sent him reeling, nearly pissing himself with cowardice. Then the dreams started in earnest.

Ovech was tolerant of his condition, almost fatherly in that regard. Father. His father.

“Ninety-seven percent of those bred for the Watcher program fail, Malavai,” said his father’s disembodied voice. “I have no doubts you will succeed and become the baseline for the generation after you.”

Ninety-seven percent. Failure. Ninety-seven percent failed. Ninety-seven percent of his brain in use. One hundred percent failure.

He left his quarters shortly thereafter dressed in his tailored Imperial greys. They were beginning to fit him again. A few more meals and he would be back to optimum weight. He checked his datapad for the day’s itinerary. Most of the group had gone planet side to gamble on Nar Shaddaa. Only Jaesa remained behind. No reason given. Probably something to do with Jedi, he thought crossly. No matter. He was better off staying in the hanger, bringing the ship back up to code. Or back down to code from the sheer amount of strange modifications. He smiled to himself and grabbed his toolbox. Drowning in work was the best way to drown.


Notes:

Spoiler
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

irishfino's Avatar


irishfino
08.09.2012 , 10:55 AM | #24
In which plans are made and names are spoken...



He approached her in the medical bay after a night of particularly rough dreams. He didn’t want to talk. She nearly left him there, alone, the one condition he didn’t want to be. He didn’t argue when she made her excuses and motioned to leave. It must have been his face. Those empty blue eyes staring straight through her at the nothing beyond. She sat down at her usual spot, but she fretted with her hands.

“You don’t have to stay, Miss Jaesa,” he said softly. He continued to stare at nothing from his seat on one of the beds. It unnerved her.

“I-I’m fine,” she stuttered unconvincingly.

“You’re a bad liar,” he said. He turned to her then, turned those horribly unseeing eyes on her. Slowly, his focus pinned her to the spot. She shuddered again.

“Did you need something, Mala-“

“Don’t!” he said harshly. “Do not call me by my given name. I have not given you the right.” The fire was back in his eyes and her involuntary shivering ceased.

“How does one ‘earn the right’, as it were?” she asked softly.

Her question gave him pause. Very few had earned the right in his eyes. It had been his maternal grandfather’s name. He had been a proud man, a military man. He was taken in the heat of battle and given a hero’s funeral. Or so he had been told all those years ago. He turned his attentions back to the far wall.

“I received a message a few days ago from a man claiming to be my grandfather,” he said softly. “I was told he died decades ago in a firefight. I’ve traced the communication and verified the person behind it.”

“And?” she prodded gently.

He didn’t say anything for a few, long moments. When he spoke, she jumped in her seat, but managed to stifle a gasp. If he noticed her movements from the corner of his eye, he didn’t comment and she was grateful.

“It’s him,” he finished roughly.

“Will you go see him?” she asked gently.

“No,” he said harshly.

“You’re scared.”

He turned those cold eyes on her again, but she resisted. He inclined his head slightly. Better. Much better. If she could resist his glares and stiff nature, she would be a valuable asset to his set of friends which consisted of absolutely no one. He hmmed low in his throat.

“He’s dying,” Quinn said quietly. “I am to meet with him, but I…”

“Don’t want to be alone,” Jaesa said quietly. He turned to face her, his eyes alight with something she couldn’t quite identify. Hope, maybe?

“Yes.”

“Do you… want me to come with you?” she asked hopefully.

He nodded. He couldn’t trust his voice to hide the knot he felt rising in his throat. She smiled beautifully at him and he felt himself smiling back. It was a small smile, a hopeful smile, but it was a smile. She stood from her position on the floor and approached his seated form.

“I’d be honored to help you through this, Captain,” she said as she stood in front of him.

“Malavai,” he said softly, closing his eyes. “You may call me Malavai when we’re alone like this.”

She stepped into his personal space, squeezed herself between his legs, and hugged him. He held her tightly, crushing her to him, grasping the back of her robes like a drowning man clings to a bit of wood. She was so warm and soft in his arms. She radiated with gentle energy. The tears sprang forth again and he finally felt safe enough to let them go. His shoulders shook silently, but she held him steady. Running her hands down his back, she comforted him and whispered encouraging things to him. She pulled back from his crushing hug to look at him face-to-face.

“When do we depart?” she asked softly.

“In the morning,” he said thickly.

“What should I pack for the journey?”

“Something light. He’s on Tatooine.” A fitting place for an exile.

“So… a sundress?” she asked lightly. He couldn’t stop the chuckle that bubbled from his lips.



Notes:

Spoiler
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

irishfino's Avatar


irishfino
08.09.2012 , 01:05 PM | #25
Malavai waited for her just outside the entrance to the spaceport. He was nervous. He hadn’t seen his grandfather in a long time and bringing someone with him might be frowned upon, especially someone he wasn’t romantically involved with. He had asked Barnabus if it was okay to bring someone with him. The much older man had been so bold as to wink at him when asked during a holo call. Malavai grumbled something at him, feeling as if he were a small child again. The older man’s laughter filled his ears and he found himself laughing in return.

“Hey, Captain!” Jaesa yelled as she ran to him. “Sorry I’m late. Vette kept trying to make last minute changes to my outfit.”

He nodded politely while examining her. She had dressed in the promised sundress, a nice light white dress reaching just barely above her knees. He presented his arm to her and she giggled lightly before taking it. He was so proper. She placed her hand in the crook of his elbow. He placed his opposite hand atop hers. She smiled and looked at him, but he was staring straight ahead unblinkingly. They started toward a small cluster of buildings in Mos Ila proper.

“He lives just in town,” Quinn explained stiffly.

“Should we bring a gift?” she asked quietly.

“I have already sent one ahead,” he replied. “A bottle of wine, if you’re curious. Aged as old as he. I think he’ll get a chuckle out of it.”

“That’s sweet of you.”

“I assure you, I am anything but.”

She smiled as they continued in silence. The building his grandfather was housed in was small, dingy, and covered in sand, but he had made it a home. Pictures, plaques, and paintings lined the sandy walls coming to an end over the small bed Barnabus was currently occupying.

“Ah, my boy,” Barnabus greeted happily. “It’s so good to see you after so long! Come, sit with me. And introduce me to your wife.”

“She’s not my wife,” Malavai responded stiffly.

“Really? Then you picked out such a fine bottle of wine yourself?”

“Grandfather,” Malavai sighed, shaking his head.

Jaesa quietly watched the exchange with a small smile. She still had her hand in the crook of Quinn’s elbow. She was reluctant to remove it and he didn’t press her to.

“Come, come! I want to speak with you!” the older man said happily, nearly jumping out of the bed with excitement. Malavai left Jaesa’s side for a brief moment to grab two chairs. He placed them next to the bed and allowed Jaesa to be seated first. She hid a giggle behind her hands. Barnabus looked at her with kind blue eyes and a face that was much like an older and wrinklier Malavai. She immediately felt at ease.

“You still haven’t introduced me!” the older man said with barely restrained enthusiasm.

Quinn rolled his eyes. “This is Miss Jaesa Wilsaam, apprentice to the current Emperor’s Wrath Lord Syla.”

“Ah, yes! I remember hearing of her exploits on Tatooine those years ago. Accompanied by an Imperial officer, I believe,” Barnabus said happily.

“Don’t play dumb, grandfather, it never suited you,” Malavai said stiffly.

“Whatever do you mean?” the man asked with mock innocence.

Quinn gave a frustrated huff and crossed his arms. His grandfather laughed uproariously. It was a wonder they shared any genetic material.

“Yes, yes, I followed you for a while,” Barnabus admitted, laughing. “Couldn’t believe my stealth tech still worked!”

Quinn grumbled something and slouched in his seat. Jaesa giggled behind her hand. He was pouting!

“You are far too happy for a dying man,” Quinn grumbled unhappily.

His grandfather sobered at that.

“You’re not really dying, are you?” Jaesa asked softly.

Barnabus turned his gentle blue eyes on her and smiled sadly. He nodded once then leaned back against the headboard of his bed.

“I led a very lonely life after everything was said and done,” Barnabus said quietly. “I am finally on the edge of release only to finally come face-to-face with my grandson.” He gave Quinn a hard stare and the younger man had the decency to look ashamed. “Of course I’m going to be happy.”

“Forgive me, grandfather,” Quinn said quietly.

Barnabus fixed him with a warm smile and Quinn began to unwind. He uncrossed his arms and sat up a little straighter.

“Now, Miss Wilsaam, tell me of your intentions with me grandson,” he said lightly.

Quinn began sputtering and Jaesa laughed outright. His grandfather was utterly amusing.

“My intentions are pure, I assure you,” she said with mock formality.

“Then I do not approve,” the older man laughed. Jaesa’s melodious laughter mingled with his in the small room, filling it with a joy that had not been seen in years.

“Grandfather!” Quinn sputtered, scandalized. Jaesa and Barnabus laughed harder, clutching their sides with merriment.

“Oh, don’t tell me you haven’t thought of it, Malavai!” the older man chuckled, slapping his legs with mirth.

“You’re as horrible as I remember,” Malavai pouted, crossing his arms.

“And you’re still that abnormally stiff child,” Barnabus chided gently.

“What was Captain Quinn like as a child?” Jaesa asked softly.

“You call him ‘Captain Quinn’?” Barnabus asked her seriously.

“Yes?”

“Malavai, you’re courting this young woman terribly,” Barnabus scolded.

“I am not courting her,” Malavai said gruffly.

“You should, she’s awfully adorable,” the older man said lightly. Jaesa smile prettily. “And she has good child-bearing hips,” he finished in a stage whisper.

Jaesa blushed charmingly and averted her eyes while Quinn grumbled next to her.

“See, adorable!” Barnabus announced happily.

“Grandfather, please,” Quinn murmured. His cheeks were beginning to turn a light pink at the older man’s insistence that he was courting or should court Jaesa.

“Very well,” Barnabus sighed dramatically.

Barnabus didn’t let up on his light teasing throughout their visit and he made no apologies for it. Quinn took it in stride having realized that this may very well be the last time he saw the man alive. Jaesa sensed the change in his demeanor and laid a gentle hand atop his while still conversing animatedly with Barnabus. He smiled and cupped her fingers in the palm his hand. She gave a light squeeze and they both ignored Barnabus’ knowing look. Not courting her, his face mole.


Notes:
Spoiler
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

Maylen's Avatar


Maylen
08.09.2012 , 03:02 PM | #26
I like your story and your take on Quinn (though I myself would like to fling him out an airlock).


I just am a little confused about your last line, I've read it three times now and it still makes no sense, unless its a secret quinnism I don't know about.

"Not courting her his face mole."

Magdalane's Avatar


Magdalane
08.09.2012 , 03:30 PM | #27
I read it as being sarcasm from the grandfather, as in, he says he's not courting her but he really is. Please correct me, irishinfo, if I'm wrong.
Love is the strongest magic of them all.

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bright_ephemera
08.09.2012 , 03:35 PM | #28
Quote: Originally Posted by Maylen View Post
I like your story and your take on Quinn (though I myself would like to fling him out an airlock).


I just am a little confused about your last line, I've read it three times now and it still makes no sense, unless its a secret quinnism I don't know about.

"Not courting her his face mole."
Basically "Not courting her, his ***," but more politely and custom-fitted to Quinn. As in "He totally is courting her." That's what I figure, anyway.
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Ceterum autem censeo, Malavai esse delendam.

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irishfino
08.09.2012 , 04:37 PM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by Maylen View Post
I like your story and your take on Quinn (though I myself would like to fling him out an airlock).


I just am a little confused about your last line, I've read it three times now and it still makes no sense, unless its a secret quinnism I don't know about.

"Not courting her his face mole."
Poor Quinn. Everyone wants to fling him out an airlock over a silly misunderstanding and murder attempt. :P. As Magdalane and bright_ephemera said, it is, indeed, sarcasm and a way to say he's totally courting the crap out of Jaesa's face.

Quote: Originally Posted by Magdalane View Post
I read it as being sarcasm from the grandfather, as in, he says he's not courting her but he really is. Please correct me, irishinfo, if I'm wrong.
You are correct madam.

Quote: Originally Posted by bright_ephemera View Post
Basically "Not courting her, his ***," but more politely and custom-fitted to Quinn. As in "He totally is courting her." That's what I figure, anyway.
You, too, are correct madam.
I'll probably die if you group with me, but I'll go out with both lightsabers drawn stabbing someone in the face. Probably you, but it's cool. Forever Shenanigans!!

Maylen's Avatar


Maylen
08.09.2012 , 06:46 PM | #30
Ohh....now I get it. I was not thinking of the always reliable "your face!" response, which I say to my husband when he has outwitted me.

Thanks for clarifying, I was totally left scratching my head.