February 3, 2012
In my room.
I’ve been waiting
Here for you.
Made for two.
Serr’ala stared blankly into the middle distance. He didn’t need his eyes to see her; she’d been burned onto his retinas since the moment the doors swung open. The little velvet dress, the same carmine hue as her coal-glow eyes, hugged the contours of her body like a mould, rucked in places where the fabric had slipped up or down to accommodate a long stride or a promissory curve. Raven hair spilled loose over her shoulders, like an unravelled spool of fine silk, curled into a single artful corkscrew that lay against one cheek – a curl that was now crushed between the soft slope of her cheek and his shoulder.
Eulya looked up at him, the movement of her head pulling him to look as if he was caught on a line. A bright, sweet smile lit her lips and eyes as he danced her slowly across the room; he couldn’t help but answer it, his expression becoming more serious as he lifted a hand from her waist to brush her hair back from her face. But the light in her eyes went out too quickly. She tucked her face back against his shoulder, hiding, quivering for a moment as she let out a long, sad breath and her arms tightened briefly around his waist.
He tucked a thumb under her chin and lifted her face to him again. “What is it, Eul’yara? You look so sad…”
She bit at her bottom lip and sucked on it, the gesture suddenly turning her into the child she was just a few short years ago and stabbing him with sudden, gut-knotting guilt at the thoughts he’d just been harbouring.
“They’re going to kill me, you know?” She sighed, tucking her head against his shoulder again – this time, he let her, cupping the back of her head in his palm instead, trying to hold all of her close against him. “They think I’m a traitor.”
“Are you?” The words came out before he could think to stop them and he was instantly sorry.
“That’s the sad part.” She gave a soft, bitter laugh that bore no resemblance to her usual wicked, gleeful chortle. “In this case, I’m not… I’m the most loyal person there, probably. But how can I prove that? There’s no time…” Pleading eyes met his and he drowned in the light of them. “If there was just something I could give them… something impressive, it might buy me a little time.”
“If you need money, you know I will always give…” His tongue tripped over itself in his eagerness to make the offer. Every credit I have if it will make you smile again and follow me to bed.
But she was already shaking her head. “They don’t need money… they need…” She stopped, her mouth freezing in a little “O” of realization. “What about Denasket’s Inventory? You thought it would be in the ruins of Sion’s Library – were you right?”
His face’s turn to fall. “Well, I did find something that could be… But it’s um…” His palms started sweating. The Inventory represented the culmination of years of searching. Allegedly, it was the life’s work of its creator, a catalogue of a greater store of treasures, even, than the library it was found in. Denasket had been meticulous in his work, listing dozens of priceless relics found in series of hidden caves the whereabouts of which were lost to memory, but which according to folklore, themselves held a similar document that could point the way to power far beyond price.
If he presented Denasket’s Inventory to the Sith, he would be rich beyond his wildest dreams… for however long he lived. That was one possible future.
Her eyes were melting his. “Please?” she whispered.
Black toungues speak
Faster than the
Car can crash.
You supply the rumours
And I’ll provide the wrath.
Heart in two.
Casting shadows in the
Pale shade of blue
Her lips opened the way to another possible future. One in which he wouldn’t be alone that night. As if drawn by gravity, his lids slid slowly closed and he lent in over those pleading lips.
She pushed gently at his shoulders, hissing urgently “The document… I need to see it!”
The room spun, his thoughts lurching from one point to another. Then they were in his bedroom, pulling the document from its case, spreading its pieces out on the bed where she brushed her fingertips across it, scanning the strange cryptograms with swift flicks of her eyes.
“It’s real! You really found it! Oh, thank you! You saved my life!” The Inventory was rolled swiftly into a slim metal cylinder and tucked snugly into her cleavage. “Thank you, Serr! Thank you so much!” Her lips smacked firmly against one corner of his mouth, but when he turned to follow that kiss into something more interesting, she kept moving away. She was at the door when he finally realized what was happening.
“You…. You cold-hearted bitch!”
She turned a twisted, wry smile on him. “Don’t be mad, Serr! Think about it!” She watched the bafflement scud across his face like clouds in a summer sky for a moment, then smoothed down the dress, hands undulating along the landscape that had held him mesmerized all evening. “Just think how much better I’ll have to do to fool you next time!”
He could do nothing but stammer helplessly as she walked away, torn between rage and the sound of that promise.
“…how much better…”
He reached out, holding on to the bedpost and used it to guide himself down to sit at its edge.
In my room.
Tear for you.
[Lyrics: “Blue” by The Birthday Massacre.]
January 20, 2012
I thought I told you to leave me
While I walked down to the beach
Tell me how does it feel
When your heart grows cold?
An angled plane of green light swept over the still contours of her face; it could have passed for a human woman’s, and a beautiful one at that, were it not for the strong blue colour of her skin, touched with a gentle purplish sheen along the cheekbones and above the brow. The wide, lambent red eyes were closed, creating an illusion of serenity that was quite alone in the cold, precise chaos of the room. Two medi-droids employed their many limbs and instruments cutting incisions, spraying fresh cells into burns and contusions, manipulating and setting broken bones and pumping into her veins the analgesics that kept her so still, so silent.
“You don’t do Sith jobs, do you, Eul’yara’kolia?”
Small for a Chiss, she had to bounce a little in her step to match paces with Keeper, an older human male of substantial intelligence and verve. The greying hair at his temples provoked an instinctive respect she couldn’t quite stifle, though she knew it was quite common in humans. It wasn’t the miracle it seemed amongst her people, who were uniformly ebon-tressed, with the appearance of grey strands denoting the siring of an exceptional child or children. Still, it didn’t seem that unlikely. For all his age, Keeper retained intellectual and physical capabilities that many a younger agent could spend their life envying. That he might have sired a few pink-skinned offspring to inherit those traits didn’t seem impossible.
He was also kind; at least, as kind as an Imperial Intelligence handler could be. He’d taught her well to clear her head and purge her feelings, but what warmth she retained had settled solidly on Keeper as a father-figure. She skipped again to catch up.
“Working directly with the Sith. You’ve been avoiding it. Can’t say I blame you, but it’s been noticed. So I’m giving you an assignment before Darth Imagus does.”
It took him a few paces more to realize she wasn’t breathing, her eyes blank as she focused on some internal debate. He stopped and handed her a dossier. “House Taiva. It’s run by a Twi’lek, very far from the conservative, pureblood Houses, but potentially valuable all the same. And should keep you out of trouble, at least enough to keep Master Kargas…. and me… happy.”
She took the datapad from him with a forceps snip of stiffened fingers. It was a mantra among old agents: “Don’t work with Sith.” They were all bone crazy, every single one.
The faintest hint of a smirk twisted her lips. “Don’t worry, sir. I didn’t want to live forever anyway.”
When you’d your hands upon me
And told me who you are
I thought I was mistaken
I thought I heard your words
Tell me, how do I feel?
Voices, distorted and incomprehensible, swelled and withered in and out of her awareness like great clouds of blackened sound. Splotches of light eddied across the inside of her eyelids. She thought she felt a touch on her face for a moment, the ghostly warmth of fingers that would never touch her again. Her throat constricted, the brutal force of emotion startling her; it was a grief, an ache that she’d thought long since dwindled away.
“Please… Please don’t go, Daddy. Please don’t leave me again.”
The world was empty; there was nothing to answer her silent prayer and such foolish dreams were for children. In the space of a heartbeat, she was sitting up, forcing her eyes open, parsing the blurred image of a white room by force of logic and guesswork when her eyes refused to adapt fast enough to suit her. A scalpel blade swiped from a nearby tray and tucked into her palm prepared her for the worst but slowly returning vision showed her no immediate threats. She gave a smug, sardonic smile for the medi-droids as she slipped out of bed and forced herself to stand.
She told herself she didn’t feel the pain. Not from her wounds, not from the repairs, not from anything. There was no past. Only today.
“Did I happen to have any visitors while I was asleep?”
He’d kissed her. Parried a lightsabre strike that would have taken her head off along with his, then kissed her. Why had he kissed her? Why had he tried to save her life while she tried to kill him? Why had he tried to save her life and then guaranteed its ending by sticking his tongue down her throat?
His facial tendrils had tickled against her skin, the sensation vivid in her memory.
The lightning had burned. An equally clear recollection, strong enough to make a wince ripple across the indolent mask of her features.
The purebloods in House Taiva had been looking for an excuse to get rid of her and Hesadryt had handed it to them. Her collaboration in the twins’ execution might have set her straight with her superiors but that kiss could have queered everything.
If she’d just had another 24 hours, everything could have been so much better. She’d had it all figured out. Hesadryt, Avarox, Mahal and most importantly, the Matron – everything would have clicked, if it wasn’t for one horny twit with an assault cannon. And now she looked like a traitor herself.
“Inquisitor Sha’tar of House Taiva was here approximately two hours ago.”
The droid’s voicebox was still synthesizing the last syllable when she jumped out of the window.
I see a ship in the harbour
I can and I shall obey
But if it wasn’t for your misfortune
I’d be a heavenly person today.
[Lyrics: “Blue Monday” by New Order.]