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Residential Sector nine, Building twenty-three
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Star Wars: Episode VIII: Binds of Tyranny Forum Index » Coruscant » Residential Sector nine, Building twenty-three
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Jacen Tranada
Corporal


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 246

 Post Posted: Sat, December 23rd 2006 04:03am    Post subject: Residential Sector nine, Building twenty-three
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Sector Nine; really not for the faint-hearted, I thought for the millionth time as I walked home from work. Even in my dress uniform I was still the subject of underhanded glances and furious mutterings. Or maybe it was because of my attire rather than in spite of it. It didn't matter what we did, it seemed. There would always be hard-liners who hated the Empire just because their parents did. You never expected these type of people to change, but at the same time wished that they would at least listen to reason.

I could have gotten a place somewhere else, somewhere closer to headquarters but there was something comforting about living in my parents house. I only found out that I still owned a house when I turned eighteen; up until then I believed that I was a penniless orphan. When I saw my parents Will I realised that this wasn't the case. I was a penniless orphan with a house. Not much of a change but all I needed to interest Zeke and the others. I still thought about that life, still yearned for the carefree existence sometimes, but I had a happy medium. So long as my work didn't suffer I could stay out as late as I wanted; sleep with as many of these underfed, sector nine, Coruscanti wenches as I felt like.

Maybe that was the reason why I was getting glares from dark alleyways. The choice morsel following me home could be the one attracting all the attention. Brown hair, brown eyes and a face like an Alderaanian princess with the body of a professional dancer, Natalia would be the object of close scrutiny later in the night, after dinner and a few Screaming Orgasms. There was something soothing about the presence of a naked woman, whether I was sleeping with her or not. Maybe it was the way her tanned skin reflected the poor light in the apartment, or maybe it was the vulnerability of such a state and the position of superiority it put me in.

Either way I would enjoy her company for no more than ten hours, for after that it would be time for her to return to wherever she was before I met her in the 9SC Cantina twenty minutes beforehand. Maybe she had a husband and kids and a perfect job waiting for her after I had my way with her. I doubted it. She had the come-hither needyness about her that made her a perfect target for my manipulative seduction. I approached the door; the only one made of anything even close to durasteel in the entire sector and scan my ID.

"Welcome home, General Tranada." The computerised voice was relaxing in its perfectly precise voice, never changing except when my title did. The automated systems in the house would be adjusting the climate control and heating the spa while the droid inside began dinner. Always the same routine. Tonight was nerf steak for two. It was my weekly pilgrimage to the 9SC to pick up another girl and bring her home to make her mine and the droid knew that. Scented candles would be waiting around the bed to make her feel that extra special feeling that would make her mine.

We sat down in front of the holonews, the sweet scent of her perfume filling my nostrils. That was always the same too. There was something about a subtle vanilla scent that drove me wild; made me desire a woman. I finished watching the news and sat down to dinner, ZAB-3P0 serving the steak onto the already laid out cutlery and napkins. He lit the three candles in the centre of the table, their complimetry scents adding their own notes to the symphony of sweet smells and beautiful things in the room.

The steak was perfect, ZAB-3P0 knowing now exactly how I liked it and able to hit the spot every time. I looked up at Natalia, losing myself in her soft, brown eyes. She was one of the best, I decided at that point; definately the best looking and such a lady. That would all change later on. She had that sexy sway to her walk that suggested that she would be an absolute panther once I got her clothes off.


Time to find out for sure, I though as I finished my meal and rose from the table. She had been done for some time and was waiting for me, just as she should. This one knew her place already; she was special. I lead her into the bathroom, where the spa was nicely warmed and slipped off her clothes. Now the fun would being.

_________________
Colonel Jacen Tranada
Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar

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Jacen Tranada
Corporal


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 246

 Post Posted: Mon, December 25th 2006 01:12am    Post subject:
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Artificial light drifted through from the living area as I roused slowly from my slumber. I had always liked being woken by the sun, but my current start time meant that this was not an option so ZAB turned the lights on outside my bedroom so that the light filtered through, just as the sun would. It was a far better way to be roused than the blaring of some mecha in my ear. I rolled out of bed, pulling on some underwear and walking through to the adjoining refresher.

Feeling much more awake after a hot shower, I dressed properly and proceeded through to where ZAB had my breakfast ready. Natalia was nowhere to be seen, having been shown the door in the early hours of the morning, also by ZAB. This was one of the hardest things that I had taught the droid; apparently it had been a gentleman in another life. Nevertheless sheer stubborness and the aid of a restraining bolt had done wonders and ZAB didn't even need the bolt anymore.

I bade the droid goodbye and left the house, locking the door behind me and arming the security system. Any sector nine scum who came calling would find themselves missing a limb if they were extraordinarily lucky and dead if they were so much. Though the security system wasn't entirely legal for a civilian to own, I had argued before I got the permit for it that I needed such a security system because some of the information of my home computer system was a matter of national security. That part was mostly true; given a day or so I could dig up some information that would qualify.

In my physically fit state it took exactly half an hour to walk to the bus station, but with last night having succeeded in relaxing me I made the walk in less than fifteen minutes. Fortunately the extra time wasn't wasted as a shuttle-bus was waiting when I arrived. I climbed aboard and flashed my ID to the driver. He didn't look twice. The drivers who serviced this particular route knew better after an interesting incident with a newbie who didn't know better. All they knew was that I worked for the ISB and I never carried a gun on the way to work. The latter was the most important part and had only come out after a crazed ewok on some sort of spice held up the bus and shot two civilians. Someone had fingered me as an agent and I had to execute the ewok before it sunk in and he got trigger happy again. I hated the creatures after what they did to the Empire at Endor and they had been becoming increasingly greater in number in the core worlds these last few years like a disease.

That was the past though; when I was still a green recruit right out of stormie school before I even made Colonel. I was a General now and people knew better than to cross me. The bus was an older model, commissioned before Magnaline got the contract and suprisingly still airborne. It rattled into the stop about a block before the ISB headquarters and lurched to a stop. I didn't need to tell anyone; the drivers knew instinctively that they had to stop here, like it was part of their normal run.

I broke into a jog as the bus lurched away, taking advantage of the cool early morning breezes. I arrived at the door to headquarters before I had even broken a sweat and scanned my way into its air-conditioned offices to begin my day.

_________________
Colonel Jacen Tranada
Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar

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Jacen Tranada
Corporal


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 246

 Post Posted: Tue, December 26th 2006 08:27am    Post subject:
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Disclaimer: The following post is rated PG. It contains Adult Themes and Situations. If you are immature, sod off and read something else.

I arrived home barely thirty minutes after leaving work, a welcome change from the usual slow afternoon traffic on the hoverlanes. Getting home early meant that I would get to the club early and would have a chance to have a look around before my friends got there. ZAB was on standby in the corner of the living room when I walked in. I didn't disturb him and proceeded stright through to the refresher to have a shower. Clothes for tonight were laid out on my bed, I was pleased to note as I walked back out in my towel. A direct contrast to my white work uniform, the clothes I wore when I wasn't on duty were always black. I donned them quickly and put on my black steel-cap boots before returning to the refresher to do my hair, a task that took longer than showering and dressing combined.

ZAB was still on standy when I left, so I just activated the security system and left, hoping that he wouldn't go outside and get himself destroyed. I walked to the end of the block, bypassing the line at the door and flashing my ID to security as I passed them. I didn't really need to since the security guards all knew exactly who I was, but flashing my badge ensured that people waiting in line didn't bitch. Despite the fact that it was only just getting dark the club was almost full, a testament to the type of people that lived in sector nine. I sat down at the bar and looked around while I waited for the bartender droid to serve me. Several women caught my eye, but one pretty little blonde thing especially. I smirked to myself as I watched her nurse the cocktail in front of her; I was getting laid tonight and this one wouldn't even be drunk.

"What would you like to drink, sir?" said a metallic voice from the other side of the bar.
"A screaming orgasm please, shaken vigorously."
"As you wish."

The droid bustled off to make the drink I had ordered and I continued looking around the bar, trying to find one that would beat blondie in the corner. During one of my scans I noticed my friends entering through the rear door but feigned ignorance of their arrival. The droid returned with my drink at this point and I lost sight of them. I handed over a fistfull of credits and took a sip of my drink as my friends found me.

"Afternoon Deeke, Tiny," I said, shaking hands with the two men. Deeke was an Intelligence agent I had met during my time there and understood what picking up women was all about. Tiny was a sniper who I met while I was with the 501st and had trouble picking up due to his sadistic sense of humor. It was suprising, therefore to see who he had on his arm.

"Thought you were busy tonight, Jessica," I said with a smirk.
"That's not what I said," my secretary returned with a sly smile.
"Fair enough," I said, "so what are you lot drinking?"
"Martini," replied Deeke, a typical intelligence agent.
"Battery Acid for us," replied Tiny.
"You're shitting me?" I said, suprised. A battery acid was a mixture of the most potent spirits humans could stomach that topped with hot sauce and then set on fire.
"Why," replied Jessica with a smile, "too strong for you, Nova?"

I could only gape as my secretary called me by a false name that I often used with girls that I didn't want to bring home. Now I knew how Tiny had managed to land such a girl. With this in mind I recovered quickly.

"Yeah," I replied with a smirk, "I'm not a fan of going hard from the start. I prefer to ease into the night with a Screaming Orgasm."

Now it was my secretary's turn to gape and I must admit, it was enjoyable to watch the usually sassy Jessica struggle to find her words. Tiny, seeing his arm-bling in a tight spot, rushed to her rescue by abruptly changing the subject.

"Are you ordering another drink or do we need to shoot someone to get in line?"
"You can shoot someone, I just started."

Tiny gave an evil grin before stalking off into the crowd. Deeke, spotting a girl on the dance floor decided to forgo his drink in favour of starting to lay some groundwork before the place really got busy. I took another few sips of my drink as my secretary turned to me.

"So have you got your eye on anyone yet, Nova?" she said.
"Blondie in the corner of the bar who's making love to her cocktail," I said instantly, without looking up.
"She's married," said Jessica after staring at the girl for a few moments.
"You noticed," I replied.
"You're going to break up a marriage?"
"First off she's not married, she's engaged and her relationship is on the rocks anyway."
"And how in all nine Corellian hells do you know that?"
"That's how I made General."
"You made General by being able to find the fastest way into a woman's pants?"
"Thats right."
"Somehow I doubt that."
"Hey, a guy's gotta have his secrets doesn't he? After all, you have your secrets."
"I also know what respect is," she shot back.
"I know of it," I replied with a grin.

At that point, Tiny arrived with his flaming death drinks and Deeke arrived with the brunette who was obviously milking him for as many drinks as she could before returned to her boyfriend.

"Shall we go upstairs?" asked Deeke.
"Give me," I said looking over at blondie, "five minutes, tops."
"Yeah right," said Jessica.

I shot her a sly smile and sculled the last of my drink. The girl was playing with her ring again as I walked over to her. She looked up as I sat down beside her.

"I have a boyfriend, so don't even bother," she said.
"I noticed and its such a pity for him that you're going to dump him, because you seem like a really nice girl," I replied.
"And what makes you say that," she asked coolly.
"Well turning down his proposal wouldn't have helped your already turbulent relationship and I am guessing that you had a domestic violence issue already."
And what would suggest that?" she asked.

I smirked inwardly. She was already losing control of her emotions, causing her to repeat herself at the start of every sentence. It would not be long now.

"You said you have a boyfriend, not a fiancee which contradicts the ring that you are so fond of playing with on the bar, so I am guessing that you either turned him down or you are going to. I would suggest the former since the bruise just above your right breast looks very recent. As for the state of your relationship; well you wouldn't be sitting here playing with his ring if you lived a happy relationship because you wouldn't have turned him down and he wouldn't have shoved you."

The girl lost control completely and dissolved into tears. I immediately got irritated.

"You are hurting your chances of getting sex tonight," I said, whispering in her ear.
"And what makes you think I want that," she said.
"Because if you didn't want to pick up a person at random you would be knocking back strong cocktails rather than playing with your drink."
"How do you know I find arrogant men like you attractive?"

I leaned in and kissed her quickly and pull away, making her pulse race and causing her to gasp.

"Because you're only human, sweetheart," I said, leaning in again for a longer kiss. She grabbed the back of my head and attacked me like a woman possessed, her tongue diving in and out of my mouth. When she finally broke away I took hold of her hand and walked back around to where my friend were, not bothering to introduce her since I still didn't know her name.

"Upstairs?" I said to Deeke.
"I dunno," he said with a laugh, "you've still got a minute to seal the deal."

I laughed and continued upstairs with my newest conquest and friends in tow. I was a phenomenal dancer and even Jessica, who was looking daggers at me every time I glanced in her direction would agree. Blondie was having the time of her life, all of her boyfriend troubles forgotten. I was tempted to point out that I wasn't rescuing her from her abusive boyfriend but decided against it. She might decide not to sleep with me if I did that.

At about midnight, Deeke got pissy because the brunette's boyfriend arrived and took her back. I gave Blondie to him for a moment so I could find him another brunette. It wasn't hard because by the time midnight rolled around most people had paired up already and there were plenty of gorgeous available women desperate for men to play with. Even so, it took longer than it did to pick up Blondie, cause I wasn't getting the girl for myself. Nevertheless after about five minutes I found Deeke some quality companionship in the form of another brunette.

I returned with his prize to recollect Blondie before he got any ideas. She gave me a reproachful look when she saw me coming with another girl in tow but got over it when I gave the girl to Deeke. I considered leaving here then and there since the last thing I wanted was a clinger. Deeke seemed to be thinking along the same lines as he leaned in and told me to come back to his place so that he could have a go at her as well if she ever came looking for me. I laughed and agreed.

Tiny and Jessica decided to make their way out at about one-thirty and after a quick conference, Deeke and I joined them with our respective conquests in tow. Jessica kept up an icy silence for the entire wait in the hover-taxi line and I was glad to bid her goodbye and grab the next one back to Deeke's.

Deeke's apartment was the ultimate bachelor pad, a few doors down from Supreme Moff Jendob's place in Sector Four. He had his own bedroom, complete with en-suite jacuzzi and a spare room with another ensuite but no jacuzzi. He took the brunette into his own room to bang her right away. I was different, however; more of an entertainer than a subscriber to the bang and boot philosophy. I went to Deeke's fully stocked bar and started gathered the ingredients for another Screaming Orgasm.

"Screaming Orgasm?" I said to Blondie, who was sitting on the couch.
"Sure," she said, looking a little sceptical.
"The drink," I replied.
"Oh, sure."

I mixed the drinks into two separate mixing jugs and shook them vigorously, just how I liked them. After about a minute of shaking each one I poured them into two glasses and added an umbrella before joining her on the couch and handing her the glass. She took a tentative sip before smiling at me.

"Wow, that's good. I hope its a taste of what's to come."
"You have no idea," I said softly, sculling my entire drink. She followed suit and placed her glass on the table beside the couch. I kissed her lightly and laid her down on the couch, undoing the buttons on her blouse and kissing each bit of skin that was revealed as I worked my way down to her waistline. I lifted her gently, kissing her gently and reaching behind with once hand to unclasp her bra before laying her down again. I removed the bra, kissing my way down to the waistline again. I slid the skirt down over her tiny hips and off her feet, putting it with the blouse and bra on the floor. She inhaled deeply as I relieved her of her last item of clothing, exposing the smooth skin beneath. Now that she was suitably naked, I carried her to the spa-bath in the main refresher; the night's fun was only just beginning.

_________________
Colonel Jacen Tranada
Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar

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Jacen Tranada
Corporal


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 246

 Post Posted: Sat, January 06th 2007 02:01am    Post subject:
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I woke slowly, feeling rested and energetic; quite a surprise considering how much I drank the night before. I had never intended to get so drunk, but circumstances changed on me and I felt the need to keep drinking well past the point when my A-game comes out. The problem had started when Blondie waltzed up to me at the bar like a girlfriend and tried to kiss me. I was there with Tiny, who had been taken for a ride by the ever-surprising Jessica and then dumped before he could proposition her. I had to admire her; if her treatment of Tiny was anything to go by then she was a less sexually aware version of me.

Blondie had launched into a furious tirade and listed all of the things that made me a terrible person while I sat sipping my drink. She ended the altercation by backhanding me and berating herself out loud about falling for me after one night. This surprised me for two reasons; the first one being that I had never been hit by a woman before and the second being that if I hadn’t known any better I would have thought she was complimenting my lovemaking skills with the way that spoke of the ‘one night’. One of the bouncers had approached me and asked if I required them to eject her from the establishment. I declined, a surprise move judging by Tiny’s reaction.

The fact that I had just made an error in judgement was made abundantly clear about an hour later when a very cranky human approached me and yanked my bar-stool out from under me. I caught the bar and stopped myself from falling before turning and punching the guy in the temple. He staggered back and was about to launch a counterattack when two of the bouncers grabbed a hold of him. The last thing he said as he was being dragged away was screaming that I had ruined his life. I must have been shaken by the accusation because Blondie returned with a superior grin on her face and left the bar before I could have her forcibly removed. At that point Tiny decided to leave and I was left on my own. Thus I consumed more Screaming Orgasms that I cared to count.

Problems with last night aside, I had work to do today. As an Enforcer, I was often required to undertake assignments that involved simple police work rather than National Security. As a General, I was lucky enough to be able to decline many of the more boring assignments, but the fact that Fete Week was still in full swing meant that those in the higher echelons of Command were required to pick up the slack. I dressed quickly in a black jumpsuit favoured during my time as an Intelligence agent and exited my apartment. A hover-taxi was waiting outside, having been called by ZAB a short time earlier. I climbed in and the taxi sped off towards ISB headquarters. New Years celebrations were still in full swing and the people in Sector Nine partied harder than most, although they also killed each other more often.

With the danger of Sector Nine behind us, the hover-taxi slowed considerably and ambled towards headquarters. I couldn’t complain really; most hover-taxis didn’t even consider coming to Sector Nine. It was the main reason why I always caught an air-bus. Even at our more meandering pace I still arrived at headquarters on time and tipped the driver well for his trouble and bravery. Headquarters was the same; it was always the same. I wasn’t one for mindlessly quoting propaganda, but the Imperial way of running things was definitely better. Barely a year and a half ago a few minutes spent on the holonet would prove that. That was then though; I hadn’t even looked at the Galactic Communication channel of the holonet since the gag order. After all, what was the point of reading something I couldn’t reply to?

Jessica was waiting at her desk with an amused grin on her face. I wondered briefly why she was so pleased about being called into work during Fete Week.

“Good Afternoon, General,” she said, still smiling like an idiot.
“Good Afternoon, Jessica. What are you so happy about?”
“Nothing of importance, General,” she replied in a sweet voice. Too sweet.
“Out with it. What the hell is so funny?”
“I just saw something funny at the bar last night, sir. As I said, it is nothing of importance.”
“Okay. Come with me,” I replied.

I led her into my office and opened the wall armoury, selecting three DL-22 pistols. Smirking, I threw one to her.

“You remember which way to point it?” I asked.
“Yes sir,” her mouth replied, her eyes yelling something slightly less polite.
“Good, you might need it.”
“I’m not field rated,” she protested.
“The mission that I am about to explain to you does not exist, therefore you are breaking no rules by coming along.”
“What are you trying to pull, Tranada?” she demanded.
“Don’t make me cite you Jessica,” I replied.
“If the mission doesn’t exist then we’re not here, which means its still Fete Week and I don’t have to call you sir.”
I swallowed the reply that I would have liked to make. It tasted terrible. “A fair point, but I still expect respect from you.”
“You don’t know the mean…”
“I respect you,” I replied in a low voice, cutting her off, “and why else would I ask you along instead of Tiny or Deeke?”
“But I’ve seen you at the pubs, you don’t respect women.”
“You are not the mindless pieces of ass that I pick up from the 9SC.”
“They are people too.”
“I’m not here to argue moral points of view with you.”
“Right, you’re here to drag me along on a mission that I’m not qualified for. Why is that? Are you trying to sleep with me too?”
“I have no interest in sleeping with you.”
“Because I’m not blonde?”
“Because you’re too smart, too attractive, because I work with you, because I don’t go for the impossible. There’s a couple; why don’t you pick one.”
“Ooh, cleverly veiled compliments; you’re making me moist already,” replied Jessica sarcastically.
“It’ll pass,” I replied.
“Touchy aren’t we? So what is this mission you have for me?”
“We’re going to the lower levels about fifteen blocks due south of the Old senate building. A friend of mine tipped off Intelligence about a terrorist cell operating out of a warehouse near his pub there. We’re not going to provoke a fight; we’re just going to have a look around.”
“So why do you have to do it? I mean you’re a General, surely you’re allowed to pass on the crappy jobs.”
“This mission is a favour for a friend who works in Intelligence. And almost all of the lower-level operatives are on leave for Fete Week. So it’s just you and me.”
“Just how you like it.”
“So do you have any questions about the mission?”
“Hmm, walking into an ambush in the lower levels of one of the worst neighbourhoods on Coruscant. Nope; I’ve got everything.”
“I live in one of the worst neighbourhoods on Coruscant, I think I can handle it.”
“We’ll see soon enough won’t we,” she replied.

Jessica was all but silent for the duration of the journey and had a look on her face reminiscent of somebody who’d had too much to drink. I felt sorry for her briefly, but knew what sort of response I’d get if I said anything that suggested that she was afraid. I knew her type; the people who were scared shitless before a mission but who could also be counted on to stay strong when things went wrong. It was ironic, really that people who are so scared and helpless on the outside could be made of such tough stuff inside.

I set the speeder down at a public parking structure three hundred levels above where the trouble was. As we stepped out, I stowed one DL-22 in a shoulder holster under my jacket and the other in a concealed belt holster in the waistband of my trousers. Jessica’s pistol was nowhere to be seen when I glanced across at her while we were waiting for the turbo-lift to arrive. Once it did arrive I pressed one of the level buttons almost fifty levels above where I had told Jessica we were going.

“You said the under levels?” she said.
“If we ride the lift straight to the under levels there will be a gang of thugs waiting to mug us. When we get to that level we’ll take the stairs down a couple of levels and wait for the turbo-lift there.”
“Right,” she said, hiding a smile.

When we arrived at our destination she made a beeline for the stairs right away, a common rookie mistake. The scum in these parts were creative and smart. There was a good chance they would assemble anyway and I wanted to give them a chance to get bored and retreat before we arrived. I put a hand on her arm to slow her down.

“What? You said the stairs?”
“Sure, but what’s the hurry. There’s a great tapcaf on this level; serves awesome pastries. Best of all, its tax deductible, but only if you buy doughnuts.”
“You’re kidding?”
“Of course I am, but not about the awesome pastries. Let’s go.”

I wasn’t the girl’s instructor so I wasn’t about to point out that her enthusiasm on a mission like this could potentially put her in danger. My job was simply to ensure that it didn’t. I stealthily took my data-pad out of its pocket and pressed a few commands before replacing it again. Fortunately Jessica hadn’t noticed. I would be interested to see her reaction when my friend arrived. We took a seat at the tapcaf and ordered some pastries. It didn’t look like she was hungry, but at least the nauseated expression was gone. It took about twenty minutes for my friend to arrive, most of which was punctuated by Jessica taking pointed looks at the wall chrono above us. I saw my friend walk past the café once before coming back and sitting at the table with us.

“How’s life in the upper levels, Jace?”
“Can’t complain. Cam Antares, this is Jessica Zane.”
“Got yourself a new apprentice then?”
“Nah, she’s my secretary at the bureau.”
“Bureau must be short on talent if you take you secretary on an op with you.”
“Either that or you’re underestimating her because of her position.”
“Or sex,” muttered Jessica.
“Last time I checked, Ms Zane, a secretary was a civilian who was brought into the bureau to do filing and answer comm calls.”
“And do you make a habit of checking on the workings of government organisations?”
“Enough,” I said quietly. I had no intention of letting either of them know that the other had washed out during training. Cam was a good agent and a friend during training. The circumstances of his dismissal were unfortunate and did not reflect on his abilities. Unfortunately I could not make a call about Jessica either way because she never said anything about her own academy training and I wasn’t allowed to view their records. Not that the rules had stopped me before, but it felt like an invasion of her privacy.
“I am merely saying that…”
“I know what you are saying; now listen to what I am saying. I know him; I know what he can do and I know that his loyalty is to the Empire. Now let’s go. We have waited long enough.”
“Waited for what?”
“The crowd waiting at the bottom of the turbo-lift to disperse.”

I stood and left enough credits to cover the meal on the table. Leading the way back outside, I deliberately increased my walking pace so that Cam and Jessica had to fall into step behind me and beside each other. We proceeded to the stairs and descended two levels before taking the turbo-lift to the under levels. As predicted, there was a small group of people hiding near the turbo-lift, but not as many as there would have been had we proceeded straight there from the speeder bay. Cam and Jessica fell into step beside me and we proceeded together towards the warehouse.

“A non-descript warehouse in a dark part of town,” I muttered dryly as we approached, “these people watch too many holodramas.”
“So how are we supposed to have a look around if the door is closed?” Jessica asked.
“We go around the back,” I replied.

I led the way past the huge closed doors to a small service alley beside the warehouse. At one end there was a gate with a security coded locking device on it. I got out my data-pad again and gently levered open the device. I found the wire I was looking for and clipped a wire from my data-pad to it. I entered a few commands into my data-pad and it went to work, retrieving the combination from the memory of the device. The device beeped and the gate opened. I packed away my data-pad and replaced the device. We continued along the alley to a ladder leading up the side of the warehouse. I went up first, followed by Jessica and then Cam.

At the top of the ladder was a huge catwalk that spanned the width of the building. I slowly eased my way out onto it and looked below. The room was pitch-black; obviously it was only being used as a storage facility rather than a headquarters. I climbed down another ladder and continued towards the back of the facility, looking for personnel. Jessica and Cam waited on the catwalk, figuring they’d be better off as lookouts if a fight started. There was a whole section of the warehouse that was sealed off with dura steel; a new renovation too by the look of it. Maybe it wasn’t just a storage facility. I was considering how to get in when I realised that there was cold air circulating in the room. I quickly located a duct, tucked away in the corner nearest to the renovations. I gently removed the grating and crawled inside, making my way to the next duct and peering into the room.

I had to let my eyes adjust to the sudden brightness, but the amount of being in the room surprised me greatly. There were about fifteen people in the room, ten of which were carrying blaster rifles. The remaining five were sitting around a table talking about something.

“…is able to ship out the rest of the supplies by the end of next week.”
“No; that won’t work. Fete Week is almost over. We need to strike before the bulk of the Security Forces get back on duty.”
“There isn’t any other way to do this. If we can’t strike now we will have to wait a whole year before we get a chance to strike; and who knows what can happen in that time.”

I didn’t listen any longer. I didn’t need to. These people were planning something illegal and being the demolitions expert that I am, my mind jumped to the conclusion that these people were planning on blowing something up. In order to confirm my suspicions, I had to examine the contents of the crates to see what sort of charge they were using. I crawled slowly out of the vent and replaced the cover. A tour of the crates proved my suspicions to be correct, but also provided another conclusion that was a lot more concerning.

There was roughly three kilograms of processed thermite explosives. My guess was that these terrorists need a whole lot more for what they were planning. Fortunately, this small amount would be enough to level the warehouse and bring any revolutionary plans to a halt. I carefully placed the bombs at the various structural weak points and set them to be remotely detonated. I selected one from a crate full of remote detonators and made a note of the frequency in my datapad before programming the detonator.

“Freeze! Hands up!” The call came from behind me. I put a thumb on the detonator and turned slowly, raising my hands so that they could clearly see the detonator. With my free hand I slowly reached into my jacket for my identification.
“Imperial Security Bureau. You gentlemen are under arrest for possessing illegal explosives, planning a terrorist act and funding terrorism. I am sure a search of this building will uncover a few more charges that will make sure each and every one of you is executed.”
“Last time I looked, we were holding you at gunpoint.”
“Good point. Deprivation of liberties, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to assassinate a member of the Imperial Security Bureau. Congratulations, you have all guaranteed your execution. Now I don’t need to search so I can just blow up the building.”
“With what, exactly?”
“Your thermite explosives and the detonator in my hand.”
“There wasn’t enough there to destroy this building.”
“I’ve got a hundred credits that say there is.”
“You’re betting that you can destroy the building you’re standing in?”
“Sure. Why? Do you think that’s bad luck?”
“You’re stalling. Perhaps you were hoping to allow time for your two other associates to get help. I assure you that we are quite safe from your friends, here.”
“Prove it.”

Two more men appeared from the back room with Jessica and Cam.

“Very well. I wish to propose a trade. I will give you the detonator in exchange for those two and freedom for the three of us. ISB operatives will not come by for several hours which will give you boys enough time to ship out and go someplace else.”
“You don’t have the authority to give us that.”
“I do actually, but it’s a moot point. I will delay filing the report.”
“We hold the lives of your friends in our hands. How do we know you won’t betray us and send more agents?”
“Keep our commlinks. As you know there are no public comm. stations down here so it will take at least half an hour to get to one and another half-hour for the cavalry to arrive.”
“Very well. Toss over the detonator.”
“I don’t think so. Send one of your people over with my associates. We will make the exchange at the same time.”

One of the men walked Cam and Jessica over and shoved them in my direction. I held out the detonator for him to retrieve. Once he got his hand to it, I flicked it to Cam and seized the man around the neck, withdrawing a DL-22 from my concealed holster. I gestured for Cam and Jessica to get behind me.

“Call him my insurance policy so that you folks don’t get any cute ideas. Jobe, toss over the detonator.”
“You can’t be serious?” Cam said.
“A deal is a deal. Give them the detonator.”

Cam shrugged and threw the detonator to them men. I backed away towards the front door, keeping Cam and Jessica behind me and the gun on the enemy. Once we reached it, Cam opened the door and slipped outside, followed by Jessica and then me. I stunned the man by striking his temple with the butt of my blaster and used a metal rod to bar the door. We continued along the street for almost fifty metres before I stopped and took out my datapad. I keyed in several commands before entering the frequency of the detonator. Once it was successfully associated I hit the execute button.

Down the street, several muffled blasts shook the area before a tremendous crash heralded the building’s demise. I smirked to myself and took out my commlink, which I hadn’t had a chance to give to the men in the building. I put in a call for a cleanup crew and picked up the man before continued towards the elevator. About halfway there, Cam slipped off into the darkness.

Back at headquarters, I put the man in a holding cell and explained his crimes to the duty officer before going to my desk and filing my report.

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 Post Posted: Sat, January 20th 2007 07:05am    Post subject:
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Jess and I sat down to a meal in my apartment; the first time she had set foot anywhere near sector nine in her entire life. She had taken it upon herself to cook and had told ZAB to go and sleep in the corner, insisting on not only preparing the meal but also the dining table. I couldn't help but wonder what the agenda was, since she was always so pro-feminism when I was around. I didn't dwell on it too much, watching the holonews instead.

"So when are you going to teach me how to fight?" she said, looking up from her dinner.
"I'm a lover not a fighter, sweetheart."
"Funny, but seriously. I have shooting all but sorted out now; when do I start learning hand to hand combat."
"I am being serious. If I wasn't so damn good with explosives and computer systems I probably wouldn't have graduated from the academy."
"You did okay the other night," she protested. It was all I could do not to roll my eyes.
"Yeah, I'm great at winning when my enemy isn't expecting it and I'm great at sucker-punching people in the dark, but I couldn't win a one-on-one with a two year old packing a broken arm and a twisted ankle."
"You're exaggerating," she said, smiling.
"Yeah, but seriously if you want to learn how to fight you need to find a different tutor."
"What about computer systems and explosives."
"Explosives I'm not allowed to; regulations say that you need to be instructed by a proper teacher."
"And computer systems?"
"The skills I have aren't taught at any academy."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm a slicer, or I was and a good one at that. Just after I turned eighteen and inherited this place I found a group of slicers who were using their skills to fund a lifelong party. I tagged along and found that I was a natural and learned the skills quickly. We had a falling out a while later and I left to join the academy and haven't looked back."
"Do you still do it?"
"Do what?"
"Slice."
"I keep my skills honed."
"That's the best I'm going to get isn't it."
I replied with a smile and spared myself a verbal reply by filling my mouth with food. I had to admit, she was an amazing cook. Easy on the eye too, now that I took a moment to appraise her looks.

I instantly regretted turning her into a piece of meat; she wasn't that. She was the only woman in my life who wasn't and that was special to me. I stood up and began clearing the table, allowing ZAB to stay resting in the corner, though he was probably bored out of his mechanical mind. I filled the sink with hot water and started washing the dishes, leaving her sitting at the table sipping her Alderaanian ale. An extremely rare drink, it also happened to be my favourite non-cocktail drink. By the look of the empty bottles beside her, Jess didn't mind it either.

She joined me at the sink, sticking the dishes in the dryer once I had washed them. I was wondering if she planned on staying the night and if I should offer her my bed a sleep on the couch, when she stopped collecting the dishes and looked at me. There was a depth to her gaze that startled me and made me realise what the agenda was. Against everything I had ever heard her say, she was falling for me. She took a step closer, imposing herself in my personal space and making me react, either positively or negatively. She was doing it perfectly and I hated her for it. But despite the overwhelming attraction I knew what I had to do.

I left the dishes where they were and walked back to the holonews, leaving a stunned silence in my wake. With every step I could feel her eyes on me, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. She banged around for a few minutes, obviously composing herself and asked if I wanted another ale.

"Sure," I said without looking up. She approached me and put the the bottle beside me before sitting herself on the couch at the other end, still looking at me.

"Why not?" she demanded.
"Don't do this, Jess, please," I pleaded, hoping desperately for a way out of this situation.
"It's cause I washed out of the academy isn't it. You think I'm worthless because I didn't pass. Well I'm not alright. Look at me! Why won't you love me!" She punctuated the last few screaming syllables with a deep drink from her bottle which by my last count was around fifteen and passed out with her head in my lap. Sighing to myself, I picked her up and carried her into my bedroom and laid her down on the bed on her side so that she wouldn't choke if she vomited. I finished my drink quickly and lay down on the couch; I had a lot to think about.

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 Post Posted: Wed, January 24th 2007 06:51am    Post subject:
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My alarm woke me at 0600, same as always. Even on my days off I preferred to wake up at the same time to prevent myself from depending on sleep too much. It took a few moments for me to realise why I was irritated. Once I did the memories of the night before came flooding back. I got up quickly, proceeding to the bedroom to make sure she was alright.

Not only had she managed to vomit all over herself without waking up, she had also managed to wet the bed. I wiped her mouth and made sure that she was still breathing before returning to the living room and rousing ZAB.

"Strip her and put her in the shower. If she tries to get out of the shower, put a towel around her. Make sure that she doesn't leave the refresher naked."
"Certainly, Master Jacen."

I returned to the kitchen and got another ale out of the cooler. I still had no idea what I was going to do about Jessica. She was beautiful, she was smart and she was obviously crazy about me. But at the same time she had that crazed streak that came out last night. And then there was my obvious inability to commit to any woman that I met. I didn't think the latter would occur in this case, however since she seemed to have enough commitment for both of us. I decided ultimately to wait and see how she was this morning. There was a remote possibility that it was just the alcohol talking last night and that she felt nothing at all for me and was trying to get a reaction.

"Jacen?" a small voice floated out from the doorway to the bedroom. I turned around to look and instantly regretted it. Jessica was standing, naked and dripping wet, in the doorway with a seductive smile on her face.
"ZAB!" I yelled, "what part of 'not naked' did you fail to comprehend?!"
"I tripped his primary circuit-breaker," said Jessica, still with the same smile.

Deciding in that moment what to do, I walked across the room to stand in front of her, never taking my eyes off her face. I tried to walk past her to turn ZAB back on but she moved in front of me and put her arms around me. I kissed her, pushing her onto the bed and laying with my hips between her legs. I kissed her again, before I got a strong feeling of wrongness, like somebody had stood beside me and yelled 'no' in my ear as loud as they could. Angry with my lack of restraint, I got up and left the apartment without a backwards word.

I headed for the gym in the basement and strapped my hands once I got there. I started hitting the punching bag, taking all of my frustrations out on the sand-filled leather bag.

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 Post Posted: Wed, April 18th 2007 12:04pm    Post subject:
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I ducked, the right hook passing harmlessly over my head. Over in my corner, Jessica shouted encouragement while Cam looked grimly on. About two standard months earlier he had offered to train me in the less than subtle art of boxing. As it turns out I was actually pretty good, I had an eye for it. At least that was what Cam told me. The gash above the left eye from a blow early on throbbed in disagreement, but fortunately it was one of the few times my opponent had gotten past my guard. He feinted, but I recognised the different stance and took advantage of his misstep, firing a straight right jab at his nose. It landed, but the majority of damage was averted when he brought his left hand across to block.

I swung a left hook, hitting him just below the temple and making him stagger back. Anxious to press my advantage, I caught him on the chin with a right uppercut while he was stunned and swung another left hook. The latter blow was intercepted, but the flurry had done plenty of damage to his already fragile conscious state. He glared at me, the fire in his eyes still present but beginning to fade. Blood began to trickle into my eye as the gash started bleeding again after the exertion. I twitched my head to try and remove the blood, sending out a beacon for my opponent to strike. His glove grazed my ear as I tilted to the side and slammed my right glove into his stomach. As he tilted forward I swung my left into his temple again, the bone jarring crunch echoing through the small hall.

The fire in his eyes was instantly snuffed out as he hit the canvas with a dull thud. I took a moment to flick the blood properly out of my eye before concentrating and seeing if he would get up. The man struggled to get to his feet, but fell down again almost instantly. The referee finished his count and held my hand in the air, signalling my win to the cheers of the five or so people watching from the ringside seats. I sat in my corner, taking a drink and pulling off my gloves.

"You were amazing," said Jess, wrapping her arms around me, "but you smell! Go take a shower."
"In a moment, kid," said Cam, holding the ropes apart so I could climb through, "you did fairly well, but you need to mix it up more, throw some uneven combinations rather than a simple right, left, right. A more skilled opponent than this one would pick it and make mince out of your face. You have to keep your focus; don't give your opponent an inch or he'll carve you up. Hit the showers, I'll drive you two home when you finish."

I nodded, slipping into the dressing room and taking off my fighting trunks. The cool water felt nice on my warm skin, refreshing my tired muscles. I dipped my head under quickly, trying to ignore the stinging gash. It wasn't bad enough for a medic, I decided and I liked having Jess fix me up after a bout. I stepped out of the shower and dressed in a black vest with black undershirt and dark pants cut in the Corellian style.

Surprisingly, Jess was talking to Cam when I exited rather than waiting to jump on me as soon as I walked out. Perhaps she had noticed that this fight had been one of the hardest that I had fought and didn't want to hurt me? Whatever the reason I was sure that I would find out once we got home.

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 Post Posted: Sun, August 05th 2007 03:18am    Post subject:
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Contrary to a usual walk down my street, I drew absolutely no looks from alleyways or passers-by, undoubtably owing to the fact that I wasn't wearing an Imperial Security Bureau dress uniform. It felt different, not having finished a day at work before returning home. It was even worse now that there was something sinister going on.

As I rounded the last corner the plot thickened considerably. The she-devil from the Titan was sitting at the door to my house. Shifting my stance, I brought my bag around in front of me with one hand and drew my DL-22 with the other, ensuring that the safety was off. I walked slowly and deliberately towards her, ensuring that she knew I was there.

"Hi," she said as I approached as though she were greeting an old friend. My confusion increased somewhat and I tensed my finger on the trigger of my blaster, "touchy aren't we? You're not still upset about that little drugging are you."

That tore it; I didn't like being played and I definately didn't like being drugged and dumped in a hospital. I drew my blaster and pointed it at the spot in her chest where her heart was supposed to go. She blinked several times before looked into my eyes with a playful, questioning smile.

"What the frak is going on?" I said, getting rapidly unimpressed with her antics.
"You were in danger on the Titan. There was a plot to take you out after what you did to that guy in the pub. I was sent in to make sure that didn't happen."
"Sent? By who?"
"Somebody more powerful than you could ever imagine."
"Imperial?"
"No." That confused me even more. The only person I knew who wasn't an Imperial was Tiara and we hadn't exactly left on the best of terms.
"Then who?"
"You wouldn't understand."
"Put your hands on your head."
"You can't be serious?" her voice was incredulous, like I was offending her somehow.
"I am placing you under arrest for possession of a dangerous substance, conspiracy to poison a member of the ISB, attempted murder and deprivation of liberties. You are not required to do or say anything but anything you do say or do may be taken down and used in evidence against you at a later date. Do you understand?"

Her eyes were narrowed dangerously, causing me to wonder what it was that she had planned. I took the binders off my belt a kept my pistol levelled at her. As I got close to her I holstered the pistol and grabbed one of her hands to cuff it. She twisted; I felt a searing pain in my shoulder and the next thing I knew I was on my back on the doorstep and she was moving away as fast as she could.

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 Post Posted: Fri, August 31st 2007 02:28am    Post subject:
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I was in the apartment long enough to throw my bag into the bedroom and check the charge on my blaster before heading to the garage. My sleek new airspeeder was waiting and started effortlessly once the correct code was punched in. I hit the door release button on the console and soared out into the afternoon Coruscant sky. I pushed the woman to the back of my mind. Something told me that she wouldn't be bothering me again.

My destination was the Imperial palace and more specifically the office of Supreme Moff Jendob, Director of Imperial Intelligence. After the debacle on the Titan with Jessica, I was determined to return to life as an agent, preferrably preferrably the sort of deep cover role that I enjoyed most. The lanes weren't very crowded, so I upped the throttle and kept one eye out for Traffic Police, anxious to get to the Imperial Palace and hopefully a new job.

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 Post Posted: Mon, December 03rd 2007 12:19am    Post subject:
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I would never have thought that this would happen, but if I had I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be this calm about it, I mused to myself as I made my way back from the lower levels. It was a surreal feeling, almost freedom but not quite. I looked up at the stars as I reached the street level. Though I could not actually see them for all the light pollution the gesture was calming, peaceful almost. I wondered what Tiara was doing now and what was running through her mind when I spoke to her on the Holonet.

She seemed unphased as usual, but I hoped that there was something going on beneath her grim exterior, something that suggested my big sister was still human despite the fact that just under half of her body was now mechanical. The man responsible still hadn't been identified, but I had faith in my sister. She made my intelligence skills looks like a toddler's manipulation of its parents as opposed to the forward thinking that most agents utilised to stay one step ahead of those whom they purported to support.

I walked a familiar route between two buildings at the edge of sector nine, skirting the border station out of a desire to get home quickly. It turned out the be a mistake. I wasn't more than halfway along the alley when two thugs armed with stiletto blades stepped out from an underground establishment.

"This is our turf, Imperial scum; pay the toll."
"This is an Imperial planet, shit for brains; you are just as much an Imperial as I am, except you aren't smart enough to draw a wage from the Empire."
"I ain't no stinking Imperial dog. You can pay the toll ... in blood!"

Ordinarily I would have pulled out my badge and read the man his rights before disarming and incapacitating him and calling for extraction, but after a sojourn into the lower levels my trigger finger was twitchy, itching for action. I wasn't one to deny simple impulses and slipped the blaster out of its holster, the move as smooth as shimmersilk owing to the fact that I had practised in front of the mirror for hours.

I dispensed with the warning shot, instead firing my first bolt into the head of the human who spoke first. His companion was moving on me before the corpse hit the ground, surprising me and making the next bolt miss. I spun out of the way of the oncoming blade and smacked the butt of my blaster against the back of the man's head, being rewarded instantly with a grunt of pain as he went sprawling to the ground. I raised the gun, firing two bolts of energy into the man's chest as he lay defeated on the ground.

Technically, it was excessive use of force, but I wasn't interested in technicalities. The men attacked me; I killed them. Simple cause and effect. I continued on my way, whistling the tune to one of the songs playing in the holonet cafe. In less than fifteen minutes I was back home, eating a ZAB-cooked meal and drinking my favourite Alderaanian Ale.

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 Post Posted: Sat, January 26th 2008 09:17am    Post subject:
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A ray of light shone between two buildings in Sector nine, its origin impossible to trace except by following it. This particular ray of light cast a shadow across the ground in my path as I walked with my best friend, Cam Antares. Cam had been at my side since the start, since we were both trained as Imperial Intelligence agents. He was at my side on the Titan when Jessica betrayed me and he was by my side when I made the decision to pass information to Anarchy 99.

He had exhausted all available resources trying to find the woman who drugged me on the Titan but had come up empty. The woman was like a ghost and it was this fact that scared me the most. I saw her face in the shadows, her disembodied voice in my dreams accusing me of treason. The woman was the face of my continued guilt. Not a day went by where I didn't question why I did what I did but every day I remembered my sister's face when she left me to go on the journey I believed had taken her life. I remembered how full of life she had been then. Then I remember the visage that greeted me on the Titan, the emotionally scarred shell of my sister that had been subjected to horrors I can scarcely imagine.

I remind myself that the reason, above all else, was that I wanted my sister back. I wanted to turn back the years until that moment and beg her not to go; beg my parents not to go; to tell them the fate the awaited them and my big sister on Rattatak. Then I realised that I could not and that the best that I could do was hope that when this was all over I could have my sister back.

"General," Cam said, breaking into my thoughts, "look."

I looked up, my gaze moving to my front door in the near distance. Sitting there, leaning casually against the step looking at me was the woman from the Titan.

"Easy," I said, "last time I drew on this woman she tore the ligaments in my shoulder."
"You tried to arrest her?" he said.
"Tried being the operative word," I replied, "lets see what she wants first."

I held my hands palms out beside me, indicating for Cam to do the same as we approached. She smiled and nodded, standing and walking towards me.

"You're a fast learner, General," she said, her tone both dangerous and flirtatous at the same time.
"Who are you?" I replied.
"Who I am matters a lot less than what I am. I hail from the planet Berno in the Unknown Regions, but before that I resided in the spice mines of Kessel. Before that I lived here on Coruscant. I was once the apprentice of the same person as your sister's former fiancee."
"Slow the frak down," I said, irritated and knowing the same amount about her as before she started talking, "I still have no idea who you are."
"I am Ruby."
"That doesn't help."
"I did tell you that."

In spite of the situation, I found myself smiling. There was a radiance about this woman that I found comforting and it wasn't just the fact that she could kill me without breaking a sweat.

"Come inside," I said, "I would rather we didn't have an audience."
"I thought you'd never ask," she said with a smile.

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 Post Posted: Tue, January 29th 2008 03:43am    Post subject:
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Ruby was sitting at my table, one leg crossed over the other in a miniskirt that would get anyone's pulse racing. I ignored the sexual provocation, figuring that she was doing it on purpose to try and unsettle me. I crossed the room to the small kitchen and grabbed an ale.

"Drink?" I said.
"What do you have," she replied as Cam nodded.
"Alderaanian Ale," I said, throwing a bottle to Cam.
"That's a strange drink for an Imperial."
"I'm not Tarkin or Vader."
"Fair enough."
"Anyway, you were about to tell me what you are doing here?" I prompted, taking a seat opposite her.
"Yeah, well I couldn't talk on your doorstep because the Imperials would probably be very interested in the subject."
"And that subject would be?"
"Your sister."

I tensed up immediately, my hand moving unconsciously towards my blaster. I found its progress stopped by her foot within second, looking up to find her eyes glittering dangerously.

"She needs your help."
"Come again?"
"She needs your help," Ruby replied, producing a small holoprojector device, "do you recognise the sector?"
"No," I lied. Pictured was a map of the Albrion Sector, headquarters of Anarchy 99. It zoomed out to show the area between the Corellian Run and the Albrion Sector.
"The Imperial Navy is moving along the Corellian Run, diplomatically annexing all of the worlds between themselves and the Rebels. While this doesn't threaten your sister directly, her next course of action does. The last uncontested world aside from Bothan Space is the world of Leritor. Your sister currently has a fleet there negotiating with the natives."
"So?"
"Anarchy 99 maintains a stronghold in the Albrion Sector almost on the border to Rebellion Space. Pissing off the Imperial War Machine is a good way to get them snooping around the Albrion Sector. Once Ukio falls Rishi will come under seige and will eventually fall to. Tiara will be arrested and taken to the force knows where."
"Tiara isn't at Rishi."
"And you can guarantee that she won't go anywhere near Rishi for the next year or so?"
"Of course not."
"Which is why I am here. You need to go to her; convince her to leave Anarchy 99 and come to Coruscant where she will be safe."
"She won't come."
"You're her brother. If anyone can make her, it is you."

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 Post Posted: Sat, March 08th 2008 08:34am    Post subject:
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I stood at the door to the 9SC, checking identities and ensuring that the chaos within the bar did not spill out onto the street. Though sector nine was allowed a certain amount of anarchy, there were limits to the Empire's patience. There was a constant chatter through the earpiece in my right ear, the security of the bar keeping a constant, ever-vigilant eye on known troublemakers and brewing hotspots and reporting it back to the central hub. The night had only just begun, but already there was a long line outside the door.

Ruby, or trouble incarnate as I had come to call her, approached from the other side of the street wearing a tiny miniskirt and halterneck top that barely covered her magnificent body. She walked right past the line and whispered three words in my ear as she breezed past the other bouncers while their eyes were transfixed on varying parts of her anatomy. It was not their eye-screwing of my girlfriend that bothered me, it was the three words she whispered before she entered, Your sister's here.

I wasn't sure why those words inspired such a supernatural feeling of dread inside of me, aside from the fact that the only way I could think of to bring her here was to contact her and refuse to give her any more information. I was assuming she was more than a little pissed about that, given that she was inside the 9SC and hadn't identified herself before she entered. Before I could further evaluate the situation, my boss' voice came over the earpiece.

"All units, close the exits and report to dance floor alpha."

I had a nasty suspicion about the reason for the lockdown, but I didn't let it show on my face as I nodded to my compatriots and helped them close the blast doors. My moved quickly to the dance floor as directed, where my worst fears were realised. Ruby and Tiara were facing off on the dancefloor, several security staff either unconscious or dead around them. Upon closer inspection of them, I saw that Tiara had a small trickle of blood from the right side of her mouth, while Ruby still looked as though she hadn't been touched.

Tiara advanced, swinging a right feint before spinning and following up with a spinning roundhouse kick that was aimed at Ruby's head, the latter miraculously managing to be below the level of Tiara's foot almost before she began the spin. Ruby shoved Tiara backwards, knocking her to the ground. Tiara sprang nimbly to her feet, wiping the blood away from her mouth. At this point I thought it prudent to intervene. I imposed myself between the two, looking directly at Tiara.

"Get out of the way, traitor," she spat, "I will deal with you next."
"No," I replied calmly.
"Fine," she spat, swinging a punch that I had trouble tracking. I blocked her first blow and managed to deflect her second before copping the third in the ribs and a fourth across the face, sending me down on one knee. The force behind her blows was staggering, unbelievable for someone so slight. I rose to my feet.
"There is more to this situation than meets the eye. If you kill me now, you will regret it later."
"You bet your ass she will," said Ruby from behind me. I hushed her; defusing the situation depended entirely on Tiara's goodwill.
"Start talking," Tiara replied, keeping her guard up.
"Not here," I said.
"I'm not afraid of the frakking Imperials," she sneered.
"That is the whole reason I brought you here," I said evenly.
"You didn't bring me here, " she spat, "I came of my own accord."
I shook my head sadly, "please, come home."
"Home?" she replied, confused.
I nodded, "the place you haven't been to for decades."

Tiara looked astonished, the anger draining from her face. She nodded and followed me out of the bar. My boss was yelling into the earpiece, demanding that I arrest her. I looked up at the nearest camera and shook my head, removing my earpiece and putting it in my pocket. I spoke into the microphone in my collar, "Imperial Intelligence business Chick; you wouldn't want to get in the middle of it."

_________________
Colonel Jacen Tranada
Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar



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Jacen Tranada
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 Post Posted: Wed, March 12th 2008 08:43am    Post subject:
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The silence was deafening as we walked down the street towards my apartment. Ruby had a hand inside her top, which I assumed was wrapped around either the handle of a blade or the butt of a blaster. Tiara was more subtle, but I had no doubt that whatever weapon she planned on using would be in her hand within the blink of an eye should it need to be. I approached the door and pressed my hand onto the biometric scanner. It ratified my hand-print and DNA and closed. Another hatch opened to reveal a numeric keypad. I half-glanced over my should before I entered the numbers. It was a mistake.

"Three-two-six-three-eight-two-seven-tee-tee-three-one-four-four-tee-eye-ay-ar-ay," Tiara drawled, "try to keep up, kid."
"Right," I said, not sure whether or not to be proud of my sister or pissed off at her. I went with proud, punching in the code and making a mental note to change it as soon as possible. I pushed the door open and went inside, Tiara and Ruby following soon after. ZAB was in the chair, his primary circuit breaker tripped. I turned to Tiara.

"You wor..." I was cut off by her hand wrapping my neck and pushing me into the wall, a blade pressing against my stomach.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't!" she hissed.
"Because about a nanosecond after your blade pierces his skin, your brains will hit the wall," said Ruby, thumbing the laser sight on her blaster and pointing it at Tiara's head.
"Ack, will you relax," I said, choking, "both of you."

I looked pleadingly at Ruby, who glared back for a moment before raising the barrel of her pistol to point at the roof and setting it down on the table beside her. Tiara kept her hold for a moment before releasing me. I sat down at the table and gestured for the other two to do the same.

"Start talking," Tiara said.
"You need to distance yourself from Anarchy 99."
"This is your grand explanation for betraying me?" she replied incredulously.
"One; I didn't betray you. If I wanted to do that Imperial Intelligence would have arrested you about a second after you landed. Two; its not my fault that you decided to take on the Imperial Fleet."
"Come again?"
"So you didn't put yourself between the Imperial rim expansion and Rebellion Space?"
"What's your point."
"My point is; fire your strategist. Except that I know for a fact that you are your own strategist. It doesn't matter who wins in that sector; you will lose. Organisations who specialise in political espionage usually aren't tolerated."
"There aren't enough star destroyers in the galaxy to compromise Rishi," Tiara spat.
"You really want to test that theory?"
"Of course not."
"Then call it quits. Stay here at home."
"Why?"
"You have your billions, what more do you want? Why do you need to keep fighting?"
"You wouldn't understand," she muttered.
"Because you won't let me," I said gently, "all I want is my sister back. We lost decades; don't let us lose any more time."

Tiara stood up, her chair scraping against the ground. She walked quickly over to the window a stood there for a few moments. When she turned around, there were tears in her eyes. She didn't speak but nodded and cried silently. Understanding her wish not to talk about it tonight, I showed her to a spare room, before heading to bed with Ruby.

_________________
Colonel Jacen Tranada
Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar



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 Post Posted: Thu, April 24th 2008 04:39am    Post subject:
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Ruby walked quickly away from Jacen's house, following his sister as she threaded her way between the buildings. Unsurprisingly, Tiara was sneaking out of the house at night to go and do force knows what. This was the objective of Ruby's excursion tonight. Ruby was testament to the saying that old habits die hard. Even though she had found love and with it a restored sense of humanity Ruby couldn't let go of her instincts, especially when the man she loved was potentially in danger.

The woman in black didn't take the trouble to cover her tracks or even to conceal her path at all, causing Ruby a great deal of concern. She was either ridiculously overconfident, leading Ruby into a trap or oblivious to the fact that she was being followed. Having had the same teachings as Tiara, Ruby was reasonably confident that it wasn't the first or third options. Even so, Ruby had her doubts that a trap lay at the end of the line tonight. Tiara was not acting as someone with her level of training should.

About thirty metres or so ahead of her was a choke point, with two thugs poorly concealed in the shadows in front of where the path narrowed. They were well enough in the shadows, but chose their attire poorly. Nevertheless they appeared to have fooled Tiara, who walking obliviously towards them, unless of course they were hers. Ruby made a mental note to bitch-slap Tiara for choosing such idiots if that ended up being the case the case. Just how wrong she was quickly became painfully obvious to Ruby.

"That's a pretty outfit, sweetheart," said an ugly humanoid, "whats such a pretty outfit doing in this part of town; it could get ruined. Why don't you take it off for me."

Tiara lunged at the man, putting all of her weight behind her first blow while Ruby watched in awe. Why the frak was she being so idiotic? Where the frak was her training and just plain what the frak? There was a faint hissing noise noise the other shadow, causing Ruby to swear softly to herself. There was either a wierd frak-off snake, a gas leak or a Barabel there. Withdrawing her blade, Ruby slipped into the shadows that were recently vacated by the freak.

Just as she got into position, Tiara finally landed a punch, sending the man staggering backwards into Ruby's arms. She drove the blade quietly into the back of the freak's neck, killing it instantly. The Barabel stepped from the shadows a few milliseconds before Ruby threw her blade into its forehead. Tiara whipped around and stared intently into the shadows before returning her gaze to the dagger imbedded in the Barabel's skull.

"Ruby," she whispered softly before walking back the way she came.
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 Post Posted: Thu, May 08th 2008 04:57am    Post subject:
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It was strange; though Tiara hadn't spoken of the night Ruby followed her, it seemed to have sparked a change in her, bringing back what Ruby assumed was her old self. There were no more clandestine excursions into the underlevels; no more emo moments, no more shutting herself in her room. Ruby was happy with the change. The whole time that Tiara was miserable, Jacen was blaming himself.

Ruby was sitting at the table, eating breakfast with Jacen when Tiara entered, wearing a nightshirt and one hell of a hangover, judging by the look on her face.

"Big night," Jacen said.
"Something like that," Tiara replied, looking for some sort of caf drink. Once she found it, she joined Jacen and Ruby at the table. There was silence for a few moments before Ruby spoke.
"Who do you know on Svivren?"
"Come again," she said, confused.
"A comm call was routed through the holonet from Svivren while you were out. A sullustan asked for you specifically..."
"That would be Teev."
"Who," said Jacen, interested.
"Boab Teev. Will and I helped him overthrow the corrupt former regime. I expect that was him wondering when I was coming back."
"That's an idea," said Jacen.
"What's an idea," Ruby said, confused.
"Taking a trip to Svivren."
"There's more," said Tiara, "he offered me a position within the military."
"What position?"
"Head of the Svivren Customs Service."
"And that would entail?" said Ruby.
"No idea," replied Tiara, but I don't think I will take the job.
"Why not?" said Jacen.
"Mostly the week-long commute to work of a morning," she replied, a smile spreading slowly across her face.
"Then lets move there," he said.
"Are you serious?"
"Sure; the only reason we're still on Coruscant really is that moving for no reason would be stupid. Why not head to Svivren?"
"Cause when the Empire steamrolls the Alliance we could get caught in the crossfire?" Tiara said.
"Doubtful, but I'm sure the head of Customs would have a say in planetary defense. You could fortify it; get the AnarNine Group some defense contracts," replied Jacen.
"Sure," Tiara said, "I'll look into getting us there."
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 Post Posted: Mon, May 12th 2008 05:47am    Post subject:
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I packed the last of the equipment, clothes and other stuff in my bag. Chief among my possessions was my personal, portable computer. Still somewhat in excess of what Imperial Intelligence was using, it contained codes from almost a decade of slicing, intelligence work and demolitions. I could intercept the sequencing information from remote detonators, disable locks, undo electronic transfers and all manner of other fun things. For the better part of a year it had been sitting in a concealed compartment under my bed, along with a DL-22 blaster. I grabbed the computer and left the blaster where it lay; Cam would find a better use for it and I wouldn't be permitted a blaster on the Titan anyway.

I took one last look through my home to ensure I hadn't left anything behind and joined Tiara and Ruby in the garage. Since both girls were used to living out of a suitcase, both were packed and ready in under five minutes while I took most of the morning to gather my things. I packed everything into the rear storage compartment of the speeder and closed it, making sure that it was locked tightly; Ruby was driving. I slipped into the back seat as she gunned the engine.

Scary, somehow didn't carry enough significance with it to describe the experience of being in a speeder with Ruby at the controls. Even Tiara was holding on as Ruby weaved in and out of the traffic lanes, never staying in a single one for more than a few seconds. We got to the spaceport in sector seventeen in a matter of minutes, far earlier than I had expected to arrive. Nevertheless, Cam was waiting as the speeder settled into the park and unloaded the cargo.

"You're early," he said with a knowing smile.
"So are you," I replied, shaking his hand.
"No I ain't," he said, "I knew she was driving."

Ruby gave an innocent smile and tried to look embarrassed. It didn't fool anyone, but made her look great. She threw the keys to Cam, who nodded to the three of us and took off. He always had a thing about goodbyes, even when we were in Intelligence together. Shaking my head and smiling, I picked our bags up and loaded them onto a trolley before moving forward into the passenger terminal.

_________________
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Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar

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 Post Posted: Thu, May 15th 2008 07:50pm    Post subject:
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I walked through the metal detector without incident, collecting my carry-on luggage and walking forward a few paces to clear a path while I waited for Ruby and Tiara to pass through. Somehow I knew that it wouldn't be as simple for them. Sure enough, I was right. As Tiara passed through an alert wailed insistently on the console of the operator. He grabbed a hand-held scanner and waved it over Tiara's body. I sidestepped slightly to get a view of the screen. I wasn't an expert, but it appeared that Tiara's arms were completely artificial.

Once it was decided that nothing else had set off the alarm, Tiara was allowed to proceed.

"What happened?" I said.
"Speeder accident," she replied.
"And?" I said, raising an eyebrow.
Tiara rolled her eyes, "I pulled a bank job on Obroa-Skai and got chased by a Jedi and a bunch of special operations soldiers. The speeder hit a wall at, well faster than it should have. My right arm was severed below the elbow in the duel with the Jedi and my other arm bore the brunt of the impact. I had to had the entire right arm replaced during physio because I couldn't get my balance right."
"Wow," I said, amazed. My sister had been a weapon before her arms were bionic, I was amazed that Ruby managed to get the upper hand in the 9SC. As though my words had summoned her, Ruby appeared.
"Sorry," she said, "scanners are better than I expected."

I looked behind her and had to laugh. The confiscated items area now contained a wide assortment of blades and other formerly concealed hand-held weapons. Tiara looked between Ruby and the table for a few moments before declaring confidently, "they didn't get them all."
"No," Ruby replied, "but they would have to be some sort of deity to do that."
"Yeah," Tiara agreed, turning to board the shuttle that would take them to the Titan, Ruby and I following soon after.

_________________
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Agent Alderaan 333
Project Blackbriar

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