Ayden sighed as he stepped into his apartment, a bone weary sigh that reflected the loss of life from the Atrisian attack and the constant stress experienced with being the Lord Protector. Despite the lavishness of the apartment, it was obvious that he was rarely in it. A very fine layer of dust had settled over most of the flat surfaces of the apartment. Of course he had people come by and change out food as it expired, but it was a hollow exercise.

He set his hat down on the counter top and mindlessly wandered into the refresher. Turning a valve to release a flood of cold water, Ayden hung his head over the sink. Looking at himself in the mirror, Ayden saw dark circles under his eyes and a bone-weary gaze staring back at him. He was haggard and it showed. His hair was beginning to get an oily sheen and he couldn't remember how long it had been since he had had any sleep. Stims and caffine were all that was keeping him awake, and even now he was too exhausted for sleep.

Bangs still dripping with water, Ayden stepped out of the refresher with a towel around his waist. Though he felt slightly refreshed, a melancholic air still hung over his head. A voice in the back of his mind told him that he was too high-strung, that he needed to find a way to relax and unwind. But how? He couldn't just walk into a bar or cantina anymore. Not as the Lord Protector. Nor could he find companionship, as few could see past the rank and power of his office.

As he began to watch into the kitchen, he paused and stared at his hat. It had somehow gotten on the floor. Curious, Ayden bent over to pluck the hat off the floor when it suddenly darted away from his hand. Ayden stood full up and blinked hard at his hat. He was so tired, he couldn't be sure that he hadn't accidentally kicked it when he had tried to pick it up. Gingerly, he stepped toward the hat and reached down once again. Just as his fingers brushed the vornskyr leather, it zig-zagged away. Had his hat always trilled?

Now thoroughly incensed, Ayden yelled before chasing after the hat in ernest. His hat, for its part, shrieked in terror and immediately set off at dizzying speeds. The apartment was filled with the sound of crashing glass, desperate shouts, and shrieks of terror. Ayden yelled once after his foot caught the coffee table, and again after an unsound leap carried him over the couch and caused it to crash behind him as he fell in a tangled mess.

Sighing in defeat, he was surprised to feel a furry warmth come over his arm. Looking down, his hat appeared to be crawling up his arm and onto his chest. As he tilted his head to one side at the utter surrealness of the situation, a pair of large green eyes popped out from under the wide brim of the hat and a large tongue flopped out in what could only be described as a pleased expression. Between the two features, a bushy moustache twitched in the most expressive way as the little creature continued to stare at the Corellian.

Unsure of how it would react, Ayden brought his hand up to the fuzzy creature's face. It trilled confusedly for a moment before sniffing his hand and giving it an approving lick. Finding the cooing of the animal oddly comforting, Ayden sat there in the midst of a thoroughly ransacked apartment with a moustached ropo sitting on his chest, wearing his hat. It was a weird day, but as Ayden looked down and smiled.