Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!


“And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy…”

Linna set down her bags and kept on humming the old song as she flopped on the bed. No stranger to long hyperflights, she’d packed light, but the Star Tours line to Hoth had worn her out. The sonic shower could wait; so could the whirlpool and the sauna and the hoverski slopes.

“And I, I know, I’m one…”

Not that long ago, she’d have taken this interlude to take a pill or two. Despite a successful stint in rehab, the old habit made her reach for her purse. She put it aside before she remembered there was no dex or glitterstim inside, and that was something of a proud moment. Her hands tightened, not quite enough to crack a nail veneer. She closed her eyes and did her level best to relax.

Like any high-end resort, this one offered comprehensive soundproofing and almost delivered. The resort lived and died by the Star Tours route. Behind the silence, Linna heard the bumps and chatter and rushing taps of a starliner’s worth of passengers moving into their rooms.
Sleep eluded her, and she didn’t want to sleep in businesswear anyway. The Iron Crown buyout had left her capable of purchasing the resort and the starliner she rode in on, and ATC pay wasn’t too shabby either. But once upon a time she’d been a refugee, and before that a young academic on scholarship: crumpling, staining, and otherwise wasting clothes never sat well. With a groan, she rolled off the emperor-sized bed and hung up her gray skirtsuit.

A sonic shower and a nap later, she felt Zeltron again, but the day was done. Her suite’s panoramic window, once rendered transparent, revealed a mountain resort in the throes of a nice evening. Not so long ago, she’d have joined the socialites and businessbeings in the jacuzzis and dining balconies overlooking Hoth. But there would be spice, First Order laws or not. No point in taking the risk.

She settled for a plush white Star Tours bathrobe, a business broadcast on Bespin’s bounty, white wine, and a copy of The Obroa-Skai Journal of Interstellar Political Economy. The feud between Conne and Horsk was heating up: a new paper, a new letter to the editor, a suggested retraction over research methodology. With a chuckle, she reached for the comm.

“What can I get for you, Doctor Beorht?” said the concierge, who’d never met her before. Say one thing for Star Tours: say they know their customers.
“Call to Obroa-Skai, please. Doctor Adelwin Horsk with the Crevolo Institute of Economics.” She juggled time zones and transit delays in her head, just to be sure she’d remembered his office hours.

A spectacled Bothan in tweed shimmered to life, quarter-sized, on a wall projector. “Linna - this is a surprise. How’s your vacation?”

“Oh, Hoth’s gorgeous as ever. Listen, Adel, I’ve just been reading this piece that Conne wrote-”

“It’s errant nonsense.”

“I completely agree. Your methodology was sound, and he’s ignoring context. It’s also just ugly writing. He’s done better.”

“Jarthen Conne used to be pure aurodium.” The Bothan removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “I looked up to him as a postdoc. I wouldn’t use the word ‘mentor,’ but he always asked after my foals and so forth. And the work he used to put out-”

“I’d like to collaborate on the rebuttal, Adel.”

Gigantic eyebrows rose. “That’s a kind offer. What’re your thoughts, Linna?”

“Grantham’s study.”

“He won’t like being pulled into this.”

Linna waved that off with her wine glass. “It’s another ‘cited by’ to brighten his day, plus he’d never write up an objection. He knows his work applies. He’d rather look partisan than stupid.” A knock sounded at the door, interrupting Linna’s train of thought. She set the wine glass aside. “I have to go, Adel. No pressure, but think about it. Your work’s important.”

A quick goodbye later, she turned off the holocall and slid from the bed. Clinching the bathrobe at her throat, she peered through the hall-viewer.

And froze.

After a long moment, she stepped back as quietly as she could. She knelt by her luggage, eyes on the door, and pulled out a Santhe/Sienar sonic servodriver. The metal wand slipped into her bathrobe sleeve without disturbing its silhouette.
A knock came again, and a chill ran through her. “Enter,” she said. The door recognized her voiceprint and slid aside. In stepped a human woman in deep red, maybe Linna’s age or a little younger. Her arms were high-end prosthetics, maybe as far up as the shoulder. Her face bore tattoos, black lines from forehead to cheekbone.

“Linna Beorht,” said the human; it wasn’t a question. The door hissed shut behind her.

Linna folded her arms, keeping the bathrobe shut up to her neck. “And you are?”

“Not important. Please come with me.” The word ‘please’ took effort.

With a grimace, Linna reached out to the Force via the empathy that her species used. From the human, she felt cold anger, impatience, and contempt.

Idiosyncratic look. Peremptory manners. Banked fury. Plans for Linna. That didn’t add up to anything pleasant.
Carefully, clumsily, she reached out and touched the human’s mind in a subtle and particular way. In times when Thaissen crystals and blood tests were unavailable, the Jedi had used this mental trick to determine who might be suitable for training. As expected, a rush of telekinetic strength shoved Linna back onto the bed. The human’s head tilted: Linna felt confusion and curiosity from her.

Linna stood as rapidly as possible, with the bed between them. “You don’t have the means to take me quietly, friend. Start talking.”

The human’s left hand flexed in a certain way, and impossibly long metal claws snapped out from her fingertips. Memory metal, perhaps. “Doctor Beorht, you’re a retired politician, a retired holovid personality, a retired academic, and a retired spice freak. Nowhere in your long career have you picked up the skills to resist me for the two seconds it would take me to silence you.”

“I had both my doctorates by twenty-two. When I put my mind to something, I learn it exhaustively.” Linna gestured down at her body. “Cardio kickboxing.”
Surprised contempt shone from the human’s mind as she started coming around the bed. The sonic servodriver dropped into Linna’s hand; she flicked six buttons in quick succession.

The human’s prosthetic arms shut down.

Fury radiated from her like heat off an oven, and invisible strength shoved Linna against the panoramic window.

Passion is stronger than calm, her father had told her once, that worthless karking dilettante. Over the years, she'd realized the truth in that, but also the lie. Passionate strength could falter, or lead you into errors. And she'd spent decades ignoring her father’s memory and occasional ghost: like feth would she start now. Linna put aside her indignation, gathered a shaky mental image, and pushed back.
After long years of dextrophetamine abuse, her raw strength wasn't what it had been. Not even after she got clean and switched to glitbiting and got clean again. She'd spent her twenties trying to burn out the staggering Force potential that her parents had left her, and the dex had at least partially worked. Even so, the human's eyes snapped wide open, and she tumbled over the luggage without benefit of her mechanical arms. Her invisible grip vanished. Linna's bare feet hit the carpet.

“One more chance, then I'm calling security. Who are you​, and what do you want with me?”

The tattooed woman stood awkwardly. “I'm called Talith the Broken, High Priestess of the House of the Dying Sun. My god would like to speak with you.”

Linna felt a grim smile take hold. “I'll get dressed and meet you in the lobby.”
What do you wear to meet a god? Or, more realistically, a Sith cult leader in the middle of nowhere?

The nap had taken the edge off; the abbreviated fight had cleared her head. Linna selected a charcoal turtleneck, warm slacks, and an off-white coat that adjusted for ambient temperature. She brought the sonic servodriver - Talith would expect it - but also a civilian-legal holdout stun blaster. Both tools fit nicely into the coat’s deep pockets without breaking silhouette.

Talith the Broken, resplendent in a fur-trimmed parka, leaned over the lobby’s fireplace. Metal fingers rapped a rhythm on the mantle: apparently she’d rebooted her arms. Linna felt a flicker of awareness from the cyborg Darksider, and met Talith’s eyes squarely. Without a word, Talith made for the door.

The resort comprised a small village of sorts - bars, restaurants, gift shops, sporting gear. A cold-optimized airspeeder pulled up with a local rental sticker, and the valet handed Talith the keys. She and Linna slipped inside the vehicle, and off they went. By night, the slopes of Hoth danced with the resort’s reflected glow. Blinking lights marked the distant perimeter of the sonic fence that kept the wampas at bay.

One spot of night looked darker than the rest.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom