Felucia Colony….events leading to Alexandra’s discovery by the Pirates…
It had only been a month out in the wilds of Felucia and already they were planning their next move. Bernard stayed away from trying to get Alexandra more involved in the affairs of 'state'. Headstrong and proper, Alexandra accepted her place on the pecking order when she agreed to marry Bernard. Warrior to the last, she put that mantle aside when she became a wife and then a mother. There was no regret, no since of entitlement from her. It was as it should be, as the Force willed it to be. Bernard had his colony and civilizations to build. Alex had her girls and a husband to support. Fiercely independent coming up through the ranks, those that knew Alexandra would know an entirely different person to see her on Felucia. The warrior’s heart was still there, buried deep, fueling the passion that kept her and her household stable. It was a happiness she never knew she was capable of, knowing that she would never trade it for anything in the universe.
She did advise Bernard on affairs of defense and military strategy. Not in the way a formal advisor would, usually carrying a baby in one arm as she leaned over his shoulder to look at the plans he was making. Alex would make offhanded comments, she didn't want to seem too forward. Bernard took everything she said deadly serious, even if it was an offhanded remark or suggestion. He wasn't a fighter, never possessing a fraction of the skill Alexandra did. Though he would never say it, it was that skill that drew him to her and that passionate heart. He saw something in her that she did not see. That her passion was limitless and could be channeled into anything. Alexandra was more than a warrior.
Pushed into the far reaches of the galaxy following the Hyperspace conflict the last vestiges of the Sith hid in plain sight or retreated out of reach of the Republic. Moving into new sectors, the Republic expanded. Everyone reaping the benefits of a war hard fought and won by the Republic. For the Mirialans it was a chance to spread their culture, settle on new worlds and expand their knowledge of the galaxy. Without malicious intent, they moved into new areas, forming colonies and gaining the knowledge they craved.
Alexandra smiled as she moved the research papers off the desk, shuffling a stack of holo-records causing them to clatter to the floor. Bernard only shifted in his sleep, as well as the little girl who lay so tiny in his huge lap. They seemed to move as one at the sound, shifting to the side in the large plush chair. Alex looked down at them smiling. She didn’t bother Bernard, but did take a moment to run her fingers through the raven black of the infant's hair. Staring for a moment, she watched lovingly as the child breathed softly finally settling down again in a safe position in her father’s lap. Starting to move the baby, a large hand clasped around Alexandra’s wrist. She stopped trying to recover the child, turning a shade darker from having been caught.
“You were supposed to put her back in the crib, Bernard. Not keep her up with you while you work.” Alex smiled jokingly turning to look down at her husband, who placed his hand on the infant to sit up a little.
“Karolin just cries and cries. She doesn’t like to be alone…” A wicked smile started to cross his lips as he looked up at his wife longingly, “….much like her Mother, I think.” Alex swatted at him breaking free, stifling a bit of laughter once the baby started to stir.
“Your work makes me a widow…perhaps I should cry so you will take me out of my ‘crib’ and put me in your lap…” Reaching down, Alex picked up the infant and clutched her close to her chest turning to walk back to the baby’s room, “…besides, she is not alone. Neither of them are. They have each other.”
Pushing himself up from the chair Bernard followed, smiling as they walked. Life was good. A family, a house built with love. Though it was a house built with droids and with their prefabricated materials. Still something to be proud of, something he liked to call built with his own ‘two hands’. Many hands were involved. It was the collective effort of the entire colony. Starting with pre-fabs and picking one of their number, they all worked until the house for that member was built and then moved to the next. The project was nearly finished, the housing established, it was time to move on to more community efforts. There was irrigation, electrical and industrial ideas that flowed in the plans he kept on his desk. All of them given by the leadership, all of them his design. As soon as it was up and running, the plans to move to the next colony were already set.
It was hard to convince Alex to leave the Temple on Mirial. They were merely colleagues, just friends, acquaintances for years studying the Ways of the Jedi. On Mirial, the Agri-corps was a big deal for the Mirialan people, the terrain of the planet unusually harsh for growing and cultivating anything. Bernard was part of the group of Agri-corps Jedi who would help to establish the first of the Force imbued agriculture sites. At the end of The Great Hyperspace War, it was with little effort at all that Alex and Bernard jumped at the chance to share that knowledge with the rest of the galaxy. The challenge of actually growing and building something on worlds that would fight you in trying to survive was just the challenge he desired. Bernard was a builder, a thinker; he loved to watch things take shape.
While Alex enjoyed the art of watching things Bernard created grow, it was the fight she loved more. To hear Bernard explain his motivations would put an insurance man to sleep. She saw more in Bernard. Even after her own fight ended with the end of the War and the banishment of the Sith, Alex still needed a challenge. A Jedi Sentinel, Alex stood on the vanguard of the battlefront well away from the tamer duties of the Agri-corps. Yet upon returning, she was drawn to him. Not because of Bernard’s charm or his ideas. She was drawn because she saw what he did. Challenge excited her, the fight with the planet to give up its secrets and be tamed by the settlers. With the War over, her combat ended she needed new goals, new things to consider. Bernard would laugh that it took ten years for him to convince Alex that she loved him. Alex told a different story, she loved him the first time she heard him speak.Giving up one fight for another, Alex traded one form of combat for another. The battle to tame a wild landscape.
The family came later. And after Karolin and Mrysti were born, Alex was hooked. From the moment she discovered they were twins Alex decided her real test would be in raising them as proper Jedi. Bernard had his civilization to build, Alex had her girls. To her, there was no greater duty than being a parent and passing on themselves to their children. A fact she never considered standing on the rustic red soil of Korriban facing the last vestiges of the Sith remnant. The thought of children and family never crossed her mind, it couldn’t; she was a Jedi. At long last Alex had her fight, the fight to ensure her girls were ready for the universe. War changes a person, though as cruel as it sounded to outsiders; Alex was battle focused from the moment the girls expelled from her womb. One of her sole objectives to ensure that both girls would be ready for the evils of the universe. Outsiders thought Bernard’s wife was crazy. Alex accepted that, no one had seen what she had. No one could understand. True evil existed in the galaxy. Bernard understood and loved her for it.
He watched as Alex placed the raven haired infant next to her sister in the crib. A sister whose red hair stood in stark contrast to the other and exactly like her father. Moving his hand over the top of the red-haired child Bernard bent down and kissed the top of her tiny head before standing back up, to the sarcastic grin of his wife.
“Mrysti is a daddy’s girl. I knew it the moment she opened her eyes…” Bernard smiled looking back at his wife as they retreated from the room to the sound of his deep laughter.
“You say ‘Daddy’s girl’ like it’s a bad thing. Sounds like jealousy. Yet it’s Karolin who cries for me at night….” Alex shook her head in response already reaching at the shirt bottom to pull it up and over her head as she walked.
“Don’t think so highly of yourself, ‘Daddy’. Karolin cries for anyone, if a Gundark came in and carried her off to rock her to sleep she would be fine with it…” After dropping the shirt to the floor she folded herself into him pressing her skin against his, "Do I have to cry...to get your attention?" Alex smiled semi-wickedly.
People on the outside saw a different side of Alex, a proper, very formal side. Always demure, always very careful as to how she carried herself. In Alex's eyes, as one of two Jedi in the colony, she not only represented her family but also the Jedi and the rest of the Mirialan people. She didn't have to take on that burden. Her family back on Mirial thought Alex crazy for doing so. She wanted to take it on.
Stretching her arms over Bernard, Alex melted. Alone, together...this was the part Bernard always enjoyed. The relaxed, 'normal' Alex. The part he wished everyone could see, but like a kid in a candy store Bernard would have been jealous to share it. The best part of the morning after working all night, his wife putting him to bed. This was the benefit of being on a planet whose Sun shined upwards of nineteen hours a day. Most of those days blending together. One into the other Bernard was never sure when morning began and night would end. Holding her as she pulled him into the bedroom he knew it didn’t matter. Day, night…hours, days, months or even years; nothing could measure happiness as having her with him. All of his greatest moments, greatest achievements were accomplished with her.
Everything good started and ended with Alexandra.
They were crusaders, considered the very vanguard of Mirialan society as they advanced their culture taming the planet so it could take on more and more settlers. They were breaking new ground, advancing into the large mushroom and spore forests of the planet. Thick with the mists of exploding spore pods, Bernard backed out and waved the others away as he called for some safer gear. Pods could contain something poisonous and hearty as the Mirialan species was against harsh climates even the heartiest of species could succumb to foreign poison.
“Get back, establish a perimeter until the gear gets here...” Bernard stood up and poured the water over his face, gasping as he shook the droplets off. It was hot, humid and harsh out in the wilderness. Not a place for those not used to exploring that type of climate. Looking out over and through the forest, Bernard could see very little. It wasn’t until he saw the red of a light suddenly erupt further in that he zoned into the location. Another bright red light erupted, then another joined and then another.
Almost immediately, Bernard turned to run back toward the colony. Thanks to Alexandra’s many war stories he knew exactly what it was. The Sith had returned or at least been discovered on their planet. If they had discovered Bernard and his scouting party. Then he knew they must have discovered the colony.
Alexandra laid Karolin in the crib next to her sister for a nap the moment the first explosion hit the center of town. Even before she moved to the door, she stopped in her bedroom to grab both of her saber hilts. They were never far from reach. The need to wear them constantly started wearing thin over the course of weeks they had been in the colony. One of only two Jedi, Bernard being the other; the colonist started to sour on seeing either of them armed constantly. Reluctantly and after many arguments with Bernard, Alex laid them down. But didn’t put the sabers away. Never away.
Looking down next to where her sabers rested, she noticed that Bernard’s was still there; he had not taken his with him. On impulse she picked it up and took it with her, just in case.
Outside was pure chaos; beside the bodies of those caught unawares by the initial attack, smoke, debris and panic had settled in to the populace. The unknown attackers continued to hit the village at distance by what appeared to Alexandra as a ranged heavy laser. Immediately she pinpointed the location through the fog of battle and headed that direction igniting the first of her two azure sabers. When she saw the individual loitering close to the turret carrying a red saber, Alex knew. Putting a little of the Force behind her movement, Alex took off at a run. Gritting her teeth in defiance to mentally prepare herself for the next moment. Questions of why or how didn’t matter. These were Sith. Alex knew what they were capable of.
Not much for mortal combat, Bernard saw the flash of sabers connecting and the unmistakable grimace of his wife as she clashed with someone over the ridge. Alex screamed in rage. It made Bernard increase speed. The turret stopped firing for the moment. Bernard looked up again as he ran understanding why. Alex was in the middle of the turret crew. Alex was outnumbered, which meant outmatched; but still holding her own.
Jabbing the azure saber through the armor of one dark warrior, Alex kicked the Sith off her blade in time to meet the downward slash of yet another red saber. The Sith made his way to the other side of the turret in order to place himself in between Alex and the cannon. The Sith viciously swung out wide in an attempt to horizontally decapitate Alex. Alex bent back, millimeters from the red blade; the heat of it making her eyes go wide. Jabbing back instantly in repost, impaling the Sith in his shoulder. Armor sparked and shattered. The Sith backing off with a cry in anger and rage. His arm dead from the counter, the Sith attacking Alex switched his saber to the other hand, twirling it once as a show of defiance.
Grabbing the turret controls, Alex dove over the top of the gun both feet together and in front of her to plant them squarely in the Sith’s chest. The attacker flew back, Alex completing her vault to spin backward and kick once again after landing on the ground. The dark figure fell backward against the stalk of a giant mushroom. Alexandra was all over the Sith following with a quickness and screaming in fury once again. Taking her blades up above her head, inverted. Ready to send them down into the chest of the fallen warrior and send the Sith to whatever hell they believed in. Alex planted a boot on the chest of the Sith, kicking the saber out its hand. “You’re finished!!!”
Alex didn’t see as Bernard just reached her. He reached down for a saber that wasn’t there, cursing himself for not listening to his wife. From around the other side of the turret and out of the opposite direction another dark warrior emerged. Saber held with both hands; high over his head. Leaping up and over the turret toward Alex.
Bernard launched, diving toward the attacker down the hill. Arms wrapped around the waist of the Sith; the smaller warrior bent from the impact of so large a Mirialan. They tumbled, Alex turning around in time to see Bernard tackle the unseen Sith. Looking down, Alex pressed down with her foot and screamed. Quickly dispatching the warrior underfoot with a thrust of two sabers. Moving away, Alex went to help her husband only to find him on his knees. The Sith locked in a pincer hold with both of Bernard’s arms around his neck and head. A quick twist and a loud pop, the Sith fell limp. Both Alex and Bernard locked eyes a moment. Bernard’s eyes got wide suddenly. He dove toward Alex, pushing her out of the way. The turret, formerly firing on the village turned both barrels toward Alex; and Bernard caught every ounce of the power released from the twin cannons in place of his wife.
Shock hit first, Alex bent down to grab a hold of Bernard knowing what had just happened. It all happened too fast for her to react or to cry out, she only wanted to get to him. The cannon repositioned to fire again; the blast sent Alexandra flying into the air and deep into the tree line of the forest beyond. She struck the base of a tree hard, splitting it when she connected, a bright flash of pain and then darkness as she slid down its base.
As the sound faded out along with her sight, she never heard the incoming thunder of several Republic assault shuttles, the sound of the Sith abandoning their position and retreating back into the forest from which they came. Alex woke to the village burning, her husband dead….and her children missing.
Hoth…a year after being elevated to the Captaincy within the White Maw…
Directing the crew, Alex took her share and told the men where to place it within her domicile. She followed them, not because she distrusted them, but because it was HER domicile. HER pre-fab, no one came in there. And everyone knew it. Drogan once made an illusion to Alex’s being a Jedi as the reason no one tried to bed her while serving as ‘indentured help’ on board one of their ships. It had nothing to do with her being a Jedi and everything to do with her being vicious and lethal. Alex didn’t have to rely on her Jedi powers to get what she wanted or to defend herself. No one messed with her or her stuff for fear of meeting the wrong side of her. Alex reputation as callous and cruel was well known across the galaxy as the persona ‘L’ that Drogan created for her. The reputation was even more well known among the White Maw, who got to see all of it first-hand. Quick to anger, quick to draw down and even quicker to kill. All of it without remorse. Alex was almost a different person since she came ‘under the black’. Fighting a demon that none of them could see.
As they set the chests down, she wiped the blood off her face. Alex quickly pulled her hands back behind herself and held them close so the men couldn’t see. They were shaking violently. This acquisition of their last ‘client’ was a particularly lucrative haul, but costly. Eighteen men lost and even more lost on the ‘client’ side. Alex scoffed at the word; ‘Client’. It was a word Drogan used to make it seem less like violent work. Killing was killing and Alexandra was no stranger to it. She did it for the Jedi and now she was doing it for the White Maw, the only thing different was the cause. Alexandra De’nabre’s cause was herself. The last of her crew was filing out, one of the last to leave saying something which broke her from her thoughts and made her jump slightly. Images of the slaughter still fresh in her mind. There would be an adjustment period in her new position.
“Captain? You ‘aight? Anythin’ else ya need?”
“No…no, you men go and enjoy yourselves. G-good work today…” After the last of the men left, Alex turned back to the cache of guns and precious metals. She stood there for a long while, just staring at them. Her crew was giving her strange looks as they left. So far, there were no complaints. The crew couldn’t ask for a better Captain. Those who were in it for fortune were finding it. The ones on the crew that had a bloodlust were filling it. And the crew who just wanted to hide, were being protected. Unlike other Captains, there was no talk of dissention or mutiny among the tribe. Not one of the crew thought they could do it better. Even alone or in jest, the crew kept talk like that well away from one another.
It wasn’t like Alex to be so moved by their work, they weren’t used to seeing her ‘not there’. Even in the short time she had been Captain. As the door slid shut behind her, Alex continued to stare playing the events back in her mind. She ordered the execution of all on board the ship, the few that fought back caused her casualties. Thanks to how easy Drogan made it for Alex, she put all of them to the sword for no other reason than to increase her ‘name’. But the women and children, that was the hardest. It didn’t matter. Examples had to be made and Alex had warned them when she and the rest of her pirates boarded the ship. Resistance by one was resistance by all. The crew of the other ship; all of their righteous indignation, they just didn’t want to give in.
Alex shook her head in disbelief. Moving from the center of her domicile around the stacked crates and stopping cold once her reflection came up in the reflector sitting on the far side of the room near her fresher area. This was who she was. ‘Elle’, Dread Pirate of the White Maw. Terror of the Hoth Sector. Alex was almost unrecognizable to herself. Same brownish-black hair. Though she kept it in dreads since her earliest days on the ‘account’. Same facial tattoos, denoting her position and status in not only Mirialan society, but also her family. They disappeared along her neck, connecting under her coat to the tattoos on her torso. Diamond shapes and triangles. Squares and rectangles. All of the shapes in various configurations, set in a predetermined and calculated order to tell a story to any other Mirialan who saw her. Matriarch of the De’nabre. Jedi and Mother. Crusader and settler. Alex leaned forward and ran a hand over her face. The beads wove into her dreads clicked, smacking together once she moved the hair away. Alex, was falling fast. It had been nearly three years since the death of her husband and the taking of her girls and she didn’t even recognize herself.
Slowly, she removed the long overcoat and dropped it on the chair next to her. Water, a part of the Mirialan ritual of purity. They all washed before a mark was placed upon their skin to denote a change in their life’s work. What mark would she get now? If the Unity could still see her, what shapes would it apply to her skin to tell the tale of what she was becoming? All she wanted to do was go stand in the water. There would be no marks applied to her skin, but the purity of the liquid could wash away the carnage of the day’s haul. Make her feel better about the sin she committed and wash away the physical blood of her victims.
Stepping out of the command shack, Drogan pulled the overcoat up and over his neck to block the chill of the air. It was bone-chilling cold and getting colder by the second. The sun didn’t provide much heat on Hoth. What it did was maintain the ability to at least move around during the day. At night, they hunkered down and waited out the night.
Pulling out a cigarra, Drogan lit it and leaned against the doorframe looking out over the starship graveyard. Dusk was coming quick. So were the shadows, already some of the men were starting fire pits and pulling out booze. Those not on guard were free to do what they wanted. The bravest of them drinking for a false sense of heat and trying to brave out the coming cold. Drogan drew in deeply on the cigarra, savoring its flavor. A rare kind of Ithorian blend, picked up on one of the crew’s ‘client’ missions. Canting his head curiously once he saw several of Alexandra’s crew pass by, Drogan pushed off the doorframe and called out to them. They were headed to the pits. Fresh, unopened bottles of looted liquor swinging from their hands. It was strange, Alex’s men were back and yet, she had not reported in to him.
“’Ey…is ‘The Karolin’ back? You guys done with that haul?”
“Aye!!!” One of the others called back to him, continuing on. Several members of ‘The Karolin’s’ crew turned and started making their way toward Drogan. He was the ‘prince’, if he talked you listened. One of them looking at the ‘big boss’ and nodding, “Yes Sir…tha Captain is doing ‘er wisdom thang. Solitary as usual, but yea…we ‘er all back.”
His brow tightened in concern. Alex never missed a log report. If for no other reason than to track snow into his office or gloat over the size of her most recent haul. Drogan dropped the cigarra and stubbed it out with the heel of his boot pushing off the doorframe. Everyone knew the ‘wisdom’ thing the men spoke off. Rumors abounded about Alex from the moment she joined the account, but none were more talked about. After her report Alex always secluded herself away. Never participating in the bonfires or drinking with her men. At first, talk ran that Alex thought herself ‘too good’ for the likes of them. That she was somehow above drinking with the dregs she meant to command. Drogan even asked her about it once. Alex’s answer was simple and very precise. Jedi were trained leaders, schooled in one of the finest leadership academies the galaxy could provide. You couldn’t consort with those you meant to command. How could you send any of them to their deaths if you cared about who they were? It was a job, plain and simple. An answer that Drogan more than happily accepted.
This was not like her, Alex usually reported in before she secluded herself away. ‘The wisdom thing’. A way to make fun of Alex and the Jedi at the same time. Jedi, known for their long hours of meditation and seclusion. Drogan knew it for what it was and did nothing to set the rest of the men straight. He let them talk about the prudish Jedi of a Captain who refused to join the rest of them in the revelry of celebration after hauling in a big prize.
Drogan continued to probe. Continuing to ask about it from time to time. Never had she given him a reason to doubt it for anything other than what it was. A Captain, that refused to consort with her men for fear of lowering her ability to command them. Privately, Drogan and Alex would laugh about it. Laughing about the rumors as they spun and grew among the White Maw. Drogan instilled in Alex the need to increase her name and she was doing just as much to increase her mystique inside the White Maw as she was in the rest of the galaxy. Alex had truly mastered the art of creating the legend.
Talk would inevitably turn to a more sexual and intimate nature. The prudish Jedi. A monk among the pirates. Alex didn’t drink, she didn’t smoke, she didn’t have any of the vices that most pirates possessed. And that made her the strange one. It was those times that Alex would smile and say, ‘A Captain’s place is above the men not lying alongside of them.’ There was truth in that. For the women of the White Maw, life was much harder. Men and women had needs. Alex was not unattractive. Quite the opposite, the way she looked and carried herself made more of the rumors in that regard run rampant. Word would spread fast if a woman spread her legs for her crew, Captain or otherwise. That was something Alex never did and it served her well.
Something Drogan always depended on was how prompt and predictable Alex was. It was the first time in memory that she didn’t come by to see him after returning from a mission. Alex always reported in, she always gave the reports the same way. It was almost as if all of her movements and actions were written in some book that only she had read and understood. And she was following her own set of rules to the letter. He assumed it was the discipline of a Jedi to be so ‘by the numbers’. Alex had never had formal Republic Military training as far as Drogan knew, though she mentioned ‘a great conflict with the Sith’ from time to time. Other than the knowledge that she had been a Jedi, the subject of her military experience never came up. Nor did Alex ever talk about her Jedi past. It was clear from the stories her crew told that she had plenty of combat experience. The subject was something no one asked about and she never offered. Again adding to the mystery and mystique of the one known as ‘Elle’.
Knocking on the hatch, Drogan heard nothing on the inside. Leaning his ear against the door, he tried to listen and almost felt guilty for doing so. Still nothing. Reaching down he pressed the appropriate keys to override the door and unlocked it.
Alex moved the towel down over her dreads patting them dry careful not to wring them completely out. It was the oil of her hair that kept them together. Taking any shower, Alex was always careful not to get her hair too wet. The dreads were part of her image. The Dread Pirate ‘L’. It was who she was, sighing she looked up and wiped her hand over the mirror to clear the fog on to give herself another look. Alex was starting to hate herself. She was no longer Alexandra, she was ‘L’. The image staring back at her was the terror she tried to create. And it scared Alexandra.
Moving to the adjacent room she threw a foot up on a stool and pulled the long thigh-high boots back on pulling up the zipper. Switching legs, she did the same to the other. Glancing over at the crates which filled her room. More wealth than she ever dreamed of having in a lifetime. If wealth was something she cared about. She didn’t. That last bit of ‘Alexandra’ in her, the Jedi and missionary. Settling colonies and visiting new worlds. Spreading the Mirialan culture and knowledge of the Unity to those who didn’t have it. That Alexandra never thought about wealth or power. What was she supposed to do with boxes and boxes of blasters, precious metals and booze? Thoughts drifted back to her crew, Jedi were used to living sparce by a normal person’s standards. Alex didn’t need any of it. And she began to wonder how it would be viewed if she just gave it all to her crew to disperse among themselves.
Alex turned with a start, reaching out to call the lightsaber hilt to her hand in the Force; activating it immediately. The blue plasma blade lighting the far side of the room toward the door as it rattled and started to slide open. Her head perked up as she sensed Drogan on the other side of the door, already coming through. Ordinarily she would have been angry at being intruded upon. In a former life, Alex would have been ashamed of her nakedness. Trying to cover it. Reaching out, she sensed real worry on the other side of the door. And it struck her as strange coming from a man like Drogan. Someone who cared nothing for others and only himself. Wealth and power were his mistresses. Something Alex cared nothing for. But there was something else accompanying the worry coming through the door. She sensed the feeling, canting her head curiously; lowering the saber. As Drogan stepped through the door and stopped cold seeing her standing there in nothing but her boots the source of the feeling and what it was hit Alex as cold as the wind which blew in with Drogan.
Never did Drogan expect to find Alex just standing there in the buff, he nearly tripped over himself stepping back toward the threshold of the door in shock, but quickly recovered. Alex was giving him a look, the look caught between a scowl and trying to figure out if she should kill him or not; at least that’s how Drogan interpreted it. It was a serious look, but Alex always looked serious. Always intense. The fact she was naked did nothing to subdue the intensity of the gaze. It was part of what drew him to her, the stare. “Uh—I--…” He tried hard not to let his eyes move themselves over her body and failed. “I—you didn’t bring in your report…I thought…”
Alex already had the lightsaber in hand as the door opened. Drogan looked down at it, wide eyed. The blue plasma the only other thing his eyes went between other than her body. Relaxing once she saw who it was, Alex lowered the blade and shut it down. Alex recognized the look. It wasn’t just shock. All men got it. Desire. She could feel it coursing through him in the Force and grimaced narrowing her eyes. This…was NOT going to happen. “You thought what?”
“I thought—well you always come directly to my office after—“ His eyes moved up and down again. It was harder to keep them away once Alex deactivated her lightsaber. He had nothing other than the woman to gaze at. Drogan had to turn himself away. Turning his head to look at the opposite wall. The door slid closed behind him, making him jump slightly. Alex seemed unaffected by the arctic air that poured in from the few moments the door was opened.
It wasn’t as if Alex was given a ‘physical’ or some kind of examination before she was ‘asked’ to join the White Maw. Drogan had no idea what Alex was hiding under all of the loose and baggy clothes she liked to wear. What he saw, much more than he bargained for. Rich green skin, marred with the black and grey markings denoting her station in Mirialan society. He had no idea what they meant, but there were more shapes and configurations than he could count. The Mirialan was covered head to toe in them. Drogan asked about the marks once before, referring only to her face. The explanation was not one that lent to being curious about the rest of her, until that moment. The Jedi forged the body. A tight muscular physique. There were still curves expected of a woman Alex’s age. But the clothes she wore gave none of that away. Drogan looked back slightly and turned away again just as quickly catching a bit of the angry glare. Alex was still standing there, hands on her hips as she stared. Modesty, obviously not a problem for her. “—well you always come by before you hide yourself away.”
“I didn’t this time, is that a problem?” There was an edge to her, the voice and the stare more intense than usual. Drogan dealt with people, vicious killers, vagabonds, thieves…but still people. Something was going on. Alex turned away setting the saberhilt back down to look back at the pile of boxes, saying nothing else. Moving into the room, Drogan felt awkward moving forward but willing himself to keep his head turned away. Drogan was searching himself. He jumped when the door shut. Was acting demur in the face of a woman half his size. Why did he feel so awkward around her? Alex being naked and doing nothing to remedy the situation could have been part of the answer. But Drogan knew there was more to it than that. Women were nothing new to him, he had plenty. Suddenly Drogan realized there wasn’t a moment when Alex was in his presence that he didn’t feel some level of nervousness around her. He just did a better job of covering it up before. It took the impromptu visit and Alex being in a compromising position for Drogan to actually face it. He moved a step closer, turning his head back to look at her fully.
“Look, it’s no problem…you just come by whenever. I—“ Drogan turned back to the door reaching for the keypad. The feeling of being awkward overtaking him. It was too much all at once. Realization, facing a fear. He had to get out of there. Alex looked at him, there was a sadness buried. What happened on the latest haul playing out behind her eyes.
Drogan paused and gave a concerned look. In light of the situation, walking in unannounced, catching Alex literally with her pants down; being compromised and vulnerable was the least of his worries. Drogan stopped typing on the pad and let out a sigh. Turning, he moved a step closer back toward her. Alex put her head down and looked at the floor. Crossing the distance in an instant, Drogan grabbed the Mirialan up in his arms and held her. It wasn’t sexual, much to both of their surprise. Drogan didn’t try to look at her or reach her lips with his own. He just held, holding her tight. Alex folded into him without resistance. Finally allowing her arms to stretch up and along his back, pulling him tighter. A moment passed and then another. Drogan released and pulled away enough to look at Alex and smile. He was about to speak. But Alex interrupted him, reaching up to grab the back of his head and pull his face toward her own. There was the heat Drogan expected. It lit a fire in him, feeling her pull then feeling the lips he constantly wondered about.
The awkwardness struck again as Drogan stepped back and released her, Alex willingly letting him go, “I should—I should go…” He ponited at the door and nodded to himself.
“Yea…maybe.” Alex looked down again, her voice unusually demur and soft. She finally turned her naked form away from him. All of the bravado gone. There was no more front to keep up. Drogan wanted to ask but couldn’t, he turned to leave and quickly pressed the keypad to exit the room.
The cold hit him and instantly quenched the fire that was burning inside. Drogan stood there a moment. Part of him in a state of shock. When he opened the door and walked in, what happened was not what he expected. 'What in the Void had just happened?' He laughed at himself starting to walk away. The crunching sound of ice bringing him back to reality. Since when did he get shy around a woman? Since when did HE, the pirate leader of one of the largest pirate organizations in the galaxy, ever NOT take a women who gave in to him? Those weren’t the only questions. Thousands were filling his head. Did she--? Drogan walked in on her, he was the interloper. Did he take advantage, more WHY didn’t he? Was it some kind of strange Jedi trick that provided him restraint? Drogan froze. Literally and figuratively; stopping in the cold of the Hoth night. Respect. Was that it? Drogan actually respected her. More than he could say for most women he met.
Questions and more questions. Drogan quickened his step heading back toward his shack. Another strange feeling coming over him. Something he never experienced before. It was deeper than respect or admiration. Deeper than friendship or the lust directed at a beautiful woman. Butterflies ate at his stomach and Drogan found himself at a run. Jogging back toward his pre-fab. Anything to get away. At a flat out run, Drogan realized why he doing everything he could to not only get away from the situation he fell into but the feeling that suddenly wracked him; making him feel weak.
Drogan….was in love and he just realized it. And it scared the hell out of him.
Korriban Hyperlane…’The Karolin’ and her ‘Prize’ preparing for hyperjump…
Moving her foot over the rubble; the server room looked different than when Alex first entered. The slicers tearing the room apart and shredding the hardware to get to the server cores and apply their spikes to the hardened information centers. She moved around the trash and kicked things out of the way. Working her way to the huddled men, all of them still working on extracting information. The pirate who gave her the message on the bridge was back; crouched down with the other slicers. Hearing the Captain behind him, he and the others turned giving their leader a big smile. “Mother LOAD!!! We got over a billion Terabytes in just this one server and there are eighty more in here; all of them shielded, but all of them crackable!” Alex shook her head, she understood the language, but not the tech. It was hardly her thing.
“You said you had something?”
Remembering why he brought the Captain down, the slicer stood and handed her a tiny piece of metal which still glowed slightly, “The implant from the currier. We extracted it after deactivating his genetic ‘kill switch’...” They both glanced at the far end of the room. The crrier's feet the only thing sticking out from behind the databank. Alex was still shaking her head, palming the device and looking down at it. Still not really understanding what the slicer was trying to say. “It’s the key Captain, we don’t even need spikes. That combined with the servers….we got the information of a universe in here; corporate secrets, Sith Communiques…weapon schematics….everything!!!” He said excitedly, “We might as well start printing our own credits. Someone is going to be pissed we got all this…”
The statement met revelation. Rocking from a blast, Alex placed her hand on the wall after being knocked off balance. The ship being struck by something from outside. Alex looked up, recognizing the sound and vibration. It was ordnance. Turbolaser. Possibly a low-yield missile blast. Reaching down, she keyed the comm on her wrist. Some one on the bridge was already messaging her before she could say anything.
<“Captain!!! Get up here!! We got company!!”>
Alex glanced at the implant in her palm, closing her fingers around it. “Raise bridge deflectors and place all batteries on auto…target the incoming vessels or whatever is firing on us!!! Whoever is free, have them take up manual targeting. Get the ship moving back toward the moon and away from the hyperlane.”
<“You want to go back to the moon?!?!”>
The excited question got a scowl from Alex as another blast rocked the ship. She recognized the sound clearer the second time. There was only one sound like that. Something Alex wished she never heard again. “Do you hear that?!?! THAT…is a Sith turbolaser. We are about to be engaged by something none of us are prepared for…you listen to me or we are all dead!! Head back to the moon!”
Moving quickly to the door, Alex glanced at the implant again. The implant was most likely what brought the Sith to them. The currier, so ready to kill himself. Perhaps it was a key. The key continued to glow blue. Alex turned it over, reading the words emblazoned on the implant side of the interface before pocketing it and rushing from the room.
<CZERKA CORPORATION – ALPHA PROJECT CODEKEY 002-Z21.>