Duality

18 years after the Battle of Yavin...
A divergent, persistent and interactive Star Wars timeline with a rich history and established characters.

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Pryde
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Duality

Post by Pryde » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:46 pm

"Freeze," Caitlyn shouted as she chased the thug down the alleyway. The man ducked into an open doorway and Caitlyn quickly followed suit, chasing him down a hallway and up a flight of stairs.

"Freeze means stop," she called after him but the man continued to ignore her, climbing stairway after stairway until finally he had reached the roof.

Caitlyn burst through the door shortly after he did, chasing him to the end of the roof until he had no where else to go. With a satisfied smirk she drew her lightsaber and ignited the cerulean blade. "Nowhere else to go now," she told him, "May as well come quietly."

The thug looked at her then down at the street far below them. With nothing else to do he charged at the girl, his fist raised and ready to strike. Caitlyn just sighed and with a slight gesture of her hand and a tug from the Force she pulled him down onto his face and sent him sliding across the ground head first into the side of some machinery. The thug lay there unconscious, the bag full of credits he had stolen lying beside him.

Caitlyn reached down and grabbed the bag, then pressed her forefinger to her ear. "Got him," she said.

"Good job," came her brother's voice from the other end and Caitlyn turned just in time to see a Republic shuttlecraft appear over the rim of the building. The door on the side of the craft slid open and Adrian hopped out onto the roof and walked over to join her. "He put up quite the chase," he said, gesturing to the thug lying unconscious beside her.

"Yeah, too bad it ended rather anticlimactically," Caitlyn lamented, "Kind of wish he put up more of a fight."

Adrian looked at her. "That's not a very proper attitude for a Jedi."

"They pulled me out of a test for this. Now I have to wait until after school to take it after everyone has already gone home."

"Speaking of," Adrian pointed out, "We'll take this guy in, you need to get back to class."

Caitlyn rolled her eyes. "Don't remind me," she grumbled, then she turned on her heel and headed for the stairs...

**********

The cafeteria was rather crowded today at Coronet High and Caitlyn found herself sitting with Hirai and a bunch of people she didn't know. Hirai was busy watching something on her datapad while Caitlyn kept her head lowered and focused on her plate.

"I still don't understand," Hirai said, never taking her eyes of the display in front of her, "Why did you insist on transferring?"

"After that fiasco at Galactic Guide Publishing I became a celebrity. People were treating me different and I didn't like it. Speaking of which, would you stop watchhing that," she said, glancing over Hirai's shoulder to see that she was watching video clips of her battle with Turon Kell.

Hirai turned off her datapad and stuffed it into her pocket. "I was merely trying to learn from my mistakes. I need to be better prepared for when it happens again."

"It's not going to happen again and you fret too much. There isn't anything you did wrong, he just cheated. It's kind of what they do," she added before tossing a meatball into her mouth and chomping down on it. "Besides," she continued, speaking while chewing, "I couldn't have beat him without your help."

Hirai was flattered by that but she still felt like she had failed somehow. She fought Turon with everything she had but in the end it wasn't enough. He had her dead to rights and if it wasn't for Caitlyn's timely and rather flashy intervention Hirai wouldn't be here talking to her about it now. "I suppose Grant Ford isn't happy about how that all turned out."

"I hear his face healed up nicely after Isis decked him," Caitlyn said, holding up a meatball with her fork and idly inspecting it, "They were trying to make money off that documentary but Sis had Adrian pull every last copy of it off the net. Still, somehow it got leaked. I'm just glad no one around here seems to recognize me... Well, beyond being Isis' sister."

That was something Hirai didn't fully understand. She had the admiration and respect of every student at Sunnydale High but she didn't seem to enjoy it or even want it for that matter. Hirai couldn't figure out why. Why would she prefer to lead a more modest life when her responsibilities to the Jedi Order demanded so much more?

"Well, lunch is almost over," Caitlyn said, finishing up her meal and then pushing away from the table. "I have to stay late today, but Isis will be here to pick you up after school."

"Good luck on your test," Hirai said. She was familiar with the custom of wishing someone luck, she didn't understand it really but given the circumstances it seemed the proper thing to say.

"Thanks," Caitlyn said and she grabbed her tray and wandered off to the nearest trash receptacle.

Hirai, meanwhile, took out her datapad and turned it back on. She started up the video from the beginning and watched it all over again...

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:47 am

Caitlyn was lying on her back on the bed, her aching body loudly protesting against any movement. She had her head hanging off the side of the bed and her eyes were closed. She was trying very hard not to remember that travesty of a test she just took. The Jedi Order had been keeping her so busy lately that she barely had any time to study for it. She knew the moment she had started that her test scores weren't going to be as high as she hoped. Can't the galaxy take a break from needing my help just long enough for me to get a decent grade? She grumbled to herself.

"And the recent wave of break-ins comes to an end as authorities have finally captured the crooks responsible," the holoprojector on the other side of the room said, drawing her attention. Caitlyn leaned her head back and watched it, the picture from the holoprojector upside down to her eyes.

On the screen were images of the three crooks she recently had a hand in capturing. The whole ordeal was being attributed to CorSec, naturally, as Caitlyn had opted to remain anomymous so she could attend school. It meant she got none of the credit but she didn't really care too much about being famous. As she learned from experience being Kalja Leidias' padawan, having everyone in the galaxy recognize your face only makes you a target.

There was a buzz suddenly and Caitlyn let out an audible groan. It was her comlink, the one the Jedi temple used to send her mission updates. There was a moment of hesitation before she rolled over onto her side and grabbed the device from her nightstand before turning it on. A moment or two later and a little blue image of Jedi Master Faye Ward appeared before her.

"Nice job on your last mission," the older woman said and Caitlyn was surprised. Faye rarely handed out compliments.

"You're not calling with another mission, are you?"

Faye shook her head. "A warning, actually. We've heard reports of an anti-Republic movement operating in your area. Corellia has a history of being unstable and these political activists are working to stir it up. We don't have much information on their organization at this moment but we need you to keep an eye on the situation."

Caitlyn let out an exasperated sigh. "Faye, this sounds like another mission. I just got done with the last one and I may have failed a test because of it."

The Jedi master gave her a stern look and Caitlyn quickly realized her mistake. "I'm sorry I meant Master Ward," she said with a slight bow of her head.

Satisfied Faye replied, "I realize your education at Coronet University is important to you, but your duties as a Jedi Knight come first. Remember your responsibilities."

Then Faye cut the transmission leaving Caitlyn alone in her room again. She tossed the com unit onto her bed with a slight flick of her wrist then fell backwards onto her pillow. She lay there a moment or two before grabbing another pillow lying beside her, pressing it against her face and screaming into it. One week! One week with no crisis, that's all I want, she grumbled inwardly to herself...

**********

That morning at school Caitlyn and Hirai met Claire Winters in the hallway. Claire was an up and coming archeologist from a prestigious family who took her studying way too seriously. Hirai often commended her for her dedication but Caitlyn always thought she could use a break. At the moment Claire had her nose in a book as Hirai and Caitlyn walked up to her. The latter tried really hard not to roll her eyes but only barely succeeded.

"Claire, do you do anything besides read books," Caitlyn asked her.

"I went jogging once," she replied without looking up from her book.

"Tell me you weren't reading at the same time."

Claire said nothing and Caitlyn had her answer. "Where were you yesterday," Claire asked, changing the subject.

"Family emergency," Caitlyn answered smoothly though Claire didn't seem very convinced.

"Isn't that like the third one this week?"

Caitlyn shrugged her shoulders. "Politics," she said, as if that answered everything, "Anyway, we better get to class. You know Mr. Schruner hates it when we're late."

Then she hurried off down the hall without another word. Claire looked to Hirai and the other girl just held up her hands as if to say, 'Don't ask me.' With a sigh she flipped her book closed, picked up her bag and she and Hirai followed Caitlyn to class...

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Re: Duality

Post by Mir » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:10 am

A few subjects later, and Caitlyn, Hirai, and Claire found themselves in their technology class. This one was an interesting one, taught by a Verpine, and it consisted of instructing the students on various mechanical parts, as well as programming and computer technology. An interesting class, for those who were inclined for such activities. One of the special programs of the school, it was a first time offer for Coronet High, and the school administration was somewhat interested in seeing how it would turn out. They were trying a variety of different curriculum choices to see what would be the best fit for the school and for the students.

The Verpine, Shar’sik, stood at the front of the class, his datapad at the ready. His eyes looked out over the class and he was somewhat grateful that it appeared that he had their attention, at least for the moment. But before he started with the actual class, he had an announcement to make.

“Class, we have a new student today. A transfer student.” He said. “From the...I’m not sure I’ve heard of this school before.” He said. “Must be a Jedi thing.”

“Oh no.” Caitlyn said, knowing that this couldn’t be good.

“The Akaitlyn School of Excellence on Onderon.” Shar’sik said, finishing.

“Yep. Not going to be good.” She said, shaking her head and closing her eyes.

“Is it?” Hirai asked, looking at Caitlyn.

“Probably.” She said with a sigh. “Isis can’t resist him.”

The door opened and the new student walked in. People looked around, trying to see who it was, and why they couldn't see anything. It was only after a moment or two that they realized that this person was not human and was very, very short.

“I don’t know if I’m pronouncing your last name correctly.” Shar’sik said, looking at the young fellow. The young fellow who promptly jumped up onto the teacher’s desk and appeared to be dressed in a smart looking blue jumper ensemble, complete with a little blue backpack and a blue hat.

”My name is Salvatore E. Salmurian.” Sal said.

In response, more than half of the female population of the class cooed.

He saw Caitlyn and his eyes widened. He waved. He turned to Shar’sik. “I’ll sit next to Mo-Caitlyn Sinclair. She has been assigned to be my guide through the treacherous waters known as high school. I don’t like water. But I’ve been told that bathes are important.” He said with a serious nod of his head.

Without anything further, Salvatore jumped down, his little sneakers smacking the ground. Then he hurried over to where Caitlyn, Hirai, and Claire were seated. Worming his way up, he plopped down on the table, pulled out his datapad and booted it up. ”Hi Mommy.” He said and smiled, his tail flicking back and forth as he took his hat off and set it on the table.

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:16 am

"Mommy," Claire asked, giving Caitlyn a curious look.

"It's a long story," Caitlyn said, dodging the question. Then she turned to look at Sal. "This was Isis' idea wasn't it," she asked though she said it more as a statement rather than a question.

Sal nodded, "She filled out all the paperwork and everything. She even laughed when she did it."

I knew it! Caitlyn thought, I bet she even suggested it herself just to pester me. "Okay look," she said quietly to Sal, "There are a lot of machines and computers here, expensive machines. I know you like to take things apart but not here. You start dismantling things at the school and my sister will have to pay for it."

And she'll probably lecture me for not keeping him in line even though this was all her idea, she added to herself, resisting the urge to roll her eyes.

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Re: Duality

Post by Mir » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:55 pm

Salvatore nodded, knowing that Isis was on decently high on the list of people that he didn't like to upset. Always tied at the number one spot were two people, and one of them was in the room with him. If he did upset Isis, then odds were that he'd probably end up upsetting Caitlyn, and that was the last thing he wanted to do. The little Anuran smiled coyly then. "I can help with homework." He said.

"Salvatore, that's cheating." Caitlyn said.

"But effective." Claire added.

"Never argue with results." Hirai replied.

Salvatore smiled.

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:39 am

Caitlyn found herself at home later that night holding a piece of flimsy between her hands and staring at it with a perturbed expression on her face. That was how Isis found her when she came home from the office. The former bounty hunter turned politician dropped her bag by the door and hung her coat up on a nearby rack before turning and watching her younger sister for a moment.

"Something wrong," she asked, "You look like you just failed a test or something."

Caitlyn shook her head. "Nothing like that," she said, "There's an assembly coming up and a talent show. Everyone's pushing me to join it but I don't really have any talents."

"Don't be silly, I'm sure there's something you can do. Wasn't there anything the Jedi taught you besides cutting cultists apart with a laser sword?"

"They taught me to throw things around with my mind, but beyond that...," she left the rest hanging in the air.

"Okay," Isis said, "so do that. That's pretty talented, right?"

Caitlyn frowned then set the flimsy down on the coffee table in front of her. "Sis, you know how I feel about not using my powers at school. I just want everyone to think I'm normal."

The senator sighed, "Kitten, I get why you're doing this, I really do, but with you being a Jedi and all I just don't think that 'normal' is in the cards for you. You're already fighting an uphill battle being related to not one but two Republic senators and there's the fact that you're filthy rich."

"You're rich," Caitlyn corrected her.

"And you're rich by extension. You think I'd let my sister want for anything?"

The two fell silent for a moment. Caitlyn kept staring at the paper sitting on the table by her feet contemplating something in her head. Isis pretended to find something else interesting to look at when a thought occurred to her. "When is this talent show?"

"In a couple of weeks, why?"

"I could... Teach you how to play the Viola. You can do that for the show."

Caitlyn made a face. "Thanks, Sis, but I don't think I'll be able to learn it well enough before the show starts."

Isis shrugged, "You'll never know until you try."

"Fine," Caitlyn agreed and then she stood, "I got some homework I need to do but we can practice later."

She started to head towards her room and just before she was out of sight she stopped and looked back at her sister. "Oh and thanks for helping Salvatore get admitted at my school, by the way."

"No problem," Isis said with a big grin, "Where is the little fur ball, anyway?"

"Downstairs in the garage," Caitlyn answered, "I told him some of your speeders needed a tuneup and that he should rebuild the engine. You know, as a way of saying thanks."

And then she disappeared, leaving a shocked Isis standing in the center of the room. "You... what?" She muttered to herself and then she quickly spun on her heel and hurried out the door to the garage...

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Re: Duality

Post by Mir » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:08 pm

Isis opened the door to the garage, expecting to see chaos and mayhem. Her eyes were partially closed and she wondered if there was a good reason why she was more apprehensive about this, then she was when she was on the job, and not the political one. Her eyes widened. Nothing. Well, it wasn’t nothing, but it was decidedly less of a maelstrom than she had been expecting. Everything seemed to be rather organized. But the problem was that she couldn’t readily see the master of this circus.

“Salvatore?” She asked, calling out.

There was a scramble, a clanging noise as some metal parts hit the ground, a light squeal, followed by more clanging, and then Sal’s head popped up into view, oil on his face. He grinned.

”Aunt Isis!” He said. ”You have horrible timing.”

“You don’t say.” Isis replied. “What are you doing?”

”Fixing.”

“None of my speeders were broken.” She said.

”Yes they were.” Salvatore said, nodding his head ridiculously fast and then slowing to a solemn nod. ”Yes, they were.” He said again. ”Wanna see?!” He asked, excitedly.

“Um…” Isis said and trailed off. Her face had changed and he could see it. Usually she couldn’t resist the little guy, but he didn’t often times mess with her things. His face fell, and she saw the change in him. What the hell? They were just some speeders. “Sure thing, Sal.”

He beamed.

”Okay, so that one is from SoruSuub.” He said, pointing at one of the speeders. ”Great choice. The fuel injector is a top of the line design. But they’re designers aren’t me. Daddy always says if you’re going to do something, be the best and that’s how you make people keep you around. Well, I’m the best. I got five percent more efficiency, reducing fuel loss by three percent. Shug Ninx couldn’t beat that.” He said. ”Now, you’re probably wondering what I did with all that extra efficiency.” Sal said, squeezing, so that his entire body came into view. He jumped, and landed on the ground near the speeder in question.

“I guess.”

”Well, I’m about to tell you.” Sal replied, his voice and body language changing to mirror some of the kids in the high school who he had been told were the cool kids. ”Better efficiency means you need less fuel. So I reduced the fuel tank. Gives me space. Found a shield generator that fit in the space that I freed up, also ate up some of the compartment space, so I rewrote the onboard operating system and fit it in on a hard drive that’s smaller than the one that was in there.” He said. ”It’s all about economic use of space on this one.”

“So…what did you do with this one?” Isis asked, pointing at the largest speeder, the one that he’d been working on when she’d walked in.

He smiled. ”Guns. Lots of guns. I added armor on the bottom, because some explosives are on or in the ground. Got to be careful. Daddy and I were watching a Holovid one time on homemade improvised explosives. Mommy wasn’t happy about it.” Sal said with a shrug, producing a toothpick from out of nowhere, and happily chomping on it. ”Anyway, I rebuilt the gun storage, so that it’ll recharge powerpacks that you put in there. There are now additional plates of armor that will slide in the direction of where the speeder is getting hit, since this is the main one that you use when you travel. Top layers are ablative.”

“That’s…” Isis said and trailed off when he did a jump towards her. She caught him and he placed a paw on either one of her cheeks, leaning in so that his nose touched hers.

”My bill is in the mail. The Akaitlyn-class Speeders that I have built for you are awesome. You get a twenty five percent discount, if you pay me in cookies. Twenty five. Remember that.” He said, the demeanor shifting back to the traditional Salvatore. He hopped down on the ground, and Isis had an oil paw print on either cheek and an oil mark on her nose from where their noses were touching.

"Salvatore, you don't charge people."

”I'm running low on cookies. Mommy said something about tummy aches. You like the speeders?” He asked.

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:20 am

Isis just sighed and rolled her eyes. "They're fine, just put everything away when you're done," she said then she turned and left. As much as it irked her that Salvatore had been tearing her speeders apart she had to admit the little furball had a way with machines. She also should have suspected that Caitlyn would try and pay her back somehow for her earlier prank. The student is learning from the master, she thought irritably to herself as she walked back into the living room.

When Caitlyn had left the room she had left the holovid on. Isis barely paid any attention to it but occasionally heard a word or two that piqued her interests. On the display the news reporters seemed to be talking about that young billionaire girl, Saffron Belmont, who had seemingly come back from the dead. She was lost in space after some kind of accident on her father's yacht and after being missing for six years had finally returned to Corellia. Now she was running her father's company and as luck would have it attending the same school as Caitlyn as a way of making up for the last six years she had been gone. Isis was very familiar with the Belmont family. They ran a successful business that dealt mostly in weapons manufacturing but since Saffron's return the company has been exploring other avenues for financial growth. It didn't seem to be going all that well, however, as the last quarterly reports had shown a loss of almost a million credits in profits. Still, Isis had to hand it to her for trying to forge a new path.

With a yawn she reached down and grabbed the remote, using it to turn the holovid off. Caitlyn was going to be doing homework for awhile, but right now what she needed was a nap. It had been a long day at the office...

**********

The calm quiet of the night was interrupted by the startled screams of a young man as he raced down an alleyway. He was in such a hurry to flee that he nearly stumbled over himself as he ran. After turning a corner he stopped to look behind him, feeling a sense of relief when he saw nothing there. Then movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention and he turned to see a shadow move past him. Casting his glance skyward he saw a dark figure approaching him from above. "Oh no, please no," he screamed before turning to run.

He made it only a few feet when an arrow arced out of the sky above and caught him in the leg. He stumbled to the right then fell, turning over and scooting himself backwards against a wall as the dark figure leapt down into the alley before him. She leveled her bow at him and drew back on the string. The man stared at the point of her arrow just inches from his face.

"Please don't kill me," he pleaded with her, "I swear I'll never do it again!"

"You're right," the woman said, "You won't."

Then she let the string loose from her fingertips, the arrow killing the man almost instantly. In the distance she could hear cries of alarm approaching her, but rather than waiting for help to arrive she turned on her heel and ran, leaving the arrow riddled corpse of the sex offender lying in the dark corner of the alleyway...

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:51 pm

Caitlyn couldn't help but feel a little jealous. The new girl, Saffron, had only been at the school for two days and already she had a posse and everyone seemed eager to talk to her. Looking at her own group which consisted of Hirai, Claire and Sal, whom at the moment was currently perched on her shoulder, her popularity seemed to pale in comparison. At the same time, though, she couldn't help but see the irony in these feelings. On the one hand she didn't want to be popular for being a Jedi but on the other hand she wanted to be popular for being normal and that in itself was another conundrum. Why did she want people to think she was normal? To hide the fact that she was a Jedi? Her whole life up to this point had been anything but normal. Is that why she was so adamant to attend school? To pretend to be like everyone else, to feel like she was having a normal life?

"Keep staring at her like that and I might think you're in love," Claire said, snapping Caitlyn back to reality after realizing she'd been staring at Saffron.

Hirai was still fetching something out of her locker when Caitlyn turned around. "I'm sorry, I just don't get it. I mean, I come from a rich family too but I've been here for months and I'm not nearly as popular."

"You're not as easily approachable, Cait. You refuse to open up, you push people away and I don't know if you've noticed but you have this haunted look in your eyes. Like you've seen some really horrible things. That tends to scare people."

Caitlyn couldn't really begrudge her there. After everything she's witnessed, the horrors unleashed by Sivter which culminated in an entire planet of people tearing themselves to pieces, it's a wonder she even made it through intact at all. She never thought it showed in her expression, though, so that was news to her.

"What about Hirai? She's seen some of the same things I have but people seem to like her."

Claire looked at Hirai and shrugged. "She doesn't seem bothered by it."

Caitlyn hung her head in defeat. Of course she didn't, Hirai was a rock... Almost literally. She barely even understood basic human emotion so of course she wouldn't be bothered by all the bloodshed.

"I am finished," Hirai announced after closing her locker door and turning to the others.

"Good, then we better get to class or we'll be late," Claire said as she pushed off from the locker and walked past them.

Hirai turned to look at Caitlyn and raised an eyebrow in confusion. "You look troubled."

"It's nothing," Caitlyn assured her, "just remembering some stuff."

She sighed then reached down to grab her backpack before throwing it over her shoulder.

"Hey," Sal said as he nimbly dodged out of the way.

"Oh sorry, Sal, forgot you were there," she apologized, then she turned and followed after Claire with Hirai trailing behind. "My brother wants me to meet him at the morgue today," she said quietly over her shoulder to Hirai, "Something to do with a new case. I'm heading over there after school today, want to come?"

Hirai shook her head. "I can't I was ordered by my handler to go to something called a photo shoot."

Caitlyn sighed, there was another reason for her to be jealous. A few days ago Hirai had been approached by a talent agency to model for a new line of clothing. Hirai, of course, not knowing what she was signing up for agreed. "Well then you better leave that at home," she said, pointing to the cylindrical tube that held Hirai's sword, "I doubt they'll let you model with it."

"Why not?" Hirai seemed genuinely confused and Caitlyn just sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Just trust me, Hirail Leave the sword at home."

Then she quickened her pace to catch up with Claire, leaving a confused Hirai behind...

**********

"Arrows," Isis repeated for like the third time, "Like a bow and arrow?"

"Yes, of course, what did you think I meant," Adrian asked. His image was currently being broadcast to Isis' office via holocommunicator.

"But why? There are far more efficient ways of killing people. Using something so primitive just doesn't make sense. Who's he targeting?"

"At the moment," Adrian said, looking at his datapad, "Embezzlers, rapists, gang bangers, weapons dealers. We've had three members of high society claiming they were attacked by this maniac."

"Claiming? They're not dead?"

"No, apparently he issued them an ultimatum, which of course they're not going to follow. I did some digging on these guys and they're dirty, stealing money from the poor to line their own pockets. Of course there's no actual physical evidence so I can't convict."

"I'm starting to like this guy," Isis mused as she leaned back in her chair.

"I'm not so sure you should, this maniac doesn't seem to have any restraint. This latest victim was shot point blank, executioner style. That's not how we do things."

Isis rolled her eyes, "I know, I know. By the way, why's NRI so keen on this?"

"A friend of mine at CorSec asked me to look into this for him. He saved my life once so of course I agreed."

"Wait, someone at CorSec saved your life? I think I need to hear this story."

"Later, Isis, I have work to do. I'll see you at the dinner."

His image flickered into nothing and Isis was left staring at her desk and a pile of papers stacked up next to her computer. With a sign she hit a button on her communicator and her secretary appeared as a blue shimmering image. "Desmond, I need you to get in here."

"Right away, ma'am," the eager twenty-three year old boy said as he quickly got up from his chair and raced into the room. "What do you need, Senator?"

Isis liked him for his spunk as well as a few other of his--assets, but even then she had to admit he wasn't too bright upstairs. "I need you to sift through these and sort out any that are dated for today," she said pointing to the stack of papers on her desk before getting up to grab her coat.

"Where are you going," the young man asked.

"The gun range," Isis replied before leaving the room...

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Sat Oct 31, 2015 10:54 pm

The streets of Coronet were crowded this time of day. People coming and going filling the walkways in front of the government building. A lone hovercar sat parked by the side of the street as a familiar face exited from the building. The two men watched with keen interest as Isis slipped on a pair of sunglasses and headed off down the street on foot.

"Look, she's alone. We should take her now," one of them said.

"Don't be stupid," the other replied, "You heard what she did on Mon Cal. Woman like that would tear us to pieces. No, we gotta do this right, find an opening."

"Opening? What opening? You've seen the security inside this building."

"Stop thinking so one dimensional, ya idjit. I was thinking a different opening. Our little Senator over there has a little sister, a young and defenseless little sister. We get a few of our boys together and make a play for her the Senator will have to do what we say."

The first man smiled viciously. "What's this girl look like?"

"There's a picture of her on the 'net. Lovely girl, too bad she might not be so lovely after we're through with her."

"Yeah well, after selling us out to the Hutts it's what the Senator deserves."

"Let's head back for now, rally with the rest of the group. We gotta plan this right, we can't screw up on this. The future of Corellia depends on it."

"I hear ya," his friend replied before starting up the hovercar and kicking it into gear. No one on the street was the wiser as they took off into the traffic...

**********

Later that day Caitlyn found herself staring at the ice blue face of a man who had been dead for nearly a whole day. She thought she could handle being at the morgue but when Adrian pulled that body out of the locker she nearly threw up. Now she was busy trying to avert her eyes as Adrian explained to her why he had her meet him down here.

"Name's Ned Garby," he was saying, "a serial rapist down in Lowtown. Likes to kidnap girls and have his way with them before dropping their bodies in the river. CorSec was pretty close to putting a case together on this guy but last night he ran afoul of a crazy man wearing a hood who took him out with a bow and arrow."

He indicated the large gash in the man's forehead where the arrow had pierced him, "Shot him right in the head at point blank range. Whoever this guy is I'd say he doesn't believe much in the due process of the law."

"A bow and arrow," Caitlyn asked, "Really?"

"Yeah, really," Adrian said reaching behind him and pulling out an arrow encased in plastic. "The arrow's custom made. Carbon fiber shaft, duranium steel head. Guy's an expert archer, makes sense he's very particular about his arrows. We'll run this through our database and see if we can find any matches. Maybe see if someone's buying them in bulk."

Caitlyn wasn't really listening, she kept trying to picture the man standing there with his bow and arrow. The thought of it was so absurd it made her snort.

"What's so funny," Adrian asked.

"It's just--a bow and arrow? Wouldn't a blaster be easier?"

Adrian gave her a look. "Really? You're going to criticize someone on their weapon of choice? You run around fighting bad guys with a sword."

"Hey," Caitlyn objected, "at least in my defense my 'sword' is made of light."

"Well, anyway," Adrian said, shoving the body back into the locker and closing the door. The magnetic seal locked into place and the sound of it came as something of a relief to Caitlyn who no longer had to avert her eyes. "I'm going to keep looking into this from CorSec, but this guy is skilled--very skilled. I have a feeling if I do manage to find him I'm going to need someone equally skilled to take him down and that's where you come in."

"You want me to fight this guy?"

"I want you to help me bring him in. I'm not going to send you out there against this guy alone, you'll have help. I'll have a strike team ready to take him out, you just need to keep him in place. Easy as that."

"You just made it sound like it won't be easy."

"You'll be fine, Cait. Now hurry up and head home. You need to put on something nice for the charity gala tonight."

Caitlyn groaned inwardly. "I completely forgot that was tonight. Couldn't I just pretend to be sick?"

"Not a chance, Sis. Isis is dragging me along to this thing and if I have to go then you have to go too."

Caitlyn sighed a made a face. "You know, big brother, I hate you sometimes..."

**********

"No, no, no!" The director shouted for the sixth time. "I need sexier! Sexier!"

Hirai just stared at him blankly. "I'm not sure what you mean."

The man just thew his arms up into the air. "By the Force, how can someone be this dense? Here," he said, turning back to her. "Put this hand on your hip," he grabbed her hand and showed her. "Spread your feet a little," he stuck his foot between hers and gently kicked her feet apart slightly. "Lean to the left a little bit, look this way and smile. Yes, good that's good. Now hold that pose! Blast it, Damon, where did you find this girl," he demanded, storming back towards his chair.

"Alright yes, that's good, okay. Now, put one foot up on the chair in front of you, lean forward a bit and stick your hip ou--..."

Hirai tried to follow his directions but the shoes on her feet were strange and uncomfortable. She objected to wearing them at first, telling the director that sticking her heels up in the air would compromise her balance. Well she was right. About the time the director was telling her to stick her hip out she lost her balance on her other foot and went for a spill. As she fell she knocked over several lights and caused a loud commotion. The director just threw his datapad into the air and stood.

"I give up," he said, "Damon, get me something out of this girl. Anything! We need this new line to launch smoothly or this company is through!"

He sighed and left the room. His new line of clothing was set to launch soon and they needed an amateur model in a hurry. The company's finances had been so low lately that hiring a professional model was out of the question. Now they were stuck with Hirai and things were worse than he had thought. If they had time to get another model he would but he needed those pictures now. There was a chime from his communicator and he groaned inwardly before picking it up.

"Do you have those pictures for me yet," a woman's voice asked.

"Ah, not yet, ma'am. The, uh--model is giving us some trouble but we'll have a full spread for you by tomorrow afternoon."

"See that you do," then she hung up.

A short time later Damon came into his office with an armful of holographs. "Tell me you have something we can use," he said wearily.

"Yes, I think we do," Damon said, "I mean a lot of these are very stiff but there are a few we can use for tomorrow's spread."

"Good, get them up to editing and make sure they put them through tonight. If all goes well you won't have to find another job tomorrow." And I'll get to keep my head. If he had known the company failing would have put him in such a tight spot he never would have made that deal. Starching drugs into the fabric of the clothing and using them for transport seemed like a lucrative offer at the time, but now...

"Right away, sir," Damon replied, "Also, sir, what suit will you be wearing tonight?"

"Tonight," Kale Anan said, looking up from the photos.

"Yes, sir, the uh charity gala, sir?"

"Oh right, the uh good suit. You know the one, right?"

"Yes, sir, I do, sir. I'll get it right away, sir," and then he hurried out of the room leaving a weary Kale to contemplate his future...

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Pryde
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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:53 am

Twenty minutes of mingling with the crowd was more than enough to tire Saffron out. Ever since she arrived back on Corellia everyone she's met always made the same inquiries. Where did you go? How did you survive? She hated being reminded of her experiences, much of which were still fresh in her mind. What she learned during her time away, however, she swore she would put it to good use. Though, at the moment, surrounded by the high and mighty of Coronet City the only skills she needed were her charms.

The Charity Gala was in full swing, sponsored by her family's company with co-funding from several partners, including, much to her surprise, the Sinclair family. Given Isis' loyalties Saffron had no doubt Isis was merely trying to save face after the Hutt debacle at her last fundraiser. Either way her company was glad for the help though Saffron herself didn't much care for it. Though, truth be told that could be said for most of the people who helped donate tonight.

A sudden commotion caught her attention and she turned to see a small crowd forming in a semi-circle. When she got closer she could see a small catlike creature wearing a tiny tuxedo and talking wildly to a crowd of young noble females, each of whom were fawning over everything he said. Off to the side another girl stood idly by though she didn't seem quite as captivated by the cat as the others. She rolled her eyes on occasion and quietly mocked the others when she thought no one was looking. Saffron recognized her, of course, and feeling a need to satisfy a curiosity she approached the girl.

"You're Caitlyn, aren't you," she asked when she came near, "Caitlyn Sinclair?"

The girl turned to look at her, her eyes widening visibly in surprise. "Saffron! I mean, um... Ms. Belmont... Or is it Lady Belmont? I can never remember."

Saffron giggled slightly at the girl's nervousness. She had read that as a child Caitlyn was orphaned and raised on the streets. No doubt the girl had seem some pretty terrible things in her lifetime which led Saffron to feel a sense of camaraderie with her. "Saffron is fine," she assured her, "That is a lovely dress you're wearing."

Caitlyn looked down at her gown with distaste. "Really? My sister picked it out. She's knows how much I hate wearing these things."

"Well, you wear it well."

"Um, thank you," Caitlyn replied and then for a moment the two fell silent.

Caitlyn kept glancing over at Sal and hoping that Saffron would go away while Saffron kept waiting for the inevitable questions the girl no doubt had. After a moment or two Saffron finally spoke up. "So, you're not going to ask me?"

"I'm sorry, ask you what now?"

"Where I've been," Saffron explained, "Seems to be the only thing on everyone's mind. I'd be surprised if you weren't the least bit curious."

"Well, I am curious, but I sorta get the feeling you don't want to talk about it."

That was a surprise. Saffron was not expecting that. "In that case, thank you," she said.

Just then a man's voice could be heard over the crowd as he cleared his throat readying to speak. "Uh, thank you, everyone, for attending tonight. In a few moments we'll begin the auction and if you would like to stick around afterward dinner will be served in the atrium next door. So, before we begin let me just take a moment to thank everyone who donated tonight and to extended a personal thank you to Ms. Saffron Belmont without whose contributions we would not be here tonight. So thank you," he put his hands together and began an applause that filled the room. Everyone turned to look at Saffron who politely raised her glass and bowed her head in response.

"Now then, shall we begi--," a sudden crash and a shower of glass interrupted him as a figure dressed in a hood descended from the skylight. Several security guards who had been tasked with protecting Saffron's patrons hurried forward to apprehend the intruder only to be soundly knocked aside by the skilled assassin.

After the last guard had fallen the main raised a bow and arrow and pointed it at the fashion mogul Kale Anan. "Kale Anan," the man spoke, "You've been starching drugs into your clothing and using your fashion house to disguise your trade. That ends tonight!"

He let his fingers slip from the string and the arrow sprang forward. Kale immediately closed his eyes but when he didn't feel the arrow pierce him he opened them again. There, just inches from his face, the arrow floated as if it had hit an invisible wall. Both he and the archer had looked around trying to decipher what was happening but not seeing anything. The charity gala was utter chaos with people running every which way trying to escape. It was hard to tell if any one of them could be a Jedi.

Saffron, however, saw it all. When the arrow suddenly stopped in midair she too looked around. Nothing around her seemed out of the ordinary except for Caitlyn. She had been staring intently at the arrow though she was careful not to raise her hand. Finally the hooded assailant gave up and quickly fired two more arrows in succession. The first one struck the floating arrow and knocked it aside while the second pierced Kale's heart and killed him. It had happened so fast that it caught Caitlyn off guard. She seemed completely surprised afterward which had confirmed for Saffron that she was behind the failed rescue attempt of Mr. Anan.

More security guards entered the gala and sirens could be heard in the distance coming closer. The archer left the way he had come in with some kind of grapple arrow. After he was gone Caitlyn had turned back to look for Saffron but the girl had disappeared as well. Leaving her and Sal alone in a crowd of panicked people...

**********

Isis was busy sloshing her drink around with one hand when Adrian came up behind her. "That's not a good look for our planet's representative," he said wryly as he took a seat beside her.

Isis quickly downed the rest of her drink as if it had been a shot and slammed the glass down on the bar. "It's not even that strong," she said, "Barely any alcohol in it. These people are tough enough to deal with sober can you imagine what they'd be like drunk?"

"Those people are your constituents."

"They're also selfish, greedy, stuck up snobs and frankly I'm getting tired of the false platitudes. Would be easier if I could just, you know, punch 'em."

Adrian gave her a look. "What's gotten into you? I thought you were enjoying this stuff."

"I am... Mostly," she assured him, "It's just on some days I can't help but remember that putting holes in bad guys is still a lot easier than dealing with politics."

Then a thought occurred to her and her eyes lit up as she turned to look at her brother. "Speaking of holes in bad guys did you find anything else out about your archer?"

Adrian shook his head. "Nothing concrete. I mean I have my suspicions but without evidence to back it up."

"Oh really, do tell."

"I shouldn't talk about the case without more to go on. Besides, this isn't exactly the best place."

Isis' shoulders slumped, "Fine, just go ahead and leave me hanging. I swear, that archer is the most interesting thing to happen since that debacle at Galactic Guide Publishing."

"I wouldn't call a string of murders interesting," Adrian chided her.

"That's because you have no sense of fun."

"Hey, I'm fun," Adrian objected but Isis shushed him when the host of the event began to speak.

The two of them listened closely and everything that happened shortly after was a blur of activity. Suddenly there was a loud crash as glass showered down from the ceiling. The hooded vigilante appeared and assaulted one of the guests and just as Isis was about to rush in and take down the son of a Hutt three security guards surrounded her. "This way, Senator, we'll get you out of here," one of them said, directing her to a nearby exit.

"Wait, no. I can beat that guy!" She said, trying to push her way past them.

"I'm afraid I must insist," the man persisted as he and the others grabbed her by the arms and forced her to leave. As she was being dragged away Isis cast a glance over her shoulder looking for Adrian but her brother was nowhere to be found...

**********

Adrian, meanwhile, had tried to work his way closer to the vigilante. He briefly considered joining in the fight but after seeing the way he dispatched the guards so quickly he thought better of it. Adrian was no slouch in a fight but even he recognized superior talent when he saw it. He wouldn't be able to take down the vigilante by himself, not without help and he had a feeling Caitlyn wasn't going to risk exposing herself in this crowded room. Instead he had a better idea. He got as close as he could manage and quickly snapped some holographs of the vigilante, hoping to get a look at his face. He only managed to snap off a few before the vigilante had disappeared, hopefully at least one of them would be enough...

**********

Meanwhile, in a secret underground facility Saffron Belmont waited quietly for her partner. The man had raised her most of her life and fought beside the Rebel Alliance in the battle against the Empire. He wasn't a young man, but he wasn't old, either, and he could handle himself in a fight. More so now after Saffron's instruction. She had intended for him to take her place tonight to throw any scent CorSec might have had off her. Plus the press had been referring to the vigilante as a man so she decided to use that.

"That went well, I take it," Galen Hunt asked as he came into the room.

"Perfectly," Saffron replied, "Kale got what he deserved, though that was almost botched."

"I'm sorry for that, ma'am, but I didn't see who was responsible."

"It's alright, I did and you wouldn't believe who it was. Isis Sinclair's little sister. Turns out the girl can manipulate the Force."

Galen was surprised. "Little Caitlyn's a Jedi?"

"Jedi I'm not sure about, nothing in her official records suggests a visit to Onderon. She had to learn it somewhere, though. Maybe a private tutor hired by her father?" She said pushing off from the table she'd been leaning against and crossing over to him. "Either way," she continued, taking the bow from Galen, "this doesn't change anything, my mission's still the same. I am going to clean up this city and if Caitlyn knows what's good for her she will not get in my way again..."

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Re: Duality

Post by Pryde » Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:31 am

Caitlyn had locked herself away in her room since arriving back home. Adrian had tried to check on her several times but Caitlyn just kept insisting she was fine. Isis, meanwhile, had been arguing with her security detail. She had tried three times to fire them but they refused. After awhile she finally gave up, came back into the living room and sat down on the couch next to Adrian.

"You know you really shouldn't give them such a hard time, Isis. They were just doing their job."

Isis was steaming. "Don't you dare take their side on this. I could have stopped him, Adrian. I could have saved that man's life."

"I'm not going to pretend you actually care about Kale Anan. The guy was sleezy before we found out he was pushing drugs. You're just upset because you missed a good chance for a fight."

"So what if I am?"

"I'd say you were being stupid. As if you could fight a trained killer wearing that dress."

Isis opened her mouth to respond then quickly slammed it shut again. He had a point, though she hated to admit it. She could only recall one or two times she had brawled in a dress before and both times had gotten ugly. "Anyway, how's Caitlyn?"

"She says she's fine, but you and I both know better," he said and the two of them fell silent together as they watched the report on the holovid...

**********

Caitlyn was mad, not at the archer for taking a life but at herself for letting it happen. She could have done a lot more than hold one arrow in place but unfortunately her wardrobe tonight did not include her lightsaber. Kale Anan wasn't exactly the type of person she'd normally get upset about, especially if what that archer said about him is true. Still, it didn't feel right killing an unarmed man even if he did deserve it.

"Mommy," a little voice said and Caitlyn rolled over in her bed and came face to face with Sal. She should have known he'd find a way into her room. There weren't many spaces he couldn't fit into. "Are you sick?"

"No, honey, I'm fine," she said, "It's just--mommy could have saved that man tonight and it's my fault he's dead."

Salvatore shook his head. "Not your fault, mommy, you didn't shoot the bow."

"That's not what I mean, Sal," she said getting out of bed and crossing over to her dresser. "I chose to live with Dad and everyone because I wanted to have a normal life. I barely had a childhood before I was thrown out onto the streets and now that I have a family again... I just wanted to know what it was like," as she spoke she toyed around with all the jewelry and makeup that rested atop the dresser. "But things keep happening. Robberies, Sith Lords, crazy vigilantes with really weird weapons. I thought I could keep my life as a Jedi separate from my life as just me, but because I've been so selfish a man is dead tonight. If I had my lightsaber with me I could have prevented it from even happening."

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Re: Duality

Post by Mir » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:33 am

"That's why I always keep my lightsaber on me." Salvatore said with a nod.

Caitlyn narrowed her eyes.

"In a safe and secure manner." He added, with a shameless smile.

"I shouldn't have been so selfish." Caitlyn said, sitting back down on the bed.

Salvatore moseyed on over and slid into a comfortable position in her lap. "Well, I think that Jedi people also deserve to have lives. Just because they have given up part of themselves doesn't mean they have given up all of themselves. It is a fundamental mistake to believe that everything that happens can be halted by action on their part, or that inaction will directly lead to consequences of negative impact." He said, his tail slowly swishing back and forth.

"Where...where did you come up with that?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.

"In a book." He said, reaching up with a paw and Caitlyn obliged by lowering her face so he could lightly bop her nose. Slight claw. Maximum fur. "Daddy gave it to me. He said that the lady with the funny horns wrote it."

Caitlyn rolled her eyes. "He did not say that."

"He said Makaera Tor wrote it." Sal replied. "Maybe you should talk to her." He said, stretching outwards and starting to get more comfortable. "You can use the new Akaitlyn-class Communications Device I made. It can transmit smells around you to the other person. Aunt Isis tested it on a Hutt. She confirmed that it accurately represented what a Hutt smells like. Then she mentioned someone called Dorval." He said and his eyes suddenly widened. "And then she said a bad word."

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