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Archive for May, 2012

“Pill, go away, I have a story to write.”

“No.”

“Pill.”

“NO!”

“Corspilla, GO AWAY.”

“I wont! You always write about grouchy mean paladin and the booze thief, or that blue skinned thingy or the red skinned stabby lady. Sometimes you even write about the prickly priestess! You never write about me!”

“Now, Pill, that’s not true.”

“Is too! What about the whole story about me learning to turn into things? You never even wrote about the turkey adventure. And I was supposed to turn into a huge dragon and glomp the booze thief and burn him too!”

“I got sidetracked. Not like I finished Dorri and Keltyr’s Cata stories either.”

“So? I don’t like them.”

“You don’t like anyone.”

“do too! I like Davien and… Verdus! I like Verdus.”

“You like Verdus because he gives you drinks and lets you light him on fire.”

“I haven’t lit him on fire in years. I haven’t lit ANYONE on fire in years. I’ve been good. And it’s boring. Booooring. BOOORING.”

“For the love of god, stop shouting.”

“BOOORIN…”

“CORSPILLA!”

“ng” *mad cackling*

“This! This is why you don’t get any writing. Cause you are so obnoxious.”

“LIES!”

“FINE! I’ll write some more about you learning to turn into creatures. okay? Just shoo.”

“Now”

“No, I need to go home so I can raid.”

“NOW”

“PILL! Shut up, I said I do it, leave me in piece.”

“And no more blue lady.”

“Don’t push it.”

“BAH!”

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Gandra Cantina was crowded; it always was. Nar Shaddaa was one of the few places where Republic and Empire mixed in relative peace and Gandra’s made the most of that. A red skinned Zabrak sat in a corner with a laughing green skinned Mirialan on his lap. A loud group of humans were standing around a table placing bets on a game of sabacc. And everywhere there were the dancing twi’leks.

None of it interested her, but she scanned the large room out of habit. Fithka’fek’tarithi walked from the entrance towards the private room she had reserved slowly. She had left her tuned armor on the ship, deciding to venture out in cortosis armor that looked more casual than it was. Kafekta hoped the outfit would keep her from being instantly recognized.

A familiar voice froze her in her tracks. Nearby, a Pureblood leaned against one of the multicolored bars. She towered over her companion, a dark skinned human. The Pureblood’s golden piercings glimmered against her red skin, but the human looked unremarkable. Kafekta was certain that Keltyr would want to know about this unusual meeting. A few minutes to store a quick image and then the Hunter moved on. She did not want to be forced to talk to Lord Itanya and she did not want to find out if Lord Itanya wanted this meeting to be kept secret.

Before the Sith spotted her staring, the hunter took the few short steps to the private room, inserted the one time use key and walked through the open door. Her guest was sitting at the room’s single table, sipping a drink. She eyed the bottle and made a mental note of the cost of that vintage.

“Kafekta!” There was a time when she longed to hear that voice speak her name, loved seeing those lips form the words. The hunter had half expected to deal with those feelings again. Instead she felt a hot rush of anger. He stood and walked towards her, smiling.

“Mitth’unol’aklaio,” she acknowledged him and walked around him to the table. She poured herself a drink and took two steps back from the table. She watched his face as she swirled the caramel colored liquid.

“What’s wrong?” He tried a smile again and Kafekta found herself fighting the urge to shoot him. “Come on, Fek. It’s been too long to keep our distance.” She could read every emotion in his voice and it disgusted her. She felt sick remembering how much she had treasured moments with him.

“My name is Fithka’fek’tarithi. I suggest you use it.” Kafekta took sip from her glass.

“You’ve changed. What happened to my wife?” He took a few step closer to the table. “I came here to see you.”

“You came here for money, mynock shit. You took everything else from me, might as well take some credits too? Did you see my picture on some space station with a nice little bounty under it? Maybe a reward?”

“That’s cold, don’t you think?”

“Any colder than setting up your family for exile?” The shock on his face told her all she needed to know. “You never thought it out did you? What did you think would be the consequences of your actions? You stole a ship, idiot. You stole it with your mother’s security codes. You used my rank as cover for your movements.”

“Where is she? Where is my mother?”

“Csilla.” He blinked. “Unlike you, I am not a mentally aberrant bantha.” Stars, he just stared blankly at her. “I confessed, Thunolak. Did you really think that anyone would believe that you did all that on your own? That no one helped you? I confessed to helping you, so that our families weren’t thrown out onto the surface.”

“Exiled?”

“Yes, exiled. A non entity to the Ascendancy. Exiled so that our families could survive, because otherwise all of them would have been considered guilty. Everything I lived for was gone. Even if I hadn’t confessed, my career was over. And you had taken the only other thing that made Csilla bearable.”

“I can give that back to you.” Kafekta threw her drink in his face. In seconds, her blaster was out of its holster and shoved in his face.

“Do you really think it’s wise to use our daughter as leverage?” Kafekta. “Do you really think that after this long out in the galaxy, that your pitiful attempts at acting are convincing? If you had asked me to come with you, even once, I might even believe you now.”

“They were going to give Kaflyntra to the Sith! For training.”

“No they weren’t”

“They had rounded up a few children as Force sensitive. I saw some Sith Lord practically salivating at the chance to train Chiss. I overheard them.”

“You heard some of the instructors talking about taking these children to a special school. And that would have been a problem for you, wouldn’t it? What would the overburdened military spouse do without his precious little daughter to keep him from having to contribute?”

“I wasn’t going to let them take her to Korriban, Fek. She was our little girl.”

“She never would have gone to Korriban.” Kafekta repeated quietly, calmly.

“How can you know that?” Thunolak’s voice was raised in frustration.

“Because my squad was tasked with getting the man who was going to teach those children into Ascendancy space. We faked his death with a Sith breathing down our necks. I knew.”

“You knew….”

“Your Republic friends didn’t tell you that, did they? The defectors told you just what you needed to know. And you told them what they wanted to hear. All about how you knew military secrets because of your young wife.”

“They interrogated me for hours.”

“Oh, so they asked you a few questions. You didn’t have anything to tell them, did you? All you had was a stolen ship and a little girl and your charms. You stole my daughter and you stole my life, Ktah!”

“So, now you’re going to take mine?” His shoulders sagged, but Kafekta no longer believed any emotion he projected. She could see his eyes watching her face. He was looking for the signs that she believed him.

“No, I’m going to take your ship. The Ascendancy has a decent bounty on its return.”

“What about me?”

She holstered her blaster and moved around him to the door. “The bounty for you,” She paused and looked over her shoulder, “wasn’t worth my time.”

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SO! This is kinda an anti annoyed list. I spent the morning down on myself.

I talked about it in a post earlier. I wont dismiss my own feelings by saying it was silly. Cause that irritates me when I’m upset. It can be frustrating for people that I talk to. They can get the impression that I am trying to pin the blame for my frantic emoness on them. Not the case, but it can be easy to get that impression.

But in talking, it was brought to my attention that some of my frustration about Raid Negativity rest with me. I did not ask some people about stuff directly. And those details are important. So, I eat my crow. It’s not very tasty.

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“Nice place.” Kafekta looked over Keltyr’s suite deep in Nemr’o’s palace. “How’d you get it? I’ve been trying to get into see Nem’ro for weeks, even before that job went bad.”

“All I had to was bring him some gifts.” Kafekta frowned at him, but there was not a trace of sarcasm in Keltyr’s voice. “It helps to have good intel.”

A noise from an adjoining room, distracted Kafekta from pushing Keltyr about what he meant. A flamboyantly dressed Rattatki emerged. Her pale head and face decorated with harsh black tattoos. “The place is clean. This the hunter?”

“Kafekta, this is Kaylion. She’s part of the team as well.”

“Well aren’t we all alliterative?” Kaylion’s voice was a mixture of honey and spite. Kafekta locked eyes with the Rattaki, sizing her up. The other woman paced in short steps back and forth, not bothering to control or hide agitation. Kafekta had no idea why she was faced with this sudden hostility. She kept her hands away from her weapons, treating the stranger like a wild animal.

Neither of them noticed Keltyr turning on the large holoterminal in the corner. A crisp Imperial accent did gain their attention. “You are late, agent.” Rattaki and Chiss eyes turned towards an immaculately dressed older human wearing an Imperial Intelligence uniform.

“My apologies, sir. It took longer to locate the hunter than I anticipated.”

Kafekta watched Keltyr curiously. He liked this human, respected him at least. She could hear it in his voice and saw it in his posture, but he did not completely trust him. The Empire has an ambivalence towards those without Sith blood and the diplomatic coup of the Chiss Asscendancy made the place of any Chiss in the Imperial social structure complex.

“Well let’s see her.” Kafekta moved into range of the holoterminal’s cameras. “Hunter, you can call me Keeper. My agent wants to add you to his team.”

“He offered me a job, short term.”

“And, if successful, we would be willing to keep you on for a longer period.”

“I might be interested, but there are somethings I’d like to know first.”

“Go ahead, hunter.” A barely concealed hint of annoyance in this human’s steely facade.

“Your agent is obviously working in deep cover. A hunter doesn’t get good prospects by doing things on the sneak.”

“You will be able to take contracts provided they do not interfere with the mission. My agent will make the final call on any of those. And, of course, your individual fame will increase as the cipher’s cover gains fame of his own. It certainly won’t hurt your paltry reputation to be on the payroll of an up and coming smuggler.” Keeper made a slight, disapproving smile. “The Empire has worked well with Bounty Hunters in the past. We understand your needs and we willing to accommodate them, within reason.”

“So long as I get paid, I can work within those limits.”

“I’m sure you can, hunter.” Kafekta knew a dismissal when she heard it and let Keltyr take her position. “You will make the exchange tomorrow in Bilbousa. We have received word that you will actually meet your contact in person.”

“Finally.” Keltyr’s words conveyed a weariness that his voice did not.

“Provided this is the opening we have been looking for, I will give you three days to find a way to report back to me.”

“Yes, sir.” Keltyr ended the call and turned around. He addressed the two women with a slight smile. “We’ll have to leave early to get to the capital in time to meet. Show her, Kafekta.”

“Show me what?” The Rattaki turned to stare at her. Kafekta held up a datapad, on it scrolled information about the call. “You tracked the call? You sliced the holonet and tracked the call.”

“It was too easy.” Kafekta looked towards Keltyr. “If that was supposed to be a test of what I could do…”

“It was a demonstration of my knowledge of you. I am required to know my team. Keep record of that s-thread. We’ll need it to report to Keeper. You can sleep on the couch tonight, since you’ve got no where else to stay.” She watched Keltyr and the Rattaki walk into the other room together.

Kafekta dropped onto the leather couch and grimaced at the now empty room. She was not sure what she had just agreed to, but the hunter knew she had stumbled into something bigger than just a job from a friend. She was damn sure she had a bad feeling about the whole damn mess.

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I got into a discussion today on twitter about writing. I stopped calling myself a writer right about here. It took the wind out of my sails hardcore when it come to writing and I have been struggling to regain my personal footing when it comes to writing and how I feel about it.

This is not a call for anyone to harass the people involved with that contest (all of whom I consider my friends). The person I talked to about the contest was not mean, bitchy, dismissive. She’s someone I talk to about things. And, usually, manages to get the worst of me in a bad mood out of left field. And handles it DAMN WELL.

Mostly, it was just a thing in a line of things that made me second guess everything.

(And reminds me that I miss writing for a workshop, with good feedback. We tried that once with the Riders. And I wish we still did it.)

I’m being Debbie Downer here. Talking about writing makes me sad.

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