Monday, April 27, 2015


Someone must have had a checklist. At least, it seemed that way. ‘Everything people expect at a ‘high class’ party’ or something like that. Fancy chandelier, check. Little foods being carried around by people being almost certainly underpaid, check. Annoying music played by people who looked about as bored as a person could be, check. Any number of people dancing and frolicking about, laughing at whatever little thing they could conjure up, check, check, double check, and triple check.

            She sighed, taking another sip out of the tiny wine glass she had acquired, making note of one of the last pieces of the list. Terrible, minimally alcoholic drinks. Check. Passing the glass off to some passing waiter, she crossed her arms once more, leaning back against the pillar she had laid claim to since she had arrived.

            Every time one of the multiple passing people, all parts of either the higher end of the Imperial hierarchy or a member of some Alderaanian noble house or some other high position she couldn’t help but hate on principle, gave her so much as an odd glance she stared them down. Partially because she hated that look, partially because she expected it, and partially because she couldn’t help but understand why it was being given.

            She would have given someone dressed like her a look like that too. Well, that, on top of whatever backhanded compliment or snide remark she could come up with. Among other things, maybe, depending on how much she managed to come up with. All the same, it wasn’t as if she had had much choice in the matter. Not just in the job, but in the uniform. The formal occasion wasn’t a problem, since that much could be dealt with. Hell, some of those things even allowed people to come in armor, so it would be even less of an armor. So a few weapons would have to be left at the door. Job could still be done with the bare essentials. But when the stupid Sith decided that no, the part required some different dress. Specifically an actual dress. A bright pink one.

            “It looks lovely with your hair,” they had said. Of course it didn’t matter how it looked, she sure as hell would never want to wear it. Not that such a conclusion was an option when working for someone who can flick their wrist and snap your neck without so much as looking at you.

            Her eyes continued scanning the crowd, though she still remained unsuccessful in the endeavor. It didn’t help that half the people present were dressed the same, with many bearing multiple similarities. It wasn’t even one of those ‘all humans look alike’ things, since she would dare same something similar of her own species. More that too many people were apparently following fashion advice from similar sources. Probably whatever was in ‘season’, or however the cycle of trends went.
            Pushing off the pillar, she approached one of the older guests, tapping him on the shoulder to prompt him to turn. After they had finished eyeing her attire over, the Chiss put on her best fake smile, motioning around the room, “I happen to be looking for somebody. Goes by Tobias or something along those lines.”
            The older man snorted, what gray hair was left on his head receiving a bit of a lift as his head jerked up. He pointed a wrinkled hand off towards one corner of the room, declaring “Look for either a crowd of gentlemen discussing half the women here, or a crowd of women surrounding one gentleman.”

            She let out a laugh, “That sort of guy, huh?”

            He only shook his head, muttering something under his breath as he returned to his previous conversation.

            Looking towards where she had been directed, she slowly maneuvered herself close to a circle of four or so men, tapping one of them on the shoulder as she had done before. Once again she was closely examined upon the man’s turning, only this time he gave a second look, this one directed to his companions, and some movement of his eyebrows. They chuckled in return, nodding and motioning him on, to which he finally addressed her with a quick “What may I do for you this fine evening, miss?”

            She kept pretending to smile, hoping she could hold it out for however much longer she had to remain, trying to keep her drawl out of her words, “Looking for a guy named Tobias. One of you him, or do I gotta keep playing ‘find the needle in the haystack’?”

            The man grinned, offering his hand, “I do believe you can stop playing, considering you’ve found me. Perhaps next time inform me we’re engaging in a game.”

            Her eyes narrowed ever so slightly as she took the hand, making a slight mental note that a fifth person was joining the circle off to her left, “Daeria, Daeria Malcolm. Visiting on the business of an accounting firm.”

            Tobias raised a brow, grinning even wider, “Malcolm? Did I hear that right?” Her eyes narrowed a bit more as he motioned to his right. His companion pushed the newcomer forward with some amount of force, implying he wasn’t a usual member of the pack. Shifting her gaze to the odd one out, her grin faded, expression going blank. Tobias placed one hand on the man’s shoulder, motioning to him with the other.

“You wouldn’t happen to know this fellow would you? Mister,” he frowned snapping his fingers a few times as he tried to conjure up the right name, “Roger? Roy? Something Malcolm.”

The man in question gulped, “Redamous.”

Tobias nodded, pointing to Redamous once more, “That was it. Redamous. Another Malcolm. So, again. Any relation?”

She put the smile back on, gritting her teeth in a manner she hoped wasn’t too obvious, “Oh, not really. I think I married him at some point.”
            The rest of them shared a round of laughter, before Tobias gave Redamous a pat on the back, “Are you telling me that this fellow has been in attendance here, both without telling you, and without an offer of a dance? Mister Malcolm, I assumed you a man of good business, and here I am finding this out.” He motioned them off, “This must be corrected. Immediately.”

Redamous shook his head slowly, wrapping his arm around her shoulder as he led her off. Behind the two, they could hear the others once again engaging in a round of laughter and conversation. She muttered “Nice friends you got there.”

He sighed, turning to face her, offering his hands as those around him were doing. She couldn’t tell if he actually knew the steps, or was going to mimic whatever the rest of the room was doing. She did, on the other hand know which one she was going to be doing. Once the music started up again she started moving according to what she could see as the steps.

His voice was low as he spoke, glancing around every now and then as he did so. She couldn’t tell if he was making sure no one was looking, or figuring out the next part of the dance. “The hell are you doing here?”

She raised a brow, “The hell do you think I’m doing here. The hell are you doing here?”

He sighed, “If I had to guess, same reason you are. Work. Getting work. Now if you’re gonna be doing what I think you’re doing, that might be a bit harder.”

Daeria rolled her eyes, “Would that be such a bad thing?”

            Redamous bit his lip for a moment, “Not necessarily. But it means I came all the way out here for absolutely nothing.”

            “Got to see me. One upside, right?” she said, sarcasm deep in her voice.

            He took his turn to try out the deadpan, “Oh yeah, right.”

            The music died down once more and the pair stepped off to the side. A small distance away she once again spied the circle of people, this time a few of them making pointed gestures their way. She glanced to her left, shrugging her shoulders, “Sure you don’t want him dead? ‘Cause I can do that.”

            Red blinked, “You weren’t gonna do it already?”

            “Nah. Just stealing the key to one of his hideaway houses. Need some clearance documents or somethin’ for somebody,” she let the drawl slip back in. “Can still make sure there’s some explosives or somethin’ there when I leave.”

            He frowned, biting his lip as he pondered the thought, “I’ll talk to ‘im. You pick his pocket or whatever the hell it is you wanna do.”

            She grinned, “See? This’ll be fun.”

            They began approaching to rejoin the group, as he quietly muttered “But no killin’ ‘im.”

            She sighed, “Less fun.”