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12 days ago
Current I feel like I'm learning to write all over again.
27 days ago
Roleplaying is like a fine wine. I don't get enough of it, and most of the time I fail to appreciate it properly.
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1 yr ago
Writing is work. The more of it you do, the more you feel like Steve in Accounting is out to get you.
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2 yrs ago
The Expanse is the best show ever. Change my mind.
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3 yrs ago
I write stuff

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Welcome to Centares!


A temperate planet with a sizeable yet not quite astropolitically significant population center. Self-sufficient and relatively recently brought into the imperial fold, Centares main claim to fame is it's position along the Perlimian Trade Route, where it acts as a general marker of where Republic Space ends and Imperial Space begins. This untroubled backwater planet irregularly chafes under imperial rule, who take a modestly lax approach to the every-day governance of the planet. It is home to a wide array of aliens and humans, most of whom are able to go about their lives untroubled by the change in administration.

MORE TBA <3


Kindly refrain from posting in the IC just yet, things are still being set up. (Ominous, I hope)





Imperial Administration Offices, Centares
6 ATC 3; T-59 days.





The spacious halls of the administration lobby were filled with the echoes of people. Today’s rabble trying to argue their way into a meeting. Asra slid past the queue to the desks, quickly stepping through the holo-ropes as they immediately flashed a warning yellow. A simple beep by the scanner later, her security pass was validated. She walked through the scanner. Nothing. An agonizing pause followed as the guard on duty – a fresh face by the looks of it – stared at his console, waiting for a confirmation he already knows will come. “You’re clear, Lieutenant.” He offered stiffly, as though she did not already know. Another stuttering set of steps and a scan of her code cylinder later, and the turbolift doors yawned open.

She checked her datapad. Three hours late. It was salvageable. She had free reign. It would be fine. It would have to be fine. The ride was slow. Enough time to straighten her sleeves and flatten the creases in her uniform. The turbolift doors opened with an ominous sigh just as she adjusted her cap, and Asra exited to face her destiny.

The office appeared to be quiet today. Empty seats, sleeping monitors, a few analysts cramped around a single desk locked in some deep but ultimately pointless discussion. She had caught up on the notes sent out during the morning – nothing had seemed out of the ordinary. Had she missed something during her skim-reading? Were they all in meetings? Even Sergeant Vilk was suspiciously absent from his notoriously unimportant rural logistics policy station as Asra walked past. No, something was different today. She was just about to slide down unnoticed at her own station when she heard her named called across the room. Her gaze slid across the quiet hall to find the aggressor – and immediately found the squat figure and brown hair of Captain Liena. Asra gave her a timid wave as an offering, and a brief, curt smile. It was too late – she was already heading over.

“So, you’re alive after all.” He said with his typical smug grin plastered all over his square face. “I was starting to get worried all that wine finally got the better of you.”

Asra glanced about the office before responding. You could never be too cautious. “No, I’ve been chasing down the singer. Roakes little drunk target practice stunt really shook her. She made some claims about what she heard, this morning.”

“Oh, damn. Where is she now?”

“I have some friends making sure she realizes it was just a harmless party prank.” Asra breathed a quiet sigh, rubbing at the bridge of her nose. “Hopefully she’ll understand how good of an arrangement she has with us.”

“Twi’leks are always skittish, I think it’s in their nature.”

“Either way, I’m torpedoing Roakes invitation next time. He wants to shoot the help; he can pay for it himself. The pharma reps were not impressed, either.”

“I don’t think anyone was impressed by anything Roakes said or did. You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse diplomat.” Liena agreed with a sigh of his own. Any hope Asra had of him leaving was extinguished as he leaned to half-sit on her desk. She sighed sharply herself, glancing out over the office once more.

“Where is everyone?” She finally brings herself to ask after a bout of silence.

“Oh, the governor is crafting a press release about the strength of the administration in the crackdown on crime. They needed bodies to make it look proper. Everyone working non-essential projects gets to play soldier today.”

“You realize how depressing that statement is, don’t you?”

“Hey, most things on Centares just take care of themselves, that’s the way we like it.” Liena offered another of his smug grins, and Asra felt the frustration run out into her fingertips. “That reminds me, Colonel Allis has been asking for you all morning. Apparently, you had something time-sensitive on your desk?”

Time-sensitive? She thinks on the scarce projects running right now. Nar Shaddaa business was being handled. No projects. Did he know about this morning? Asra pushed from her seat, giving the captain a dirty look. “You could have led with that. He’ll know I swiped in.”

“Hey, you now know! It’s not like he can do anything to you, Lieutenant. He knows his place.”

Asra frowned and corrected her uniform once more, pushing herself to move towards the stairs and the colonel’s office. He had never known his place, or how important she was. Every time they met; he did his best to pull rank and meddle with her missions.

----

“Please sit, Lieutenant.” The stuffy office of Colonel Jek Allis was like an interrogation room. There was no personality beyond a few lights, no flair, nothing that would suggest how to approach this man. He was a monolith, an unpleasant, aggressive akk dog who could not be reasoned with. Even now, his stern aging face gave no impression of what to expect. Asra sat down. She had had many interactions with this awful man. If she stuck to the letter of the law, he would grow red with impotent rage today too. “We’ll cut straight to the point, what’s the progress on Hidden Charger?”

Hidden Charger? The research project? Asra paused for a moment, searching her thought for what she had reported previously. “...As per my report last week, sir, we have established basic contact with a peripheral source to the project and are waiting on actionable intel from outside sources.”

“I need you to up the time frame on this. Upper management is taking an interest in seeing this done.”

She breathed a sigh, watching the man. Upper management? Her report had just been barebones. “With all due respect, sir, this project is not in any stage to be-“

“We need to have the technology documented in your report before the Feast of Reconstitution.” Her eyes widened as he spoke. He was mad.

“-...Sir, that’s three months away. I don’t even have proper intel on the research team.”

“This is coming from Intelligence. They are sending someone during the feast to collect on our results. You want to stand here and explain why it wasn’t done?”

Asra parted her lips to speak. It was insane. Someone must have it out for her. It was an attack, an impossible mission. A torpedo for her career. Her skin felt cold, her stomach lurched. She touched at her temple and tried to keep her composure. Maybe this was it. What she had been waiting for. Maybe Intelligence was testing her. She rubbed at the bridge of her nose, trying to push some clarity back into her head. It had to be an evaluation. Do or die. It was what she had waited for. She had prepared for a trial. That had to be it. “It’s-... I’ll need resources. People.”

The colonel shifted in his seat. “I’m cleared to give you a stipend for operations. I’ll put together a list of personnel we’ve tapped in the past for wetwork. You can have your pick if they’re available.” A quick glance at his monitor, and a gesture for the door followed. “I’ll forward the Intelligence parameters to your station. We’ll reconvene with your plan of action at the end of the week. Yes?”
“Yes, sir.” She responded automatically, hearing the shake in her own voice.

“Dismissed, then.” Asra pushed from her stiff seat. After a moment, she evacuated towards the door with as much grace as she could muster.

---

The supply closet was claustrophobic. Rows and rows of minor equipment, replacement cleaning droids, sterile gear. Asra closed the door behind her gently and closed her eyes. She could feel her body spinning, her head pounding. Muscles in her arms and legs tensed and itched, her fingers clawed at the door behind her as she fought to breathe normally. The fear came in waves, pulsing out through her lips with each heavy breath. She opened her eyes, and the room spun around her, violently thrashing and mocking her with its serene normalcy.

A primal, panicked scream bubbled up, forcing its way through her teeth. Her hands gripped her face, ruined her hair. She was dead. This was impossible. She would be stuck on Centares forever. Ridiculed. Killed for her failure. Brushed aside as irrelevant. A loser. He enjoyed this. Watching her fail and struggle. He and Enoa would laugh it up. If word got out she couldn’t pull her weight, who would trust her? They were going to take everything from her. She tore equipment from the shelves in fury, slammed a deactivated bot on the head.

Her rage slowly subsided, replaced with exhaustion. Asra sank down on the floor of the closet. There had to be a way out of this. A way to stick it to Jek Allis, to prove her worth to Intelligence. Breathing heavy breaths, Asra reached for her holo-communicator. It rang for an eternity. Each moment another spark of anguish, fear, doubt. The insanity of the task replayed in her head several times before the image of her trandoshan companion appeared on the small disc. “Rassk…”

“We are still interrogating the girl.” He growled back at her in huttese. The formidable mercenary glanced away from their conversation. The voices of others of roiled in the brief silence. “She does not talk, only cry.”

“…Forget the girl.” Asra bit back, making the swap to huttese herself. The shift helped her center her thoughts. Focus on the now, Asra. You can do this. If anyone can, it’s you. You know you can. “We’re going to run an operation soon. Paid work. No new bloods.”

“Public hunt? Spread the word?”

“No, keep it in the clan. And get Lazal to call in. We're gonna need unlisted shuttles. Hostile space.” She terminated the call soon after. Another solidifying breath, and she moved herself to stand. Asra picked up her cap, rubbed at her face, and then finally ran her hands over her hair before placing the cap back where it belongs. A quick straightening of her uniform, and she turned to open the closet.

It could be done. It would work. She could do anything. With that, she drew a last centering breath, and walked out to face the empty office once more.
Thank you for the approval and feedback, @Jackdaw. I've made a choice regarding her involvement with the corporation. I have amended my application with a few edits to clarify the corporate situation, as well as a few things I felt needed retouching now that I am out of my initial haze of spellbound writing. If any of my edits changes the previous approval, I am happy to further edit them or otherwise backtrack to the state it was in previously. I understand it is not very cool to do any edits while it is in pending status, so I'm hoping ya'll won't hate me for this.

For the sake of transparency:
Clarified under political influences that her involvement with Val'shan Trading is criminal in nature.
Added a sentence to the associate Rassk about having worked as an independent contractor for the Empire.
Clarified that the Val'shan Trading Initiative is a corporation in associate Lazal Ke's entry.
Added a sentence to 'Villa Lyn' to give a better picture of the nature of her home.
Edited the entry for ownership - Val'shan Trading Initiative. Hopefully it's a little more understandable now.
Rewrote the passage about vehicles to be more clear.











Edit: Fixed a name.
Also, please don’t give this to me in some avant-garde dialogue form.


I feel personally attacked.

Looks great! I'll see what I can come up with. It's a little daunting for me, but I'll give it a go.
I am also interested in this. Looks great for an opening perspective.
Sorry for the delay, had some issues crop up IRL.

Also hope the quality is alright, I'm a little frazzled right now. x)
J A V I Y A H



The journey was a downcast, quiet affair. Javiyah had expected no less. Were it that the three she had now found herself sharing a carriage with had been shuttled for as long and as far as her, it would not be a stretch to assume their spirits were equally sapped. Though she prided herself on her cartography, she gave up on identifying villages, and now this city, long ago. She knew where she was going. That was enough. Javiyah glowered out through the murky view to observe the city as they rolled by. Once, a new city would have made her breathless with anticipation and wanderlust. Now she could only make out the indications of unrest, of squalor, and neglect. Indeed, rolling through the urban scenery gave no new inclination for conversation, and Javiyah eventually turned away from the torrid sight, no interest left for the hardships of the commoner in the street.

She felt as much as saw the gaze she received from the passenger opposite her but made no immediate attempt to meet his gaze or retort. Everyone stared. Some in intrigue, some in revulsion. Eventually, everyone wondered. He was a dwarf, and presumably used to stares himself if travel was in his blood. Javiyah pressed forward a distant smile as she considered the first time she met a dwarf. She’d asked him so many questions that she was now sure he would never answer a question again. The novelty was not quite so high, anymore, but she nevertheless felt the urge to question who he was, where he came from, and what he had seen.

The cowled woman on the other hand; what was her purpose? Another like her, perhaps. Surely. The way that the squalid conditions of their vista seemed to grip her on their ride, she was either a champion of the simple folk, or woefully out of her element. There was something strange about her – the way she moved. She was old, but Javiyah paid it no more mind. She would learn more if they remained this close in proximity. Javiyah rubbed her arm in idle fidget as she cast a glance to final member of the carriage crew. A burly, dirty fellow with the tale of war and battle written on his skin. The letter calling her here had been vague, at best, but with this sour young warrior at her side, she could better imagine the exact nature of the Lord’s request.

The plights of the common man stiffened her heart as they rolled into a manor courtyard, watching the chaos spread among the masses as they fled their own protest. This was the way of life. Cause and effect. The next time, the peasants will have prepared. Ushered along with the others into the chambers of Lord Malcast, Javiyah remained quiet and observant, simply bowing her head to the Lord himself as he welcomed them. Now they would discuss the purpose of their journey in full, at last. Or not. Javiyah frowned as the Lord vanishes away to some distant part of the mansion. Another crisis?

They were taken to some manner of dining hall, which reminded her of home. Opulent, but forgotten. Magnificent, but troubling. She moved to examine a bookcase as the others toured the room and seated themselves in equal measure. Many books she had not read – some in languages she did not know – but judging from the dust, neither had the Lord of the house. A voice she has not heard previously breaks, and Javiyah turns to spectate the introductions. Aemma. Thadurim. Good names. Giving the warrior among them another glance, she takes the chance at speaking next, taking a step away from the bookcase and laying a hand on the back of a chair. She will not sit immediately, but she has at least claimed space by the table. “In the presence of nobility, sometimes lies are all we have.” She feels eyes on her, and quickly adds to her retort. “I am Javiyah. Although I feel as though we know each other already, after such a journey.”
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