Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Daddy's Gone Rule of Two"

Start: Daddy's Gone A Hunting (Page 34, Copyright 2013), by Mary Higgins Clark
End: Darth Bane: Rule of Two (19% Kindle Version, Copyright 2007), by Drew Karpyshyn
The story between them: by Michael Rigg

When Justin Kramer came upstairs to Kate's apartment, Hannah had immediately liked what she was seeing. He looked to be in his early thirties. Trim, about five feet ten, with hazel eyes, a firm jaw, and a head of curly dark brown hair, he reminded her of a boy she'd had a crush on when she was sixteen.

His concern for Kate was genuine. He explained, "I got in over my head when I bought this condo. Then I when lost my job in the Wall Street fallout two years ago, I knew it would be wise to sell it."

Hannah shrugged. "I guess you did the right thing, no?" She watched as Justin made his way to the tall windows overlooking the city, studied how the moonlight and neon reflected off his face.

Justin's gaze locked on something in the distance. "Yeah, but... I miss it." He barely registered her approach as she slid off the sofa and sidled up to him. She let her fingers twine around his and joined him in his vacant stare out the window. Only then did he turn and look down at her. "Where is your sister, anyway?"

Hannah's eyes traced a Corellian transport as it coasted down out of the violet sky and angled toward the spaceport a few blocks from the condo. "She went to see that Jedi again."

Justin rolled his eyes and released an impatient huff of breath. "Again?"

"You can't blame her for falling in love. You've been in love a few times yourself, you know," Hannah said, her voice rising slightly as she stared up at him, almost daring him to push the buttons to set her off again.

Justin collapsed as he usually did. His shoulders relaxed a bit and he pulled his hand from hers and folded his arms. He looked up at the darkening sky, narrowing his eyes toward the base station and the tiny stars of Republic fleet ships hovering around it.

He opened his mouth to say something, then thought better of it.


Kate ran her pass card through the slot next to the door, her eyes flitting toward the armed Republic guard nearby only once. The door buzzed, then slid open with a hushed whisper. She resumed breathing once she stepped into the outer holding cell area.

"Ah, Kathryn Vendrus, I presume?" the officer behind the desk said. He tried to smile, pressing his jowls into an oblong grin. Kate nodded and presented him with her datapad. As he skimmed over the document, she glanced toward the inner door that led toward the holding cells where the Sith prisoners were kept. "Is Johun busy?"

The officer looked up from the datapad, but held it firm against his barrel-shaped chest. "Mmm, yeah?" Kate looked at him, then made a face and shook her head, scowling to emphasize the lie that Jedi Master Johun was her only reason for traveling to the Fairwind.

Still looking skeptical, the officer pushed the pad back at her. "You can go on in. He should be finsihed soon."

"Thanks," Kate smirked as she took the datapad and headed down the corridor. She hadn't gone more than a few meters when she heard voices rising a few doors down. She recognized Johun's voice at first, then what she assumed to be a pair of prisoners he was questioning. Oh, how she loved to hear him work.

"This is all just a misunderstanding," the man insisted from inside his cell.

"You're making a mistake," the woman with him agreed.

Johun took a deep breath, then let it out in a long, weary sigh. He'd arrived back on the Fairwind with his two prisoners over an hour earlier. His request for an immediate audience with Farfalla had been denied, as the acting general had been otherwise preoccupied with the cleanup efforts on Ruusan. So Johun had taken his prisoners down to the flagship's lower deck and placed them in a holding cell to wait. With nothing better to do, he'd decided to take a seat in a nearby chair and wait with them.

The young Jedi was now strongly regretting that decision.

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