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Coruscant First Charity Auction

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#1
Cassandra Paige

Cassandra Paige

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Coruscant

The Twin Stars Hotel

 

Cassandra Paige considered herself a daughter of Coruscant. The Paige family had lived and worked there for generations, and while she had taken her own business off world due to regulatory challenges, her heart (what little there was of one) considered Coruscant home.

 

It was not the first time a member of the wealthy Paige family had hosted a charity event. While it was a first for Cass herself she had grown up watching her parents make the same preparations, the same plans, for all the same reasons. One part good press, one part tax write off, they always chose causes that in one way or another spoke to them.

 

Or benefited them as well.

 

Coruscant First- Coruscant for the Coruscanti- was a perfect example of everything Cass could get behind. It hadn’t been difficult to sell Itash Mecetti on the idea, and together they had made the offer to host a charity gala in their name. Paid for by GenPals and Didact Defense Solutions, all of the proceeds from the sale of tickets for the event and silent auction would go directly to Coruscant First. The owners of the newly built Twin Stars hotel had surprised her by offering the venue at no cost, but additionally a donation of ten percent of the total revenue from the Blue Feather Casino for that evening as well. She hadn’t spoken to them directly, only through intermediaries, and their identity eluded her for the moment- but the benefits outweighed the mystery and plans had been made.

 

While perhaps Cass would have preferred a tighter control over who was welcome tonight and who was not, who could find the event accessible, it was ultimately the decision of those they were benefiting, and Coruscant First had been clear that the event ought to be accessible to a wide swath of individuals. Tickets had been reasonably priced- one did not have to be wealthy to attend this evening, merely of moderate means and willing to enjoy a night out at a luxurious locale.

 

The Twin Star hotel was the pinnacle of luxury. All whites and golds, gorgeously lit and appointed, it was a beacon in an up and coming district that had previously been languishing.  Built on the very edge of one of Coruscant’s poorer districts, it was lauded for bringing in jobs and businesses into the surrounding area. The Teerena District would be reborn, and already new life was being breathed into it. What better location then, for such an event?

 

The Silent Auction

 

The Blue Feather

 

The Ballroom

 

Zeradias Mant Arcann Law Apolline Wynver


Edited by Cassandra Paige, 04 February 2018 - 08:35 PM.

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#2
Itash Mecetti

Itash Mecetti

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Coruscant
The Twin Stars Hotel
Cassandra Paige

He wasn't a ‘son of Coruscant’ or anything like that.

Instead Itash was a rich nobleman from the Tapani sector. The cradle of ancient Core colonization efforts. Something told him with all the inter-species mixing he might be more Coruscanti than these Firsters. But that was irrelevant, Itash supposed.

Their objective and aim was good.

They had their own suite in the Twin Stars hotel. Easier that way, he was already dressed and ready to go downstairs.

Just needed one Paige on his arm, before they could.

“Cass, we are gonna be running late to our own event.” Tash said with amusement, as he pushed open the door to their room. She was fiddling with the necklace he had bought her last week. “Here, let me.”

Stepping up softly and practiced hands slowly clicking the mechanism shut.

“Mm. You look beautiful.”

She had far more affinity with this Coruscant First movement, of course. But that did not mean that Itash didn't see the benefits here. Getting their name out more, the tax write-offs, bolstering a movement that seemed keen to give Coruscant back to its people. Any one of those would have been good.

Together?

Basically perfect.

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#3
Cassandra Paige

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“We’re not late,” she murmured with a small smile. Looking at him through the reflection in the mirror, grey eyes cast up and down appreciatively in return.

 

“The doors only opened five minutes ago. That is hardly late by Coruscanti standards. No one expects the benefactors of an event like this to be standing at the door. Perhaps if this were a bingo night for the elderly or a pancake breakfast for stray animals, but not something like this.”

 

She tilted her head slightly, fingers resting for a moment on the necklace he’d given her. It wasn’t the first piece of jewelry he had gifted her, perfectly casually, but it was certainly the most impressive. She wondered how he’d known- or if he had at all and it was merely luck- that it was a perfect match to the dress she’d been planning to wear. Another gift, this time from Damian Starchaser, who had declined an invitation for…. Political reasons.

 

“You look rather dashing yourself,” she said, turning around and offering him a kiss.

 

“Now, if we don’t head down, we will be late,” Cass chuckled, slipping her arm into his. “Shall we?”

 

Itash Mecetti

 

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#4
Coratanni Cartel

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Twin Stars Hotel - Front Entrance

Character - Felix

 

Charity.

 

What a stupid concept.

 

It was the only thing that Felix really thought about as he stepped out of his speeder and looked up at the hotel in front of him. There was a slight scowl on his face, eyes wandering over the building as he let out a scoff. He had no idea why his mother had told him to attend this event, less so why his father had insisted upon it. Half of his siblings would have been more suited for this sort of thing, Nikolas, Teslyn, even Lucy would have been a better choice.

 

Sure they were all sociopaths and likely would have ended up killing someone in the middle of the ballroom floor, but at least they were more inclined to be charitable.

 

Felix himself had no inclination to that sort of a thing.

 

He sighed slightly, accepting his fate as he tossed the keys of speeders towards one of nearby valets. Despite his complains he knew that it had to be him of course, he was the only member of the Thawne family that had no real connection to the Cartel. Something like this couldn't be attended by Hitmen or Assassin, not really anyway. It had to be him. That didn't mean he couldn't be sour on the idea. Charity was an entirely foreign concept to him, something that was particularly odd given that technically he himself was an extreme recipient of it.

 

The young man stepped forward through the small crowd that had formed, pushing his way through and utterly ignoring anyone in his way. A few times he earned a rather tight scowl and once or twice even an insult, but he hardly paid that any mind. He wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.

 

He wasn't here for himself, just business.


Edited by Coratanni Cartel, 04 February 2018 - 07:53 PM.


#5
Farah

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It had taken under an hour for Farah to decide that she did not like events like this. In that was she was very much unlike her template, a woman who found pleasure in playing silly word games with silly people.

 

She’d come here as the date to the chief of surgery’s son, initially agreeing because it sounded like a decent time. Farah had never been to a fancy event before, so she figured it would be best to bite the bullet and score points with her boss at least.

 

Her date turned out to be a stuck-up rich kid without much skill or drive of his own, flaunting daddy’s money to anyone who would give him the time of day. For a Zeltron, she’d lost interest quickly and ditched the kid as he tried to impress the daughter of some military officer with lord know’s what. Whatever it was, it seemed to be working and she was content to pass him off onto someone more willing.

 

For now, the young doctor was camped out at the bar and sampling some sort of fancy cheese on a toothpick. She’d much rather spend the night in the lab or repair a mitral valve, but then again she wouldn’t pass up fancy expensive booze either. It would be prudent of her, she reasoned as she reached for more cheese.



#6
Anweald Bermann

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Eddak didn't bother trying to show off. He was a simple man, and decided to take public transport this time around, in respects to Coruscant. It was a massive planet that demanded respect. It prospered on its own without outside help. It is a City-planet, and it was unknown if all their food import fed the people, or if it was just an addition. Still, there was a reason it was the 'Core Planet.' Eddak paid for a small executive speeder, for himself and his other entry, his best friend; Ailred Vruumond. "My friend," Ailred spoke up, "you speak highly of this faction of people, this... 'Coruscant First,' yet you say these words with a shakey tone. Will you not explain to me why you speak as if you are sure about supporting them, but do not sound as if you are?" This subject again. Eddak didn't want to bring it back up, he said everything that was necessary. But Ailred was his best friend, and he deserved more than just a shrug off. "Ailred. You know GDI supports the independence of all civilizations, yeah? Well, if Coruscant First gains control of Coruscant, they could be a great business partner. But more importantly... they can be a great ally. Ya see, this could get Wann Tsir on the map." "But I thought the point of settling Wann Tsir was to... stay off the map, Eddak," Ailred asked, becoming a little confused. "You know it, I know it, everyone in Galderra... knows that we can't hide from the galaxy for too long," Eddak continued in response, "Coruscant could help keep us safe." "But doesn't Commenor keep you safe?" Ailred asked. A great question, one that Eddak had a personal idea on that he didn't like to admit frequently. "Coruscant is forever, Ailred. No one would ever let it fall, not like Alderaan was. I don't know if the CSA will be around forever. Besides, it doesn't hurt to have friends in high places. Ya never know.... a generation from now the new King of Galderra may be able to call in a favor to Coruscant that would save every Galderran life."
 
Ailred quickly agreed with Eddak, understanding his position. It seemed the conversation would end there as the speeder rolled up and the doors were held open. Eddak ushered Ailred to exit with him as they got out. "You ever been to a charity event, Ailred?" Eddak asked, straightening his royalty-stylished suit. It wasn't that outstanding, but if people took a look at Eddak they would know he had money. "No, I can not say I have, Eddak. In my home we never really had a need for money, so charity wasn't necessary. Not until the Wars came," Ailred responded, but Eddak waved a hand as if to brush the conversation away while he walked inside of the hotel with Ailred. Ailred was wearing formal attire that seemed akin to religious duties. "We don't need to concern ourselves with some dreadful past memories Ailred... let's uh, let's try to have a little fun," Eddak said as he smiled to the gentleman outside before heading inside to look around.



#7
KeCholo

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''Why am I here again?'' Ke'Cholo prodded his Mon Calamari assistant, Qaeth Idos as they stepped in the facility in which the auction was being held.

 

''Advertising slot open for a popular news organization, I would almost guarantee it would boost sales for Battlewell.''

 

''We couldn't have just directly contacted the news site?''

 

''Cheaper this way.'' Qaeth finished as they approached the main desk from which additional tickets were being sold. Ke'Cholo started to fill out some additional forms on a datapad. Qaeth had to almost literally drag him here. Events for the ''upper crust'' (as he perceived everyone here, despite the fact that Ke'Cholo was in fact substantially wealthier than most here) were not even close to the top of Ke'Cholo's list of favorite activities. In fact, he would rather be on the lowest layer of the jungles of Kashyyyk hunting some wretched creature most Wookies would run fearfully from. However, despite all the dislike of these events, he had come. Why? Not even he knew. Once he had finished the additional forms he moved on to purchasing more tickets.

 

''How many are you going to buy?'' Qaeth inquired.

 

''I dunno, a hundred?''

 

''No, don't buy that many. If you buy any more than three it'll just be cheaper to go directly to the news organization. If you buy three that'll make five, the one I got and the one you got.''

 

''Whatever you say.''

 

Between having sold Slave I for 300 million credits and owning a large company specializing in weapons production and private military leasing, he was pretty sure someone here might recognize him. He felt for his concealed Phrik Wester-34. He was just hoping it would be someone happy to see him...


Edited by KeCholo, 04 February 2018 - 09:06 PM.

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#8
Hazel Zanteres

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It was the looks that were going to take some time getting use to.

 

This wasn't exactly Hazel's first time out in public since her changes, but it was the first time she wasn't also in a large overcoat. She hadn't even thought about how karking difficult it was to get clothing that would accommodate a tail.

 

Regular clothing was one thing, dresses had been an entirely different problem, and it had taken her a long time to find something that was able to fit all her needs. Force knows she couldn't wear anything Shay considered appropriate because well...they really wouldn't be for this kind of event.

 

In the end she had found a dark blue dress, one that covered her back and most importantly disguised the darker tone that stretched down across her spine now. It had also came with a belt, one which Hazel promptly threw aside and replaced it by wrapping her tail around disguising it away as a 'designer belt'.

 

At least that's what she had in mind if anyone asked.

 

Hazel had walked in with eyes immediately falling upon her. The pair of horns that were atop her head were the obvious culprit. It wasn't exactly every day you saw one of her kind like this. But she didn't bat an eyelid at all the stares she got, and simply strode on in like the proud Hapan she was.

 

She had come to Coruscant for an entirely different reason, following a lead that had been on her mind since Bastion. And now she was in the middle of a charity event, with a whole lot of people she didn't recognize.



#9
Domino

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 Ahhh, Domino had forgotten how much people loved to hate these things. As for herself Domino loved a good charity party as useless as they tended to be, at least in her own mind. She'd grown up poor on Coruscant, so poor that she never talked about it, as far as the galaxy could be concerned, her life had started when she'd been swept up in one of the many rebellions fighting one of the many empires. But being poor, and a runaway living on the streets, she'd never seen one red cent from a charity auction or other group. The only charity she'd gotten was when a stranger tossed a street girl a few credit chits and when a gym owner started letting her live and work in his studio. From then on she'd pretty much sworn herself to direct action only, when Domino wanted to give charity she opened a frakking soup kitchen right in the Nar Shadda slums and funded it for a decade. And if someone started skimming money from it, the new manger got their head in a box on their desk. Day frakking one. That was how you inspired loyalty to a cause.

 

 Nothing on today's auction list seemed all that interesting to her either, she either had or could get it all easily enough save for the Lament, but there was enough clutter on her mantel already. Metaphorically speaking anyways. Instead of bidding she headed to the bar and ordered herself a coruscant chaser, figuring the heavily mixed drink was thematic, and gave the Zeltron Farah a nod. "Upset about something?" She asked lightly with an eye for the row of cheese toothpicks next to the pink lady.



#10
Asteria deWinter

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Did you expect Lady deWinter not have been aware of the movement growing on the planet where her company resided? She, a Sith Lord in her own right, older than the majority of those around her yet aged where she should have been due to her long slumber, she didn't care too much for the fact that the Galactic Alliance ruled, for lack of better word over the planet where most of her business was conducted, making some of the aspects of her company quite problematic. Still, a businesswoman did what a businesswoman did, she adjusted and worked with what she had, quietly working with what shouldn't have been known on the surface. It wasn't too hard in a faction as large as the Alliance, even easier on a planet like Coruscant.

At least, such things never changed.

The Twins Star Hotel was a lovely facility, as she'd heard from some of the Red Ladies and Gents though she herself had not been there yet. Tonight, she would, alongside three of her employees, among which was Oeana as her personal assistant. The half-Atrisian Red Lady had proved loyal and eager to learn at her side and so, she had and continued to do so. It was a necessity, in truth, where one had the business skills and the other experience with clients in the manner the Red Lady operated. Unlike her Mother, Asteria had never walked the life of a Red Lady but their paths were different as they should have been. Like most of the deWinter children, the blond one among them didn't know all that consumed the first Lady deWinter's history prior to her marriage. But the empire she had built, known as the Red Lady, was a gift like no other for the once Governess. Still, the new rendition had room to grow and it would.

With tickets at a reasonable price, admittance was easy. Once inside, she silently dismissed two of the women, her hand gently gesturing towards the casino. Each of them had been given a respectable sum and instructed to play some of the games and mingle with the guests. Asteria herself was on a task of her own, with Oeana carrying a small bag for her as she continued towards the crystal jars. Five tickets purchased altogether, she distributed them among the jars according to the request of a private collector who had asked her of her to do this, with sufficient funds for a purchase, more than enough.

"Come, let us get a drink before the auction," she told Oeana quietly as she moved from the jars and proceeded towards the Ballroom, two of them each picking up a glass of champagne as they entered.



#11
Zeradias Mant

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Charity. It was a fitting cause for a worthy people, and there was no better organization to benefit the Coruscanti than Coruscant First. When word reached the mayor's office, it didn't take much convincing to give it the green light, and bureaucracy was no trouble. Tonight was to forge new friendships, establish new relationships, and ultimately benefit the party which worked with such fervor to benefit its people.

 

The event had already begun, people from all walks of life enjoying both the company and atmosphere. It pleased him to see so many come together not only to support the party, but its mission. Coruscant deserved to be free, and its people deserved more than what'd they'd been afforded thus far. Conflict and neglect was all some of the younger folk had known, and Coruscant First sought to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity for the denizens of the ecumenopolis.

 

"We'll have a welcoming line for the first half hour, sir. Following that, our schedule is pretty fluid. You should use that time to foster new relationships."

 

With an audible exhale, Mant nodded and acknowledged what his chief of staff had told him. Posting at the main entrance, Zeradias would greet the guests as they came in. It was good for those he represented to see him, as well as for more influential individuals to get his ear or vice versa.

 

Today, Coruscant would prosper.


Edited by Zeradias Mant, 05 February 2018 - 08:45 PM.


#12
Xzav Ine

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Coruscant

 

Capital of the Galactic Alliance - a bold move, certainly - now sat in the center of the eye of the galaxy, just light years away from the many worlds and systems that had enjoyed relative peace and security following the vacuum the fall of the One Sith created. For years the Alliance had let the core, despite their presence, operate almost wholly on their own whims without their worthless input, a period of time that many had enjoyed - even those who were unhappy with Alliance leadership resting easy knowing that the First Order, Galactic Empire, and their other enemies closed in on them near Sullust. A pity that they had decided to reverse all of that and shift right into the den of lions.

 

A little charity drive that so openly opposed such a move was amusing, indeed, but it was also what offered Xzav the stepping stone he desired to emerge from seclusion and show his support for their immediate disposal. To cast away the Galactic Alliance would offer Teta her independence, and it would mean the advancement of the Krath's own priorities. Out with the Jedi and their totalitarian rule, their open hypocrisy of the extermination of dark siders whilst still claiming to be anything less than pure, and in with the rule by the common man and the unity of the public voice.

 

The quiet recluse that led the Krath walked into the auction dressed from head to toe in reflective black armor, not a stitch of skin visible from behind the stygian-triprismatic polymer, as though this attire was no different than the clothes he wore on any other given day. He skipped the silent auction, disinterested in the distractions they provided, and instead found his way to the second floor of the Twin Stars.


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#13
Itash Mecetti

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Cassandra Paige

 

A little bit of luck, a little bit of foresight.

 

"Mm, suppose you are right." The kiss was accepted and answered, but then they detached in a smooth movement. They knew. In the comfort of their suite one kiss could soon turn to two and from there who knew what the night would bring? That was only acceptable when they were attendees. As the hosts it would be quite rude though. An arm was offered to her and together they exited their suite, locking it behind them and slowly making their way towards the elevator. 

 

They had the time. 

 

He still was rather unhappy about this arrangement. Oh, the Coruscant First movement was something that Tash could respect, but their acceptance and reliance on aliens was rather distasteful. The fact that they couldn't exclude those groups here had been... bothersome.

 

"Should we get a drink first, before we mingle?" He leaned casually against the railing of the lift, watching the red numbers shift from the highest floor to the lower ones. Other than the aliens this was an exciting preposition though and it only reminded him just how amusing 'democracy' truly was. They were busy here, gathering funds to assist a movement that was entirely build around pushing the Alliance out of Coruscant. But there was nothing they could do about that.

 

Because they weren't inciting violence. 

 

The Tapani would never have made the mistake to leave a loophole like that. 


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#14
Farah

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“Mm?” The Zeltron had been taking something heavier than a sip of her wine when a voice prompted her from the side. Farah took a few moments to steady herself so that she wouldn’t backwash the fancy drink into the fancy glass, finally pulling away to face a Twi’lek woman.

 

Her experience with the species was largely limited to bar and clubs where you’d often seen Twi’lek women in scantily clad outfits serving drinks or doing lord knows what. In the same vein, that was where she’d seen the most Zeltrons as well. Also where she’d delivered the most open-palmed face slaps to fellow patrons, but that was totally unrelated.  

 

“No.” She answered swiftly, nails scraping against one of the toothpicks before picking up her next morsel. “Bored.” Plain honesty right there. She sighed through her next cube of cheese, making sure to chew and swallow before speaking again. “You?”

 

Domino



#15
Domino

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 Now that gave Domino pause and she filled the time she needed by draining her glass before she set it down again. Getting the bartender's attention again, she pointed towards it and held up a pair of fingers to ask for two more before sliding him a fifty cred chit. "Stuck in a rut, tired of being tired but not interested in the bickering." She shrugged. One of her friends had once claimed she had 'bitter vet syndrome' and it sounded fitting. Her drinks arrived and she took one in hand and spun her stool to face the crowd which put the other waiting near her elbow. She took another drink. "What sort of business are you in then?" 

Farah



#16
Anweald Bermann

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Eddak didn't have his eye caught by anyone in the room as he presented his ticket and entered the room. There was no one here he knew, unfortunately. He walked forward, knowing Ailred would be right behind him as he got a drink from one of the waiters. "To be quite honest, Ailred," Eddak whispered as he looked around, Ailred also grabbing a drink, "I can't stand these fancy parties. There's nothing wrong with them, but everyone knows they are not for me. Still as King I should know I'm not going to like everything. I just didn't expect how many fancy parties I would be attending." Ailred was inclined to agree.... fancy parties were not Eddaks forte. Ailred grinned as Eddak kept walking. He ventured over to a quiet corner where the two could mingle with themselves. He didn't believe anyone would approach him as the only contact he has had with Coruscant first was over the HoloNet.



#17
Farah

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Farah watched the other woman order one, but not two drinks. It sparked an idea that she could’ve gotten drunk much quicker had she brought an IV from work, the thought bringing a faint smile to her lips. “The bickering.” She stated. “Does not sound fun.”

 

Sometimes Farah liked to bicker, though. Only when it was worth it, when there was something at stake—like a good surgery or lab funding. Still, sometimes she let her emotions get the best of her and pick fights to make herself feel better. One drawback to being a Zeltron was the volley of emotions she experienced and having no outlet for them.

 

“I’m a doctor.” A doctor who was a clone of a Jedi bred by a Sith Lord, but those were little delicate details she figured most people would rather not know. That, and she preferred being known for her own accomplishments, hence the doctor. “And yourself?”

 

Domino



#18
Vela Kryss

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Arriving late, even if not terribly so, was not something she approved of. Much on the contrary, Vela found it rather distasteful and an appalling evidence of the lack of organization. These thoughts ran through her mind as she finally made it to the Twin Star hotel, place chosen for the hosting of the ball. It was a truly magnificent sight, exquisitely designed and lavished in elegance. Even being one for simpler tastes, the building was a sight to be admired and its architect congratulated. 

 

Velathri had many reasons to be here tonight. She had made investments in Coruscant and as is to be expected, she wished to see them flourish and expand. Not many knew of the developments of her company, Kryss Industries maintained for the most part a very select and definite set of customers. Yes, the numbers were favorable and the company was prospering yet it was nowhere near what the ambitious mind of its founder envisioned it to become. Trying not to get ahead of herself was something she often found difficulty at, but tonight she was hoping to give a little step forward.

 

However personal interest was not the only force driving her willingness to accept the invitation that had been kindly extended. She believed in progress, in effort and perseverance and above all this, she believed that people should be the ones to defend and pursue their own goals. The galaxy was simply too big to move as a whole. Those wishing to cast the same shadow all throughout it would simply be surprised by the opposition birthed by constant change and diversity. It had always been so and this, according to her, was the only constant among all systems. Against such a scenario, freedom and independence were the only answers. Systems and planets should collaborate with each other, agreed. But the internal working of each of them should be for their inhabitants to decide. No one should be subjected to the beliefs and decisions of someone billions of kilometers away.

 

With the confidence provided by her thoughts and a kind smile, that seemed never to fully leave her features, Vela directed herself to the silent auction. After depositing the two tickets given to her in her chosen urn, she went to the ballroom. Apparently the most of the social action was taking place in the casino but the Vilosorian did not have a taste for gambling games. In her eyes it was just a series of mathematical equations trying to solve themselves in order to predict the supposedly chancy results, the fun of it escaped her. So she picked a glass of wine and a comfortable place to stand and observe, enjoying of the beauty of the ballroom as she waited for some interesting conversation to start and wished she had chosen one of her suits over the silvery, elegant dress she was currently wearing.

 

 

 

 


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#19
Domino

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 "Retired actually, now I just manage several properties and dabble with my hobbies." Great, she hadn't wanted to sound bragging but she'd put it so mildly that now she was boring. Property manager? Ugh. "Doctor though, that's impressive for anyone as young as you look. Do you have a practice or are you in a hospital?" She could have been research or any number of other things but Domino wanted the woman's answer, not to give her a list to choose from. 

 

 She took another sip of her drink and watched the crowd through half-hooded eyes as she waited for her new friend's answer. There were the usual misfits with no saving social graces that wore the fact like a badge of pride, tromping around in full armor or scowling at everyone nearby, she wouldn't be interested in one of them until they started shooting. Then there were the social butterflies, again usually an ignored group but because Domino knew she didn't have the patience or aptitude for their playful verbal games. Today however her eyes were trying to seek out their hosts, not for an introduction, but to follow the flow of the room's political maneuvering. Instead she found her eyes settling on a woman with venomous-green eyes and a pale, angular, face. She seemed familiar yet Domino was certain they'd never met. She took another drink and repressed a shudder. 

Farah



#20
Jorus Merrill

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TWIN STARS HOTEL, SECOND FLOOR
BLUE FEATHER BAR AND CASINO

Jorus had dressed for the occasion. Pristine Corellian bloodstripes, lower-grade. A shave. A shirt with buttons. A vest unmarred by hyperdrive coolant. A gleaming pistol he left at the door. A smart pair of boots Mara had bought him.

...a set of earphones. A pair of dark glasses. A gorram ysalamiri nutrient frame.

He plopped the latter beside an open chair and took a seat. Glitterati looked at him askance. He produced a small stack of chips, received two cards, and settled in to fleece these shiny fething xenophobes for all they were worth. Time for sabacc.