View Full Version : Setup

21 November 2004, 02:02 PM
Hello fellow Holonetter’s and guests. This short story is my first fan fiction on the Holonet, and probably the last for a while, since I start longer projects that I never finish. Regardelss, I hope you enjoy this one and feel free to comment if you wish. (Remember this is a friendly forum though, so flaming and throwing rotten fruit are frowned upon. :) )

Cold rain lashed downwards against Phaeran's padded coat and jumpsuit as he walked up the steps to the apartment. Bzzt... Bzzt... the buzzer sounded just as crackly as he remembered, he was glad, it brought him back to old times...

"What is it?" a soft voice asked with a hint of annoyance through a small black speaker box beside the door. "I have a priority package from Raven industries." Phaeran replied sounding confident, but really hoping that the code phrase hadn't changed.

To his relief the door clicked once affirming that he had been correct. Without another word from either party, Phearan entered the building and made his way to the stairwell. As he climbed the 13 stairs to the second level he noticed the once tan paint on the walls cracking, the black marks on the red carpet from years of abuse, and how the layers of dust and cobwebs had caked over the light fixtures. The place had been bad when he was a frequent visitor, now it was deteriorating. The second door on the right swung open just as Phearan rounded the top of the stairs, a short blond woman came out with a scowl on her face that darkened when she saw him.

"I thought they'd replaced you" she growled loudly. Phearan raised a finger to his lips and grinned roguishly "What can I say? I'm irreplaceable!" He half whispered getting an "uggh" and a shudder for his troubles. "They called me back for something really important" he clarified.

The woman stared coldly and pointed to the stairway "Get out" she growled again. "This is business, Lissa, nothing more nothing less" Phearan replied, the humor lost from his voice.

"What is it honey?" a baritone rang out from the doorway. Phearan looked at the large man standing there but did not say anything, this was ‘business’ after all.

"Now pay attention Phearan" the woman Cooed, "Here's a real man."

Phearan ignored the obvious slight, he was not surprised to see that Lissa had a new love interest, it had been several years after all. He was slightly disappointed that they were living together though, not for any personal reason, but because in her line of ‘business’ it was a big security risk.

"What do you want?" The man growled at Phearan not bothering to filter the suspicion out of his voice.

"Now, now, He's just leaving dear..." Lissa piped hopefully, waving her hand in the direction of the door.

Quickly tiring of the woman's emotional games, Phearan tossed a small datacard at Lissa's feet. "I need to talk to you... alone. The specifications of the meeting are in datafile 1X7. Have a good night."

Phearan spun swiftly on his heels and started for the stairs. Lissa's voice softened "No, come in, you can tell me what you need now, its secure enough."

Phearan stopped and turned halfway, looking straight at the big man whose arm was draped over Lissa's shoulder. "I don't think so. " intentionally allowing just a hint of anger, the most emotion he had shown all night, slip into his voice. With that, he continued towards the stairs.

"That’s enough" Lissa growled, "Keoun is more than trust worthy, now stop being so jealous and just tell me what you need."

Phearan spun around and crossed the half the distance to them in three long strides. He stopped as suddenly as he had started and stared straight into Lissa's blue eyes. "I'm sorry, Keoun..." Phearan admonished, waiving a hand at the man "has not been cleared for any of this.” Without pausing, Phearan's features went blank and he turned back towards the staircase, taking shorter, less dramatic strides this time. As he reached the edge, he stopped to look back at them and spoke flatly "I will meet you later and alone." And with that, he stepped out of sight, leaving Lissa and Keoun standing in the hallway alone. "Hope you haven’t compromised yourself Lissa" he thought to himself dryly as he made his way to the door, a contemptuous grin forming on his face.

Keoun held Lissa tightly as they sat on the plush couch he had gotten her, and watched while she sifted through the seemingly incomprehensible file. “So honey, where’s it gonna be?” he asked softly.

Lissa elbowed him playfully “Sorry, can’t tell, you big nerf head” she giggled.

“Please” he whined softly with a pouty face that she could never resist.

“It’s a secret” Lissa said as she got up and threw a pillow at him. Keoun dodged raised his hands to block the pillow and jumped up to grab Lissa.

“Honey where is it?” he asked softly as he pulled her back down to the couch, covering her face with kisses.

“I… can’t… tell… you…” Lissa huffed breathlessly, returning the kisses.

With a swift move, Keoun grabbed Lissa’s arms and pinned her to the couch “I’m just curious” he offered as he kissed her neck once before answering again “where is it?”

“Datinel Park, Eleven hundred hours, tomorrow” Lissa answered and with she pulled him down to her.

Lissa sat on the durasteel bench, watching snowflakes drift lazily downwards coating everything in a soft dusting that contrasted the harsh icy sheen of the frost glazed land. All around, people bustled about, children wrestling in the snow, young men and women skating on the frozen crystalline pond, and adults buying from the stands and shops across the street. She took in how beautiful and innocent it all was, remembering how she had met Keoun here, and for a moment, she imagined herself in a galaxy where this serenity was more than just a façade. A galaxy where she could spend her days just loving Keoun, a galaxy where she did not need to help Phearan spy for the rebellion, a galaxy where there was no empire.

As if to torment her cruelly, Phearan appeared silently and sat down beside her, dashing her dreams of utopia soundly upon the harsh surface of reality.

Lissa involuntarily hissed under her breath, and though she was sure Phearan had noticed it, he did not appear to react, nor did he make eye contact with her. For a moment they sat there wordlessly, Lissa’s anger growing and Phearan calmly surveying the area.

Finally when Lissa thought she could handle it no more, she opened her mouth to speak, but Phearan raised his hand to stop her and begun speaking, but still not looking directly at her.

“There are rumors of a secret facility on Moorja in the Tapani sector where they might be developing new ionization technologies that would drastically enhance the fighting power of capital ships, something that could turn a place like this into cinders in a moment’s notice. That we have even heard these rumors is highly classified, so we need to mask the nature of the request by asking for a complete copy of all your files for the area, including Thyferra, Bestine, Yag’Dhul, and all accompanying moons before the end of the business week.” Phearan paused briefly to give Lissa a few moments to commit the information to memory. Lissa nodded, wondering why this had been so important that they had sent Phearan back to her for, but thought better of asking.

Phearan shifted his gaze to a monument across the frozen pond and continued “I will meet you underneath victory arch in three days, the time will be one and a half hours later than this meeting.” Lissa nodded, again committing the details to memory. Then Phearan handed her a vidcard face down and spoke “your boyfriend followed you here, he hasn’t heard anything I’ve said, but next time it’s his death, no questions no explanations, just death.”

Lissa gasped and he body went rigid. Slowly she forced herself to turn the card over and sure enough it displayed several pictures of Keoun standing at the outskirts of the park. She didn’t have the strength to protest, but instead nodded numbly and fought to hold back the tears, in vain. As a pair of lovers walked by, hand in hand the tears won and clutching the vidcard to her chest, Lissa begin to cry softly. After a few moments, she was able to regain her composure and wipe her tear stained face unceremoniously on the sleeve of her coat. When she looked up, Phearan was gone.

“You followed me, you idiot, your gonna get yourself killed” Lissa half screamed half cried as she barged through the door to her apartment.

Keoun staggered back defensively “I don’t know what your talking about” he protested.

“Don’t lie to me” Lissa spat “I know all about you following me to the park.” Keoun started stammering a denial, but Lissa threw the vidcard at him and stared coldly, both angry at the situation and him. For lack of something more direct to say, Lissa echoed Phearan’s terrible warning from their park bench meeting “next time they will kill you, no questions, no explanations, just death.”

Keoun’s face lost most of its color and he slumped heavily into the couch. “I was just worried honey, your in over your head, that guy is dangerous.”

“That guy” Lissa spat “is relying on complete secrecy to keep himself and others safe.” She could not stand to watch her lover as while she threatened him, so she turned her head and looked out the window to the snow covered city. “How could it have ever come to this” she asked herself, knowing full well that she might have to kill him herself one day.

“By the Sith,” Keoun whispered “what have you gotten yourself into?”

“I should have never brought you here, your going to have to leave” Lissa said, all emotion drained from her voice, your in too much danger here.

“What about us?” Keoun asked, almost pleadingly. “Come with me, we can find someplace safe, they’ll never find us.”

“Leave” Lissa shouted, raising finger towards the door. Keoun stood obligingly and walked past Lissa, who grabbed him and pulled him tight with a kiss. “We’ll be alright,” she whispered softly as she planted another kiss on his lips “we’ll work it all out somehow.” They embraced for several more minutes, and with that, she walked him to the door.

The hovercar sped down the highway and into a large lot, darting around pedestrians and slower vehicles, almost seeming to dance at the touch of Lissa’s guiding hands. Keoun sat beside her, she had decided to drive him to work to ensure that he stayed out of danger. “So, you’ll be in the lobby, not your office, when I get there for lunch?” she clarified, trying to keep him away from the one topic she did not want to discuss.

“Yes” Keoun replied sullenly, not even looking at her. The vehicle slowed and Lissa eased up to the big white office building where Keoun worked.

Lissa sighed, she knew that things were going to be hard between them now, but why couldn’t he just understand how important her secrets were? Keoun opened the door and stepped out, clearly angry and Lissa knew she was gonna have to say something. “Keoun” she said, turning towards, he stopped but did not look at her, briefly Lissa wondered why she put up with him, but she continued “just go to work, do your job, and everything will be all right.” Keoun grunted and slammed the door closed. For a moment, Lissa was taken aback, he had never been like this before, but she had no time to dwell on maters. Moments later, she pulled away from the building and drove off to retrieve the files that Phearan needed.

Keoun made a show of stomping up the stairs in factitious anger, just in case Lissa was still watching. He made his way across the marble floor of the lobby to the security desk. “Is Darris here?” he asked, holding up a special id tag.

“He’s on the third level sir” a junior officer answered and then asked “can I help you with something sir?”

“Call him and tell him to meet me at B2C21.” Keoun ordered sharply and then walked off towards the stairwell, not even waiting for the officer’s response.

In the privacy of the rarely used stairwell, Keoun sent a brief com message to his boss informing him that he wasn’t going to be in the office at all this morning. At the bottom, he came across an the stairwell had two doors, one a public access door, the other a secure access door to the second basement. Keoun swiped his special id through the key reader on the secure access door and it hissed open granting him access to another stairwell.

Keoun took this one two steps at a time, and in a mater of moments he was in the second basement. Keoun started walking down the corridor, and after several minutes and more than a few turns, he was at room B2C21. Originally a supply area like the rest of the basement, B2C21 now housed a highly modified, but nondescript looking hover van, a small armory, and a number of other gadgets.

Keoun quickly stripped out of his office clothes and donned an armored chest plate and a casual running suit. He had just gotten to strapping hold out blasters and a military grade com system when Darris walked in.

“What’s up chief?” the big security guard asked, already going for a black jumpsuit.

“Rebel meeting at Datinel Park, my assignment is going to turn over something important to a really high level contact. Were going to try to take them alive if we can” he slapped a power pack into his heavy blaster pistol “and kill them if we can’t.”

Lissa leaned against the victory arch, trying not to think about Keoun, and defiantly not enjoying the irony of Phearan’s choice of meeting places. She was a bit early, but she suspected that Phearan had already been here for hours meticulously checking the place, and its occupants out. He had always been like that, even when meeting her for a date, but then again if he ever was caught by the imperials…

Lissa flinched involuntarily, she was in risk of being interrogated and then executed without a trial, but they would doubtlessly torture Phearan to death if they ever caught him. AS if to bring the back the nightmares that had tormented her when they had been dating, Phearan appeared out of the crowd in a simple jumpsuit and headed directly for her.

“Do you have it?” He asked impatiently, not even bothering on the formalities of a greeting.

Lissa nodded slightly and handed over a datapad, glad that the whole matter would soon be over. “I left Keoun at his work” Lissa said pleadingly not really looking at Phearan “he means well, he’s just concerned for me, so just leave him alone, please.”

Phearan’s expression didn’t change at all, nor did he make any attempt to establish eye contact. “Keoun left the building in a hover van with a coworker, both armed and both in casual garb.” Lissa gasped loudly and reflexively covered her mouth.

“What did you do to him?” she managed to ask, her heart racing with fear.

Phearan pulled a small white cylinder from his belt and flicked a button on it’s side. “This just in, approximately half an hour ago, a hover van exploded while traveling down the imperial way, no bodies have been found, but experts believe they may have been disintegrated by the blast. The vehicle, which witnesses say had no markings, is still being identified… the shrapnel from the inside appears to include military grade hardware…”

Phearan turned off the news com and Lissa slid down to the ground sobbing. “He used to be one of us” Phearan said, purposely ignoring Lissa’s pain “and then he turned.” One day he murdered his partner, took every scrap of information he had access to, and started working for Imperial counter intelligence.

Lissa snapped. With a deft motion she jumped to her feet and slapped Phearan hard across the face “you’re a liar, you’re a nerfin liar” she screamed. “he was a good man, a kind man, and you accuse him of being one of them I’ll bet you turned, you couldn’t get over me so you did this all to get to me.” With that, she ran off, leaving Phearan rubbing the red mark on his face.

“Sir,” a squeaky voice announced over the intercom “Agent Keoun’s ex girlfriend is here and she has a briefcase.”

The large man behind the huge wooden desk let out a liquid sounding chuckle and then flicked a button, turning off the holoprojector in the corner. “Let her in” he said into the com’s receiver.

“Yes sir” the voice replied and with that, the door slid opened revealing a young woman in a cheap suit, with smeared makeup and a large black briefcase.

“Come in, come in” the large man said waiving at a chair “Have a seat Miss, now what is it that can I do for you?”

Lissa laid the briefcase on the desk and sat down with as much dignity as she could muster. “I know about you guys, about you being Imperial counter intellegance” she replied. The big man’s expression did not change in the least, though she could tell he was preparing to grab a blaster or call security or both. Then she finished “and I want in.”

Phearan chucked lightly as he listened to the conversation from the other end of the holoprojector. Lissa had been right, he had turned…

…and now he had turned her.

The End