I was really getting a kick out of this whole thing. Turned out that the Lucas-verse really did exist and that all those wonderful characters had really accomplished all of the things that had been claimed.
Okay, so maybe I don't sound all that excited, but I was. The idea of being able to take my spring break on Coruscant rather than boring old Florida like everyone else, really appealed to me. All of the things I had been writing my fan fiction about for so long really could take place.
Well, maybe I wouldn't be able to join New Republic Intelligence and screw Hobbie Klivian, but it made for a nice fantasy. And, of course, I fully intended to spend every waking moment on that over- populated city/planet looking for a Rogue/Wraith to act as groupie for. Being serious had taken up so much time over the course of the year. Now was the time to cut loose, forget about psych class, and live the wild life, if only for a week.
In typical spartan style, I hadn't packed much: I figured that as long as the inter-galactical pathway remained ouvert, I would be able to get anything I wanted in terms of entertainment and clothing. And, anyway, I might as well buy some things while I was here.
There were few shuttles actually leaving for Coruscant. In typical bureaucratic fashion, the New Republic wasn't really willing to shuttle dozens of flights between Earth and Coruscant - something a bout cutting funds - and Earth certainly wasn't going to pull it off because of technology or lack-there-of.
So, there was like one a day, and I'll be damned if I wasn't absolutely determined to be on it.
Now, ten hours and a numb butt later (that's economy class for you), I stepped out into the throng of Coruscant. Sure, I had seen some of it from the shuttle window and was, naturally, amazed; but nothing quite prepared me for the real thing. The variety in species, the crowd, the lack of sky, the stench! All of it totally new. I think I had been expecting something like New York. This made New York look like a Playmobile town.
A rodian shoved behind me and sent me flying out into the crowd. "Asshole!" I yelled at it, desperately flailing my arms in an effort to gain my balance. I think my cry was lost in the din of various strange languages jabbering at each other.
"You had better be careful about what you call names," a baritone said behind me. "Some of these things will try and take your head off."
I whirled around, slightly pissed off that he was lecturing instead of steadying me. "Look, you," I said jabbing a ringed finger at the tall young man who stood before me, "I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. No blaster, but I fight dirty."
The boy/man raised one sardonic eyebrow. "I think I could take you."
I opened my big mouth to protest and then glanced down at his waist. My mouth closed with a snap. Lightsaber. Jedi. Could rip my head off very easily. "Sorry. Nevermind."
The guy ran a hand through a tousled head of dark hair and smiled slyly. "Still think you can take me?"
"I did say I was mistaken." Under normal circumstances, I'd have had a well-aimed kick to the knee and taken off running through the crowd. But this guy was a Jedi and anything I managed to accomplish would have been something akin to suicide. And, of course, I was fighting down a sense of elation that I had been on the planet for less than two minutes and had already gotten in an argument with a Jedi.
Sometimes my luck is amazing.
He reached a hand out. "You're not from around here, are you?"
Okay, he was a stupid Jedi. "No. See the shuttle? Planet three? Earth?" He looked blank. "Christ, someone's been living in a nutshell."
The boy Jedi shook his head. "I don't get it."
He looked a little lost for a minute. "See I'm not from around here either." His blue eyes looked at me and I knew that he was reading my thoughts, scanning them to make sure I wasn't a spy, a sith, or any other threat that made him reluctant to share his feelings. "Well, that's not true, exactly."
"You're from here, but you're not," I repeated. He nodded. "Make's perfect sense to me."
"Sarcasm's not necessary. See, I need directions to the government district. This area of town's a little strange."
"What am I, a map?"
He waved his hand at me. "Give me your guidebook," he said, his voice deepening with authority.
I reached into my bag and started to withdraw the thin, hastily printed blue pamphlet that had some directions. Then, I thought about what I was doing. "No need to try that Jedi crap on me," I said crossly. "If you're polite, I'll give you the guidebook and you can help me get into the military head-quarters since I'm sure that you have access."
"Paula - " his voice held a note of warning.
"Say please." I was really mad that he had been using his force- sense to his advantage. I didn't know who he was, and he knew me. He gritted his teeth. "Please."
I smiled sweetly and handed it to him. "What's your name?"
"None of your business." He started flipping hastily through the pages. His sleeve caught on one and it ripped. "Sith's blood, this flimsy's awful."
My Star Wars lexicon went into over-drive, looking for keywords that fit into different entries. Maybe I would be able to figure out who this guy was. He was about eighteen, liked dark clothes in a Hamlet sort of way, blue eyes, dark hair, lightsaber, said Sith's blood.
There was one entry that matched. But that wasn't possible.
The guy was mumbling to himself, and I strained my ears so I could here him. "This isn't here anymore," he mumbled and turned another page. "That store shouldn't be there."
"Excuse me," I interrupted. "Do I know you from somewhere?"
"I hope not."
The dry sarcasm was another key. I decided to push my luck. "I bet we know some of the same people."
"I doubt it." There was a swish as he turned another page.
"I don't know how you know about Tahiri, but I'm sure she's never mentioned an irritating tart from Planet Three, or wherever in the seven hell's of Sith you're from. Be quiet."
I was never going to let people tell me that reading Sherlock Holmes came for nothing. Or that anything wasn't possible. After all, anything can happen in Lucas-verse. Even time portals, apparently.
"You're Anakin Solo!" I cried gleefully. "And in this year, you're not even conceived of yet!"
Continued in Part Two