Star Wars is the property of George Lucas and LFL. No profits were made and no disrespect is intended with this fic.

Round Robin
Part Eight
by Ili

Ili was nearly bouncing with excitement in her seat by the time the shuttle she was on neared Coruscant. She was sure her fellow passengers in the seats around her weren't too thrilled but she just couldn't help herself.

Coruscant for Spring Break! This is so much better than that trip to Birmingham that my mom was planning. Will have to bribe the friends and relatives I was gonna see with souvenirs though so they won't get mad at me, but that's okay.

She bounced now, as the shuttle was coming in for a landing.

Ooooooh, I can't wait! Hurry up, frelling shuttle!

Finally, a million years later, or so it seemed to the ever impatient Ili, the shuttle had landed and its passengers were disembarking. One of the first things Ili did was to take a deep breath of the Coruscant air. Immediately, however, she regretted it, coughing and wheezing a bit as she inhaled a gust of smog. Having never really been in any of the really big cities on Earth, she wasn't really prepared in any sense.

As she made her way through the spaceport, she couldn't help but gaze around in awe. The place was amazing. And she hadn't even seen much of it yet. So, in her haste to get to it, she started attempting to walk and read her guidebook at the same time. This wasn't the best of ideas however, as she soon realised she'd gotten herself hopelessly lost. Looking up from her guidebook, she looked around and tried to compare the signs she ought to be seeing with the ones she actually was seeing.

Somehow...I think I'm lost. Ehhh, just follow the book back where I'm supposed to be, and I'll be okay.

With that she attempted to retrace her steps and get back to the spaceport. Unfortunately, it appeared she'd only gotten herself even more lost. She sighed and looked around forlornly.

This is why the damn cloning machine needs to exist, so I could clone a pilot with a great sense of direction and never get lost. Oh well....then again, at the moment, I think I'd take any pilot...even Grinder.

She wrinkled her nose at that thought and started looking around again, determined to find her way. Accidentally bumping in to someone, causing them both to go down in a flurry of limbs, she started apologising. The alien she'd bumped into, who looked vaguely Rodian-like chittered something at her in it's own language that Ili took for a "don't worry about it" kind of statement and then turned to leave. She picked up her guidebook and started walking again when she realised something. There wasn't at 20 pound weight on her back. Semi-redundantly she reached behind herself to feel for the backpack she had brought to carry her things in. It wasn't there. In desperation, she turned and swept her eyes over the scene of the clutzy accident, of course, there was no sign of her pack. Shaking her head in disbelief, she came to the conclusion that she had just been backpack snatched and just about started bawling right there in the middle of a million strange races she couldn't begin to name.

Not knowing what to do, she pushed her way through the throng and leaned heavily against a wall, staring down at the guidebook in her hands. Not only was she a thousand light-years from home, she had no freaking clue how to get back to the spaceport, even, she had no clothes or toiletries, and in fact, only had her money which she kept on her and the damn guidebook which was quickly becoming no help at all.

She sighed Why can't you be the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy? she thought at the guidebook bet it'd be a lot more help than you. Ili then had the sudden absurd thought that the reason for all her troubles was that she'd forgotten to pack a towel.

Always seem to forget something. then the totall absurdity of that thought and the depressingness of her situation hit her and she slumped against the wall, alternately laughing hysterically and crying her eyes out at the same time. If anyone were to come upon her with even the intention to help her, they might think twice now that she definitely appeared to be acting certifiably insane.

So of course, if anyone was going to help her, it would have to be someone who had experience dealing with those certifiably insane.

A few moments into Ili's attack of total hysteria a soft voice broke her out of it. "Are you okay, ma'am?." It took a few moments but slowly Ili's sobs turned to sniffles and her snorts of laughter to simple giggles, then finally she had enough control over herself to wipe her eyes, catch her breath, and look at the person who'd addressed her. Her eyes widenened in surprise as she realised she was looking into the nicest pair of blue eyes she'd ever seen. "Erm." she intelligently replied to the nice pair of blue eyes.

The man shook his head slightly, "Well, at least you can talk. Are you lost?"

Ili now blushed crimson at the embarassment of her situation and nodded slowly, then proceeded to blurt out the entire horrible tale from start to finish of her first few hours on Coruscant, finishing with, "All I wanna do is find the damn reception and collapse in a chair!" she cried plaintively.

The man looked at her curiously for a moment, then his face broke out in what Ili would come to know as a rare grin. "You're lucky you ran into me then, I'm headed to the same place." he stuck out his hand, "Derek Klivian, but most people call me Hobbie."

Ili's eyes widened again and she most definitely squeaked in surprise. She just barely caught herself before she started either worshipping his feet, kissing him, or drooling and did the sensible thing. She shook his hand. "Iliana Sartosi. It's nice to meet you, Hobbie." Ili almost started bouncing again, it was Hobbie! This was the best day ever!

Leading her to his waiting speeder, Hobbie explained a bit about Coruscant in that soft, slightly dour, voice of his and soon got Ili comfortable enough with him to not drop into drooling and actually converse. Before she knew it, he was pulling up outside of the exact place they needed to be and Hobbie was promising her there would be a shopping trip later on and she could replace her things.

Throwing her arms around Hobbie's neck impulsively, Ili hugged him. "Thank you SO much! You're like, a godsend." and then she kissed him on the cheek. For almost a moment, Ili thought she saw a faint blush tinge his ears but decided against it as he led her inside.

Continued in 9