Luck. (Ayy’shiri, SWG)
“I’ll try to make it home next cycle, Misha.” The soft-toned voice of Ayyda’shiri spoke into her comm not to be overheard by the bustle of the Coruscant Starport. The heavy silk of her travelling robes brushed against her skin as she moved with grace, weaving between the people to the designated port for Aldera, Alderaan. “I can’t promise you though, Artificial Intelligence program begins next week and I have two classes on Quantum Theory to teach before then. But, I’ll try…”
“You haven’t been home in ten years, Ayy. Linn’s coming back in a few days, it would be nice if you joined us too.” There was almost a pleading edge to her mothers’ voice that Ayy hadn’t heard before. She felt guilty, but there was nothing for her on Ryloth even when visiting. “And there’s a man at the Starport I’d like you to meet. He was brought in a few months ago to work with the containment units.”
“Is that supposed to sway me, Misha?”
“I can hope.”
Ayy sighed and held her ticket out to the stormtrooper who stood beside the door to the transport. He looked down at her ticket a moment before having to look back up at the tall, waif of a Tolian Twi’lek and raised his hand. “I’ve got to go, Misha. And for the record, I’m not interested.” She clicked the comm unit on her wrist off and regarded the trooper with an impassive gaze. “Is there a problem?”
“All transports to Alderaan have been permanently cancelled. Please make new arrangements.” A cold response.
“Yes, Doctor. Report to the garrison for more information.”
As she turned to stride back into the starport, her fingers click the comm unit back on. She keyed in a dozen frequencies, her professors, her clients, her students…
Without being distracted by conversations with her mother, Ayyda’shiri finally looked up at the holonews board when she reentered the starport, her face twisting in horror as the aurabesh words registered in her mind.
The Alliance had destroyed Alderaan.
She didn’t believe it, she couldn’t believe it. Her mind furiously raced, trying to figure out exactly what it would take to blow up a planet. How it would even be possible. The amount of resources and firepower, doing it with explosives; even utilizing a class five radioactive was subject to too many variables in the physics.
The starport began to spin as quickly as her mind was running.
The cold floor greeted her with a dull thud of flesh, silk on metal.
“…detect neutrinos takes large detectors and a strong flux of neutrinos. Much effort has been expended detecting neutrinos from a sun, since they are our only window into the nuclear processes taking place deep in a sun—they can get out unscathed, unlike photons or any other particle emitted. In fact, it is found that the number detected is less by a factor of two or three from that predicted using standard analyses of the solar nuclear processes. It turns out that in fact the neutrino is not quite massless…” Ayyda’shiri raised a finger to the Pit Droid that just stared up at her, his experimental AI attempting to process the information she was giving to him when the door to her office at the Kala’uun starport slid open. The Twi’lek swung her chair around to greet the Tukian man that had found his way in, smiling a bit too sweetly as he looked over to her.
“You do realize that the DUM-Series Pit’s aren’t made to handle the AI you’re trying to program into him right?” He asked as he came to sit in the chair beside her obsessively organized and yet still dishevelled desk.
Ayyda’shiri’s expression was ill humoured when she looked over at him, “The AI is working. Sev is just beginning to form his own personality through the experiences that he has. My difficulty has been in trying to teach him everything that I know without just programming it into him. “
He offered a light chuckle and leaned forward to try and kiss the woman he had been trying to take as a lover since her return to Ryloth years before. For over six years, she had held out and by the feel of the palm of her hand against his face as he moved in, this time was going to be no different. Venn’Kyri leaned back against the chair with a shrug. “You can’t replicate yourself Ayy.”
Her eyes narrowed over him, he knew the sound of the click when she set her jaw. All the Shiri women did it, he was pretty sure he’d even heard the Shiri men do it. “I’m not trying replicate myself.” Her voice was low, smouldering and the drift of her attention away from him to return to the holoscreens of data relays on her desk served to answer the question of why he had failed for so many years. “Don’t ever tell me what I can’t do, Doctor Kyri. Now, if you’re done interrupting my research, please leave.”
Venn set a datadisk on the edge of her desk as he stood. “I came to tell you that a Doctor Savienne D’Aquino has been trying to get in touch with you. You might want to turn your comms on once in awhile.”
She waited until he let before picking up the datadisk. Savienne D’Aquino had been one of her professors at Aldera University, teaching one of the more interesting classes on designing a military industrial complex. It had been one of the treasures in the overly boring Architectural program from which Ayy had first graduated. The Tolian’s curiosity was peaked at the memory and she inserted the disk into her datapad before queueing the frequency into her comm.
The voice that answered was pleasant, bringing back a flood of memory. “D’Aquino here.”
“Doctor, it’s Ayyda’shiri. I’ve been told you’ve been trying to contact me for some time.”
“Ayyda! Yes! I have a contract that you might be interested in. I’ll send you the data on it, if you’re willing but I’ll need you on Tatooine.”
Savienne had told her to come to Tatooine within two planetary cycles. It took Ayyda’shiri three to wrap up her unfinished business with her work on Hyperdrive units at Kala’uun and make the travel arrangements to Tatooine. Her family hadn’t been pleased to see her go, but were thankful that she was finally leaving the caves that Ayy had chosen to hole up in to hide from the depression that followed the loss of Alderaan. When she did manage to leave Ryloth, the trip had gone smoothly. The data that had been sent to her by her former professor tested her ability at decryption, it was the beginning equations of a tachyon collider as well as the plans and formulations of building an underground complex for Alliance forces. Savienne, like Ayyda, didn’t believe the Imperial propaganda regarding the destruction of their home. But she had the courage that the Tolian hadn’t found yet.
Courage that struck Ayyda’shiri’s spirit when she arrived at the offices of Savienne D’Aquino, finding a gathering of Imperial Stormtroopers surrounding the Mos Entha building. “Halt!” They called out to her as she approached.
“My apologies, I had an appointment with Doctor D’Aquino. What has happened?” She asked calmly as they ran her identification.
“Doctor D’Aquino has been found guilty of treason in her assistance of Alliance forces. What was your business with her, Doctor Shiri?” One of the Troopers inquired, handing her back her identification.
“We were to meet to discuss a contract on modular station living.” Ayyda knew she was lying, she only hoped they didn’t.
“Would you mind coming with us to answer a few questions, Doctor?”
Ayyda’shiri quickly shook her head, “No, Sir. Lead the way.”
When she was allowed to leave the Mos Entha Garrison after three days of questioning and five thousand credits paid as a bribe, Ayyda’shiri knew her purpose and had the courage to carry out what she believed had to be done. Once she had secured herself in the cockpit of her Belbullab-22, she tapped her comm unit, “Sev, begin encryption on your processors and memory cores. Activate the construction droids and prepare them to meet me at the coordinates I’ll provide you soon.”
“Sure, Braintails. What the kriff is going on?”
“You recall the blueprints I uploaded into you?”
“I’m clearing out your credit accounts too aren’t I?” He sounded cynical. Sometimes, despite his callous personality, she believed Sev to be her source of reason.
“Kriff. Fine, Braintails. I hope you know what the kriff you’re doing.”
“I do.” She replied with a proud smile and clicked off the comm unit. “I know exactly what I’m doing.” Ayyda’shiri said to herself, not out of reassurance, but in the knowledge that she would serve the Galaxy and aide in the justice of this war to the best of her ability or die trying.