Disclaimer: Not mine, except for those you don't know.

Chapter 5 - The Imp and the Jedi: Two weeks went by. Karrde and Shada were working at fooling the others. Little things, nothing overt, because that would be suspicious. What they didn't know was that the crewers knew there was something not right, because there was no way those two had broken down already. Still, as Aves pointed out, if they were playing their own game, it might backfire on them and stop being a game.

Shada was in her room when her comm beeped. "Yeah?" she said hitting the button.

"Shada?" Karrde said. He sounded annoyed. "Could you come to my office?"


She walked to his office, knocked, and went inside. "What's going on? You seem to be in a bad mood all of a sudden."

"I've just received a message. Apparently neither the New Republic or the Imperials really trust us, so they're both sending liaisons. These people will be staying here for a while, and when they leave, they remain our primary contacts with the governments. I don't like invasions, even ones this small."

Shada nodded. "I can't blame you, but I'm not surprised, considering. It's actually almost trusting of them to only send one person each. Let's just hope the reps don't kill each other."

"Good point."

The next day was when both representatives were supposed to show up. The NR rep came first. She hailed the base as she entered the atmosphere and about five minutes later, a starfighter of an uncommon design had landed. The fighter was enough to tell Karrde who it was; only one person in the New Republic had a fighter of that design.

"Hello, Karrde," Anaia Naberrie said briskly, taking off her flight helmet. "Shada, Aves," she added, nodding to them.

"Wow, they sent a Jedi," Aves drawled. Naberrie fixed him with an icy glare.

"And you have a problem with that?"

Shada bit back a laugh. Aves was clearly unnerved, probably since Naberrie's eyes had shifted from pale green to dark, stormy gray. Aves shrugged. "Not particularly," he said. "Just wondering why."

Naberrie smiled wryly. "I'm an Intelligence officer, and the only one among the high-ups who..." She trailed off, looking as though she wished she'd stayed quiet.

"The only one willing to work with fringe people?" Karrde finished for her, his voice icy. Naberrie nodded.

"Pretty much. It's disgusting really, but some of my colleagues are more arrogant than the cockiest nobles."

"Why aren't you?" Shada asked. Naberrie shrugged.

"I'm from Nar Shaddaa, originally. I was a thief; you think working with you lot is going to bother me?"

Anything they might have said was cut off by the arrival of the Imperial rep. His name was Alec Walst, and, after he introduced himself to Karrde, Shada, and Aves, he turned to his NR counterpart. The two eyed each other cautiously. "Think they can be civil?" Aves muttered.

"Mr. Walst. I've heard of you." Naberrie held out her hand. "It's nice to meet you."

"Charmed. You've got quite a reputation yourself, Naberrie," he responded, a touch of dryness in his voice.

"Shall we go inside?" Karrde said mildly. "There are some things I believe we need to discuss. If you'll follow me?"

A few hours later, Shada knocked on the door to Naberrie's room. The other woman didn't even get up to open the door; it simply opened. Jedi tricks, Shada assumed.

Naberrie looked up from the datapad she was reading. "Oh, hello, Shada. Sorry about the door thing; it's an instinct." Shada shrugged.

Naberrie fixed her with eyes that were now blue. "Shada, is there something wrong?"

"No. I just thought you should know; the general opinion of you and Walst is really low, and you should watch yourself. I've spoken to Walst."

Naberrie put down her datapad. "I hadn't noticed," she said, her voice wry. "I can't blame them. The smugglers and pirates I know hate outsiders." Shada frowned at her and Naberrie laughed before continuing. "Ask some of the smugglers who frequent the lower levels of Coruscant about the mysterious slicer known as Anya. I'm not spying on them, I just like being there. It must be from growing up on Nar Shaddaa."

"I guess so," Shada agreed. "You know, Naberrie, you're certainly not a normal Jedi."

"No, and Luke hates that. He keeps trying to convert me, and I"m having none of it." She grinned. "And call me Anaia. Or even Anya. Either one."

"All right, Anaia. So, what are you supposed to be doing here, exactly?"

"Observing, mostly. Making sure we can trust you, all that. Checking out the Imp rep, though I didn't tell you that last bit."

"Of course not. Isn't that indiscreet?"

"Sure it is. But, if you say something to my bosses, I'll just deny it, and they;ll take my word for it." Her eyes changed color again, becoming a pale violet.

"True," Shada agreed. "What is it with your eyes, anyway? It's unnerving almost everyone."

"I'm not sure, exactly. I think one of my mother's relatives had eyes like mine, though I can't be sure. And I know it's unnerving; I like being unnerving. They change with mood. They should be purple now; I'm in a good mood. Stay away if my eyes are black; I'm liable to snap on the first person who looks at me funny then." Shada raised an eyebrow.

"You won't be an outsider for long," she muttered. "You're as insane as most of the crew."

"Yeah, Ghent said something to that effect once. I took it as a compliment. Just hope you never meet my best friend Yuki. Married with two kids, and she's still as hyper as she was when we were 12."

"Right..." Shada decided it was time to leave.

"Oh, Shada?"


"I think it's my duty to warn you, since I know what my sister is like."

"Your sister?"

"Yeah. Your coworkers and their plan?"

Shada froze. "You... how do you know about that?"

"Because they enlisted Mara's help, and Leia happened to overhear, and offered her own assistance. Luke and I have been on the receiving end of Leia's plans before, so we agreed that I ought to warn you."

"Thanks." Shada left, feeling vaguely ill. She wasn't going to tell Karrde about this, no, definitely not. Saying something would be admitting that she was worried that their plans would actually succeed, which they wouldn't. Ever. She was sure of it. Wasn't she?

A/N: Smiles innocently Oh, didn't I mention that my SW fics are all connected? Yeah, I'm creating my own alternate EU. I tried not to give too much away about Anaia here, though I did tip my hand a bit. R&R!