Disclaimer: If I owned Star Wars there would be a lot more Talon Karrde and Shada D'ukal. Therefore you can see that I obviously don't own it. sigh
A.N. Yo! I'm so annoyed at the lack of Karrde/Shada stories out there at the minute so I figured it's time to write my own. Pity I'm not to sure on how to characterise them. So this is just a one-shot test run sort of thing! It's basically Shada's view on what happened during the battle in Edge of Victory 1: Conquest. Enjoy!
Not-So-Broken Comm Units
The Idiot's Array shuddered as it took its first hit in the battle, and Shada D'ukal was flung backwards in her co-pilot seat.
The comm link clicked as someone at the other end turned it on, and Talon Karrde's voice filled the cockpit. "Shada, are you there?"
"Still here boss," Shada replied, glancing across at Ferro, who was piloting the Corellian YT-1300 Corvette. His eyes were studying the scene in front of him but he noticed her gaze and nodded firmly for her to continue. "They tickled us but we can still keep up."
She could here the worry in Karrde's voice as he disagreed with her. "One more hit like that and you're ions. Peel off. You've done enough."
Covering the speaker grill of the comm unit with her hand, she said quietly to Ferro, "Well, you're the one flying. Do we do what he says?"
Shada had always liked Ferro, not only because he was one of the best pilots and could keep his crew together, but because of his fierce loyalty to his boss and Karrde's Second-in-Command. She wasn't going to put his life, and the lives of the gunners, in even more danger without the pilots say-so. Ferro didn't turn away from the battle but answered grimly, "You said it yourself Shada. When have we not been with him?" Then Ferro flashed her a wicked grin and nodded at the communications device.
Shada knew what she had to do.
"Sorry, boss. Can't hear you. Something wrong with my comm unit. Hang tight, we'll get you there."
She heard Karrde's comm click off and then saw the Wild Karrde shudder beside them in the Idiot's Array. "We'll get you there," she murmured to herself. There was a flash of light from the other side of the Wild Karrde, probably from the Demise. She knew it was gone before the white light cleared from the spotting screen. More people lost. All she could do was make sure it didn't happen to Kar-
"Everyone, get to the escape pods!" she yelled as the ship lurched violently and her thoughts were cut short. The engines were gone and the reactor would be at critical point in a matter of seconds.
Ferro and her raced from the cockpit before she stopped dead then turned back, pushing buttons and pulling levers on the control dash.
"Shada, come on!" One of the men that had been in the gun turrets yelled from the comm in the escape pod, but he was drowned out by another voice yelling at her. A far more familiar voice.
"Get out of there, Shada!" Karrde yelled over the comm. Obviously he hadn't believed her when she said it was broken. His tone was frantic, desperate even.
It didn't matter though. She'd done it. The tractor lock was enabled and she flew towards the last escape pod. As the door hissed shut she heard Talon half yell, half snarl her name from the comm link. She jettisoned the escape pod before she had even strapped in and was flung onto the floor as she saw fire consume the minute pod, then spit it out as she rode the waves through space.
Glancing back at where the Idiot's Array had once been, along with the rubble which was the remains of the Yuuzhan Vong destroyer, she thought wryly, not about how if she had been half as second slower, she would have died, but how, at least now, she was telling the truth about the comm unit being broken.
….. ….. …..
Shada was back on the Wild Karrde after being picked up by Corran Horn's X-Wing and returned to her boss. She was currently standing outside his office wondering how he would react to seeing her in the flesh after being convinced she was dead. He had sounded so frantic when he yelled at her over the comm unit to get out of the flaming ship, and again, when she had spoken to him from the Errant Venture, he had looked ready to cry when he saw her. Shada had wanted, more than anything, to give him a hug and a kiss at that moment; most unlike her.
Kreth, she was going soft.
She knocked three times on the door.
"Come in Shada," called a voice from inside.
Closing the door behind her she studied his stern face. He looked… he wasn't angry was he?
She reacted impassively, "How do you always know it's me?" she asked.
The scowl disappeared and was replaced with the customary twinkle in Karrde's eyes. "You're the only one who knocks before you come in."
Shada glared evilly and the stern mask was pulled onto Talon's visage as she seated herself on the couch in the darkest corner of the room; her customary seat.
"Now, before we discuss how much I take out of your pay check to pay for the Idiot's Array-"
Shada rolled her eyes again.
"- I want to know what gave you the suicidal idea to disobey a direct order. I clearly told you to pull back and-"
"I told you before, I wasn't leaving you, and definitely not in the middle of a battle!" She protested before she challenged him, "And we all got out alive anyway, didn't we!"
Talon rose from behind his desk and went to stand over her. A lesser being would have been intimidated, but Shada D'ukal could read this man like a datacard and could see he was more amused than angry.
"I thought you said that the comm unit was broken…" he trailed off and let what he had said to sink in.
"Was it not-so-broken after all, then?"
For the first time in year Shada seemed lost for words. Over the seven years she had worked for Karrde she had went to some extraordinary lengths to protect him from an oncoming danger and he had done some similarly extraordinary things to give her a home on the Karrde after Emberlene had been taken from her. Of course, both had totally denied it and come up with some ludicrous stories to cover their actions although the other knew perfectly well what was going on. But this was the first time they had slipped up in their charade.
"I… What I mean is…" Shada stuttered as she rose to face him, hoping that she could stare him down instead of come up with an answer.
She didn't have to do either. The second she was on her feet she was swept into a bone breaking hug that startled her so much that it took her a minute to hug him back.
"You're alive," he muttered in her ear. "You're alive and that's all that matters."
This was very uncharacteristic for Talon Karrde, Shada mused. And only a few hours ago she had wanted to do this to him, along with giving him a-
Unconsciously, as they held each other, their lips met.
Then the door flew open and Aves burst in. "Boss-" he began before noticing the Captain and his Second-in-Command jumping apart and looking very awkward.
A grin crept across Aves's face and the door closed again.
Talon looked over at Shada and she looked over at him. Neither seemed displeased with what had happened before their interruption.
Down the corridor, the heard Aves yell delightedly, "Dankin! You owe me three hundred credits!"
A.N. There you go! Not terribly exciting but not bad for a one-off. I was in an airport and they had random parts of Murphy's Law posted on a sign on a wall. I'll be passing through that airport again next month and I'm gonna copy it down 'cause when I was reading it I could totally see it all applying to Karrde and Shada! It was laws like, "The best things in life are free and they're worth every penny," and, "Smile… Tomorrow will be worse." So that's what I'm practicing characterisation for. Don't nick my idea!
Please review! I haven't written Star Wars stuff in over a year so I need to know if I'm rusty!