Title: The Blue Side of the Force: Luminosity
Timeframe: pre-KOTOR, Mandalorian Wars
Characters: OCs, Saul Karath, Alek Squinquargesimus, Carth Onasi
Notes: This will take varying amounts of canon into consideration. I'm reading the trade paperbacks, so they'll be accurate up through volume 3 (Days of Fear, Nights of Anger). I have a feeling they'll end up being at least a little contradictory, though, mostly so far as Alek's role is concerned.
Skye Darre closed up the final panel on the computer and stood back, taking off her spectacles and viewing her handiwork. Her sister, Alyse, had practically begged her to come work for the Jedi Enclave. Sure enough, their systems were a mess. She'd been working all morning to figure out which memory port was fried, and whoever had maintained them last had the technical sense of a drunken bantha. Most of the system was a fire waiting to happen, and it was going to take a while to sort it all out.
Moving towards the door, she reached down to grab her bag of tools. When she stood, she found herself directly facing a very tall, athletic-looking, and rather confused Jedi.
"Alyse?" The Jedi looked truly perplexed. "Your hair, it's... it's..."
"Not Alyse's," Skye supplied. "I'm her sister."
"Oh." He rand his hand through his dark hair and smiled apologetically. "I was going to say 'short,' but I've apparently got the wrong Darre."
"I'm Skye," she offered her hand to him, and he accepted the handshake.
"Kylan," he replied. "I remember Alyse talking about you now. You're some kind of computer specialist, right?"
"That's me," Skye smiled and shrugged slightly. "Well, I should go and find... someone."
"Well, it was good meeting you, Skye." Kylan smiled. "I'm sure I'll be seeing you around."
With a small nod, she slipped past him and moved out into the courtyard.
Alyse plopped down next to her sister as she ate her lunch on a grassy knoll on the Enclave grounds. "So, how was your first day of work?"
"Let's see." Skye put her sandwich down and started ticking points off on her fingers. "Your computer systems are outdated, so full of dust that I'm amazed they haven't caught fire yet, held together with space tape and wishful thinking, cross-wired so that even I can barely follow it, and your operating system isn't even supported by the manufacturer anymore."
Alyse looked blankly at Skye. "Was any of that good?"
"Nope." Skye resumed munching on her sandwich.
"Oh." Alyse picked a steaming lunch pastry off the plate she'd brought with her. "Good thing you came then, right?"
"Who was the last person to work on the system?"
"Well..." Alyse paused for a long time, trying to remember if they'd ever actually paid anyone to look after the computers. "I think it's usually up to one of the Masters to take care of it."
Skye looked at her sister with a look of pure horror on her face. "You're telling me that responsible adults- Jedi, no less, are the cause of that mess?"
"Hey, remember how I said we really, really needed an expert to come in?" Alyse smiled hopefully back at Skye. "Come on, you've always wanted an excuse to get at our computers, anyway."
"True, but I had more sinister purposes in mind then. Now I'm just trying to keep them from exploding."
"And you're the best person for it," Alyse assured her.
"Come on, you know they only brought me in because I'm related to a Jedi."
"That's not true."
"Isn't it? I mean, I'll grant the Jedi interact more with the community than they do anywhere else, even on the other side of Corellia. But they're pretty protective of the Enclave itself." Skye took a long sip of her drink. "People can't just wander in and out of here, and hey, I can't really blame them for wanting to have a Jedi-only spot. I mean, think of the liability. When the lightsabers start flying, we mere mortals lack the enhanced instinct to duck in time."
"Okay, maybe you're right," Alyse grudgingly admitted. "But you're probably still best for the job anyway. The fact that you're my twin is just a bonus."
"Yeah, I've already confused a couple of people that way," Skye grinned. "'Alyse, why is your hair so short?' 'When did you get glasses?' You should have seen the look on this one really tall guy's face... can't remember his name..."
"Tall?" Alyse echoed, eyes lighting up. "Did he also happen to have blue eyes, a fabulous smile, and dark brown hair?"
Skye gave her sister a look that clearly suggested she was getting way too excited over a single descriptor. "Well... yes?"
"Must have been Kylan." Alyse grinned. "He's only the best sabreur on Corellia."
"Yes," Skye nodded sagely. "I could tell by the way he looked shocked and confused that he was a great swordsman."
Alyse blushed. "Well, he is."
"And I'm happy for him," Skye replied noncommittally. She'd accepted the job at the Enclave because it paid relatively well, and it looked good on any resume to be employed by the Jedi. Still, she'd just gotten used to being around more, well...normal people. Growing up as the only non-Jedi in the family had been trying, but going to University was great. There wasn't a person there who could lift so much as a paperweight with his mind, and she'd begun to really like that.
She should have known her luck wouldn't hold out.
"Anyway," Alyse continued, "I've gotta run. It's my turn to run saber classes for the beginners."
"Have fun with that," Skye favoured her with a wry smile. "I'll continue trying to reverse all the damage you crazy Jedi have done to your computers over the years."
"I knew I could count on you to be awesome." Alyse gave her sister a quick hug before she left.
Skye wrapped up her garbage and threw it in the trash receptacle and headed back to the computer room. She definitely had her work cut out for her.
Alyse wiped the sweat from her brow. Even though beginning dueling was easy enough, it was still enough movement to work up a healthy sweat if you kept at it long enough. Rounding a corner, she barely stopped in time to not run into an oncoming Jedi.
"Oh! Hey, Alyse." Kylan Sheffield grinned, and she did well to remember to smile back at him. "I guess I kind of owe you an apology- I forgot you told me you had a sister, and I mistook her for you."
"It happens," she managed. "Identical twins and all."
"That explains a lot." Kylan nodded. "I probably still should have known the difference, but I've been really distracted lately."
Kylan made a face. "Don't tell me you haven't been paying attention to the Mandalorian fiasco."
"Oh, that." Alyse nodded. "Yeah, it's got everyone on edge, hasn't it?"
"Well, I'm not interested in seeing them make it all the way to the Core," Kylan stated firmly. "Hey, if you're interested, I'm holding an informational session this afternoon. A bunch of us are thinking of going to aid the off-world Jedi in the war, and we need as many people as we can get."
"Sure," she responded without even thinking. "I'm always up for more information." Which, if she thought about it, she really wasn't. Information was not her trade; that had always been Skye's job. But damned if she was going to pass up an opportunity to work with Kylan Sheffield. She was a few years younger than he, so she'd never really gotten to know him that well. This 'informational session' could change that, and that was an idea she liked.
"Great!" Kylan grinned broadly and clapped her on the shoulder. "I've seen your saber work, it's pretty good. We'd definitely like to have you along."
"I'll see you later," Alyse waved as Kylan walked past her and down the hallway. Once he was out of sight, she twirled and plopped down in a nearby chair, a very large and goofy smile on her face. The part of her brain that made decisions didn't usually think to consult any other parts of the brain, and it had already quite made up its mind that she was going to aid the off-world Jedi. Why? Because Kylan, the best sabreur she'd ever seen, wanted her to. She'd work out the details later.
"I'm sorry, but what?" Skye's emerald eyes blazed as she glared at her sister. "As of lunch, this was not happening."
Alyse shrugged sheepishly. "I mean, but it's for such a good cause! And you should have heard Kylan speaking. Have you heard about all the awful things the Mandalorians have done? He knows everything about the war. And you know when even the normal Jedi get involved, we can hardly stay back."
"That's not quite the way I heard it," Skye replied skeptically. "The 'normal' Jedi aren't officially involved. It's a rogue group led by someone known as The Revanchist, and his friend Alek... something. Something unpronounceable. Anyway, they broke off from the Order, and there's a lot of speculation as to whether or not they'll be allowed back in once they return. If they return."
Alyse blinked at her for a few seconds. "How do you know all this?"
"I'm on computers all the time, dear sister mine. I have access to the HoloNet. Intergalactic news is something I try to keep up on."
"Oh." Alyse paused, and seemed to consider this. "Still, you can't deny that the Mandalorians are a problem."
"No, they're a big problem, that I can't deny. But Kylan seems a little biased."
Alyse frowned. Her sister was usually right about such things, but her mind had already been made up. "I'm sorry, but I'm going. I've signed up, and we're leaving in two weeks."
Skye narrowed her eyes and scowled. "You're doing that thing where you know you're wrong, but you're too stubborn to change your mind."
"And if I am?" Alyse shot back. "I'd rather be wrong for a good cause than watching people die because I was right." With that, she turned on her heel and stormed out of the room.
Skye stared out the doorway after her sister. Alyse had been known to make impetuous decisions, but never like this. Skye was certain it had to do with the attentions of a certain saber master. But Alyse had never listened, and it had always been Skye's job to pull her wayward sister out of trouble. Which she couldn't do if she was still on Corellia. For once, she'd like her sister to act her age and make a proper decision. However, that did not seem to be the order of the day. No, that would be easy, and that just wasn't permitted.
With a frown, Skye sat down at her computer terminal and started typing furiously.
The two weeks passed quickly, with the sisters exchanging only brief words both at home and at the Enclave. Skye threw herself into her work mostly so as to avoid having to talk to anyone in particular, but it resulted in the computers being brought up to speed in that short period of time.
Finally, the day came when Alyse was to leave. She found Skye in her room, and tried to smile. "So, well... I guess this is goodbye."
"No, it's really not." Skye looked her sister square in the eye.
Alyse regarded her skeptically. "You can't stop me from going, you know."
"No, I can't." Skye pulled out a piece of flimsi and handed it to Alyse. "But I can volunteer my services and go with you."
Alyse quickly scanned the document. "You mean... wait a minute, what do they need a computer person for?"
"You think those big ship-wide systems run themselves?" Skye countered. "I'm signing on with Network Operations and Communications. My concentration is in networking anyway. This isn't even as big as what I managed in my old job."
"You're coming?" Alyse's face lit up, and she tackled her sister with a hug. "You're the best sister ever!"
"Yeah, well, you'd get into too much trouble without me," Skye grinned, returning the embrace. "Couldn't have that."
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Alyse burst out, releasing her sister. "Let's go!"
Skye barely had time to grab her duffel before Alyse dragged her out the door. They made it to the spaceport with time to spare, and checked in with all appropriate parties. Once again, Skye found herself surrounded by Jedi, and wondered why she seemed to be doomed to that particular fate. It cheered her, however, to think that most, if not all of the people she'd be working with would be of the non-Jedi variety. If she had to run off to look after her sister, she'd at least be around normal people. And that wasn't such a bad deal at all.
When they finally lifted off, it was hard to look back as they left Corellia behind. It was a short jump to Coruscant, where they'd receive their postings. Until then, she could only sit back and hope that things would turn out well. They usually did, but one could never be sure.