It was too hot. No maybe it was the bed. No it was the same one she always had. Maybe it was the room. No, she'd been there a week already. Whatever it was, Lt. Psylocke Lammashta couldn't sleep. Then again, so many life changing events happening in such a short amount of time could be the cause of insomnia for some. She couldn't deny that her life did a complete 180 within a matter of days. The Emperor himself had hand picked her for the royal Red Guard. It was one heck of a career change, working privately for Vice Admiral Metieh, then joining such a prestigious group. Fears of total assimilation had plagued her thoughts at times, but she had to keep in mind that this was a step up in the career world. Then there was Lon. How could she have known that he was Han Solo's son? The idea hadn't even crossed her mind until he had practically confessed to it. Oh the irony. It was like a play she had read in the Academy, but she couldn't remember the name. Coruscant. Now THAT was a change. Psylocke had been to the city planet before, but it felt so different living there. It was gigantic compared to Cloud City, Bespin. At least her apartment was nice. It lacked for the view, but it would serve its purpose. And the cost of living was a lot higher here. Her blood pressure rose just at the thought of getting a roommate. Perhaps that was just what she needed companionship. Oh boy, that was a bit much. She liked Lon and all, but with the new complication in their relationship, it probably wasn't the best idea to ask him to move in. She didn't really know anyone on Coruscant though. Maybe I should start smaller, she thought. With the depressing loneliness slowing he heart rate, she felt her body relax as she started to drift off to sleep. Then, as if a bolt of lightning struck her, she shot awake again with a terrifying epiphany. I want a pet! The smell that was something about animal shelters that always made Psylocke want to cringe. She had to bear it though. Hey, I'm a Red Guard now. I can handle smelly animals. She wandered down aisle after isle of cages, looking for just the right pet. She heard somewhere that pets were like their owners. She wanted something that would reflect upon her personality. Something that said, "Hey, I'm a Red Guard. Don't you mess with me!" She peered into one tank that held two Trucian snakes. Their skins glittered in the light just like her own. They were beautiful and rare creatures. They move so gracefully and kill their prey swiftly and deftly, she thought. Then she saw the price. She gulped and stepped away. "Oh well." She moved on to a few tanks over where she spotted some red diamond Hotaru lizards. They looked like they could fit in the palm of her hand too. "May I hold one?" she asked a nearby worker. "Sure, just hang on to him." She smiled. "Okay." She gingerly reached into the tank and pulled out a lizard sitting on a branch. Her whole hand covered it as she cradled it between her palms. "Oh, he's cute. I bet you're a ferocious one. Yes you are! Yes you are!" She turned back to the worker. "How old is this one?" "Oh that one's just a baby," the worker replied. "Eight weeks at most." "Really? Do they get much bigger?" "There's an adult right behind you." Gleaming at the thought of finding the perfect pet, she turned around to find herself face to face with a six-foot, red diamond Hotaru lizard. "Gahh!" She jumped back, nearly dropping the baby. "Maybe not." She regarded the lizard in her hand. "Sorry fella, but I don't have room for a cage to hold you when you grow up." She placed the lizard back and moved on to the next room. This one was filled with sea creatures. She walked past them quickly. She didn't want a pet that lived in its own world and ignored her. Companionship was her goal today. She opened the door to the next room and was greeting by a hundred whining and yapping mammals, mostly dogs. Too much work. She strolled down the aisle, giving each dog a good look over. Most of them made her want to sneer, but she kept her cool. Definitely not good. Up ahead by the door, a woman with her three children and apparently her sister were blocking the doorway, cooing over some pup. Psylocke approached the group, looking for a way to get around them. "Ex..excuse me." One child turned to her, holding a young Dantooinian Spaniel in his arms. With a bright smile her raised the pup to Psylocke's face. "Hey lady, want to see the puppy I'm getting?" Psylocke looked hard into the dog's eyes. That was her first mistake. The dog instantly felt a threatening vibe and barked, snapping at her face. Psylocke reeled back, bumping into a cage of gray Olivers, and scratching up her calves on the metal bars. The dogs behind her also started barking which startled the ones in the cage next to them. Within seconds, the entire room was roaring with barking dogs. "What are you crazy, kid?!" she snapped. The child instantly reeled. His mother stepped forward. "Hey! How dare you speak to my son in that tone of voice!" Psylocke felt the flames rising in her spirit. "Lady, I should arrest that kid! No, maybe I should arrest you as his parent. He could have seriously injured me, and assaulting an Imperial officer." She froze. Over the woman's shoulder, Psylocke's eyes had locked onto a pair of blue ones staring back at her. The boy's mother started to ramble on something about how lousy Imperial law was or something like that, but Psylocke had tuned it out. By then, she had already pushed past the family. She couldn't pull her eyes away. The fascination was just too much. She slowly approached the cage that contained the creature. It yawned, baring it's sharp fangs, then stretched, extending it's claws. You're beautiful, Psylocke said to it. I've never seen anything quite like you. I feel like we have a connection already. It couldn't have been more than a few weeks old, yet it possessed an incredible power over Psylocke. She was utterly entranced. She had to have this piece of beauty. Slowly, she opened its cage and pulled it out. The two regarded each other with morbid curiosity, wondering what it was that had drawn them together. It didn't matter. Only one question was on Psylocke's mind at that point. She took a note of the animals number and carried it swiftly back through the halls, ignoring the raging woman and her now crying children. She ignored the dogs and the fish and the lizards. This animal was perfect, she could just feel it. When she made it to the front desk, she quickly placed it down in front of the receptionist. "Is this a boy or a girl?" With a quick glance, the receptionist replied, "Girl." Psylocke grinned and swept up the creature, lifting her high above her head. "Yes, you will do nicely." "That'll be 75 credits, plus you need to fill out these forms." She smiled at the animal in her hands. "Anything for you." Late that night, Psylocke sat in her bed with the sleeping creature across from her. She stared at it long and hard, pondering a name. "Hortence? No, you don't look like a Hortence. How about Buffy the Empire Slayer? Nah, that wouldn't go over too well at work. Pamela? Jonni Williams?" She sighed. She fell back on the bed. "Who would have thought the greatest struggle of all would be finding you a name?" She meditated for a few moments, trying to pry into her past for just the right name with just the right significance. After several minutes she gave up and sat up again. She stroked the animal on the head and sighed. "I'll just name you George." George suddenly stirred from her nap with a yawn. "George, you are by far, the most adorable kitten I have ever seen." Rent. Phone. Food. George. Psylocke groaned at her computer. Everything was so much more expensive on Coruscant than Bespin. And now that she was without the salary she earned from Metieh in addition to her salary as an Imperial officer, she felt the noose of living expenses getting tighter. Normally, money hadn't been a problem for her. A pay raise within the Empire had been mentioned, but no one had presented her with anything in writing yet. It was only the first three weeks of training. She was hoping that it wouldn't come to this. She finished typing and sent out the ad over the holonet. It was there in the morning edition the next day. She started at the few words, finding it odd to see them in the Coruscant daily holonews. She had bought five days to show her add. She wasn't worried about covering the cost of the add just the other bills. SHF SEEKS ROOMMATE 2BDR, KT, LAUND 500 CR/MO (607) 355-2909 Now to sit back and wait.
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