Hobbie’s Law “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, at the worst possible time, and you will be right in the middle of it when it does.” – Derek “Hobbie” Klivian --- Characters: OCs, Poe Dameron, Maz Kanata, and bad guys Genre: Action, Humor Timeframe: 2 years before TFA. A pilot for the New Republic is sent to Takodana on a secret mission to pass information along to the Resistance. But her best friend decides to tag along, her Resistance contact is an old flame, and when the First Order shows up it all goes downhill from there. Amazing artwork by Chyntuck and Mr. Chyntuckopoulous! A little Saga, a little Legends, extremely AU. Might have spoilers forBloodlines. I'd sworn off writing fanfiction, but sometimes the only way to exorcise the plot bunnies is to indulge them. Hope you enjoy! More coming soon. ------- Kess had a bad feeling about the mission. In theory, it was simple. Fly to Takodana, meet up with the Resistance agent, pass along the information, and get back, without the First Order or anyone from the Republic finding out about it. Piece of ryshcate. Except the old pilot’s saying kept coming back to her. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong… “Hobbie’s Law,” they called it. Kess hoped he was wrong. Takodana was a lovely world, archipelagos of green against vivid blue oceans, marbled with a few clouds. The ancient castle was below her, rising out of a foggy lake, with deep forests all around. It looked like something out of a fairy tale. There was a large flat plain outside, with a number of starships parked in neat rows. Kess set her own ship, a T-65 X-wing, down at the end of the row. She did a quick check of the systems, nodded in satisfaction, and shut it all down. As she unfastened her harness, she looked back to her astromech. “Becks, go on full systems security. Lock it down and monitor. If anyone gets within three feet, use the proximity defense and signal me on the commlink, okay?” The BX droid chirped in response, and burbled to itself quietly as it ran the standard post flight diagnostics. Kess slipped out of the cockpit and dropped lightly to the ground. The X-wing was a veteran of the Rebellion, long since decommissioned, and painted in civilian colors now. Officially, it had been stripped of the military-grade hardware. Officially. Her parents, both fighter pilots back then, had made a few…improvements. It was more than it seemed. She gave herself a quick once-over. Civilian clothes, worn and comfortable. Red leather jacket, dark red shirt, tan trousers, boots. The only fancy touch was the small golden brooch pinned to her flight jacket, an Alderaanian sunlily. She had one small hold-out blaster concealed in a boot holster, but if the mission went well, she wouldn’t need it. Except…except for that feeling of doom. She began to walk towards the castle. “Isn’t it amazing?” Kess smiled. This was the other reason she had a bad feeling about the mission. It was supposed to be a secret mission, and she was supposed to be alone. Only she’d had trouble finding a location for Takodana, and while she was looking, Mel had found out and invited herself. Mel had been her best friend forever, like a sister. Better than a sister, really, since (unlike Danae, Kess’s real sister) she never kicked up a fuss when Kess raided her closet. She couldn’t think of a good excuse to put her friend off without raising her suspicions, and so Mel had tagged along, thinking that Kess was just looking for some fun on a short leave. Mel was strolling down the ramp of her ship, a sleek Nubian Starrunner plated in gold chromium . Not exactly subtle. Mel wasn’t dressed to blend in either. She’d always preferred to stand out. She certainly would today. She was wearing what she called a flight suit, white satin which left her legs and arms bare, and white suede boots, which looked amazing against her dark skin. She’d topped it off with a short gold brocade cloak. Her black hair was coiled in elegant braids on her head. She looked fabulous, as if she belonged somewhere a lot swankier than a pirates’ dive in the Outer Rim. Kess could only hope that anyone would focus on Mel and overlook her. “You said you’d been here before,” she said. “Oh, yeah. Do you remember that summer when we found out Mom was sick? And Dad was trying to find a way to get rid of us for a while so he could focus on her?” Kess nodded. “I remember. You were supposed to come stay with us.” “Yeah, well…” Mel stared at the cobblestones. “I was being a brat, I was afraid to leave Mom, in case…you know.” Kess nodded. Mel’s fears had been justified. “Anyway,” she continued, “Dad convinced Maz to hire Azra and Sarai for the summer, and sent me along, figuring Maz could keep me in line. It’s a little rough, but Maz runs a tight ship and doesn’t put up with troublemakers. Officially, she was neutral during the Rebellion, but Dad said she passed along a lot of useful information under the table. She’s owned it for nearly a thousand years, and it was old before that. Can you imagine?” They’d passed through graceful stone gates, and were moving along a paved courtyard. Moss and wildflowers grew between the stones, and in the walls. A golden statue of a being with its arms outstretched stood above the doorway, surrounded by colorful banners of a hundred worlds and groups. Kess recognized only a few of them. Mel nodded at the statue. “That’s Maz there.” Kess grinned. “Danae would love this place,” she said. “Full of old stuff.” “She would. She finish that history degree yet?” “Archaeology. Can you believe it? She’s defending her dissertation sometime soon.” They walked into what had once been the main hall of the castle. There was a massive firepit in the middle of the room with several things rotating on spits over the flames. Massive stone pillars ran up along the middle, and various beings sat at battered wooden tables all around the room. Kess looked around, at old baskets and metal containers, at various strange artifacts hanging on the walls, at more banners hanging from blackened beams overhead. There was a band tucked in an alcove, playing a mellow tune with a slow, easy rhythm. She took a deep breath, smelling roasting meat, alcohol, sweaty spacers, and a few other substances, mostly intoxicants. Danae would love this place. She wouldn’t mind hanging out here herself. Except that she was on a mission. Had to remember that. A quick look around the room didn’t immediately reveal anyone who could be a Resistance operative. She had to hope he or she would notice her…or the brooch at least. Yeah. This wouldn’t be so bad. Mel would find a Sabacc game and she’d be free to wander around looking for her contact. Nice, quiet, unobtrusive. “MELVINA CALRISSIAN!” Kess froze. So much for unobtrusive. She tensed up, looking for the threat. The threat was a tiny being, female, with enormous glasses that magnified her eyes to make them seem massive. Or maybe her eyes were really that big, Kess couldn’t be sure. “Maz!” Mel was grinning, her father’s grin, and the two of them hugged fiercely. Kess blinked. Maz drew back. “It’s been a long time. Come to fleece my customers, have you?” “I said I’d bring my friend along, she wanted to see your place.” Mel nodded towards her. “This is Kess.” Kess held out her hand. “How do you do?” Maz gripped her hand, drawing her close, and shoved her face closer to the human woman. Kess blinked, glancing nervously at Mel. Maz smiled. “You have your father’s eyes,” she said. “Huh?” Kess took after her mother. Maz nodded. “They are not the same color, but you have his eyes.” She glanced over her shoulder, and spoke in a low voice. “The one is waiting for you at the other end, near the alcove.” She turned away. “You are welcome here.” Kess looked around. It sounded like a pronouncement. How did Maz know her father? How did she know someone was waiting for Kess? Did she know about the mission? The bad feeling grew and she breathed deeply, willing the knot in her stomach to unwind. Mel was blissfully oblivious to it all. She was chattering on cheerfully, pointing out various features of the room, looking to see if there were any games going on that she could get in on. “Only downside of Maz’s place is that there aren’t enough hot guys,” she finished. Kess had to agree with that. The people here, spacers, pirates, smugglers, ne’er-do-wells, adventurers, were of all species and ages. But even the ones closer to her own age had a worn-down, tired look, thin and wary. One or two males seemed to have potential, although she wished they’d shaved. The server behind the bar was the best bet, with tawny gold skin and generous curves. Her hair was braided back with colorful ribbons. Barmaids were always getting come-ons, though, and Kess never thought it was fair to make a play for them when they had no choice but to be polite to the customers. “If you want date bait, you need to go to Coruscant or Tazall,” she said with a grin. The clubs on those worlds were full of young, attractive people of all species and genders, looking for companionship. “Those guys might have possibilities.” Kess eyed the threesome at the table that Mel was indicating. “No,” she said. “Too military.” Three men, two humans and a Jinvarran, broad-shouldered, hair clipped close, hunched over the table, nursing something in tankards. They had some chance cubes, and occasionally rolled them in a desultory manner, as if they were gaming, but they didn’t bother to put game chits on the table and didn’t seem to be keeping score. First Order? Republic Intelligence? She frowned. Resistance? But there was only supposed to be one contact. Better to avoid them. Kess stepped smoothly to put a pillar between her and their line of sight. She paused to watch the band, bobbing her head appreciatively in time with the music. “Ooo, hell-OH!” said Mel, perking up. “Target sighted at oh-four-five-eight. And I saw him first.” Kess chuckled, turning her head to see who Mel had set her sights on. Then she froze, and dived behind the nearest pillar. “Yup, he’s hot,” she agreed, “he’s all yours.” Mel frowned. This wasn’t how the game was played. “You don’t think he’s good looking?” “Yeah, I do. He’s…is he looking this way?” Mel shook her head. “No, but—“ She grinned broadly, suddenly enlightened. “You know him!” “Yeeeeeeah, sort of.” “And?” “And what?” “Seriously?” Kess sighed and dropped into an empty chair. “Okay, it was Coruscant, we were in a club, we were dancing, one thing led to another…you know.” “In the club?” “It was very dark. There were little…nooks. For, you know, privacy.” “AND?” “And what?” Mel sat in the other chair and glared at her friend. “What’s his name? Where is he from? Did you go out again? Was it any good? Honestly, I can’t believe I have to spell it out for you.” Kess wrinkled her nose, resisting the urge to peer around the pillar. “His name is Poe Dameron. I’m not sure where he’s from. It was only the one time.” “Oh, dear. That bad?” “No, no…in all fairness, it was…pretty amazing.” Understatement of the century. “So why—?“ “He’s a pilot. Rapier Squadron.” “Aaand again, why--?” “You know I don’t go out with pilots.” Mel rolled her eyes. “Sweetie, you are a pilot,” she said “I know, that’s why I don’t go out with them. I know what we’re like!” Mel gave her a long, patient look, then sighed. “But you got together with him then.” “I didn’t know he was a pilot at the time!” “You didn’t recognize his name?” Kess looked up at the banners overhead. She was pretty sure her face was the same shade as her jacket. “I didn’t actually get his name until later.” “You didn’t get his name? And you—“ Mel started to laugh. “Alcohol was involved!” Kess snorted in exasperation. “Well of course alcohol was involved! It was Fleet Week! Nobody is responsible for what happens during Fleet Week!” Mel was shaking in silent laughter. Kess sighed. “Anyway, the only strike against him, as far as I’m concerned, is the pilot thing,” she said. “He seemed like a decent enough guy, we had a lot of fun, so go for it with my blessing.” Mel shook her head. “Oh, nonononono, you are not getting off that easy, woman!” She stood up, grabbing Kess’s wrist in a vise grip, and dragged her out of the chair. “What? What?” Kess tried to dig in her heels. “Mel, please, this wasn’t funny when we were thirteen and—oh, no, no, no! Mel! MEL!” Her friend was dragging her right up to the table where Poe Dameron was sitting. It didn’t help that he looked just as sexy as he had that night a few years ago. His dark hair was all tousled curls, deep brown eyes surveying the room alertly, that mouth—Don’t think about that mouth! He looked up as the women approached the table, eyeing Mel appreciatively. She had that effect on people. “Hi there,” said Mel, with her best Calrissian grin. “My friend here swears she met you somewhere before, but she just can’t remember where. I don’t suppose you can help us out?” “No, I’m sure if we did, I’d—“ Dameron reluctantly dragged his eyes away from Mel to look at Kess, who was mentally cursing Hobbie Klivian and his damned Law right now while she tried to wrench her arm from her friend’s grip. “Wait—it’s you?!” “Me?” said Kess faintly. “You’re the girl from that club! On Coruscant? It was called…Twelves, I think.” “Uhhh…” “Yeah, oh, yeah, I remember. “ He smiled slowly. Kess swallowed hard. That smile was devastating. “It was Fleet Week.” Kess pulled her wrist sharply away from Mel, and glared at her friend, who was smirking as she looked from one to another, as if she were watching a battlebat match. “No one remembers anything that happens during Fleet Week!” she growled. “Oh, I don’t know…that one was pretty memorable.” He leaned back in his chair. “You had a silver dress, and blue—“ “Ah, yes, Twelves, I remember everything now! So nice to see you again, we really must be going.” Kess edged away, still babbling. Now she needed to shake Dameron, find her Resistance contact, and throttle her best friend. Not necessarily in that order. “Hey, you’re not taking off again? You pulled that stunt at the club. You disappeared before I could get your name. And I’d been kind of hoping for Round Two.” “Round…two?” Kess wasn’t sure she would’ve survived Round Two. “Hey, sit down, let’s have a drink. I still don’t have your name and—“ Dameron broke off and she heard him catch his breath. His eyes were riveted to her front. She looked down, wondering if she’d spilled something on herself. Her boobs were okay, but they weren’t that spectacular. And then he said, in a slightly strained voice, “I thought Alderaanian Sunlilys were extinct.” The response came to her mouth unbidden, before she was even aware she was speaking. “You can always find them, if you know where to look.” He glanced at Mel uncertainly. “Sunlilys used to bloom in the Royal Gardens of Sanael,” he said. Kess could barely hear him over the ringing in her ears. “They will always bloom wherever there is Light.” No, no, no. Fate couldn’t have such a sick sense of humor. Poe Dameron, sexiest one-night-stand she’d ever had, was the Resistance contact she’d been sent to find.