Title: Woman in White Author: galactic-vagabond422 Characters: OCs, Timeframe: 10 years before yavin Genre: Romance, first meeting Rating: G Summary: An Imperial lieutenant finds something different on his patrol Disclaimer: Star Wars and related properties are owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. Author's Note: Wrote this because I could. It's a sota prequel to a story I started a while back, and will probably never finish. As always constructive criticism is encouraged. Woman in White O'pahz shown brightly in the sky, bathing the city that bears its name in radiant energy, as it did every morning. Today though, it felt particularly hot, the heat bending the light as it rose up from the streets, slightly baking those that walked upon them. This is all made worse by the sea to the east raising the humidity to unbearable levels. Imperial Army Lieutenant Temno Volkot pulled at the collar of his standard issue armor, sweat running down his cheeks. Its durasteel making him feel as if he was roasting inside it. Command was very clear, while on patrol all soldiers were to wear armor, and helmets, for their safety. When asked if they could be allowed an exception due to the heat, the commander said simply "Stay hydrated." Temno took a break to do just that, pulling his canteen off his hip and taking a swig. He threw a glance to his partner Sergeant Cauto. He was older with the haggard face of a man that has spent years working long hours on little sleep. A scar ran down his right cheek. A shock of white against his deeply tanned skin that started up near his temple, hidden underneath his helmet and googles, and ran to his jaw. You could read his file and find that he got the scar in a Rebel attack on his last tour. What it doesn't tell you is that the attack was carried out by Imperial soldiers, men and women the sergeant once called comrades. He didn't talk much about anything but; he hadn't said a word about that day. Volkot on the other hand was fresh out of the Academy, a shiny lieutenant, attached to the sergeant's platoon as their commanding officer. Cauto, who'd been acting as the CO in the interim, now took his place as the platoon sergeant, advising the young man on how things truly operate out in the field. Mostly it was waiting, they had been stationed on this planet for six months now, and nothing had happened. Their days were spent patrolling on foot in all weather, and nights in the barracks cleaning weapons, doing personal training, and fighting off the boredom that permeated the days. The people of this place were under strict controls, no one was allowed to leave, and only those with special permission were allowed enter the system. Under such harsh rules one would expect the populous to rise up. They had not, yet. Were they too afraid, or just biding their time? That was the stress these soldiers were under. They were waiting for the revolt, waiting for the bombings and insurgency. Around every corner there could be a sniper, an bomb, or, as it was most times, nothing. Volkot did his best to keep the paranoia away, reminding himself that most citizens were just trying to get through life, that he shouldn't let the actions of a few effect his view of the whole. It was easier on this planet to do that, the people weren't demonstrating and there had not been a single attack on this planet since the Empire came to power, a still rather new thing. The Old Republic had been done away with a little over ten years ago, Volkot could still vaguely remember the last days of the Clone Wars and the betrayal of the Jedi. He joined the Army mostly because he didn't know what else to do with himself. He didn't have the aptitude for technical schools, and nothing else really interested him. Maybe it was a mistake to take the officer track but, he found he liked it, the responsibility and the respect he'd earned. As they turned another corner the pair spotted a crowd of people, beings of all shapes and species. Beside him Volkot saw Cauto tense. Crowds made the sergeant a little nervous, it put the fact that the citizens outnumbered soldiers on full display. Although the troopers were armed, that was no guarantee that they could control the crowd. As they approached the gathering music could be heard. A viol, played a lively tune backed up by a higher pitched woodwind, and some light percussion. The two soldiers towered over most of the crowd seeing an opening in the middle. In the center of this mass of beings, a body moved, not just moved, but glided. O'pahz's light caught in the brown hair of a human woman as she swayed to the music. Volkot's breath was instantly stopped in his throat. Never before had he seen anything so beautiful. The way the sun passed through her simple white gown, revealing the lithe form underneath, was like art in motion. His heart pounded in his chest, he couldn't tear his eyes away. It was hypnotic, the way her body moved, so unlike every other person he'd seen. They moved like statues, stiff and with heavy, plodding footsteps, or like limp dolls, hunched forward and gangly, bodies rippling with every hurried step. She moved gracefully, flowing like a river, bending perfectly to the music, never a movement out of place, every motion and step she took was without flaw, a perfect work of art. The lieutenant walked to the edge of the crowd and, noticing his presence, they started clearing a path. He made his way closer to the stage, the frame which held the most exquisite painting the soldier had seen, but it was better than a painting, there was life to it, and an energy, that a still representation could never match. Once he made it to the circle, there was a simple hat on the ground, a few credits in it. This close she was radiant, like the star over head. He could see her brown eyes as they flitted from being to being, and the freckles that spread out between them, little dots of color against her snowy skin. The tune picked up, and her motions sped up with it, becoming a flurry activity. Her dress shadowed her movements, trailing behind, struggling to keep up with her. It almost looked like it was barely able to contain her, unable to hold that much energy. When the music finally reached its crescendo the dancer leapt landing with a twirl and coming to a stop, one hand above her head. Her brown hair, slightly wetted by her perspiration, swung around resting on the front of her left shoulder, and covering her eye. A half grin pulled temptingly at the corner of her mouth as her brown orbs fell on him. In that moment Volkot's heart stopped, stolen away by the glint in her eye, and her smoldering smile. He stood there stunned for a moment until he heard a few credits gently click together. A grin bloomed across his face as he opened a pocket on his belt. He pulled out a few coins and dropped them into the hat, the metals chiming as they hit the ground. With his gaze directed down for the first time, he noticed her feet, her bare feet. Somehow, he couldn't see a speck of dirt on them, as if her skin was incapable of holding any blemishes. His eyes came back up, and met hers again, slightly closed by the mysterious grin on her face. His breath was stilled once more as a little giggle flirted though the air. He stood up fully, finding his breath, and nodded his head. She curtseyed deeply never taking her eyes off him, that soft smirk only adding to her beauty. Volkot finally tore his eyes away, making his way back through the crowd. At the edge, his partner Cauto stood, blaster rifle across his chest. They returned to their patrol the older man letting out a long sigh. "You don't approve?" the lieutenant asked looking to his companion. "What you do with your pay sir, is your business." Cauto replied keeping his gaze forward, ever vigilant. "I was just admiring her art." Volkot explained, "You were admiring more than just her art sir." Cauto gave a quick knowing look to the officer, "Just don't get too close." "Worried she's a Rebel?" Volkot felt a smile grow on his face recalling the brief moments his eyes looked into hers. "She didn't look like one." "That's the problem sir, no one does." Cauto's voice was low, serious, almost chilling. The smile faded from the younger man's face, as they continued on their beat.