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OoM1 | "Twins Basil..."


An even longer time ago, in a galaxy just as far away...

 

A young freighter pilot-come-smuggler, Althearia Cloud, is unwinding in the cantina of Port Nowhere - a long abandoned space station deep in the heart of the galactic core, now operated by the Hutt Cartel and generally considered to be the epicentre of the galaxy’s most illustrious illegal contracts. Althearia always felt at home amongst the bustling crowd of the cantina, though on this particular visit she was unable to enjoy her time there as much as usual. For some days now she had been feeling unwell - sickness and nausea plagued her waking hours each day - and she was growing concerned that she had picked up more than her latest cargo when she landed on Queshh recently, as always though Althearia was confident that a sharp drink in the company of the finest scum in the galaxy would soon straighten her out.


As the young Captain leant back against the bar, she began to scan around the crowd. Althearia had always possessed a keen eye and was eager as always to spot any potential clients lurking amongst the undesirables. Her attention was first caught by the sight of a young Chiss girl sitting quietly in the corner. This struck Althearia as odd seeing that the Chiss rarely ventured this far into Republic territory, she found herself studying the young girl quite intently. Althearia took note of the royal blue hair and the bold red eyes that whilst unrevealing, still somehow remained friendly and inviting. She of course also took note of the blaster strapped to the young Chiss girl’s hip and surmised that she was likely another young upstart trying to make a name for herself and venturing into places she really shouldn’t.


Althearia’s train of thought was however cut off at that point, as a pack of Trandoshan warriors entered the cantina. Bolshie as ever, the Trandoshan’s poured through the door and thoughtlessly forced their way through anyone who got between them and the bar – though it was clear this wasn’t their first trip to a cantina for the day! They quickly fell in line however behind the alpha male of the pack, a giant of a creature – even amongst the other Trandoshans – who barged his way through the already scattered crowd. By the time he reached the bar, the majority of the crowd had settled back into a distant murmur although a few more blasters were now unholstered at the ready, including Althearia's since she could already sense the anxiety growing within her companion - Bowdaar. "Easy Bowie" Althearia whispered under her breath as she layed a steadying hand on his arm. The moment the Trandoshan's entered the room, Althearia's mind scanned back through her past conversations with Bowdaar. The Wookie warrior seldom shared details of his past, but on the rare occassion that he did, he would often confide in Althearia of the pure hate he felt towards the Trandoshan's who made a sport out of hunting and killing his kin on Kashyyk. Fortunately, Bowdaar had come to trust in Althearia's instincts - even rely upon them for guidance - so with a somewhat reluctant growl, he settled back into his seat and pulled his had back down from the hilt of his vibrosword.


"Drinks for all my brothers!" hissed the Trandoshan alpha "Today we celebrate a GREAT offering to the Scorekeeper!". Despite the sheer volume of this particularly drunk Trandoshan, Althearia just about managed to tune him out as she winced in pain - clutching at her abdomen briefly before composing herself and taking another swig from her drink. "I wish you would see a medic while we're here Captain" barked Bowdaar at her. Despite the massive amount of respect the Wookie held for his Captain, he knew that she was one of the most stubborn humans he'd ever met when it came to such matters. "Don't worry about Bowie, I'll be right as rain soon enough...". Althearia was once again distracted by the loud Trandoshan as he staggered past their table heading towards the corner booth where the young Chiss girl was still quietly sitting. As he approached her table the Trandoshan towered over the young girl, casting a dark shadow across the entire corner of the room "Squishy blue girl is in my seat" he hissed, the girl didn't even look up to acknowledge him. The rage building inside him, the Trandoshan lashed out swinging his arm in a low sweep across the whole table, scattering the few empty glasses and shattering several against the wall next to the young girl. Still she showed no reaction. The Trandoshan leant forward, resting his fists on the table infront of the girl and hissed at her "You will make a pitiful offering to the Scorekeeper, not worthy of my efforts" with that, he waved over his pack. As they began to walk across the cantina, readying weapons in the process the young Chiss girl set down her datapad on the seat at her side "You shouldn't have done that lizard". With that she unholstered her blaster from one hip and sprayed a flurry of bolts across the pack of approaching Trandoshan's. As she then rose from her seat, drawing a second blaster from her other hip the Trandoshan giant infront of her once again swung his arm, this time striking the girl across her chest and launching her against the wall behind.


By this point, most of the cantina patron's had either hidden or fled. Many however took up arms and a full bar-room brawl ensued. As glasses, bottles and blaster bolts flew about the chaotic room Althearia simply looked up at Bowdaar and sighed. She then toppled their table and took cover behind it whilst drawing her blaster, taking aim at the Trandoshan as he approached the stunned Chiss girl who was still trying to regain her composure. Althearia placed a carefully aimed shot at the back of the Trandoshan's knees staggering him briefly, he then turned revealing a weapon that he'd already drawn. As he turned however, he leapt across the room at Althearia - catching her completely offguard - the Trandoshan smashed right through the table she was crouched behind and subsequently knocked Althearia onto the floor. Towering over the stunned Captain, the Trandoshan aimed his blaster at her and hissed "I, Kephess make this offering to you Scorekeeper" with which he shot Althearia twice, once in the abdomen and once in the chest. During this time, the Chiss girl had got back to her feet and witnessed Kephess' actions. She immediately opened fire on the Trandoshan causing him to turn back towards him just in time for Bowdaar to tackle him to the ground. It seemed that whilst the Trandoshan was a goliath of a creature, he was no match for the sheer strength of a wookie warrior such as Bowdaar. As the two wrestled on the ground - each desperte to gain the upper hand - the Chiss girl ran across to check on the cantina patron who had just sacrificed themself to save her. She knelt next to Althearia and checked her vitals, seeing that she still had life in her the Chiss girl screamed at the wookie "We need to get her out of here - NOW". Bowdaar, who now Kephess pinned to the ground looked back at the girl who repeated "NOW!". He looked back down at Kephess and growled "Looks like its your lucky day lizard" with that he swung his fist across the Trandoshan's jaw, knocking him unconcious. Bowdaar then scrambled to Althearia's side and gently took her into his arms "Come" he grunted at the Chiss girl as he began to run through the still chaotic cantina.


Althearia slowly opened her eyes to a blurry surrounding, as she focused in on reality once more she immediately recognised the medbay of her freighter. The distant hum of the hyperdrive making for a comfortable air of familiarity. Althearia groaned as she tried to sit up off the bed. "Easy there Captain". Althearia was thrown by the strange female voice. She turned her head to see the still blurry shape of a young woman cleaning up at the counter to her side. Althearia immediately recognised the royal blue hair of the Chiss girl from the cantina, but she felt unable to focus any further as she was still heavily sedated and so lay back down. "You've gotta be the luckiest damn human I've ever met" the girl joked. Althearia simply groaned, not feeling especially lucky. The Chiss girl then turned towards Althearia and came over to her side. "But seriously though, what's someone in your condition doing in a place like that anyway? You should be taking it easy you know". Confused by this remark, Althearia turned her head back and for the first time looked face to face with the clearly beautiful young Chiss who could see by the look on Althearia's face that she did not understand. Realising her faux pas, the Chiss girl quickly attempted to divert the conversation "Yes, well errm... yeah... to survive wounds like that - vey lucky...." "Cut the crap, what did you mean by 'someone in my condition'?". the Chiss girl let out a defeated sigh as she knew there was no turning back. "Captain... you're pregnant". Althearia's face dropped briefly, before rising again in even more confusion. "That's impossible..." "Regardless Captain, you ARE pregnant". Althearia once again turned away, unable to make sense of this development. She knew that she had not lay with a man in a very long time now. As she attempted to hide her fear of the unknown cause of her pregnancy, a single tear crept down her cheek.


Seeing the distress in the Captain, the Chiss girl placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder "Try not to worry yourself too much Captain, I'll be right here". With that she made her way to the door intending to leave the Captain in peace to recover her strength. Althearia quickly turned her head back to look at the girl as she walked away "Wait I...." the girl turned back to Althearia, sensing the coming question "My name's Cutee, I used to be a field medic with the CEDF. But now it looks like I'm on your crew" she spoke in a gentle and reassuring tone, with a soft smile to reinforce her good natured intent.


The following months coasted by for Althearia and her crew in relative comfort. Fortunately, they had made considerable profit from the last smuggling run off Quessh meaning they were able to sit back for some time whilst Althearia attempted to come to terms with the mysterious nature of her pregnancy. Now however, the time had come and the crew had rushed Althearia home to Corellia in order to deliver her child in the safety of full medical facilities. "Come on Althearia, deep breaths with me then one more push" the ever faithful Cutee putting all her medical training into use as she assisted in the delivery. Althearia screamed as another contraction came, squeezing Bowdaar's hand so tight it caused even the fierce wookie warrior to wince in pain. Moments later, the cries of a newborn baby echoed around the room. Smiling, Cutee leant in towards her captain "Congratulations Captain, it's a beautiful baby girl". Forcing a pained smile and finding herself laughing slightly with relief, Althearia looked up at Cutee with gratitude in her eyes. "Right Captain" interrupted the doctor overseeing the delivery "keep focused on your breathing and we'll get number two in a moment" "WHAT?!" Althearia screamed at the doctor who calmly looked up at her "Althearia, you've been carrying twins. Did you not know?". The captain sharply turned back to Cutee with daggers in her eyes, however she was instantly able to see the Cutee had no idea of this either. As the next contraction hit, Althearia screamed once more - nearly wrenching Bowdaar's hand from his arm. Once again the sound of a newborn baby's cries filled the room "Another girl Alth, two beautiful baby girls!". As Althearia rested following the delivery with her twin baby girls in her arms, both Cutee and Bowdaar could see the concern written all over the captain's face. "One child would have been a struggle... but two?" Althearia exclaimed. With tears in her eyes, she already knew what must be done. As she gazed upon the two beautiful babies in her arms "Don't worry my girls, we'll make sure you both go to the best possible homes. A smuggler's life is not one for the likes of you two" Bowdaar and Cutee exchanged glances, both equally shocked by Althearia's decision. Cutee leant in towards the captain "Alth, are you sure you want to do this?" with tears rolling down her cheeks Althearia looked back up at her friend "I love my girls, but I can't give them the life they deserve and it would be cruel of me to try" Sensing the calm in Althearia's words, Cutee brushed her friends hair back out of her face and rested her hand on Althearia's shoulder "We'll make sure they get the best possible lives" she said with a reassuring smile. Bowdaar then looked back at the captain as one of the babies played with his furry hand "On Kashyyk, it is a mother's right to name her children before sending them into the world. You should do this too". Althearia thought for a moment and smiled "You're right Bowie, I still don't know how they came to be. But I know they are both very special girls and they deserve that much from me". Captain Althearia, in the company of her crewmates Bowdaar and Cutee, was finally ready to leave the hospital and eager to back to some good old honest crime. The three of them stood in the hospital nursery, paying one last visit to the twins before departing. They had already arranged the adoptions and staying true to her word Althearia had ensured they both went to good homes - though unfortunately it meant they had to be seperated. One of the nurses approached them as they looked upon the girls "Don't worry captain, we've got them the best possible homes to go to. They will both lead great lives" she reassured with a smile. As it transpired, the firstborn of the twins - Kuci - was being adopted by a member of the Balmorran royal family, whilst the secondborn - Aeoni - had been taken in by a noble family living on the Republic captial world of Coruscant. Althearia looked down upon her girls one last time with tears in her eyes "Kuci, Aeoni. I hope on day you can both forgive me for this, but it's for your sakes not mine that I do this. Just know that your mother will always love you." Althearia spoke those parting words to her daughters whilst resting her hands on their heads. As she gazed upon them both one last time, the twins both reached out with a little hand and each wrapped it around one of her fingers. With the tears beginning to overwhelm the young captain, Cutee placed an arm around Althearia and led her out of the hospital, and back to her illustrious smugglers lifestyle - safe in the knowledge that her mysteriously conceived twins were given the best possible start in life.




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