[written in 2012, “Meanwhile, on Coruscant” is a collection of short vingettes that take place on Coruscant during the timeline of the Star Wars movies, and beyond. They do not hold to existing Star Wars canon past the first trilogy, but I found it a very interesting exercise to explore things from the perspective of the common man. This is Part Two.]
“Get yoor hands offa me,” Zizzy hissed, lekku twitching out an obscene exclamation mark to her words. “I am naught yer plaything.” She slapped away the offending hands, the Human snatching them back with a curse.
“Get back to Invisec where you belong,” he said with a sneer. “We don’t like your kind around here.”
“Yoo liked me plenty good when yoo thaught yoo could feel me up,” the sixteen year old retorted. She pressed the recall button for the turbolift again, and then again, as other people were starting to take notice of the scrum. Zizzy thought about the vibroblade tucked away behind her back on her belt and was just about to reach for it when someone grabbed her shoulder. She jerked away roughly, and then punched the offender in the gut.
“Gah! Zizz… it’s just me.” Silus Ordona wheezed, practically doubled over from her fist. “Aahhh, what have you done to me?”
The ‘lift doors opened and she took his elbow and towed him inside with her, mashing the ‘close doors’ icon until they did. “Oh my gods, I am sorry Silus. I thaught yoo were -,” she blushed purple, and tried to help him stand up straight. He waved her off weakly. “Just, sorry.”
“It’s okay,” he said after a moment, testing a more upright position. Silus rested his hands on his knees and took a deep breath before straightening completely. “I saw that creep, I just wanted to help you out.”
“Ha,” she replied, “Yes, I think yoo did help. No one messes with the crazy Twi’leki bitch tooday, look what she did too her friend!” Zizzy patted Silus lightly on the stomach. “I am sorry. But also glad I didn’t have my blade in my hand.”
He paled a bit. “Was it that bad? Fucking ‘phobes. It’s bad enough they’re kicking your family out to the Protection Sector, but they’ve gotta hassle you until then.”
She nodded silently, leaning up against him in the ‘lift as it whooshed them downwards. “Yay. Invisec. Yoo’ll never see me again. No accidental knifings.”
Silus put an arm around her. “Well, I won’t complain about you not sticking me with your vibroblade.” He rested his cheek against the smooth skin of her head, enjoying the feel of the warmth in the cool of the ‘lift.
“Yoo might like it,” she teased, and then added, “Sorry, I don’t know why I – yoo would naught like it.”
“No,” he agreed. “I could come with you.”
Zizzy was listening to his Human heart beating in his chest, and took a moment to process what he’d said. “Yoo – no. Not to Invisec. Yoo are Human. Yoo would be… no. No, yoo can’t.” She hugged him tight until he squeaked that he needed air, and then released him slowly. The turbolift stopped, pinging as the doors opened. They walked out together, hand in hand.
“I could,” he insisted. “The Stryders are both going.”
“Yeah, and it’s bullshit,” she said. “Dana is only a quarter non-Human. Their kids are even less. Naught fair. Manufacturing plant goes under, we loose jobs and then we loose homes.”
“Lose,” he said absently and then urked as she jabbed him in the gut again. “Okay, okay. But don’t worry. I’ll figure something out.”
“Yoo betta naught,” Zizzy said, but she turned outside her family’s apartment and kissed him on the lips before disappearing inside to help finish packing.
“Kasahri, please just… stop.”
Kasari stopped. Frozen with one foot in the air, her arms outstretched and her hands like claws, the three year old kept a manic grin on her face until she started to fall over. Overbalanced she stomped her foot down, giggling wildly until Mommy shouted at her again. Giggles were banished, and she hung her head sadly. Mommy was yelling a lot these days.
“Dana, I’m on the comm!” Daddy pointed at the door and Mommy made a face and then herded Kasari into the living room, closing the bedroom door behind them.
“I sowwy Mommy,” said Kasari, hugging Mommy’s legs tightly. Mommy stumbled and hissed between her teeth, but then her arm came down and patted Kasari on the head.
“It’s ok, Kahssie. I know you’re just plahying. But Dahddy needs quiet. I need quiet.” Mommy sat down on the couch, pushing a box out of the way.
Kasari tripped over to where Shera was sitting in her swing and started making faces at her. The baby was fun. Not a lot of fun, but she would be fun soon when she got bigger. Baby Shera cracked a huge smile at the sight of her big sister, and Kasari stuck her fingers in the sides of her mouth to pull it wide and make an even funnier face than before. She stuck her tongue out and waggled it. Shera made a growly noise through her grin, and Kasari looked over her shoulder to see if Mommy was watching.
She wasn’t. Mommy had her hands over her face.
She climbed over a box, the one she’d helped Mommy put all her toys into that morning, and flopped onto the couch next to Mommy. “You ok? All wight?” Kasari pulled on Mommy’s arm, and Mommy sniffed, and surprised her by hugging her tightly. Kasari squealed with surprise and hugged Mommy back.
Mommy kissed Kasari’s head. Her hair was still wispy, but it was finally growing in thicker to the point that pig tails were an option. “Mommy’s ok, Kahssie.” Mommy’s arms tightened around her for a little bit and then she let go. Kasari squirmed into Mommy’s lap. “I’m just… a little sahd.”
“Moving is fun, Mommy,” parroted Kasari, from what Mommy had told her a few days ago. “We gettin’ a big house!” She pumped her little fist in the air to punctuate the sentence.
“Apahrtment,” said Mommy, and she sniffed again. “But yes, a bigger plahce. More room for Kahssie and baby sissy.”
“My own woom?” Kasari knew the answer but she liked to make Mommy tell her again.
“You and Sherah get your own room, yes.” Mommy snuggled her in her arms and kissed her noisily on the cheek. “It will be good.”
Satisfied, Kasari put up with two more seconds of hugs, and then squirmed free. “Gotta go peetee,” she explained, and skipped through the apartment to the refresher. After she’d taken care of her toilet business, she washed her hands thoroughly, dropping the towel on the floor when she was done mopping up her hands and arms. Kasari peeked into the hallway and could see Mommy starting to put more things into boxes. She snuck down the hall to the bedroom and opened the door quietly.
“I’m just glad you’re alive, Dorn,” Daddy was saying. “I’m glad you called. Sounds like a real nightmare.”
A nightmare? Kasari crawled from the door to the bed, staying out of sight even though Daddy wasn’t looking at her. Nightmares were bad. She’d had a nightmare about a Hutt crawling out of the refresher and Mommy had had to hug her all night to make it go away.
“No, the kids are fine. Yeah, Shera is four months old now.” Kasari peeked over the edge of the bed toward Daddy, and then flopped down on the ground again when he started to look toward her. “You’ve been gone since – well yeah. Three years now.
“You know how it is here. The plant closed down last week and they’re moving all the non-Humans to the – yeah us too. Of course I don’t like it! What am I going to do? File a complaint? Shoot the relocation officer?”
Shooting was bad. Kasari made a finger-gun and pew pewed at the ceiling from where she was laying.
“No, you look, I appreciate what you’re doing. Living on an ice planet until the Empire comes and rousts you all, fighting the good fight for the galaxy. I’m just doing what I can for my family. No, of course I – look Dorn, I know you’re fighting for my family too but -” Daddy sighed. “It’s all so far away. I’m sorry. I just can’t see that you’re making a difference at all, other than getting a whole bunch of people killed.”
Kasari opened her eyes and squeaked to find Daddy standing at her feet, looking down at her. He frowned and pointed at the door, and she scrambled for safety, crawling as fast as she could for the hallway. Once she was outside the bedroom Daddy closed the door and she could hear him talking loudly to Cousin Dorn. Kasari meowed like a whisperkit and crawled down the hall to where Mommy was throwing things from the kitchen into a box. Everyone seemed unhappy. Everyone but Shera. Kasari meowed at her sister and the two girls giggled together.
“Lieutenant, there’s still a family unaccounted for.” The Stormtrooper turned his expressionless helmet toward his superior officer, a datapad in his hand.
“What?” Vash Madine turned around, his hands clasped behind his back, just like Grand Moff Tarkin always stood in all the holos. “Well, take care of it then. We’re helping them relocate but the Empire’s good graces have limits.” He looked toward the transport, already loaded with the aliens and their belongings, ready to be moved from Coco Town to the Alien Protection Zone. Better for everyone that they go – the aliens get to be among their own kind, and humans don’t have to put up with them anymore.
“Certainly, sir.” The Trooper motioned to his squad, switching from his helmet’s speaker to internal comms, leaving Lieutenant Madine in momentary silence. He stood for a moment, surveying the transports waiting for the last group of aliens to emerge from the apartments they were emptying. Frankly, it was amazing that aliens had lasted as long as they had in Coco Town. It was high time to get them among their own people. Why, the Protection Zone had monuments to alien heroes, schools, stores – everything that they needed for day to day life.
Yes, yes. Better for everyone.
He wanted to check his chrono, but thought it would ruin the image he was projecting, that of an Imperial officer completely in control of his environment. They were not running late yet, and there was no need to worry about being behind schedule in the first place. Allowances were made when dealing with non-humans, time buffers in place to account for any delays.
The ‘lift doors opened, and the Stormtrooper squad emerged, two adults and two children contained within their ranks. A Trooper was pulling a suitcase while the parents held their youngsters. Madine narrowed his eyes against the fluorescent artificial light of these low levels, the sun long since set here, though it would not set for hours up where he normally called home. “Wait,” he called. “Trooper, hold.” The sergeant stopped, said something to his men, and walked over to where Vash was waiting. “These people appear to be Human. Are you sure you have the right family unit?”
“It’s right there, sir,” the Trooper said, politely indicating the datapad resting on the duracrete barrier next to the Lieutenant. “The female is part Balosar. He is Human, but originally from Alderaan.” His tone indicated what he thought about that, though Madine supposed that not all refugees from the doomed rebel planet were actually Rebels. The likelihood was no doubt greater now than previously, of course.
His brown eyes scanned the datapad, and then he looked over the quartet still pinned in by Stormtroopers. The baby was crying, the mother trying to shush it. Thank the Emperor he wasn’t going to have to travel in the transport with them. Aliens smelled funny, anyway. “Everything seems to be in order then. Thank you, Sergeant.”
“Sir.” The blank helmet nodded, and the Stryder family was herded into the last transport, their suitcase stuffed into a cargo area that was already overflowing with containers.
Madine clicked his heels together smartly, longing for the day when he didn’t have to rub elbows with this sort of scum anymore. It was too bad about the last family, of course, he was Human and the children were only barely tainted, but rules were rules. They weren’t fully Human, and so they were moving. The Relocation Office would have a case worker assigned to this batch of aliens, to make sure they settled in their new homes and got jobs. It was really more than they needed to do, but the Empire took care of all of it’s citizens, not just the Human ones. The Lieutenant watched the transports start pulling for the skies, and finally walked to his own speeder, his driver ready to follow behind to make sure everything went according to plan.
Everything always went according to plan. No one resisted being moved to the Protection Zone anymore. Everyone knew it was the right thing to do.