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(( RelatedSWTOR Journal (Halonan) Fleeting Chaos. The following is on my SWTOR smuggler, Captain Jacqueline “Jackie” Rees. ))

Jacqueline woke with the uncomfortable stiffness of sleeping in the previous day�s clothes. Grimacing, she rose half-conscious from the bed and had a moment of gratitude that she at least had the thought last night to take off her belt, holsters, and boots. It was then the rest of her woke up and she belatedly realized Halonan was gone.

�Sonuvabitch,� she grumbled aloud, rubbing a hand over her face. �I�m a damned idiot.�

The rest of the night came back to her. After a new peak of trying events culminating over weeks, she felt physically and mentally exhausted; like a hangover without the welcome benefit of booze. One night�s rest wasn�t enough. With one stray look at where Halonan briefly occupied the bed beside her, she kicked a leg over the side and fully rose. 

It was then she spotted the note left on her holsters beside the bed. She snatched it up without conscious thought, cursing again under her breath. Reading the note, the intensity of her eyes were clear with dread. But as she reached its end, she visibly relaxed.

�Heh,� she chuckled at herself. �I really am a damned idiot.�

Halonan wasn�t going to try and confront his father, at least not now. This realization was a welcome one. A weight that weighed her down for weeks was partially lifted. 

Allowing herself this moment, she stretched, letting cramped muscles briefly breathe. Her frequent moonlighting excursions were starting to take a physical toll, her muscles ached from overuse and bandaged burns quietly kept beneath her clothing strained in protest against the pull of stretching skin. Finding her day-old clothes altogether problematic, she shed them and donned new slacks and fresh shirt. Not bothering to tuck the shirt in, she looped her belt and holsters directly over the long top and retrieved her datapad, typing out a message:

Halo,


Kick some ass at the Fleet. What�s going on here, the shit your father is trying to pull, isn�t just your fight. I think you�re right that he�s after something and doing a damn good job keeping us running in circles. Him taking Vanessa is a mistake I�ll make him pay everything for. I hope the bastard lies awake at night knowing just that.


As for not telling you, I really am a shit sometimes. Honestly, I didn�t want you tossing yourself into his lightsaber, trying to be a damn hero. Besides, he made it pretty damn clear that everything was to get at you. Sith are damn obsessed with legacies. Flying off half-cocked would play into the old bastard�s game. Now I�m not so sure. Either he�s playing a longer game or switched up the objectives. Going to find out.


Either way, actually glad you know. These last few weeks have been� well, let�s say that maybe I underestimated you a bit. Good going on heading back to the Fleet, even if you�re too scared to say it to my face. I really was going to break your arms if you didn�t. If that failed, you were getting shot in the ass.


And about that, don�t get shot down. I got this thing about not working with dead guys and I don�t make exceptions. You�re a good pilot, Halo. Don�t let your shit father erase that for a second. As good as he is on the ground, you got every advantage when you fly. Use it.


And remember to get some fucking sleep, otherwise you�ll fall out of the sky all by yourself. I don�t care if you�re worried about me or my kid or how awful your damn father is. A pilot is only as good as his damn sleep. 


As for the rest� I�m shit at this, Halo. Maybe if we get through this, we�ll get another Alderaan. That�ll almost be as good as shooting your father between the eyes. At least mine had the damn decency to do the deed himself.


I�m going to keep at this. I won�t stop. When I know something, I�ll tell you. In the meantime, your father wants me to fight Zakuul. Like a fucking dog on a leash. I�ll take down every Star Fortress in the galaxy if I have to. It�ll be practice for when the time comes. We�re going to make that time come.


Fly fast – V

Tapping the datapad, she sent the message over a secure frequency. She did not seem to notice the erroneous letter her fingers typed at its conclusion. Writing the message admittedly riled her, made her relive much of the recent weeks. Ignoring the aching muscles, she stalked directly to the cockpit and woke the consoles. As she worked, her mind briefly doted on a memory of Alderaan, of a sunset and night spent with whiskey, an open canopy of stars, swapped stories, and a sun rise the next day. The memory was distant now, like a brilliant light of a star brought low by the inevitable rise of a morning sun.

She shook her head, forcing focus on the present, and combed through her old haunts on Nar Shadda. It was time for her next target.

Author Ari
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