Title - Training Day
Rating - PG-13
Time Frame - Post-ANH
Characters - Mara, Palpatine, Original Character
Summary - Mara is on a routine mission and discovers just what she was trained for.
Three long beeps and the door slid open.
Whatever happened to the challenge? Mara thought to herself.
You’ve exceeded my expectations, young one. The Emperor replied.
A few years ago Mara would have jumped at the sound of Emperor Palpatine’s voice echoing through her head. It didn't phase her anymore. She slipped inside the office before the door slid shut again.
Do you remember what you are looking for?
Of course, my Emperor. Mara knew her master could feel her annoyance at such a question. She had been working as his spy for a few years now. Never once had she failed him.
You do well. Palpatine sent a wash of approval.
Mara couldn’t help but smile. Sneaking in and around the private offices of Imperial Senators and Grand Moffs had become second nature to her. Two years ago she probably would have taken four times as long to slip from her group, find her way to the office without being seen, and then slice her way past the security lock. She didn’t even have to call on the Emperor and the force this time.
Finding herself in front of Moff Dorsit’s desk, Mara tapped at the command panel. A few moments later and the security locks were dealt with. Mara reached inside her decorative arm brace and pulled out a modified datacard. She slid it into the data slot and activated the transmitter.
Mara flicked at her nails as she stood and waited for the files to finish sending. Something tugged at the back of her mind.
Stretch out with the force, as I have taught you.
Mara nodded to the voice and called on force. Focusing on the hall outside she could feel one person approaching.
Dorsit, Mara guessed.
What will you do? His tone was almost laughing.
Mara looked down at the datacard. Almost all the files had been sent.
What I always do.
Just as the datacard finished, Mara could hear Moff Dorsit tapping in his code. Hurriedly Mara slipped the datacard back into its hiding place and ran over to a plush double-seat and sat down. She pushed aside the cut lengths of her skirt to reveal her long legs and made sure her dancer’s top was as far down as decency permitted.
Perhaps you could come up with something else?
Why? When this never fails me?
The door slid open and the Moff casually walked in, starring down at his own datapad. At about six steps in he noticed that he wasn’t alone and eyed Mara. She gave him her most innocent and charming smile.
“You are one of Emperor Palpatine’s personal dancers. Shouldn’t you be out there performing for the dedication?”
“I could ask you the same thing.” Mara said sweetly, but actually, she really did want to know. Moff Dorsit should have stayed out with the other officers of the newly re-built Imperial Command Center at Bilbringi.
“A Moff’s job is never done.” Dorsit approached her and gently touched her chin, looking at her. Mara’s stomach churned. “How old are you?”
“Fifteen.” Mara guessed. She always meant to ask Palpatine when her birthday was. It just never seemed to be that important when she was around him. It didn't matter now either. She just needed Dorsit to get a little bit closer, that way she could slide her arm around his neck and it would be over.
“Let me guess, this was Jerik’s doing?” Dorsit smiled approvingly at her.
“You don’t miss anything do you?” Mara kept the smile on her face. Once she knocked him out by cutting the blood flow to his head, she would take pleasure in his humiliation. She would strip him of his clothes and lock him in his office refresher. He wouldn’t dare complain to Palpatine, for fear of looking the fool.
“Do you like working for Palpatine?” Dorsit backed off and started walking to his desk.
“Pardon?” Mara’s stomach tightened.
“Do you like dancing for the Emperor?” He glanced back.
“It’s a job.” Mara let out the breath she was holding.
“A job working for the most vile man in the galaxy.” Dorsit began to tap commands at his desk console, his back now towards her.
Mara opened her mouth to speak.
No, agree with him.
Mara swallowed her words. “He can be ruthless at times.”
“Ruthless?” Dorsit laughed. “Oh, if only I could be as naive as you.”
“My dear, have you heard of the rebellion that is forming against Palpatine?”
“A little.” Mara lied. “They aren’t very big. Surely not a match for the Emperor’s forces.”
“You’re right. They need ships and weapons if they are going to succeed in their campaign.” Dorsit kept tapping at his command panel.
“Where will they get them?” Mara repeated the Emperor’s question.
Dorsit glanced at her and just smiled. Mara stood up and looked closer at the panel display. Dorsit was giving orders for ship and military movements around the base and shipyards.
“And Palpatine isn’t?” Dorsit turned his back on her again. “I might be a traitor to the Emperor, but the Emperor is a traitor to the galaxy.”
Mara couldn’t speak. She had found traitors before, but never in such a way.
He admitted to being a traitor, kill him!
But, Mara’s stomach began to churn again. But, surely we want him alive. He could be of use.
I have all the information I need. Let his death be a lesson to those who dare defy me.
Dorsit stood oblivious and vulnerable with his back towards her. She opened her mouth to speak.
Don’t be a fool. Find a weapon and finish him! Mara could feel the Emperor’s displeasure and her skin began to itch.
And so was the death of those two guards on ReeCee a few days ago.
That was different! They attacked me!
They are still dead. Disappointment rang through her ears.
That was different! Mara held her hand over her mouth and choked back something. It was different…wasn’t it?
HE’S A TRAITOR! FINISH HIM!
Mara almost screamed but her left hand shot up and a decorative vibroknife flew silently off its stand on a nearby shelf. She knew what to do.
Quickly Mara rushed up behind Dorsit. He only had time to turn his head as she hooked him around the neck with her right arm. He grunted at the surprise of the attack and grabbed at her arm. Mara slid the knife into his gut, piercing his kidney and a few other vital organs. She had never before stopped to feel what it was like to stab someone in such a way. To know every inch of the cut.
Mara expected a scream from Dorsit, but all she heard was a shallow gurgle as his body trembled in her arms. She held him tight and still, her face pressed against his back. There was a pounding in her ears.
Then it stopped.
Mara released Dorsit and he slumped forward, turning slightly, dead. No, not dead yet. Mara could see the final embers of life flicker in Dorsit’s eyes before they softened to a smokey haze. Now he was dead.
You did well my child. His words glowed with approval and warmth.
I knew exactly what to do. This is what you really trained me for.
Mara turned away from the body and every step to the door was forgotten. Standing out in the hallway she looked down her dancer’s costume. Somehow she had managed not to get any blood on herself. Somehow she managed to find her way back to the dedication without getting caught. Somehow she managed to finish off the final dance routines before the ceremony was complete. Somehow she managed to act shocked and surprised when word came that Dorsit had been found murdered, evidence of his traitorous ways found with him. Somehow she managed not to cry that night.
Somehow, it was easier after that.
You know I like this story, shows Mara wasn't really as ruthless as she seemed tto be in the Thrawn saga
Exactly what I was going for! Thanks!