Ask Royal Flush

Pidge Batana

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It was one of the nicer places on Corellia, Pidge thought. She, having been a dancer-by-night, knew a good establishment on sight. The table tops were devoid of grease and the floor boasted no spilled drinks or bodily fluid. Even the entertainment was what the haughty might call ‘refined’, though she knew even the rich paid to watch more... lewd things. Only a month ago, she almost ended up as a personal entertainer for a senator in order to glean syndicate information. Thankfully, it had not come to that as she had faked brainrot plague to escape the precarious situation, aided by her great medical droid companion. My... how her life had changed. The thrill of it all kept her going.

Now, however, after a long day of attempting to remotely slice a weapons permit database, every inch of her teal body was thoroughly exhausted. The street fight before lunch likely had done nothing to help either, and the Twi’lek nursed a bruised jaw. Gingerly sipping a fluorescent orange cocktail, she surveyed her surroundings, soaking in every detail of the place: the band, the lights, the drunk patrons, the busy bartenders. It felt pleasantly of home. That is, until someone rudely decided to try and nab her bag. The theif, likely expecting a few credits, would be over the moons to find several pieces of expensively modded, less than legal, tech.

“Hey!” The sharp voice cut easily through the general murmur of subdued joyousness. ”That is my bag, thank you! Kark it!” The duros opportunist had run off, straight into a crowd of people.

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Dr Ilana Morata

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She was trying hard to relax.

For once, the Good Doctor was not on the job, nor was she seeking out the next flow of credits. She was within a crowd of people, amber eyes gazing at the crowd when suddenly someone barreled straight into her, cursing a streak as she stumbled back.
"Watch it, you idiot," she snarled, and he made as though he was going to run again.

At the sound of hearing a missing bag, his eyes widened. Hers narrowed.

Her heel lashed out into his side and he crumpled again.

"Apologize, and return it. Now," she seethed, amber eyes cold, features pulled taut. She was many things... but if he was the thief, she wasn't going to let him get away. But she already had her evening soured, someone would have to pay.

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Pidge Batana

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“Excuse me. Move. Now! Please?” Pidge had plunged headfirst into the crowd after the man, but they closed in on her, forcing the Twi’lek to result to less polite applications of crowd management. A well placed elbow to a stubborn graying man and drink splashed in another’s eyes gave her a path. Bracing herself to throw a well earned punched, she skidded to a stop to find the thief already crumpled on the ground. A mixture of frustration and relief washed hot over her.

“Thank you very much,” Pidge turned to find a stunning pale-haired woman. There was no sign of the blush receding now. “He has no need to apologize. I have no reason to forgive him, so I will give him this instead.” A firm kick was aimed under his ribs. It was meant to hurt, though, not cause internal damage. After working trauma at an emergency medbay for a bit, Pidge couldn’t stomach actually really hurting anyone. With a whispered curse, she snatched up her satchel and straightened up. This cantina would not be receiving a second visit from her, as far as she was concerned. It wasn’t that she despised breaking bread with criminal, it was just that they became less welcoming when her goods were stolen.

Eyes still fixated on the amber ones, Pidge managed to crack a smirk.
“I would love to offer a deal to this hero, here. What’s your name? Can I get you a drink? Call me Pidge.”

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Dr Ilana Morata

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She was seething, still wanting to take down the thief, but the woman intercepted before she could kick him again, landing a kick of her own. If she was the laughing type, she would have found it funny, but instead merely stared bemusedly at the energetic femme before her. "No problem," came the dry reply. She met eyes with the Twi'lek, and considered her words.

Why was it when she sought solitude people appeared? Perhaps she ought to become a Ranger after all, maybe then she'd finally be left alone.

"Can't say no to a free drink, Pidge," came the rasped voice, a slight smile touching her lips, but the look didn't reflect in her eyes. A hero, huh? Guess Goody-Two Shoes behavior was beginning to rub off on her. How disgusting.

It was then she noted the bruise, and the smile vanished, but she tilted her head.
"Ilana, lovely. Lead the way."

Not an auspicious greeting, but it'd have to do.


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Pidge Batana

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Ilana, as the woman had introduced herself, did not seem in the mood for company. Her eyes were as cold as the snow brought to mind by her hair. Nevertheless, the smirk was enough to grow Pidge’s into a full blown, is slightly mischievous smile. Lovely? Lead the way? She would be glad to. Still- Ilana’s hesitancy led her to dial back on the overly bubbly persona that frequently accompanied drink. The twi’lek might not be shy, but she did her best to be tactful. With a gentle, questioning hand at the woman’s elbow, she guided them towards the bar. Either Ilana had not had much to drink, or she could hold her liquor exceedingly well, as her step was steady and her eyes alert.

“What are you in the mood for? Sweet? Spicy? I’m having a Jawa Juice.” The order was Pidge’s usual. Fruity with a bit of a kick and just enough alcohol she could have three before having to hail a speeder home. Tonight she’d likely have only two. Gorgeous women were better when you could see them straight. Unsure where to begin other than small talk, she continued, eyes lingering on the smooth alabaster face. “Whereabouts are you from? I’m no local. Coruscanti, actually. Here for what I suppose you could call work. I could use a guide to tell me the best places around. You’re pretty. Put together. I even have some special tech for pay if you’re interested”

The twi’lek’s eyes darted around the woman‘s face, searching for any hints, signs of emotion. Hopefully she hadn‘t come on too strong, as seemed frequently to be the case. She’d gotten a bit rusty since... last time.

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Dr Ilana Morata

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Well, this Pidge woman certainly seemed... friendly. Amber eyes tracked over the woman's face, before settling on her lips when she asked what sort of drink she wanted. An elbow propped on the bar, a fist curling beneath her jaw as she regarded her, finally offering the barest sliver of a smile. "Sweet, for sure. After a long night and a beautiful partner, something sweet can't hurt," came the low reply, listening to the other woman talk with a bemused stare.

"I'm not local either," she confessed, giving a one-shouldered shrug. "Just here for business, though tonight is for pleasure." Amusement glimmered in amber eyes at the woman's bluntness of physical attraction. She tilted her head slightly, lips pursed thoughtfully. "Special tech, you say? Sounds promising," came the dry reply, gaze traveling up to meet her own gaze.

"A slicer, perhaps? You exude an aura of..."
her eyes deliberately tracked up and down the woman's figure, giving a fraction of a wider smile.

"...charming intelligence."


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Pidge Batana

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Pidge’s grey-green eyes danced with the amber, entranced, looking for a place to rest, then wanting to take in more. A genuine sliver of a smile lit up Ilana’s face, bringing with it a new beauty. Who needed drinks when such an intoxicating person was before her. Some people simply possessed an aura. It was alluring, tempting, perhaps even with a hint of danger, like a creature luring in food with a shining light. The twi’lek laughed silently at herself for being such a sappy, hopeless romantic. This was a striking lady at a bar, not a mythical angel. They were not star-crossed lovers. A pleasurable night though... that was something she could help with.

A pleased smile creased Pidge’s delicate yet hard face as Ilana’s eyes roamed the curvatures of her figure. “Correct! I’m flattered by what you think of my aura. As for my tech, I have everything from spikes to more... complicated orders. Tracking devices of every sort, card reader chips, security go-around, you know the sort, I’m sure.”

Leaning against the counter slightly, hips cocked to one side, Pidge motioned for the bartender. He was a weathered Togruta in a violet button-up. The affect of professional grace that accompanied him was slightly dampened by a layer of sweat on his forehead and at the cuffs of his rolled-up sleeves. “Your house-best sweet drink and a Jawa Juice, please.” The togruta raised an eyebrow at the women curiously but said nothing as he began mixing.

“What are your plans for tonight?” The approach was direct, but Pidge thought she might as well give it a try.

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Dr Ilana Morata

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The woman's moods were like quicksilver, darting in and out constantly from one mood to the next. It left Ilana feeling a little lost, but she tried her best to keep her features mostly neutral, nodding along. "I'll admit, I know nothing of complicated orders," she replied, but amber eyes were thoughtful, "at least, not beyond my own experience. Perhaps I may yet ask for your help for such a later order."

"No plans at all," came the dry rejoinder, eyeing the woman thoughtfully with a subtle tilt of her snow-haired head. "And what of you, lovely? Grand schemes to take over the galaxy?" She was only partially teasing, of course. But such ambitions were in a similar vein to what she aspired.

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Pidge Batana

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Ilana had something about her that fascinated Pidge, and when that happened, nothing could quell the Twi’lek‘s curiosity. Most of the people Pidge tried to pick up were all in or completely lacked interest. The snowy haired woman, on the other hand, seemed distantly curious, perhaps even aloof, as if she were conducting an experiment with the whole affair and found it all faintly amusing. The thought both frustratingly annoyed and motivated the teal beauty.

No plans For the night? Pidge could easily keep her busy. And there was that ‘lovely’ again- alluring, taunting. “Not the whole galaxy just yet.” She smirked. “But maybe some of Corellia. I discovered a fascinating database earlier with public, criminal, and medical records stored in a vault by CorSec. You have anyone you want to learn more about?”

Pidge knew exactly who she was going to try to investigate. Ilana had provided suspiciously little information about herself and Pidge was in the business of information. Perhaps the woman could be of more use than a beautiful companion- perhaps she was a senator or doctor or criminal or ringleader. “We should head out soon, if we want to take advantage of the guard change at at the databank building. Unless, of course, you wanted another drink.”

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Ah, but she was lovely. In all the emotional changes, there was a hint of frustration, of curiosity. Briefly, Ilana considered letting the woman go, and letting her do her own thing and take over the galaxy. Or, as she put it, some of Corellia. But she had mentioned accessing databases... her amber eyes were keenly fixated now, expression thoughtful. "I've got a couple people, yes," she demurred, but that was a partial truth. One of them, she knew something about; Corran seemed an open-book type. But Lorcan... his was very, very much closed, and she wanted to know about what drove the bitter, sarcastic man.

"Hmm," she replied, downing her drink quickly and snagging her own bag, giving the woman a cool-eyed stare. "I'm game, then. Lead the way." She knew she was playing short and wild with this Pidge, but somehow, she felt a boring evening would suddenly become so much more interesting than she had gambled it to be.

And that was at least a shade better than spending a night alone. Things might be looking up.


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Pidge Batana

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At this point, Pidge’s brain was nagging at her to leave to woman and forget it all. She had been met with nothing but coolness for her advances. Ilana owed her nothing, but was the pursuit worth the effort? Kriff, she could not even tell if the woman was the least bit interested or simply so bored and lonely she was toying. Generally, Pidge considered herself a good reader of people, but the woman was an enigma. That was the killer. It was a mystery, one the Twi’lek couldn’t resist if she was paid a million credits and given a luxury star liner. Who was this woman? Why did it feel as if she could share straight into the soul?

Rather than ask questions about the people Ilana seemed suddenly preoccupied with, Pidge threw back a bitter shot and got up. If the woman would not shy away, she would place a soft hand on the small of her back. The two worked their way through the crow, some of whom were now drunkenly dancing, narrowly avoiding hitting tables or waiters. Finally, the cool air hit Pidge’s face and bare arms. She wondered what her father would tell her to do. Or Baymon? Actually, he was probably not the best ma to take advice from, despite his smooth flirting. For sure, neither would advise breaking into planetary government security, but then again, neither was a galaxy-class slicer with a high up seat in a corporation.

Pidge took the main streets, safer for two women alone at night. The Twi’lek could fight, but she didn’t like the odds if she ran into a gang. Not to mention, although her companion seemed fit enough to take out a thief, she was not about to test her on armed men. Few people were out- Mostly maintenance workers clearing the lane or people waiting to get into clubs And meet friends. The CorSec research center was close, as evidenced by the hulking marble building that towered through the smog visible as soon as they tuned the corner. “The guard outside should change in-“ She glanced at her datapad that had appeared from her vest “-Two minutes and thirty-seven seconds. Then we need to book it to the internal vault doors. The external ones don’t lock. What do you say?”

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Dr Ilana Morata

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It was interesting the woman wanted her, an absolute stranger, to come along, though perhaps not strange at all. It would be useful to have a scapegoat if all went bad, and though Pidge certainly hit on her and seemed to enjoy her company despite the frustration, Ilana would have no doubts whatsoever she would ditch her if the going got tough. She was used to mobsters and high-ranking underground men, this woman seemed cut from similar cloth. At the touch to her spine, however, she leaned slightly into the woman.

After all, she would be expecting her to lean away, not lean in.

"So why CorSec?" she rasped, tilting white brows. "And don't tell me you love just giving random women a good thrill busting down doors."

Though to be frank, being caught would be the least of her problems. There were far more problems awaiting... namely, in a beautiful, blue-skinned package.


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Pidge Batana

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With everything going better than expected, Pidge could not help but smile at her situation. She was a breath away from having all her questions answered and Ilana seemed to be enjoying herself, if her acceptance of touch was any indicator. It was a good night. A cool breeze blew the alley, making goosebumps rise on the twi’lek’s skin. It was blissfully quiet. That is, until Ilana broke the silence with a reasonable, if slightly delayed question. It was past the time for her to be questioning their mission, and she’d better not back out.

“CorSec? Because they happen to have all planetary records and some off-planet record of local syndicate activity. All the juicy gossip and blackmail fuel.“ Pidge was only half joking. Unbeknownst to Ilana, she had hacked a medical database on Coruscant to gain leverage for blackmail. In that case, it was illegitimate children. Who knew what she could dig up here. Imitating the cocked eyebrow, she continued. “Only the pretty ones. Sometimes men, too, but less often. They tend to attempt and take over my operations or play hero and ‘keep me safe’. I must admit, it’s rare to have somebody take me up on it. Quite thrilling, actually.”

A shuffling outside the building appeared as a speeder dropped off two new armed figures. Not wanting to give away their location, Pidge typed her instructions on her datapad for her partner in crime to read. << Guards will give briefing. We run on my signal. Get inside and stay in the shadows. Be quiet.>>

There was no time to search for understanding in the other woman’s eyes. The guards had begun the briefing, and unless anything out of the ordinary had occurred, it would be dangerously short. Pidge nodded to signal the begin of the mad dash and lithely darted towards the building, her dancer’s feet landing lightly.

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Dr Ilana Morata

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The woman was mad, but beautiful.

She pulled on a half-mask as the other woman prepared to run; if there were any security footage, it would hardly do to be immediately recognizable, and it would be helpful to have some excuse if they were caught.

She darted forward lithely with Pidge, almost gracefully. The perk, and downside, to always working with the Syndicate meant you were always better with running than you were with engaging in combat. If she was such an expert on hacking, then why not hack remotely? Why risk attacking CorSec from within?

Whomever she wanted dirt on, it had to be important for a client. Which meant Ilana had to prove useful... to also get a promising cut. Information was fine and dandy... but being useful and having a useful connection more so.

Being annoyingly vague and distant helped too. She felt that if Pidge ever slaked her curiosity of her, her usefulness would run its' course. Like her old prof told her; play your cards close and your credits closer. And she always played to win.


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Pidge Batana

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The white-haired woman was full of surprises. It did not seem to be her first heist, as she charged in, athletic, fearless. There was a slightly feline nature to the woman, an unparalleled grace. Even her attitude fit the bill. Much like most felines, she seemed to enjoy toying with her prey. Pidge just hoped she wasn’t it. There was little in the galaxy more dangerous than a capable woman out for her own skin, and she had a hunch Ilana was. She seemed a strange mix of restless and lonely. Confident in herself and seeking adventure, but unable to stay put long enough to build anything meaningful. It was almost sad. It was just a fling, like the dozens she had had before, but the twi’lek felt torn. Part of her wanted to drop the aloof woman. The other part wanted to take her home, give her a drink, and wrap her warmly in a blanket. Pidge reconsidered the second idea- probably not something the other woman would tolerate. Maybe ditch the blanket for something else. And then there was that blasted curiosity.

As expected, the outside doors wee unlocked and slid open easily, immediately engulfing the women with the dry, dusty, warm smell of unused data computers. The guards did not blink an eye, but nonetheless, Pidge stayed safely behind counters, couching behind corners. Now for the locked doors. The teal alien popped out her datapad and extended a plug to hook up to the lock port. The program did the rest, running all possible combinations at hyperspeed. A few tense minutes later, the lock clicked and the second door slid open, revealing a room with a ceiling vaulted so high, it was invisible in the dark. Wall to wall were shelves of datapads and an access terminal sat in an alcove.

“There.” Pidge pointed. “The system is open, but inaccessible from outside the building. It has output location sensors.” She waited patiently for Ilana to close in, then took up a spot beside her. “I’ll keep watch.”

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Dr Ilana Morata

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She went along with the other woman, partially out of curiosity, but also partly for a need to understand. She didn't need Ilana to flex her technical prowess; at the hands of the Rangers, perhaps, their lax errors made for the woman's own advantage.

The smell was one that instantly transported her to her university days. Not a skulker was she, but the shadows and darkness worked to her advantage, despite her bone-pale coloring she was used to the darkness. Her fingers ghosted across Pidge's arm when she stalked past to the databases, her voice low, almost sultry notes in the woman's ear.

"Thank you."

Soft, simple words, but she pulled on gloves and got to work.

First up, the files to Ranger Corran Velt. Amber eyes narrowed, senses still finely tuned to the surroundings for both the women. But she had to admit... She was duly impressed by Pidge's own usefulness. Perhaps there were intelligent people in the galaxy after all.


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Pidge Batana

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The cold brush from the pale woman’s hand on her bare arm sent a shiver up her Pidge’s spine. Whether it was from the temperature or touch itself was unclear, but it left the Twi’lek feeling uneasy, as if she were being taunted by the woman, played with as if she were a doll whose only purpose was entertainment. It was just like her job as a dancer, but at least she was paid for that, for the blatant stares. Why did her feelings have to be so kriffing complicated? Every part of her heart wanted to like the woman, but every part of her analyst’s brain was signaling danger.

The large room amplified the muffled taps of fingers on a keyboard. Tap tap tap tap tap tap. There was a short pause. Tap tap tap tap. Pidge mentally counted the letters. Six in the first name, four in the last. So it, for better or for worse, wasn’t her Ilana was interested in. Not that she would find anything under the name Pidge, of course. Then it occurred to her. Her partner in crime had never shared her last name. Unless the slicer wanted to search through hundreds of entries linked to an ‘Ilana’, she would need to figure it out.

“I just realized we were never properly introduced. My name in full is Pidgelle Batana. It’s atrocious and sounds like an absurd beauty cream, which is why I go by Pidge. And you are Ms.? Or perhaps Mrs?” Pidge certainly hoped she was not married after her advances. That would be an awkward conversation. She had never had to face angry spouses before, but she wasn’t about to start now. Time ticked by until it was the teal alien’s turn. All she could hope for was that the woman would not simply take the information and run. She atleast wanted a goodbye.

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She paused midway through her search report at Pidge's words breaking the focused silence. She glanced up towards the woman, blinking, before realizing the woman was perhaps wondering why she would willfully go with her on this madman dash through high security after just meeting; truth was, this was better than being alone in a bar with only low-intelligence scum suckers intent to score. "Dr. Ilana Morata, a miss," she replied succinctly, but she contemplated the woman once more, head tilted slightly. "Pidgelle… interesting, lovely, unique," the words floated from her lips airily, as though tasting the name aloud, allowing it to fall.

The woman was graceful, strong, and capable. She had no doubt the woman could have handled this on her own... and so now she was keen to understand the femme before her, learn of her motives, likes and dislikes.

If it were up to her, Ilana would have already brought the woman to her ship after a few drinks, and either let her sleep in her quarters... or spent the night wrapped around her. But she wouldn't state that outright, such bluntness often put a damper on such nights. She had the reports she needed; wordlessly, she would trade positions with Pidge, amber eyes tracking for any security detail or threat to spoil their good night, listening to the woman as well.


"And yourself? Are you a 'Miss' as well, or is there someone I may have to fend off to spent a lovely night with such a lovely woman?"
Amber eyes peeked sideways, hands on her hips as she waited to see some reaction; and yet the look in her gaze was one very, very much engaged with the teal beauty beside her.

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Something in the doctor’s demeanor changed. If the twi’lek had spent less time with droids and more with organics, perhaps she might be able to pick it out. Unfortunately, given the fact that mechanical cranial units were rarely expressive, she had become a bit rusty at gauging intent and emotion. Ilana’s posture was that of a city stray, a clever feline about to pounce. Her words, on the other hand, were sweet and eloquent. Pidge wondered how such a woman was still unmarried, not even in a relationship. It was odd such a beautiful, intelligent specimen had not attracted more attention. Unless she had, in which case, there were most definitely bodies behind a shiny chromium door somewhere. And if indeed she was a medical doctor, she didn’t appear to abide by the same code Pidge had sworn during her time. Do no harm? The woman, suspiciously mysterious and notably alone, was wreaking havoc with her heart strings. Ilana’s words were potent, and she knew it.

“I am a ’miss’ as well, if you are so inclined to know. There’s no one to fend off, unless you’re planning on meeting my family already,” she joked lightly. Despite Pidge’s casual air, she hung on every word that came from Ilana‘s gently parted lips. It was only one or so. Did she have other plans? The intense amber gaze simultaneously thrilled and unnerved Pidge. Who was this woman? It wouldn’t take long to find out. The two had switched places in a cautious dance, watching each other carefully, assessing and over assessing every move. Now she stood gazing at the dim blue console. Slipping on her gloves, she got to work. There was no messing with the code, no pushing past security walls, just straight-up, accessible information. Typing the name of interest into the projected search bar, Pidge began to read.

Morata, Ilana
Occupation: Doctor, unaffiliated medical practice
Criminal Record:-
Medical Record: Unavailable, protected by Paqualis III law
Persons of Interest:-
Notes: Was on board Corellian Vessel 3385 at time of unlawful seizure



The entry was short, indicating Ilana’s time on Corellia had been as well. It confirmed her degree in medicine, but also revealed an interesting tidbit of information. Having never heard of Paqualis III, the Twi’lek couldn’t care less about the woman’s origin, but the captured vessel business, now that was interesting. Pidge stared intently at the screen, as if attempting to compel it to tell her more. Unfortunately, such entries were the barebones of any sort of information, including none of the story or follow up for people and events. Perhaps she could ask, but now did not seem the time. Quickly closing the window in the hopes the stunning woman beside her would fail to notice the background check, she spun around.

“I have what I wanted, now where to? I would invite you to my place for the view, but it’s much to cramped for any sort of properly fun activity.”

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Ah, the pulses of emotion from the woman were charming, in a way, sweet. Streets smarts warred with instinct, which warred with desire, and Ilana was nothing if not an advocate for pursuing desire. Her gaze gleamed with focused interest as she placed a hand on the wall over Pidge's shoulder, leaning in.

"I must thank you for such a... diverting evening," she murmured throatily, leaning in close. A faint smile danced on the corners of her lips, meeting the other woman's gaze with a sudden intensity. "But if I may be bold... going to your place may be cramped, but I'm sure the view would be beautiful nonetheless."

She leaned in and, if the woman wouldn't interrupt her or move away, press her lips to hers, a featherlight touch to cement her exact intentions, in case Pidge had any doubts. If she did move away, however, Doc would merely move back, disengaged, and allow Pidge her own space. She was many things, but being cruel was not inherently one of them. And yes, there was still a chance to be discovered, but that surely would add to the thrill of the moment for her companion, and something to dwell on as they would make their break out of here.


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