“Come on Papa! Let’s go!”
The staunch Captain Malavai Quinn dropped most of his formalities when it came to his daughter…of course, he kind of has to when he’s being lead to the bridge by a young child pulling his finger. Oftentimes he was left on the ship while Blizz conducted business elsewhere. He obeyed without question, but secretly he relished the moments where he could take off the mask of the imperial officer and just be a father. He only removed that mask when he was alone with Blizz or with Raela. His pride wouldn’t allow him to be anything other than an imperial officer for anyone else…and he was fine with that.
“It’s time!” Raela was jumping excitedly next to the captain’s seat while waiting on her father to sit down. Malavai had been taking these moments to teach Raela how to fly. She wasn’t ACTUALLY flying the ship of course…that’s REALLY not a crash report he’d want to file or have to explain why his daughter was in a medical facility or worse. The ship had an offline mode which kept all the buttons lit up, but it disabled their functions. Perfect for an excitable young aviator in-training as long as she didn’t accidentally bring the ship online.
“Where are we going this time?” he asked as he picked her up and placed her in his lap. He couldn’t resist re-tying the red ribbon that held her snow white ponytail back. With all of her excitable bouncing, it had loosened and her hair was starting to droop down.
“We have to catch the bad guys! They’re going after Momma!” Raela turned back to look up at her father. Concern grew across her face as her imagination started to heat up like the imaginary engines.
“Well we can’t have that now can we?”
“We have to get them before they land. We have to go now!” Frantically, she turned back to the console and began poking at the holomap to pick her destination.
“You have their location then! They won’t make it to her alive,” He began to hum and imitated the sound of the engines being revved to capacity as Raela started the ship’s hyperdrive.
Upon arrival, Raela was already pointing out the couple of attackers and commanded the guns to open fire. “They’re turning around!”
“Keep them in your sights and time your shots carefully.”
She rocked side to side on his lap as she twisted the controls to dodge incoming bolts and suddenly she panicked, “One’s behind us!”
“Don’t worry! I’ve got the rear gun. I’ll take care of them,” he reassured her and began pressing some random buttons on the side of the console.
“Papa get him! Quick!”
“Almost there…got him! Enemy down!”
“Yay! There’s just one more left!” she began turning the controls to even out the ship’s flight path.
Unbeknownst to either of them, Blizz had returned. Her meeting had been cut short and she now stood leaning against the doorway to the bridge after coming to investigate the loud shouting. She couldn’t help but smile warmly seeing the two of them having fun together and just letting loose. She didn’t stay there long. She didn’t want to interrupt their moment and turned quietly away to return to her quarters.
“I see him!” Raela shouted.
“Good. Try to get a clear shot. It’s a small ship and it’s easy to miss.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I won’t miss,” she said confidently. And of course, she didn’t. After taking down the last fighter, she relaxed her shoulders, leaned back against her father’s chest and glanced up victoriously at him, “Mission accomplished.”
“Well done, Captain,” he kissed her gently on the forehead. “Your mother will be proud.”
“Yea! No one’s going to hurt Momma.”
“Hey, Agent! Are we gonna go or what? I’ve got a meeting with a guy on Nar Shaddaa that knows where to find all the stupid rich people. I’d rather not miss it,” shouted Kaliyo who leaned in the doorway of the bridge. A smug look gracing her Rattataki features.
Raela’s shoulders slumped as she shook off the memory and relaxed her hands that had been grasping at the flight controls, “You just can’t resist the temptation can you.”
“Hey, money is money. The only thing keeping me from it right now is you. So are we going to go or what? My trigger finger needs some exercise. Besides, you were kind of just staring off into space. It was weird.” Kaliyo had moved to stand next to the captain’s seat, folding her arms across her chest.
Silence captured the bridge as Raela stared at the holomap in front of her while Kaliyo waited impatiently for a response…”It’s RIGHT there, Agent. Just push it,” Kaliyo teasingly pointed to Nar Shaddaa’s position on the map. She might as well have pushed it herself.
Raela slowly reached out a hand towards the map and selected a planet. The hum of the engines grew louder as the hyperdrive went into action and the ship began passing through a tunnel of stars. “Agent…did you see where I pointed? Cause that’s not where I pointed. There aren’t stupid rich people on Hoth…what the hell am I supposed to do there?!”
“You…,” Raela turned to look at Kaliyo, a sly smile forming on her face, “…are going to stand out in the open while I peg you with a snowball cannon…because MY trigger finger needs some exercise.”
“Seriously? What kind of shit is that?! You really expect me to just stand there and get hit?!”
“You’re more than welcome to try and hit me…but I’m willing to bet you couldn’t hit the side of a mountain with your aim,” Raela taunted…pleased that Kaliyo was taking the bait.
“Oh you’re going down, Agent!” Kaliyo stormed off to prepare herself…which primarily consisted of grabbing a drink from her stash that she had “hidden” on the ship. She and Raela did make a good team. Their friendship was full of pushes and pulls, but it created an odd sort of equilibrium between them. They trusted each other to fight back-to-back, but they were also very aware of how quickly that could change given circumstances that might rise up.
Raela was never sure what she might do if that situation were to occur…the thought of betraying someone she thought of as a friend was hard for her to comprehend. The nature of an agent’s life was full of unexpected twists and turns and oftentimes she dreaded it…but she simultaneously loved the thrill of it. She even romanticized it as a child! Becoming an Imperial Agent and donning a uniform similar to that of her father’s was something she dreamed of growing up. Even though her mother played a vastly different role as the Empire’s Wrath, she still saw the ups and downs. Such a circumstance had hit her mother so hard that it caused her parents to separate when she was very young. She didn’t know the details and she wasn’t sure how to even ask her mother about it to begin with. It was a sore subject.
Raela didn’t remember much about her father, but on occasion small memories seeped through when she took the captain’s seat and she treasured them. Even though she effectively grew up without him, the flying lessons stuck and she often volunteered for flight assignments when the Imperial Navy requested aid. She had her father to thank for indulging her fascination with flying as a child. As much as she loved it though, it was more of a hobby. She was a doctor at heart. Regardless of how much she romanticized the life of an agent and enjoyed the thrill ride that it was, she enjoyed helping people. Luckily, there are multiple ways to help people. Sometimes she plays the doctor and heals patients. Sometimes she plays the stealthy assassin and eliminates dangerous people. Either way helps.
But sometimes she’s a captain. Just like old times.
Author’s Note: The characters of Blizzaire (Blizz) and Raela (Raela Moira) found in this story are OC’s in my personal canon from Bioware’s MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. Malavai Quinn and Kaliyo are canon characters from the same game, but the ones represented here are my personal versions of them.