The cold, eternal void of space. A landscape of limitless possibilities for both wonder and tragedy in equal measure. Though as the war waged on, and the Empire slowly receded, it seemed tragedy was in far more ample supply. In orbit around a small blue green speck amongst the stars lay the Victory II class star destroyer, Prosecutor. Her Imperial grey hull was similar to the myriad wedge like designs shared by so many ships of the Empire. Her nimble engines glowed a deep and gentle blue as she lay at rest, whilst her ferocious guns stood still and silent in a peaceful sky. Though she was only a little over half the size of her big sisters in the Imperial Class she had the iron jaw of a prize fighter, and the wounds to match. Blaster burns and fresh plating marred her pristine Imperial uniformity and told of battles that were both recent and devastating. But whilst she could have used a bit of spit and polish, she had been certified as combat ready, and her commander would waste no time in getting to the front, for he knew every ship was sorely needed.
That commander was now standing near the fore of the Prosecutor's bridge, hands clasped behind his back as if he were on the parade ground, his posture making the best use of every inch of his otherwise unremarkable height and lean frame, his perfectly pressed uniform seemingly immune to creasing. He looked as if he had stepped from the pages of a uniform manual. But his eyes, his eyes were straight from a propaganda holocast. They may have been a mucky blue grey, but there was purpose, and steel behind them. Right now, they were looking down his thin, hooked nose that sat like a beak in his pale, hawkish features, at the world that lay beneath him.
Thyferra, even from orbit he thought she looked beautiful. A grand world of crystal blue landlocked seas connected by titanic rivers that rivalled the worlds sweeping mountains in scale. Whilst her emerald green jungles battled with vast swamplands for dominance. From above the clouds, she had the look of a resort world to the Commander, a utopia devoid of almost all predators in which the galaxy's elite could play and relax. Even the world's legendarily thick and humid atmosphere could not detract from her charm. But for all her beauty, she could not compare to the majesty of what flew above her capital. Nineteen slender kilometres of Imperial grey reinforced alusteel, with turbolasers by the thousand, launchers by the hundred and countless additional armaments. Whilst other star destroyers were a weapon, an Executor class dreadnaught was a statement. Here stands the Empire. As elegant and deadly as a stiletto blade she hung above the city of Xozhixi, half guarantee of safety, half threat. The Lusankya was a sight to behold, one that could still cause the Commander's chest to swell with pride
But the Lusankya and the Prosecutor were not the only ships in the sky. Three other star destroyers of varying classes nestled close to the titanic dreadnaught, whilst TIE fighters by the score swept across the stars like flies. Beneath them tankers moved back and forth as, for all its beauty, this was no pleasure world. Vital life giving bacta, a medical substance to cure almost all ailments, was made here in both a quantity and quality that put the rest of the galaxy to shame. From the most distant planet in the outer rim, to the wealthiest estate of a core world, almost every drop of bacta came from Thyferra. Now this crucial lifeline in the galaxy was firmly under Imperial control, and every officer present was determined never to let go. But Talon could not rest entirely easily. This coup would not go unchallenged, there would be reprisals. No soldier knew what form it would take, when or how the blow would land. But they all knew it was coming. They all knew it would come hard.
The Prosecutor's commander became aware of the sound of boots approaching. Turning, he smiled slightly at the crewman who came smartly to attention before him.
"Sir, message from Xozhixi." The Commander just nodded for the crewman to continue. "Message reads. Commander Talon Rake, you are cordially invited to attend a gathering, to celebrate the restoration of law and order, at the Xucphra Corporation headquarters this evening."
"Thank you crewman. Send a reply with my thanks and acceptance." As the man walked away Talon turned back to face the planet once more, but his smile remained and even grew a little as he thought on the upcoming festivities. War was a bloody business and left little time for the officer soirees and grand parties that he had become used to as a child. To make matters worse, though few officers would say it in public, this was a losing war. The death of the Emperor and the loss of the capital world of Coruscant could leave few men in any doubt about that, and a fighting retreat created neither the time nor mood for a celebration. But, the Thyferran coup that had brought the world under the Empire's direct control may yet prove a reversal of fortune for the Empire, and for once they had a reason to celebrate. Besides, neither Imperial intelligence nor the picket ships gave any indication of an imminent Republic offensive. Perhaps, for one night, it would do their souls good to pretend it was still the good old days.
But Talon did not believe that he alone in his crew was deserving of this respite. Every man and woman aboard this ship had acquitted themselves with distinction during his still fresh command, and he was proud of each of them. Of course, he could not bring an entire ship to a ball, at best he could justify a few senior crew. But the rank and file deserved their reward. With that thought in mind he brought up his personal communicator and hailed his chief stormtrooper.
"Major Frieda, report to the bridge."
"On my way Commander."
It did not take long for the Major to arrive. Unlike many trooper corps officers he preferred to wear his armour at all times, even when battle was not approaching. But behind the cold anonymity of gleaming white plasteel Talon had learnt to recognise the Major, and not just by his orange rank pauldron. He was a bear of a man, tall and broad but he carried it easily. An impressive feat, Talon thought, considering the extent of the man's wounds and crude cybernetic replacements. At times he wondered if the Major wore the plasteel out of a sense of caution and a desire to lead by example, or if he did so to hide away the torn remains of what was left of his body. But such thoughts were unworthy. The Major was a decorated veteran, who had proven to Talon time and time again that he was as physically and psychologically tough as beskar, and not in the least concerned with superficial things. Vanity was not amongst the Major's vices.
"Jan." Said Talon with a hint of warmth, addressing the Major by his first name. In a rare display for an Imperial bridge Jan replied.
"Talon." Before Talon could continue. Even if the Commander had used Jan's first name himself it was still a breach of conventional etiquette, and even discipline, to address your commanding officer by his first name whilst on duty and in front of the men. But Talon indulged the Major. Their relationship had been tense, and at one point he would have taken such a breach of protocol as a deliberate slight, which it likely would have been. But Talon knew that both he and everyone aboard would have died long ago were it not for Jan's sterling work. But he also wagered that Jan had realised that the entire crew would also have perished were it not for Talon, not that Talon ever expected the stubborn old warhorse to admit it. Battle made brothers of even the most different of men, he had come to respect Jan first as a capable officer, and later as one of the most stalwart of soldiers. He hoped and believed that the Major had similar thoughts about him.
"Now listen here Major. I am ordering you to attend a party." Directed Talon with all the seriousness of a conventional order.
"A party sir?" Replied Jan, with understandable confusion.
"Yes, a party. Though the choice of party is up to you."
"Sir?" Talon could not help but admit to himself he enjoyed seeing Jan show a hint of uncertainty for a change, but he knew better than to tease him like this for long.
"I will be attending an officer's soiree on the surface later this evening." Anticipating what Talon was going to ask him Jan cut in.
"I would rather not sir." But Talon just gave a knowing smile.
"No, I didn't think you would. Daruvvian champagne and classical music did not strike me as your idea of a pleasant evening. But if you will not attend that party, then you must organise another. Times have been hard on this crew recently, they deserve a celebration as well. Clear out the mess hall or the exercise hall and put something on for the ranks." For once Jan seemed to genuinely approve of one of Talon's suggestions, glad to see the Commander showing the men a moment of care and humanity.
"I think that can be done sir. A little music, a little drink. Soldiers never need that much of an excuse to encourage them to cut loose. Of course, if we could go down to the surface, or bring a few civilians up…" Talon could see the way that was going, and as much as he appreciated the sentiment it was not something he could allow.
"No time to arrange a shore party I am afraid Jan, and allowing civilians up here would be a grave breach of security." Jan seemed a little disappointed at Talon's decision, but quickly recovered.
"The men will miss their company to be sure sir. But they will understand."
"Oh, and don't let them get too drunk Jan." Added the Commander as an afterthought. "A watch and stand by shift will have to be maintained in any event, and I plan to run them through a day of battle drills and target shoots tomorrow."
"Aye, I've been soldiering long enough to know where the line is." Reassured Jan with a knowing, almost sly tone. "They'll be fit for duty, and you've seen what the boys can do already Talon. If they can hold up like that under fire, they can drill with a headache." Talon gave a brief nod of approval, a hint of a smile creeping into the corner of his mouth once again.
"Very well, see to it"
As Jan walked away Talon turned to a tall thin streak of a man who was inspecting picket ship reports at the rear of the bridge. He was human, though seemingly only just. His arms, legs and neck all appeared overly lengthy and out of proportion with his torso, which combined with his pale skin had caused some of the crew to whisper about a dash of alien blood somewhere in his lineage. But it amounted to nothing more than gossip and speculation. He was human according to his medicals and the Empire's own definitions, that was an end to the matter.
"Lieutenant Commander Yulish. I will be leaving the ship in your care tonight. I have business on the planet. However, I am relieving the crew of all non-essential duties this evening. Keeping an eye out, a picket up and the lights on is about all I ask of them tonight."
"Yes sir, I believe Major Frieda is drafting the notification now."
"Already?" Said Talon with a raised brow and a hint of amusement in his tone. "Have I found something the Major is actually enthusiastic about?"
"I couldn't speculate sir." Replied the officer, with a smile of his own that said a lot more than his cautious words. As Yulish returned his attention to the incoming reports, Talon could just hear the ghost of a motor in the man's leg, a reminder of that fateful moment aboard their old ship when Talon had pulled him out from under falling munitions that turned the man's leg to pulp as their burning craft fell out of orbit. Two junior gunnery officers on their first ship out of the academy. One now a Commander and the master of a ship, the other a Lieutenant Commander. It felt like yesterday to Talon, because it almost had been. Everyone pretended that the rapid promotion of young officers was due to talent and ability. Perhaps that had played its roll. But Talon knew the real driving force was too many casualties, too many experienced officers dead since Endor. When you ran out of old veterans you had to drag up the new. And Yulish? It used to be back in the day men with injuries like his were at least given the option of medical retirement. But it had not even been a thought. What does a missing leg matter when an Empire is crumbling?
"Good work Yulish." Stated Talon, pushing such thoughts from his mind. "Next time you're first in line for best dress and medals."
"I look forward to it sir." Replied Yulish with what seemed like a genuine smile, despite the fact that next time might not be for years. Or ever. Yulish had already returned his attention to the next wave of reports, querying an anomalous signal from a probe droid and Talon saw no reason to disturb him further with idle conversation.
Besides, Yulish was far from the only senior officer deserving of a night on the surface. Lieutenant Commander Horton, Talon's chief of engineering, was another such case. Since meeting the man Talon and Horton had lurched from crisis to crisis, with one ship that actually was a wreck and another so close to it, it near as made no odds. But Horton had always been able to eek out just a few more minutes of power to a turbo laser, and keep engines running with burned out capacitors and tape. When the Commander pictured Horton in his mind's eye, the man's uniform was always slightly frayed and smeared with oil and pneumatic fluid, face marred by a dab of grease and eyes bloodshot from too many back-to-back shifts averting disaster. The man had earned an evening of indulgence, the difficult part would be getting him to accept it.
Pulling out his communicator once more Talon called him directly, and wasted no time in getting to the point.
"Horton, our new hosts at Xucphra have decided to lay on a party to celebrate the return of the planet to the fold. It would be appropriate for senior crew to attend, spot's open if you want one."
"Tempting sir, tempting. But I don't feel comfortable leaving the Prosecutor alone just yet." Said Horton with an air of trepidation. Talon however, was a little exasperated in his reply. This was not the first time Horton had shown an almost allergic aversion to delegating.
"Hardly alone Horton, there is an entire engineering crew to keep an eye on her."
"Aye there is sir, but I always feel a little unsettled when we have had to undergo core repairs." But this only made Talon sigh slightly before reminding Horton.
"Did you or did you not say that we were combat ready." It was more of a accusation than a question.
"That I did sir." Admitted Horton, clearly a little on the back foot but obviously reluctant. "But I still want to keep an eye on her until I'm sure she's been properly shaken down." Talon knew when he had lost, even if he could drag Horton down to the surface, the man would spend the whole evening in the corner checking in with the ship whilst he was in this frame of mind. So, Talon just rolled his eyes, taking advantage of the audio only communication, and let his obsessive engineer off the hook.
"Very well Horton. I hope the Prosecutor appreciates your care."
"Oh she does sir, oh she does." Confirmed Horton, with what seemed like an air of genuine affection toward the ship.
Talon's first commanding officer had once spoken to him about the difficulties of family life in the navy, particularly during what was likely to be a very long war. It seemed to Talon that Horton had neatly solved the problem by marrying his ship. To an outsider such a thing might have seemed ridiculous. But whilst Talon had not succumbed to Horton's degree of anthropomorphisation, he certainly understood it. Somehow a ship had a presence all of its own. Spend enough time aboard and you can start to feel it in the vibration of the deck, hear it in the hum of systems. If Horton wanted to give the Prosecutor just a little more attention, Talon would not pry him from her side.
"Very well then. Have a good evening." Concluded Talon with a grin, deactivating the communicator as he made his way towards the flight control room a little way behind the bridge. There he knew he would find yet another deserving case
On entering he was confronted with an array of terminals, all facing toward a massive holographic display that showed the signal beacons of every ship in orbit. A constant thrum of chatter filled the air as station after station was constantly checking in, answering queries, granting authorisations and re-routing traffic. The Lusankya and civilian traffic control took the majority of the burden. But even the Prosecutor's little slice of responsibility kept this room filled with activity. So much so, that these men were excused from coming to attention as their CO went by.
But Talon was not here for them. Making his way to a small side room off the main control centre he found a short but athletically built man with close cut dark hair, wearing a black officer's uniform with Imperial badges on each arm, the standard dress for any man in the pilot branch when not wearing his flight suit.
"Lieutenant Revik." As if by instinct the man came smartly to attention and saluted, a gesture swiftly returned by Talon who then waved at the man to relax. "As you were, as you were Lieutenant." Before gesturing to the datapad. "What are you working on Mannis?" Mannis Revik may have been a more recent addition to Talon's crew. But he was still the head of Talon's TIE compliment and in private, a limited degree of familiarity was to be encouraged amongst the senior crew. Though the inequality between them could never be entirely forgotten.
"Performance statistics for our TIE flights. You're fortunate, the Prosecutor's pilots were competent to begin with, and when the survivors from my old ship got rolled in as the casualty replacements average performance is actually heading toward something that might be called good."
"Weighty words from a former member of the 181st and Death Squadron." Replied Talon with a smile. The compliment had been genuine, but Mannis frowned at the suggestion, seemingly both a little disappointed, and a little annoyed.
"Not that good, not yet. Look at this." He said, handing over the datapad as if to prove his point. "Average scramble time is still a few seconds slower than I would like. If we have to drop into a hostile zone with a prepared enemy we could have taken a few hits before we get TIEs in to space, and a few of the pilots from this ship have poor torpedo intercept scores." He seemed frustrated, like a mildly exasperated teacher with a pupil that would not learn. But he had not been with this crew long, Talon suspected that Mannis was more annoyed at having to do all this again than he was with the pilots.
"Torpedo intercept?" Queried Talon with a perked brow "I did not think that was part of standard training."
"It isn't, more's the pity." Commented Mannis, folding his arms. "But I want these boys to live, and for them to still have a ship to land on. Standard TIE pilots die, and we've been lucky with the snub fighters we have come up against so far. Green to middling pilots at best." He waved a hand in dismissal of such mediocre pilots, as if defeating them was no great triumph. "But the Republic has more than its fair share of veterans. We need to be better. I have been working on some exercises." Again he gestured at the datapad.
"Excellent work Lieutenant." Stated Talon, with genuine satisfaction in his tone. "When do you plan on running this training?"
"The Lusankya does not need our ships on picket tomorrow, or the day after. We can make a start then."
"Very good, I plan on running lots of stations, particularly gunnery, through their paces tomorrow. The schedules will work nicely together." Returning the pad Talon's tone shifted to a slightly less formal one as he asked with a smile. "Any more work for tonight?"
"Nothing that cannot wait sir, why? Do you have something that needs attending to?"
"In a manner of speaking. The civilian authorities are throwing a celebration for the senior staff from the fleet. A thank you for restoring the Imperial banner here. A highly decorated officer such as yourself deserves a place."
Mannis smiled at the suggestion but shook his head.
"I doubt they would let me past the door sir. They don't exactly look kindly on anyone who ever served with Soontir Fel." But Talon was not about to have any of that, nor would he allow the integrity of his officers to be called into question.
"You have more than proven your loyalty since then. I can understand why you would be under suspicion at first after his defection." Talon could not help but notice the slight twist in the side of Mannis' face at that word, it was gone as quickly as it had arrived, but it was clear the affair still left a bitter taste in the man's mouth. Talon wasted no time in continuing. "But you have more than settled any doubts I or any reasonable person could have."
"Intelligence officers are not always reasonable people." Talon could not disagree with that, he had very nearly fallen victim to their paranoia himself. But he did not seem to resent them the way Mannis did. "Besides." Mannis continued. "There are a few faces down there that I am less than keen on seeing myself." He shook his head. "So no sir, thank you for the invitation, but no." Talon could not help but be a little disappointed, though he hid it well behind the stiff upper lip and stoicism of a thoroughbred officer.
"Very well Lieutenant. A shame, but tonight is a night of relaxation. I am hardly going to subject you to anything unpleasant." Mannis seemed to relax a little at that and flop back in his chair.
"The other TIE pilots are looking forward to this little thing Jan is putting together. It will be nice to see them cut a little loose for an evening. They're young after all." Mannis smiled at the thought, but it was an expression that allowed just a hint of melancholy to seep through. Both men knew that it was an open secret that TIE pilots in combat zones had a short life expectancy.
"You are young yourself Mannis."
"So are you." Retorted the Lieutenant with a grin, to which Talon could only nod. He was about to ask when had so many officers and commanders become so young, but both of them knew the answer to that. A loosing war made for fast promotion, and that was a fact neither of them needed to be reminded of. Instead, Talon just straightened up and placed his hands behind his back, resting them in their customary position.
"Very well then Lieutenant. Have a good evening." Mannis gave a brief nod of his head as his commander left him to his work.
"You too sir."
This left only one other person that Talon could particularly think to ask. In truth it had been the first person to spring to his mind, though custom and rank demanded others be invited first. Not only that but strangely he found himself caring the most about this one. Making his way to his cabin he called up Lanisia Pettiprit, though she was known to the crew as Lani. His chief scout trooper, hardly the most prestigious of positions aboard a mere Victory II class destroyer. In truth, her rank did not even merit an invitation. But Talon was dammed if he was not going to extend one. When he reached his cabin he settled down on his sofa and waited for her arrival. He filled the time with duties of his own, scrolling through the shift reports from his immediate subordinates on his datapad and issuing instructions and comments for the next day's duty. Talon was not sure if time just flew by as he was immersed in his work or Lani dropped what she was doing to answer his call. But it seemed he did not have to wait long for her arrival.
He was always a little surprised by how quietly Lani moved, the squeak of plasteel and the rattle of gear tended to give members of the corps away, but when she came into his quarters the only thing Talon heard was the slide of the door. Like Jan she preferred to wear her armour at all times, though hers was the lighter equipment of a scout trooper. Unlike her battalion commander however, she had no reluctance in removing her helmet the moment she heard the click of the door seals behind her. Talon was becoming used to the sight by now, but he still felt a smile spread across his face as he saw her warm yet fine features, framed by a mess of loosely tied up auburn hair pressed flat by the tight confines of her helmet. As his eyes caught hers, those jade green hues flashed with a hint of mischief. Suddenly Talon became aware of her helmet arcing through the air towards him from a lazy under arm throw. Rocking back in the sofa he only just had enough time to hastily throw his hands up and awkwardly catch it. Lani, meanwhile, was already walking over to the pot of caffa on the side.
"Aww, I was hoping to crack you on the nose. Big enough target." She said with a disappointment that Talon feared was not entirely feigned.
"And what was that for?"
"You were in a daze Talon." She said with a smile. "You can't seriously expect me to pass up such a tempting target."
"Exploiting me in a moment of vulnerability and weakness?" He replied with mock shock and offence.
"Teach you not to stare." She chided, starting to make his way toward him, steaming hot caffa in each hand.
"Careful." He cautioned. "Teach me that lesson enough times and I might just stop looking all together."
"Ohh, now there's a threat. You've got me shivering in my boots Talon." Lani even quivered her legs like a 10 year old in a school play.
"Well, if that doesn't work. Assaulting a senior officer, court martial." His tone was casual, but from any other officer the threat could have been more than serious.
"It's your word against mine." She said with a smirk.
"Oh yes, the word of a decorated master of a ship against that of a disreputable scout platoon leader. Whoever will they believe?" Settling down next to him she placed a cup of caffa down in front of each of them before leaning over with mock puppy dog eyes and a sad look.
"But who could ever doubt this face?"
"Fortunately I doubt the tribunal members will suffer from my weakness."
"It's enough that you do." Talon couldn't help but smile at that as Lani gently leant up against him, taking a moment to savour the warmth of the sentiment. A moment that was broken as Lani said softly. "It means you won't press charges."
Talon span around with a look of mock shock and indignation as Lani rocked back laughing to herself. Laughter was a rare sound on a ship of the line. It was precious. After a few moments he could not help but chuckle himself, though he masked it by sipping the caffa she had brought him.
"So what did you bring me here for Talon?"
"It's about this evening."
"Yes, Jan already told me, a shindig for the men. A shame you won't be joining us." If he did not know better he could have sworn she was genuinely disappointed.
"I have my own engagement. One I cannot miss." He assured her, with a voice that carried just a hint of apology.
"I know, a shame though. I was rather looking forward to seeing you cut loose." Said Lani, before adding as an afterthought. "Well, as loose as a man like you can ever get."
"Even if I were not otherwise engaged, I could not attend the festivities."
"And why not?" She asked with a hint of offence that Talon could not quite tell whether or not it was staged. But his response was genuine.
"There is a reason why officers and men lead separate lives, commanding officers doubly so."
"Snobbery and priggishness?" Suggested Lani, only partly in jest.
"Well partly." He said with a fond smile. "But too much familiarity breeds poor discipline. Officers often feel less able to give orders to close friends, whilst men will be more inclined to refuse them, or take liberties."
"And what of family Talon? Men will fight much harder for those they know and love than a stranger. How can you expect them to give you their all when you stand apart from them?" Talon had to concede, it was a strong point, nodding slightly. But not strong enough to shift him off his position.
"It is a delicate balance to strike." He said with a hint of regret. "Though my father always insisted any commander worthy of the title would need to learn how to do it, and rapidly. I am still not sure I have it right. But I make sure I am no stranger. I tour the ship, and every station frequently. I take great care to conduct personal briefings. When my crew suffers, I care for them. But I cannot be the man they have a drink with after the shift is done. You must have noticed that I am a rare sight in the mess or wardroom. I miss the social company of my fellow officers, the free exchange. But Captain Aeron before me knew when to get up and leave the room, and so do I."
"It's okay for the crew to like you Talon, to be your friend." Rather than chiding him her voice was soft as she leant up a little more against him, as if to provide reassurance. Talon very nearly fell for it, he wanted to. But his training and his pedigree would not let him.
"We don't just work together, we live together. Over seven and a half thousand of us at full capacity, crammed into 900 meters of ship. And I am the overseer of every single one of them. I doubt many of them would appreciate the man who is in effect their boss, intruding into the rare moments when the service allows you something like a personal life." Lani sighed and hung her head.
"I won't pretend to think you are right Talon, but I understand why you think that way." She looked disappointed, almost saddened. But she snapped her head up sharply as Talon laid a comforting hand on hers.
"Not everyone will like me as much as you do."
"Oh don't turn this around on me Talon!" She said with a hint of accusation, causing him to immediately put up his hands in surrender.
"I wasn't going to Lani. But…."
"But what." She snapped, a warning flashing in her eye.
"You can come planet side."
"What?" She replied, seemingly genuinely startled and a little confused.
"You can come to the ball as my guest, see how we posh boys live."
"I wasn't invited!" She protested.
"I am the master of a ship, no one will stop me." Pointed out Talon.
"Oh my!" She said with mock awe. "Such power! And such an abuse of it! Taking people to parties."
"Funny." Stated Talon dryly, sipping on his caffa. "Usually, I'm the one doing the deflecting."
"What do you mean Talon?" She asked, with a hint of defensiveness.
"Do you want to go to the surface tonight?" He pressed, denying her any wriggle room. She seemed to genuinely wrestle with the thought before smiling softly and shaking her head.
"No Talon, your place might be down there, with the high and mighty. But my place is here, with the boys." Talon did his best to conceal the slight stab he felt in his chest at that. He briefly flirted with the idea of staying aboard ship tonight. But that would have been neither wise nor proper. Lani seemed to pick up on this and smiled consolingly, adding with a humorous tone after a moment's pause. "Besides, all that formal dancing and pretty dresses. Can you really see me doing that?"
"One, nobody above the age of ten calls them pretty dresses and two." He leant away from Lani a little, looking her up and down, doing what he could to see past the plasteel before saying slowly and genuinely. "Yes, yes I really could."
"Get out." She said flatly, pointing to the door.
"It's my cabin." He replied with a chuckle.
"Get out!" She again demanded, full of mock anger and indignation.
"What? I think it could suit you."
"By the stars." She muttered as she sank her face into her hands. Talon meanwhile only laughed before tousling the back of her head, causing her to growl into her hands. Though this only made Talon laugh more before finishing his caffa.
"Now, as much as it pains me. I have work to do before I disembark."
"Was that a hint?" She asked with a smile
"An order." He replied with mock aloofness. Causing her to just roll her eyes as she went to leave and made her way out of the door, even if her smile never faded.