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 Carry On My Wayward Son, Corellia; attn: Muse
Molly Grimm
 Posted: Oct 13 2017, 04:41 PM
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Cannok
Sgt. Major
34
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“Mmm…”

Molly side-eyed his attempt at agreement and scowled. Whatever noise he made to placate her was a lie, betrayed by the emotional turbulence that shuddered from the slicer. For one reason or another, finding out the man wasn't his dad hurt. Such betrayal didn't sit well with Muse and he leant against the wall of the elevator with a thundercloud over his head. Molly ignored him, not wanting to get any deeper than she already was.

“Maybe we should just go home, give it to Loran.”

"Frell that. You wanna go shit on Loran's desk?" She snorted with a shake of her head, imagining the scene and the look on Loran's face. Delivering the director bad intel was just that. Molly didn't respect many, but Loran was one of the few. Unlike some in the Alliance, Loran knew how to use her and wasn't squeamish about doing so; Bespin showed her what he was capable of.

Scowling as he stared up at the penthouse from the street, she considered saying something reassuring. Nothing came to mind and Molly looked around, frustration percolating. "We'll just check it out, see if there's anything to it. You can deliver the frelling report after that." Delegation was the key to effective leadership, or Molly just hated the administrative aspect of what they did. Muse knew better than to complain.

The restaurant across from the presumed safe house wasn't bad. It had that old-world charm that some craved and others loathed. Molly was in the latter camp, but the smile smeared on her lips said otherwise. The table in the window she requested afforded a decent view of the building opposite. Their seats left them exposed, but there wasn't anything to do about that; they needed the view.

She peered over the menu, a tick of irritation pulling at her eyebrow. "What the frell is any of this?" Her grumble kept low and meant only for Muse. It wasn't often Molly admitted weakness, but in this she did. The menu was illegible, even the parts in basic were transcribed to be as abstract as possible. Molly turned the page with a shake of her head, eyes flashing between Muse and the menu.
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Cameron Muse
 Posted: Oct 13 2017, 08:49 PM
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Mynock
First Lieutenant
41
Human
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"Frell that. You wanna go shit on Loran's desk? We'll just check it out, see if there's anything to it. You can deliver the frelling report after that."

Cameron sighed at her insistence, but put up no argument. She had a point, even if he was reluctant to acknowledge it. He had wanted to either abandon it to someone else or burn the intel entirely, but Molly’s decision was neither. Hers was the more reasonable response, and…

He’d brought her this far. Pointless as it all was, the least he could do was listen to her when she put her foot down. Beyond that, he knew better than to argue. Maybe it was easier if he just let her take lead, anyway. He didn’t feel like he was all that reliable at the moment. Rank had nothing to do with his deference.

So they went. The information was accessible enough, primarily the location, and it was towards the edge of the city, but only a short journey. Their stake-out point was easily chosen, and if he had been in any better mood Cam might have found amusement in it. Or even enjoyment. Corellia was home, or at least had been. This place would cater to that sort of palate.

But more and more, he was starting to feel like this planet had it out for him. Maybe he’d been gone too long. Maybe the very atmosphere thought of him as a traitor.

So his thoughts went as they settled. He looked reasonably neutral. Molly, for once, looked more cheerful, though he figured it was a ruse. More than just the state of this quaint and mundane place, he figured she was probably irritated to death with him. He was pretty over himself, too.

He needed a nap. Instead, he was getting dinner. Outside, the sky was still bright, but before long it would dampen and darken. Hopefully enough time to give them some headway on whatever it was that would make certain their intel wasn’t a trash fire.

"What the frell is any of this?”

Having been somewhat distracted from his own perusal of the offending document, his attention clicked back with her more Molly-appropriate tones. His eyes went from her down to the menu held limp in his hands and he huffed. “It’s called ‘trying too hard,’” he figured, grateful for her spot of ire so he could focus on it, however briefly.

“Nothing is ever simple anymore,” he muttered back, then actually made a point of looking at the words. She was right. Even for him, this was a mess. Maybe if he’d been feeling more patient…

The building opposite them wasn’t actually all that large. A rather nondescript three-level office building. Small, for a city like Coronet, where the high-rises in the center of the city were monolithic. Out here, out of the way… it was definitely a good, unassuming spot for untoward things to go down. It wasn’t far from a couple of Alliance drop spots, either.

Things were adding up.
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Molly Grimm
 Posted: Oct 14 2017, 06:25 PM
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Cannok
Sgt. Major
34
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Alliance


“It’s called ‘trying too hard.’”

She smirked at that. If this was trying too hard, she didn't want to know what the alternative was. Molly had choice words for this shit, but she kept her mouth shut. They wanted to attract as little attention as possible in scoping out their target and making a scene was the last thing Molly wanted. She'd smile and play nice, be just another face in the crowd.

“Nothing is ever simple anymore.”

Just as easy as a smirk came the frown. Somehow, she figured he wasn't taking about the frelling menu. Molly could have overlooked his moping if the Foreigner was their destination. Muse had been through a lot today and she should have cut him some slack, but that wasn't her style, especially when out on a job.

The annoyance present in her expression was gone a moment later and she reached out with a hand, taking Muse's. She squeezed, her knuckles whitening. The freller needed to focus. "Baby, what ya thinking." Her eyes dipped to the menu. Molly never called him baby, the world alien from her lips.

The waiter slid next to their table and Molly released Muse's hand. "What can I get you folks today? Any drinks to start you off?" He asked upbeat and overly pleasant.

"Corellian Whiskey, neat, on the rocks." Molly responded after a quick glance up at the man. He nodded, turning the Muse.

"I'll get those in for you. Would you like to hear our specials?"

No. Molly thought while she said, "Sure. I'm having such a hard time picking something." Tongue in cheek, Muse would've got the implication behind her words.

"We have a thin sliced and braised grain-fed organic shautal delicately arranged over a bed of locally sourced mealgrain, with grilled heirloom vegetables."

"Yum! Sounds delicious. That for me." Molly didn't even recognize the words spewing from her mouth. She frelling hated playing the idiot. If they came back to torch the safe house, this restaurant was guaranteed collateral damage.

"An excellent choice, and for sir?" He looked to Muse again for his order.

With orders taken, their waited sauntered away with their menus, and left the pair to their conversation. While keeping an eye on the squat three-story building across the street, Molly maintained Muse in her prereferral. Idle conversation wasn't her forte. But perhaps lucky for Muse, his partner felt the need to keep up appearances.

"You need to stop bringing me here." A hint of humor pulled at the corner of her lips. Clearly, they both hated this frelling planet.
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Cameron Muse
 Posted: Oct 14 2017, 08:46 PM
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Mynock
First Lieutenant
41
Human
Slicer
Kos IS Offline
Alliance


"Baby, what ya thinking."

He missed her look of annoyance, but he sensed it in his own way. And even if he had somehow evaded the fact that Molly was growing tired of his current attitude, it was very quickly illustrated by the uncharacteristic shift in tone… and the grab at his hand. The conventional pet name was a ruse, a show, and his breath caught in uneasy defiance as squeeze that probably looked reassuring to anyone who was bored enough to be watching them… wasn’t. He could feel his knuckles grind together for a moment. An uncomfortable reminder that he needed to focus and that she wasn’t going to tolerate his emotional bullshit.

Hours earlier she’d seen fit to be genuinely comforting, but this gesture was entirely different than that. And her words, while a misdirect, struck him as a pointed finger at his wavering attention. What he was thinking was not what he needed to be thinking right now.

He rumbled a sigh and mustered a decidedly wan smile, but only when he felt he had the attention of the waiter more than the barest of degree. The nice thing about wait staff was they weren’t paid nearly well enough to get involved in the personal distresses of their customers.

"What can I get you folks today? Any drinks to start you off?”
"Corellian Whiskey, neat, on the rocks."


A glance thrown his way, Cameron spoke up with a, “Make that two,” that made it clear, at least to Molly, that he had not really made any decision whatsoever until that exact moment.

"I'll get those in for you. Would you like to hear our specials?"
"Sure. I'm having such a hard time picking something."
"We have a thin sliced and braised grain-fed organic shautal [...]"
"Yum! Sounds delicious. That for me."


Though it wasn’t exactly the first time he’d seen it, having Molly fall into her (unexpectedly) convincing fake cheery-and-not-too-bright tone unsettled him a little more. There was just something about knowing she was capable of behaving in a way that would have struck others as normal… and yet knowing that wasn’t her at all. It was like she had a knife under the table and was just luring the unsuspecting man in.

Though no such thing was going to happen--or so Cameron dared to assume--the strange threat was there. Molly was inescapably dangerous, and far from the dopey sweet face she put on now. The smile hid the flat expression of her false eyes well. It would be easy for the unsuspecting to be duped.

He was ever grateful to be on her side, and silently reminded himself that he should probably keep her favor. It was difficult, though, when he really didn’t want to be here.

"An excellent choice, and for sir?"

“The stew plate, please,” he said, his own answer short and easy, no show to be made. It was a reversal of their actual roles. Had this been their more natural dynamic, she would have been the one looking slightly put out and he would have been the one throwing agreeable noises at the waiter. He handed off the menu without looking at the man, and all vestiges of a smile dropped away.

Thankfully, real people were allowed to have bad days. No one would question it.

"You need to stop bringing me here."

His own gaze had gone across the thoroughfare as well, but it slipped back to her as she spoke now, knowing the most suspicious thing they could possibly do was stare at the building in question. “Someplace a little more interesting next time,” he said, meaning it. If he saw Corellia--and specifically Coronet--any time soon after this, it would be far too soon. He needed a long break from the place he’d been born. It felt like a such a mockery sometimes. It kept rattling him.

Logically he knew he couldn’t blame the planet, but the association was undeniable. Corellia was home, in a way, but it failed to be any comfort. Maybe there was some metaphor in that.

Attention again going outside, his eyes idly trailed a couple of dark suited men as they went down the street, but they went past the building in question and kept going, so he soon lost interest.

“Where would you rather have gone?” he dared to ask in the following moments, the appearance of conversation difficult to maintain when his brain wanted to dwell.
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Molly Grimm
 Posted: Oct 15 2017, 11:13 AM
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Cannok
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“Someplace a little more interesting next time. Where would you rather have gone?”

Where indeed.

Resting back in her chair and adopting a casual slouch, Molly kept both Muse and their target in her sightline. He maintained her focus and she raised eyebrows at the question, giving actual consideration. The question unsettled her more than a little; she'd seen this behavior in couples before. They called it vacation. Renewed scrutiny reviewed their current getaway to Corellia and realization cast a shadow across her features.

Muse had conned her into a family visit. She hadn't realized the implication until just now. She met his dad—not dad, whatever he turned out to be, the intention was a family meeting. The associations formed in the wake of understanding worried her. This wasn't who she was, and somehow, she found herself sitting at a table for two in a small restaurant. When did all this happen?

But perhaps most importantly, she didn't care when or how or why. She was here and so was he, and Molly didn't mind that. The tension building inside Molly ratcheted down and her shoulders rose in a half-hearted shrug. "I don't care, just not here."

Zeltros maybe? Everyone went to Zeltros. Frell, everyone went to Zeltros. She'd end up killing a motherfreller before the sunset on their first day. Where else was there? Naboo was nice. A twitch of displeasure sliced across her face. All palaces, lakes, and forests? Frell that; sounded horrible. Some resort planet? Iloh, maybe? No.

The displeasure lessened to annoyance and Molly huffed. "Doesn't matter." Another thought snagged in her mind. "Where would you go?"
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Cameron Muse
 Posted: Oct 19 2017, 03:44 PM
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Mynock
First Lieutenant
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"I don't care, just not here."

A Molly answer, if there ever was one. Cam supposed it was fair. She was adaptable, and more than that she wasn’t a typical… well, anything. He had an incredible difficulty imagining her enjoying the lake country of Naboo or the beaches of Glee Anselm. There was always Zeltros, but it was such a cop out and the last time he’d been there he’d ended up in a relationship that hadn’t exactly gone the way he’d hoped.

Granted, he was perfectly content to have Elina far and well behind him now, but it still was a certain thing he didn’t care to be reminded of. So that kinda was out on his side, unless Molly did some particular convincing. And she had already made it clear she really didn’t have a pull to any particular place, so it would remain out of the running.

"Doesn't matter. Where would you go?"

He was tempted to echo the same, even if to him it probably wasn’t nearly as true. He just… wasn’t in the mood for this. This… idle talk. He wanted to get this done and get out of here. But it was not fault of Molly’s that they were stuck in this--in fact, it was quite literally his--and he had asked first. Though to some it might have seemed she had brushed his inquiry off, to him he knew she had answered as honestly as she could. It truly didn’t matter to her.

So. Turnabout was fair play, and he took a drink of the water provided as he thought about it. To his surprise, it didn’t take too long to arrive at at least one answer. “I’ve always considered going to Alsakan. Just once, at least. Maybe see the Mosaics remnant.” He’d never had reason to go to the would-be capital of the galaxy, but it had always struck him as interesting. It had a culture of its own and all.

He could see Molly there. Tolerating it. Maybe even enjoying the ecumenopolis, though he didn’t imagine she would admit to it if she did.

Something struck him, though. For all he was sulking, Molly was being… quite patient with him. Just being here at all. She was forcing him to see this through and that was part of his reason for being surly, but she was forcefully not abandoning him and… that was no small thing. Right? More than that, more than just trying to keep up appearances, maybe she was actually interested in the question she had posed.

Sighing at himself, he resolved to lighten up at least until he was in a place where being morose wasn’t going to be inescapably inconvenient for the woman who went out of her way for him far more than anyone else.

Outside, the world was dimming more and more by the minute. He wondered if they’d see lights come on in the supposed safe house once twilight took hold. And if not... what then? There was only so long they could sit here and play the contented couple.
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Molly Grimm
 Posted: Oct 19 2017, 08:46 PM
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“I’ve always considered going to Alsakan. Just once, at least. Maybe see the Mosaics remnant.”

Her lips parted and scarred flesh around her advanced optics pinched as they narrowed on him. A question brewed in her dangerous little mind. Molly closed her mouth and worked her jaw, seemingly thinking through whatever flitted forth. Eventually—about the time their drinks came—she shook her head and her shoulders raised beneath her coat in a shrug.

Their waiter claimed the woman's attention, and she grinned as he placed two tumblers on the table between them. The surface of the amber liquor broken by a rounded cube of crystal clear ice. "Oh thanks so much!" The wide smile, joyful and cheery, was at odds to the demeanor Muse knew (and loved). Molly had weaponized her scowl long before Muse came into her life.

With their waiter retreating with the promise their food wouldn't be long, the mask slipped a degree. Molly took one of the glasses in hand and swirled the contents, the ice clinking against the tumbler's walls. She took a long swig and rolled her shoulders. As the burn worked down her esophagus and spread throughout her chest. Molly murmured contentment and hadn't realized how much she needed that drink.

She met his eye and released a pent-up breath. "Alsakan? Never frelling heard of it." Mosaics… she heard of them before, but something told her it wasn't what she thought. This was the first time she considered them for any amount of time. The place already sounded stupid. She eyed the building opposite and took another drink.

"Why there?" She asked quietly, her voice held a tremor of uncertainty as she stared out the window, unable to meet his eye.
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Cameron Muse
 Posted: Nov 25 2017, 12:51 PM
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Mynock
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Molly considered his answer with more intensity than expected, so when the waiter showed up with drinks in hand and set them down with dull thuds that Cameron only took note of because he’d been focusing entirely too much in turn, the fact that Molly piped up with her non-characteristic, "Oh thanks so much!", made him slightly… uneasy?

Why was that? He was quick to reach for his own glass as the waiter went off to attend other things, and he drank just enough to set himself to coughing lightly at his own haste as he set it back down. They both needed that tonight, he imagined. If Molly had to keep throwing her fake self out there to be socially acceptable, he at least needed to take the edge off of the knee-jerk reaction he’d realized slowly over the years.

He knew her well enough to know when she was being fake. And he also knew her well enough to know that her fake smile was dangerous. It hid contempt. And in feeling a part of this scenario where the pleasant fakery was being presented, it felt like a threat.

So maybe it wasn’t strange when the next shift back to proper Molly actually settled him.

"Alsakan? Never frelling heard of it."

This, somehow, made him smile a little, the faint edges of a laugh in his breath as he exhaled. This was the proper Molly, willing to absolutely scorn the honest answer of her partner simply because she was unfamiliar with an entire, historically relevant planet. He had met her eyes more easily in that moment than he had in all of the stake-out previous, and then her gaze went sideways.

Something occurred to him then, that for all her secrets, her contempt was basically her way of being honest, and he found value in that. As such, he fully expected her to pull away from the conversation, having expressed her dismissal simply enough, and he would have let it go but--

"Why there?"

Color him surprised. Possibly literally if she had a finger on the Force at all in that moment. His brows raised and he paused to consider an answer, reaching for his drink to take a much more modest swallow this time and mulled on it.

“Well, it’s a city planet, so it’s less likely to be pure tourist trap. But there’s… history there. They spent thousands of years in conflict with Coruscant over trade routes. They might have even been galactic capital if things had gone better for them. The Mosaics themselves were largely ruined in some of the last of those fights, but like… I guess that’s part of what made them interesting. They were a Wonder of the Galaxy but that didn’t make them untouchable.”

He watched her as she watched the building, aware that her asking had meant something, but uncertain to really get an accurate pulse on the situation.

Bright side, she seemed to have dragged him a few inches from his sulking.
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Molly Grimm
 Posted: Feb 8 2018, 10:30 PM
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Cannok
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“Well, it’s a city planet, so it’s less likely to be pure tourist trap. But there’s… history there.”

History… Molly never put much frelling stock in history. It happened and there was frell all that anyone could do to change that. Her eyes were firmly set on the now; the only thing in her life that controlled.

“They spent thousands of years in conflict with Coruscant over trade routes.”

Here she perked up. War was something she understood—at least she frelling hoped it was that kind of conflict. Frelling Force, she would shit if this was a political scuffle waged with sanctions and stern speeches. Molly grumbled into her glass, hoping for something juicy.

“They might have even been galactic capital if things had gone better for them. The Mosaics themselves were largely ruined in some of the last of those fights, but like… I guess that’s part of what made them interesting. They were a Wonder of the Galaxy but that didn’t make them untouchable.”

Ruined. Fights. Frell yes. Her expression lifted and she at least appeared to be listening. While still clueless about what made the Mosaics important or even worth seeing after so frelling long, Muse seemed to be interested. She kept her mouth shut and just drank instead. Sitting across from him, she mulled something over.

"So if these Mosaics were so frelling important, why didn't they just fix them." She shrugged and placed her glass back onto the table. "Then you don't need to look at some shitty ruins." She spoke as if it was obvious and no one considered it before.
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Cameron Muse
 Posted: Feb 27 2018, 02:56 AM
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Mynock
First Lieutenant
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Molly actually seemed to be paying attention. For a brief moment his slightly more cynical self had begun to wonder if she was simply using the conversation as cover. If she got him talking, at least, everything would appear normal and she wouldn't have to put on quite as much of as how whenever the waiter came back around to check on them.

But the edge wasn't quite that and she paid him mind without seeming to really care about anyone who might or might not have been watching. And when he reached his less-than-stunning conclusion of his explanation, she even had something on her mind worth sharing.

"So if these Mosaics were so frelling important, why didn't they just fix them. Then you don't need to look at some shitty ruins."

It struck Cam so unexpectedly and so against how he'd been feeling up until this moment that it startled a brief laugh out of him."That's, uhm--" Kriff, he barely even know how to respond to that. Molly seemed to think it was the most logical thing possible. She really was a fixer, for all she destroyed. Either something worked or you put it down completely, he supposed.

"A lot of people really put a lot of stock into preserving history, I guess. If you go fixing everything or covering it up everyone just forgets the price that was paid. Historical societies get all bent out of shape when we start burying things in modern cities. Rebuilding the ruins of the Mosaics would probably elicit the same sort of reaction."

It was amusing that he had to explain this to a grown woman at all, but he knew better than to expect her to put stock in the things more mundane people did. Still, she'd spurred a smile on him and it lingered. "Just conjecture, of course. Passing interest."

Were moods a little lighter he might have suggested he could research it for her if she was so concerned. Maybe there was a 'restore the Mosaics' society out there somewhere.
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Molly Grimm
 Posted: Jul 9 2018, 05:31 PM
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Cannok
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"That's, uhm--"

He laughed then and Molly tried her best not smile. No secret that his mood annoyed her, seeing him laugh again almost made the effort worthwhile. But she wasn’t about to let a smile linger when a frown naturally curved her lips.

"A lot of people really put a lot of stock into preserving history, I guess. […] Rebuilding the ruins of the Mosaics would probably elicit the same sort of reaction."

Molly’s brow twitched into a furrow at his response. Two things irked her with his reply; first was the reply, the second was how quickly it came. It made her think she missed something important. Ruminating into her drink, Molly gulped back the whiskey. She smacked her lips.

"Just conjecture, of course. Passing interest."

She’ll show him passing interest. "Well, you can't go around remembering and making monuments of everything, gods damn it. Nothing get done then. Just conjecture, of course." Molly laughed through teeth at her witty retort. Yes, she knew what conjecture meant. It meant frell you.

There was no reflection in her world, no dwelling on the past. The thought of her joining a Restore the Mosaics society was laughable. It would not end well. The bureaucracy of petitions and council votes would grate her nerves until she took things into her own hands; can’t vote against something if you’re dead. It was a good thing Muse didn’t mention any restoration societies in need of outside help.
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