QI’RA: Chapter Twenty-Nine

Reaching Coruscant

Several hours later Qi’ra woke when she heard a knock at the door. She hadn’t gotten in the bed and instead chose to take on a nap in one of her room’s chairs. Being a leader of Crimson Dawn, she wasn’t afforded many times to sit back and relax, and with the ship’s incessant thrumming, she was lulled into the deepest sleep she had in years.

When she went to the door, fluffing her hair which she had made sure not to ruin while she slept, she found Captain Peer standing outside. It startled her, for she was expecting to see T-38 who often came to fetch her.

“We have arrived,” he told her.

Walking off of the Star Destroyer Qi’ra’s eyes were wide as she beheld Coruscant, the capital of The Empire, for the first time.

She found herself on a massive tarmac filled with parked Star Destroyers as far as the eye could see. To the left massive buildings stretched toward the sky which was filled with the vibrant hues of sunset, painting everything in a patented evening glow. Streams of air traffic flowed by overhead as travelers went to their various destinations in an eclectic array of speeders of every color imaginable.

Stormtroopers, Imperial officers and pilots, mechanics, and others walked to and fro across the busy tarmac, without paying Qi’ra or her small entourage of Crimson Dawn allies–T-38 and Top Lieutenant Nienye–any mind.

As if expecting them, a speeder appropriately sped toward them, a rare red-orange skinned male Nautolan dressed in black piloting the craft. When he saw Captain Peer he smiled.

“Good trip, sir?” he asked as they climbed into the speeder.

Captain Peer patted him on the shoulder. “Yes. Productive as always.”

“Where are we headed today, sir?”

“The Senate Building,” the captain said, glancing at a surprised Qi’ra.

“So soon?” she asked him.

Peer smiled. “The senator is dying to meet you. We wouldn’t want him to wait another second now would we?”

Qi’ra averted her gaze.

“To the Senate Building, Chaz,” the captain told the Nautolan, patting him on the shoulder.

With that, they were off, leaving the tarmac behind as they sailed toward the city. The wind ruffled Qi’ra’s dark hair as they sped past the lanes of traffic, flying high over Coruscant’s floor if there even was one. Qi’ra didn’t want to seem like she had never been anywhere before but she couldn’t mask her awe as she stared at the Imperial capital, at the buildings that towered overhead as they zipped by, at the ground that didn’t seem to exist as the buildings went down forever and ever.

T-38 must’ve been to Coruscant before because she didn’t seem too impressed but Nienye, like Qi’ra, had wide eyes full of wonder. Captain Peer seemed pleased as he stared at them surveying the city.

Peer moved closer to Qi’ra saying quietly in her ear, “I felt the same way when I first came here.”

She looked at him. “And when was that?”

He smiled wistfully. “I was twenty. I had just joined The Empire as a lowly officer. My superior saw potential in me and brought me here to see the inner workings of The Empire. It’s a memory I’ll never forget.”

The memory made her smile but she found it odd that he would share it with her when they had only just met. As she noticed Nienye closely watching the exchange with a narrowed gaze she realized she was suddenly sitting too close to the Imperial captain. She quickly distanced herself from Peer, clearing her throat.

Through the city, they flew until things cleared out and they calmly glided across a clearing toward a building whose design resembled a mushroom. As they neared the building Qi’ra found herself gazing at the bronze statues that lined the walkways. The Nautolan pilot brought the speeder down before the building.

Fancily dressed men and women of all species walked past, either hurriedly and distracted or slowly enough where they couldn’t help being nosy. As Qi’ra exited the speeder she found Nienye had quickly departed the speeder to help her down. She smiled as she noticed the intention. It was to let Captain Peer know to back off and she appreciated it.

The Imperial captain turned to Chaz the pilot, handing him a few credits.

“Thanks for the ride,” he said.

As the speeder departed the captain looked at the three of them.

“Now, let’s find a senator.”

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