‹ Prequel: The Hidden Truth
Sequel: A Last Good Bye

Reaching Through Darkness

Dancing The Men Away


I had to admit I felt pretty. I felt like a lady rather than a butt kicking force using Jedi. I looked beautiful and my master did admit that much with his long lasting stare. I also had to admit that Nea had a way of making my face blush red and giggle. Something that Mirmo couldn’t do. Maybe, just maybe Nea wasn’t such a bad guy. His car was certainly nice, as was the ride.

For the first time we headed up, rather than down the city. I much preferred going up and staying up. For one thing we were much safer. There were more cloud cars, richer, newer, less battered cars, more friendly people, and less insane drivers. The buildings were in better repair, some were even gleaming in the light. There were more signs flashing advertisements. It seemed the higher we went the more government looking buildings we came across. The city was divided up into different zones according to Mirmo, who was giving me another lecture. Each zone had a different look to it, with different stores and businesses. Although all zones had basic stores to buy food and clothing, but each one specialized in something. The center of the city was the Republican Capital where the senate and galactic leader, the proper title being Chief of State, Leia Solo, where governing the galaxy. Around highest levels of the Republican capital were a million expensive cafes and fancy clothing stores showing off clothes. I didn’t even want to think about the price of a few high class hotels. As we drove further from the government center there were more apartments and small businesses. Sometimes there would be a break in housing and there would be a block of pure shops, bars, restaurants, and entertainment centers. It was late in the afternoon, about time when work ended for most people. As a result, there was heavy traffic. Nea was in no rush, so he would go around the blocks avoiding the stop and go cars. Strange, even though I was billions of light years away from my home planet, bad traffic still existed.

Sadly, the time came to head back down to the seedy underworld to make it on time for the meeting. Mirmo promised me that if things went right during the meeting, we would be back up in a day or two. That cheered me up and made it more sufferable as the glamour of the buildings faded away. Hard dirty reality seemed to set in, the lower we went. The quality of the air dropped, and soon I found myself holding my hand to my nose as we flew pass reeking vents.

“This is it.”

We stopped at this dirty and loud canteen. The walls of the stone building seemed to shake with the beat of the music and vibrated my ears. I saw flashing blinding lights through the cracks of the window from the front with many mugs hurled at it. I waited for Nea to come around and open the door. I could’ve opened the door myself but Master Mirmo made it very clear that my safety came first in a neighborhood like this. A thick but not human hand was offered in front of my face. I shook my head and took it to climb out of the car's low ceiling. Once the car was locked up and the place was checked out to be declared safe, we approached the door. A mass of leathery dark skin and massive muscles, armed with tough armor, teeth, and vicious looking claws standing in our way of the door. Ah, this must be the security, I thought. Between the untamed spikes of fur and hair, I saw two small beaded black eyes squint at us suspiciously. Ah, this was the not very bright but surely tough security. Even Nea, who was huge in my eyes seemed weak and small compared to this being. Still, I noticed it was Nea who stepped forward with confidence. Mirmo drew closer to me without moving. His hand twitched next to where our lightsabers were hidden.

“Hello good sir. A fine evening, would you not agree?”

The guard grunted. I doubted that this being understood what Nea was talking about. I was pretty sure this living mass knew one thing and that was to kill anyone who bothered him. I fervently hoped Nea knew this as well.

“Yes, yes I agree completely."

"Well my good sir, we are part of the Dawners and have been invited to this little party, so if you would kindly let us in. That would be swell.”

The guard grunted and squinted some more. Several minutes of silence had passed. No one moved.

I say “Sir, we were invited to the Happy Mug canteen. You can check with the manager if you want.”

More grunts, more silence, and still no movement. Nea didn’t seem to be getting very far with this.

“D’Than, whatcha goin’ on here? Who ar’ these folks?”

A balding, short and fat man appeared at the doorway. He looked at the guard and then at our small party. His eyes widened, and he jumped back once he recognized us.

“M’ dear love! Mirmo! Nea! Oh, m, dear three hearts. How could I’ve not noticed. Oh forgive me gentlemen. D’Than, move aside for these rare honorable beings of power and riches. No one told me you two were showing up here at this gathering. No wonder why they wanted higher security. Right this way, gentlemen.”

We were lead in to the crowded and noisy canteen. There was one large room with a bar table on the back wall. A center square filled with people dancing and tables all around the walls with the drunk or with species getting drunk. They were talking, laughing, shouting, and of course drinking. Thick smoke filled the room making me choke. My eyes watered. There were two other doors that could be seen in the flashing lights. One was guarded by the same specie as the pervious guard. There were tons of weapons being displayed in the open. Mostly blasters, but some knives and something that looked like a battle axe. Also types of throwing stars. I could hardly believe Mirmo was taking me here when he was so worried about my safety.

“As you can see Dawner Mirmo, the meeting has not started yet. We are waiting for the boss from the Darkies to show up. I say you have about half an hour to tank up before he shows up.”

The short man had to stand on his tip toes and shout as loud as he could to be heard. Even then he wasn’t all that clear. Mirmo nodded, then turned away and walked to the bar in the back. I hurried and followed him. He found the bar tender and gestured. Within a few seconds a drink was produced and handed to him. I gathered near Mirmo and looked at him, wondering what to do. He smiled and looked directly at the dancing square and then looked back at me. I guessed he wanted me to go dance and enjoy myself. I took a few steps towards the dancers then stopped. Some of the dancers were clinging close to the opposite sex. Others seemed to dance alone but in close proximity of someone else, male or female.

The moves of the dance were simple; fast side to side movements was the basic step. If that could be mastered, add moving up and down while side to side. This was the sort of dancing I was use to in my school dances back before the academy. Surely I could fit in nicely. Yet, I couldn’t get myself to move. Finally, a hand coming from no where grabbed me and drawn me into the tightly packed crowd. I saw that a human, tall and blond male had caught me and started moving to the beat. I joined his dance. When the song ended, he leaned over and shouted in my ear asking my name. I shouted back what my name was. He said that it sounded pretty and put his hands on my waist as the next song continued. We danced again to a different song but with the same beat. Once the song was over, the DJ seemed to have something to say.

“A free drink will go to whoever can prove they are the best creativity dancer.”

Cheers and calls blasted my ears. I waited for the first people to make their claim. I then looked over at Mirmo. I knew he had been watching me the whole time while sipping his drink. He picked up on my question and nodded an approval. I raised my hand and called out that I could out do any man in the building.

“Will ya look at this men, a young lady would like the challenge you all.”

Cheers and cries of disbelief had met my challenge. I placed my hands on my hips and held a steady glaze. I said that I would be the last to dance. Everyone did agree to this. The dance of the men varied in quality. Some of the dancers were far too drunk to even move, not to mention dancing. Some were still sober enough to move pretty well. Still, none of them matched the speed, the balance, and the grace of what I could pull off. When it was my turn, I asked the DJ for a fair fast beat. One that was good for footwork. He gave me an interesting look, but obeyed my request. The dance floor had been cleared to give me space. So I took my place. I waited for the introduction of the song to play while bouncing my knees to the beat. Then I danced. It was the same type of dancing that caught Master Mirmo’s eye before he took me as his apprentice. The dancing was complex, no move was repeated in a row. The whole floor space was used. I used all levels and all angles. I danced forward and backwards. I threw in a few jumps just for fun. In the end, I sensed that the song was going to end and timed my final pose. There was a roar of approval from the crowed. I bowed like I had been taught in lightsaber class and moved to the side. The DJ asked for my name.

“Well men, I think our pretty Karen Nightingstar has earned her drink for tonight.”

There was more shouting and whistling. I left the dance floor for Mirmo, who offered me a mug of something. I accepted it and downed it eagerly. He handed me another but when I raised it to my mouth, he flashed a warning in his bright eyes. I put the mug to my mouth but didn’t drink any. When I lowered the mug Mirmo leaned over and quietly said:

“It is ale. Weak, but I don’t think you would want to drink it. You need to have this for the meeting. Pretend to sip it throughout the meeting and keep quiet. Do not attract attention to yourself, just follow my lead.”

I nodded, picked up my mug and followed him to the guarded door.