Sith Academy: The Visitor
by the Intrepid Housemate Melissa TM
[Read Melissa's author bio]

Gustav Solo, the greatest lockpick on Coruscant (or so he liked to think, though deep in a corner of his brain a voice whispered again the rumor that the master thief Vila Restal had recently returned to the capitol planet, and he could pick any lock if he were scared enough) crouched silently in the hallway, examining the locked apartment door in front of him. It had a fairly sophisticated THX-1138-type locking mechanism, but it was showing some wear, as if it had been repeatedly forced open and then repaired. A flip of his pick, plus a deft application of a credit card he had recently "acquired," and he was in!

Phew! Solo stifled the urge to voice his disgust. The apartment was a mess -- clothes flung everywhere, empty pizza boxes on the ground, and cat fur coating everything. But sloth did not equal poverty, Solo knew. Aha, paydirt! A laptop, a vidscreen, a Sony PlayStation, a great stereo system -- yes, this was the correct apartment! The telltale signs had been there in the trash: ripped-open PlayStation cartridge boxes, old copies of the Coruscant Weekly Web, all the little things that let a master thief know that the resident at that address had electronic gadgets just ready and waiting to be "liberated."


Solo froze. What was that sound? The only thing he could see in the direction from which it came was a thick, ancient book tossed in the corner.


That had come from behind him. Of course, the cat! Hmm, he had better get a move on before the feline's antics woke whomever it was that had so conveniently purchased these goodies.


The noise in the corner again. Was that book... moving?

This was getting weird. Solo decided to just grab the PlayStation and be done with it. He bent down to unplug the unit and found himself looking into gold, slitted eyes. Deep eyes. Commanding eyes....


Gustav Solo, the greatest lockpick on Coruscant (if you didn't count the times that the master thief Vila Restal was in town) crouched silently in the hallway, examining the locked apartment door in front of him. It was the standard-issue lock for an apartment building of this type. A quick jab with his elbow popped it open easily.

Phew! The air smelled of perfume and cedar, and a feather boa hung on the inside of the front door which nearly made Solo sneeze. He couldn't quite remember why he had chosen to break into this particular apartment, but he saw a computer system, a stereo, and... what in the world was that huge thing perched on the low bookshelf against the wall? Quietly he knelt down and read the label by the soft glow of the force shield: Habitrail Power Hamster EcoSphere 9000.

A hamster cage? Shit, that was one hell of a setup for a rodent! So, where was the lucky beast? Ah, there, perched on the cedar-shavings nest in the corner. Disgusting little rat.

The hamster opened its beady black eyes and looked at the thief. Deep eyes. Commanding eyes...


Gustav Solo, the second greatest lockpick on Coruscant, crouched silently in the hallway, examining the locked apartment door in front of him. He was pretty familiar with these THX-1138-type locks, and was able to break in noiselessly.

Have I been here before? Solo shrugged -- after years of thievery, one filthy apartment started to look like another. Ah, now here was some useful gear -- PlayStation, laptop, stereo...


Solo whirled around. A thick book had fallen onto the floor in front of the door. But from where?


Now that sounded like some sort of animal. A cat, most likely, given the coating of white fur everywhere.

An inner voice told him to just grab the laptop and go. Solo walked toward the chair where it had been left sitting open, only to find that a cat had just jumped onto the keyboard. Solo tried to shoo her away, but the beast sunk needle-sharp teeth into his thumb! "Mmmnnggrrrrfffffff!!!" Solo stifled his scream as best he could, hoping that the apartment's occupant slept soundly.

Solo looked angrily at the cat. He could swear that she was enjoying his pain. I am going to wring your neck! he seethed, reaching for the cat with his good hand. She raised a paw, but instead of slashing at him, the thief found himself looking into the cat's gold, slitted eyes. Deep eyes. Commanding eyes....


Gustav Solo, who had a great deal of experience as a lockpick, crouched silently in the hallway, examining the locked apartment door in front of him. This standard lock wouldn't ordinarily be a problem for him, but for some reason his thumb was terribly sore. He must have bumped it on something without realizing it. With a little effort, he pried the lock open.

Yech! The whole decor was pink. Even then perfumed air smelled pink! What sort of people lived here? Solo shrugged. They were people who had nice electronic goodies like a vidscreen and a computer, which was all he really cared about.

A flash of motion caught his eye. What in the world was that contraption on the bookcase? It then occurred to him that he'd seen something like this somewhere before. It was a hamster cage -- more like a hamster castle -- and the moving thing was a hamster, running madly in its little wheel. Always running and not getting anywhere, huh buddy? Solo felt oddly sympathetic.

There was a second hamster in the cage, nested serenely amongst the cedar chips. The inner voice that so often spoke to him was trying urgently to tell him something, something about not looking at the hamster in the corner, but by then it was too late. He found himself gazing into the animal's deep, black eyes. Commanding eyes...


As Gustav Solo stepped out of Obi-Wan's apartment, his eyes googly from the Jedi Mind Whammy, My Apprentice and the Sith Handbook sat outside of Maul's apartment, waiting eagerly. As soon as the thief turned in their direction, the cat Mind Whammied him into going right back into Obi-Wan's apartment.

A few moments later he came back out again, with Fluffi-Wan trotting at his heels. For the next several minutes Solo walked back and forth between the warring parties like a duck in an arcade game, his mind completely addled by the animals who were having a terrific game of Mind Whammy Tennis.

Eventually, seeing that the opponents were evenly matched, and lacking Mind Whammy abilities of its own, the Sith Handbook flipped open to a blank page and scrawled a suggestion on how to resolve the matter. My Apprentice and Fluffi-Wan agreed, and the thief was sent on his way.


Gustav Solo, who was seriously reconsidering his career as a lockpick, crouched silently in the hallway, examining the locked apartment door in front of him. It had the crisp shine of a new and well-maintained locking mechanism, but even these could be picked with effort. Solo couldn't quite remember why he had picked this apartment, but he was sure he must have had a reason. He spent a few minutes carefully maneuvering the tumblers of the lock, and was at last rewarded with a click. Quietly he pushed the door open.

In a sudden and precise attack, Darth Mary Sue kneed him in the balls, elbowed him in the face, shoved him back into the hallway, and slammed him up against the wall.

As he was falling unconscious, Solo saw the woman give him the finger, then re-enter her apartment and lock the door securely behind her.


Gustav Solo, former lockpick, staggered down the alley, wondering what else he could do for a living. Pimping? No, not for a family man like him. Securities fraud? Too dull for someone of his talent.

Solo snapped his fingers, wincing at the sharp pain in his thumb. Piracy! Now there was an idea. A pirate and smuggler -- that was a career a man could be proud of. One that Gustav Solo could teach to his children, Hansel and Gretel.

He only hoped that they would be more successful in their careers than he had been in his!



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