By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
Triple-Zero swore up and down, in his courteously indignant way, that he hadn't assassinated the previous Chairman of the Academy for being overly fleshy and pink, and Anakin actually believed him. Before disappearing from Pandora (and re-emerging as a nine year old), he recalled overriding both Trip and Bee Tee's most murderous tendencies. With some resistance, mind, but also with success.
The nature of his predecessor's abrupt disappearance still warranted some cursory investigation and paperwork, unfortunately, per Elysium's moderately overbearing ordinances. He did remember, with exasperation, the persistent ways the Alliance would attempt to impose its order over Pandora's chaos. Tried his best to move away from that, and no doubt Hal Jordan did as well, but apparently some things were too stubborn to be changed.
"Sir, the Peacekeeper has arrived," chimed Triple-Zero.
Anakin was attempting to shake himself of the deja vu of the office, or at least the strange tingle the StarsX campus brought to the back of his neck. Thanks to both his... resume, and Chairman Tao's untimely vanishing just a few days prior, the Board was more than happy to steamroll him back into his oldest position when he'd broached the subject about his prospects of signing back up as an engineer.
... What else was he gonna do, anyway? Languish in Brattur nonstop for another three months? Besides, Chairman was a pretty mobile role back in his day. He was going to make it mobile.
"What was the name again?" he inquired absently after instructing Trip to let the investigator in, in the midst of pushing his cabinetry from one side of the window to the other, all while juggling a tiny potted succulent under one arm.
"A Lieutenant Trilla Suduri, sir."
He almost dropped that succulent, barely saving it from smashing to pieces via a thread of the Force before gripping it tightly back in his hands. His eyes shot up to the entryway, a mix of alarm and a distant pain and dread drifting across them. His mind reopened itself to all those annoying, frivolous distractions of that Force, and he cursed himself for missing it earlier.
Date: June 15th, Y109. OST: separatist. Tag: Anakin Skywalker.
StarsX was a particularly powerful entity within the confines of Pandora's moon city. A half-way modulation of Elysian government and private industry, from what she had noted it as in her mind with first brush in the company-- Trilla was acutely aware of the workings of the city's crime when it concerned her. Files passed through her desk on the daily, and the less fortunate on the criminal spectrum passed through her gaze almost just as often when she wandered in marching patrol with the rest of her Peacekeepers through the streets of the Undercity.
The lieutenant was among Elysium's most efficient in years, the entire department seeming to warp and shape under her control to her specifications. Discerning, brutal, but fair. She was nothing but fair, and she expected her officers just the same.
But among the days of days, this case seemed to be among the most interesting.
Chairman Tao, incumbent overseer of the StarsX Academy and objective board member of the Starfleet design committee, had gone missing. Three days passed already, apparently with the information gathered, and already he'd been replaced with a new chairman.
Who exactly it was, she wasn't sure, as the facts rolled in slowly. Her officers had been busy quelling civil unrest with the abdication of Secretary Jordan's place on the council, a move that many were disappointed with due to the politician's 'charming wit' and 'agreeable policies'. The man made her sick to her stomach just looking at him-- she was glad to be rid of such a pompous leader.
...But, with her patrolmen occupied, the gathering of information and clues was up to the lieutenant herself-- a notion that she'd decided to take directly to the source, as her feet marched up the campus of the institute as her personal Servitor droid floated in the air just behind her like a loyal assistant.
There was, however, a gnawing feeling in her chest-- uncertain of what the origin. Everything in it pulled through the Force, almost warning her of what she might find ahead... but it was a feeling that would have to go unanswered.
"We are approaching the Chairman's suite, ma'am." X-AE-12, her Servitor droid, noted in a dull beeping tone.
The doormen had been friendly enough, though as it was to be expected. She was here for an investigation, and the office as a whole seemed to know it from the tension that emanated from them. Trilla nodded along. "As to be expected," the peacekeeper responded, her confidence peaking through her words. "do we have any information on this new 'elected' official to go off of? Or is it guesswork as usual?"
"Our records indicate that he was a former official of the company once before," the droid answered promptly. The two closed the gap between the door slowly, her steps full of the assured stance of intimidation. Though-- it was only as she was a step away from opening the door to his office that she did receive what she was looking for. "a man by the name of Anakin Skywalker."
She hardly had the time to pause as the name settled in her brain-- the last step she took before freezing in place bringing her close enough to the door's sensor, automatically opening it with her presence detected. Eyes locked onto his figure in a snap. The face of a war hero. The man known as the chosen one. Objectively, a celebrity within the Jedi order-- though she was only yet still a Padawan while he was fighting thousands in the Clone Wars.
"M-..." Trilla began to speak, cutting herself off in an instant as she nearly misspoke the word master. The less he thought she knew, the better off it would be. No one would expect the keeper of law to be behind the new purge of Jedi. ...Besides-- he was powerful, and there were too many witnesses to struggle now. "Mister Skywalker. A pleasure to meet you. I am Lieutenant Suduri of the Peacekeepers, how is your day thus far?"
Those two seconds of hesitation felt like an eternity of time-dilated purgatory, his gaze losing focus as his mind meandered to the grunts and hisses of those ill-fated, deeply unfortunate Inquisitors each time he had slammed the fear of failure into them again and again. His blood turning to ice in his veins at the memory of drills ruled by hatred and that fear.
No, the last time Anakin Skywalker brushed shoulders with Trilla Suduri would have been at the Temple of Coruscant, in passing if at all. Not on the ocean base of that Dathomirian moon, gazing down at her frozen back with callous contempt through a red-tinted lens. That was not him.
He snapped away from the echoes of disdain - failed me - avenge us.
"It's been an adjustment," Anakin replied, tone at first clipped but settling into a stubborn upbeat with a lift of his brows. "Glad to see another from the Order adapting so seamlessly, Lieutenant." Placing down the office cactus onto his desk, he pretended as though he didn't notice the dark side's grip coalescing around her— or that he had anything to do with its construction. The pause of mutual surprise had been too obvious to deny, so he snatched up that lowest hanging fruit for his excuse and worded a response that wouldn't entirely contradict hers. They had never been familiar before Operation Knightfall, but hers was a reasonably familiar name in unexpected circumstances. That was all. That was all.
Besides, if his brain went into a remorse- (and frustration) stricken fugue each time he stumbled across somebody Darth Vader had... wronged, he'd be more vegetable than man. And if he wanted to be a vegetable, he would've stayed sequestered away in Brattur. This was fine. This was normal now.
Gesturing a hand to his left, he continued, "Trip can provide the latest available surveillance footage of Chairman Tao on site." The dark silver protocol droid dipped his upper half blandly. The Inquisitorius's knowledge of Tarkin Initiative projects had always been on an at-need basis; there was a low chance of her recognizing the obscure 0-0-0 personality matrix. Especially when it had been installed into a protocol unit as ostensibly standard as all the rest.
He made his emotions as bland as a grey rock in the Force; ironically, he had less control in the twitch of his expressions, the strain of the muscle in his brows as he pressed his lips into a tightly polite smile. But he was, as he had stated, adjusting. "Oh, uh, can I offer you anything to drink?"
How foolish he was, with the brush of the Dark side still corrupting her heart my the second with its awful scent-- for even the Chosen one himself to think (or even, perhaps, outright lie) she was still one with him and his cause. She hid her offense well, as a powerful man who opposed her in another life would only cause great loss for her life in this one.
She simply smiled at him; curt, professional was the style. "Of course, the Force guides us to things we would never think of," the words felt like acid on her tongue. The only thing the Force should be used for was killing those robe-clad, naive fools with their blue-green laser sticks and free-love communes. "binds and protects us."
Taking a step forward, as the investigation was soon to begin that X-AE-12 was raring to scan the environment and everything in it. "Colour me surprised, however," Trilla spoke a bit more freely-- though he was strong in the Force, she had the law on her side. "I wasn't so certain that the Chosen one himself would remember us younglings."
How little she knew.
She watched his gesture towards the robot of his own, a node of information that she quietly accepted with a nod. Footage would be paramount, a clue to where anything out of order might be. Taking a step forward, she looked over the protocol droid with a cursory glance, to see if any knicks or scrapes presented themselves on its paint.
... As she scanned it with her eyes, Trilla could only politely decline the offer. "I appreciate the thought," she gestured vaguely. "but it is never advised or wise to take anything from an active crime scene, yes?"
At first he thought- nearly feared- that his ignorance might have been too incredible. It was only a niggling thing, immediately reassured by his recollection of the Council's own blindness to the most powerful Sith in generations dwelling under their noses. He could play as blind as they were, if only because the alternative seemed hysterically impractical- and even less believable- in his vision. Another voice chided him for the unsustainability of denying his entire memory of the Inquisitor, but it was better when their ties had never been personal. Better yet, Trilla spoke accurately; he had no business knowing her name and identity with such accuracy in the first place.
At Chosen One, Anakin's expression briefly soured. To be stuck with that title when the brunt of the Order had mostly ever chosen to hold him at an arm's length and on occasion with thinly veiled reproach until they needed him for the war, to hear it felt like cosmic mockery especially now. Still he never would have wanted to kill them, or corrupt those like Trilla into killing them at his behest.
"Chosen to have sporadic memory," came his correction, and this was technically true. "I'm actually terrible with faces. It was probably a lucky guess," he confessed, amicably. They did blur into one another after a while, after the depersonalization he forced himself through, so that each murder and betrayal could somehow hurt a little less than the one before.
As Triple-Zero helpfully ejected a memory chip from the tip of his dark chrome finger with a "Here you are, Lieutenant Peacekeeper!", Anakin held back a note of faint exasperation at her response but neither protested nor quipped back (or at least: kept his quips to his thoughts, because by that logic this whole damnably erratic universe was an active crime scene).
He moved to prop himself back against the window overlooking the endless layers of cityscape, the gleaming streams of air traffic in the distance, and crossed his arms leisurely. "Is there anything you need me to sign? Questions to answer? Interrogations to be... interrogated through?" Raising a brow, he stubbornly maintained that cool and cheerful-adjacent veneer while letting the more distracting of his thoughts run somewhere deep beneath the surface of his mind.
So Pandora had brought Trilla here, where she in turn seized some position of stability. And that was... good? Because of course it was. That had saved her life.
O-o; I swear I posted something but it ain't showing. Anywhoo.... I'm finally back in the saddle and would love to get some plots going with Jack again. I'm unfortunately dropping down to 1 character because current events have spiked work too much for me to be confident beyond that... But if y'all want to plot with my grumpy old soldier, lemme know!