Senator Cassian J. Andor of Fest exchanges vital information from the Alliance with Senator Jyn Erso of Vallt over lunch.
The senator from Fest had “people”: secretaries and assistants and aides, whereas Jyn, as the elected representative from little-populated Vallt, had only herself. But despite this, Senator Andor came himself when it came time for the exchange of information. She knew his face from the holos–had seen him briefly across the wide expanse of the senate chambers, but this was the first time face to face.
He was wrapped in a blue overcoat lined with fur even though Coruscant rarely got that cold. It struck Jyn as odd–they were both from ice planets and yet here he was still cold. She had long gotten used to the glacial temperatures of her birth planet and merely wore her senate robes while she waited for him to arrive at lunch.
“My apologies for the delay, Senator Erso,” he said, bowing as he arrived at their table where his water glass was wet with condensation and his salad wilting under the weight of the dressing.
She rose and bowed her head. “It’s no problem, Senator Andor,” she said, even though it had been an inconvenience–even more, really, because this wasn’t usual senate business. This was a covert exchange of information. This was rebellion.
“Please, call me Cassian.”
“Jyn,” she said more out of courtesy than anything.
He sat down at the table and she returned to her seat, and sliding his hand across the table to his water, she saw him drop a data card out of his sleeve onto the white linen. Jyn reached over to reach for her wine and swiped it up into her palm.
“It’s cold today, isn’t it?” he said idly even though she watched his eyes dart around the room. The smile never left his place–neutral and pleasant, and his demeanor, she thought, seemed more well suited for a spy than for a senator. But then, she only had to look at herself–she was more a brawler than a politician, but the cards had fallen that way and she had rather see herself in the position than the opposition.
“Is it not cold from where you’re from, too?” she asked if weather was to be the topic of discussion today.
“Not as cold as from where you are from,” he said, and he smiled, lines crinkling around his dark brown eyes, a burst of real warmth that surprised her.
“You know much of me?” she asked, forking a leaf of lettuce she had no intention of eating.
“I do,” he said. “But there’s always so much more to know about a person, don’t you think?”
“They say the greatest weapon we can have is information.”
“It sounds like you are quoting Saw Gerrera,” he said, running a finger across the rim of an empty wine glass.
“Is he wrong?” she asked, making a mental note to look further into the senator, to find out more about his past and not just his present.
“He is not.”
A silence fell between them, and Jyn wondered again why he had not sent his aid instead for this very basic passing of intel, but she was good at handling the unexpected.
“Unfortunately I must cut this lunch short,” he said finally, salad still untouched. “But perhaps you’d be interested in doing this again?”
“Person or professional?” she asked pointedly, squaring her gaze on his face.
He looked down and chuckled. “Why not both?”
“Fraternizing between senate colleagues? I think the rules frown upon that,” she returned, coy, but still she flushed a little bit, feeling warm under her collar.
“I thought Jyn Erso of Vallt was known for being something of a … rebel.”
“I never said that I adhered to the rules, Senator,” and her retort garnered another smile from him, wider and genuine. She wondered again why he had chosen to come himself for the hand off, but this time was less concerned and more intrigued.
“Cassian, please,” he said, rising to his feet. She followed suit, and he reached across the table and took her hand, kissing her on the knuckles. She followed his eyes, and saw the seriousness in them before he lifted his head, and then she understood: he wanted to recruit her to the secret cells of the rebellion. And he had to be a member himself.
“Your people will contact me then?” she asked, even as she saw eyes on them in the restaurant: spies or gossips, it didn’t matter. She could keep playing at this.
“I’ll do it myself, if you’d like,” he said instead.
“I would like that,” she replied, and was surprised that she meant it.
“You’ll be hearing from me soon then, Jyn.”
Jyn nodded. “I do hope so, Cassian.”
For my 1k celebration–I had to get back to these prompts since I am chugging my way toward 2k, eep!