Asyr and Gavin

Cera Dek'lar stopped to glance in the mirror. Usually she hardly noticed the ornament, but today it had caught her eye. Much had changed over the past six years. Her figure was as lithe as ever and her fur still shone when light struck it, but if her violet eyes weren't quite as bright as the once were , well, few species besides her fellow Bothans would notice. The white blaze was gone, carefully dyed a somber shade of gray and corporate attire had replaced her former clothing. Still, her movements were as fluid as ever, and she still looked dangerous when angered. She just hid her emotions now.

Moving down the corridor, she flipped through the files on the datapad she carried. Three shipments were expected today, the last of the latest order. Their pick-ups were in place, the spaceport guards well bribed, and accommodations had been found for them. Little by little, it was happening.

The first three years had been the most difficult. She's had to struggle on Vega — a Bothan colony world— for respect. An unknown with no family and no powerful friends, she had nevertheless found support for her novel idea. She'd bought an old sprawling estate, and opened the fist school for orphaned children in Bothan space. And if among the many Bothan students a few other species had arrived...well, the community had tolerated it. She purred at the memory.

Eventually, families had begun adopting the children--alien and non. Then, as more and more students had arrived, the predominance of Bothans had faded. She had placed close to six thousand children- -four thousand of them non-Bothans— in homes. They would grow up as members of families, bound to the power web that was Bothan life. Eventually they would marry, raise children. Bothan culture would have no choice but to change in the face of such events.

Yes, Cera Dek'lar had succeeded very well, and the cost had been... minimal. To keep her thoughts from drifting in a direction she very much wanted to avoid, Cera cleared her schedule and decided to meet the children personally. The children could make her laugh and smile. Perhaps one day they would even mend her broken heart.

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