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07.06.2012 , 11:08 AM |
On Faith Alone
(minor Scourge story spoilers)
continuing the Esma/Scourge saga......
"Well, blast it," Esma muttered as she watched the damaged ladder give way and crash to the debris-littered ground. She could see Scourge tracking its fall from the ground far far below before he stepped to the side and avoided the tangled metal.
His voice was faint as he called something up to her, but she couldn't make out the words.
The hypermatter tower was ridiculously tall. She'd scaled it to disable a tracking beacon that was allowing Imperial ships to land secretly in the dead of night, but like everything else on Corellia the tower had been damaged in the fighting. Esma walked the perimeter of the tower, peering off the edge for any nearby buildings or ledges she could jump to. Nothing. This was the last standing tower on the block, everything else was smouldering ruins and deadly pools of hypermatter. She spotted a ledge three-quarters of the way down, but even that was too far to jump to by herself. She pursed her lips as she considered Scourge pacing at the base of the tower.
"Can you reach that ledge?" she called down, pointing to the sliver of duracrete.
Scourge pointed to the ledge.
"Get to it," she yelled, "I'm going to jump. You're going to catch me."
She couldn't make out what he said, but she was sure it wasn't flattering. She could almost feel him scowl from her vantage point before he made a fluid leap to a handhold halfway to the ledge and then another leap to the ledge itself.
"Ready?" she called down, rubbing her hands on her pants leg.
She took his faint grumble for assent and lowered herself off the side, grasping the edge of the tower, checking her trajectory. If Scourge didn't catch her, there was going to be an Esma-sized smear on the ground. She let go, focused on feeling the Force, allowing it to guide her as she plummeted towards the ground. She reached out a hand and a large one crushed hers, bringing her downward fall to a jarring stop as Scourge swung her up and onto the ledge with him. For a brief moment, he kept hold of her as she steadied herself, both of them breathing a little heavier than normal as they met the other's eyes. Her shoulder burned like crazy. She settled down into a healing trance, blocking out the pain and mending the torn ligaments.
"You are too trusting." She broke out of her trance and glanced up at Scourge who was scowling at her.
"What are you talking about?" She stood and rotated her shoulder. It wasn't a hundred percent, but it would do to get her down off the tower.
"You cannot put so much faith in me. I am Sith, as you have apparently forgotten."
"I haven't forgotten," she said, shrugging as she measured the distance from ledge to ground, "but it doesn't matter all that much. My instincts say you're trustworthy."
She jumped off the ledge, landing hard but intact. Scourge slammed into the ground next to her.
"You must always be on guard against betrayal. Have you forgotten Revan and the Jedi Exile?"
"The fact that you're warning me not to trust you is somewhat ironic, you know," she said with half a grin as she stood up.
"Take heed of what I say. Your trust is misplaced."
She began picking her way through the debris toward one of the many underground passages in the city. "You betrayed them because you thought it was the only way to stop the Emperor, correct?"
"My vision showed me as much," he said as he kept pace with her.
"And you always trust your visions."
"Long experience has shown me the futility of opposing their messages," he said soberly.
"Have you ever tried to stop them?" She glanced up at his face. His jaw was tight, brows drawn.
"I had a brother once. Until the day I had a vision in which I struck him down we were...close. I tried to avoid the fate I had been shown, kept away from him for many years. It made no difference. In the end, my absence destroyed any family feeling between us - he tracked me down and engaged me in combat in spite of my protests, and so I killed my brother. Every one of my visions has come to pass, no matter my attempts to avoid the fate set before me. You cannot trust me, I have killed allies and betrayed vows."
"What are you trying to say? That I'm next on your list?" she asked as they ducked into a crumbling tunnel where complacent Corellians had once traveled.
"Your naivety is maddening. As if I would tell you such a thing if I planned it." Frustration was thick in his voice.
"So what's going on here? I don't understand you." She stopped walking, watching him continue ahead a few paces.
"Your willingness to rely on me is a weakness you must erase." He growled, his back muscles tense.
"Are you planning to betray me?" she asked, trying to sort out his uncharacteristic disquiet.
Without a word he slammed her into a nearby wall, smashing the air out of her chest. "Be done with these questions," he snarled, "I have no such intentions, but it makes no difference. If I had a vision that required your death I would kill you, have no doubts."
Esma's heart thundered as she looked up into his eyes, taking in the unexpected pain she found there. "Would you regret having to kill me?" she asked softly.
"Do not ask such things!"
She could see beads of sweat form at his brow, feel the heavy muscle pinning her to the wall, and yet her instincts told her she was safe. Granted, high amounts of heat were washing through her system, but she felt curiously safe.
"Tell me," she whispered, her eyes caught in his pain-filled ones.
Scourge closed his eyes, dropping his head. His whisper was low and ragged, "It would destroy me."
Esma's eyes widened. She hesitated and then tilted her head, softly catching his lips with hers. He jerked, his eyes snapping open as he stumbled back. Esma lifted her hand to his cheek and then silently slipped past him, feeling his eyes boring into her back as she walked down the tunnel.
Scourge's tendancy to betray, well, everyone is something I struggled with quite a bit. I mean, how can you have a relationship with someone if you can't rely on them?? And why does he keep telling my JK not to trust him??? But I think I have it figured out now...maybe lol.
Oh, and in case you haven't run through the Scourge story yet, the brother I have him talking about isn't mentioned, but really he doesn't talk about his family at all soooo....
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
My Name is Solomon Crae
The Man in the Box