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07.20.2012 , 10:11 PM |
Did I suggest
for the sole purpose of typing up this image in my head? Why, yes, I did!
1200 words. Sith Warrior Ruth. KOTOR spoilers that you'll get from playing through Republic Taris. No Warrior plot spoilers.
When Ruth announced her intention to do some scouting on the ground herself on Taris, she expected someone to argue. Vette did argue, technically, but it was a 'you can go do what you want, I'm staying in the burnt-out building that's least likely to collapse on me' kind of argument. Quinn, who had spent most of the last thirty-six hours pacing in the lake garrison's briefing room awaiting word from the local support team, eagerly took a speeder alongside Ruth to strike out beyond a nearby Imperial outpost.
By night Taris seemed to be dominated by the great skeletal buildings that civilization had left. By day it was dominated by the creeping green that nature was reasserting. Pathways were uncertain, intact doorways were hard to see, but at least rakghoul activity was down.
She kept her speeder at a slow pace while she scanned the terrain for signs of recent human activity. When Quinn slowed down she slowed and stopped beside him. "What is it?" she asked.
"Historical note, my lord." He pointed at a vast ridge that, now that he noted it, was too straight to be natural. "That's the Endar Spire. It was shot down during one of the critical points of the Jedi Civil War, some three hundred years ago."
She examined it further. It was a huge ship, and the crash hadn't done it any favors. Now that she was looking she could see a vast Republic icon brushed onto one side. "Really?" she said.
"Yes. This was the transport carrying Revan after his capture by the Jedi during the Jedi Civil War. In seeking to recover or kill him, Imperial forces shot the Spire down just prior to the bombardment."
"Revan walked around in there. Wow." Without thinking about it, Ruth dismounted and started walking toward a yawning gap that looked like it might offer a way in. "My father admired Revan a great deal. He was a seeker, someone who could find strength in more than the extremes."
"I am not surprised you favor him, my lord. - Stop."
Ruth hesitated at a lopsided threshold in a tangle of metal. "What?"
"The wrecked ramp there may collapse that entire mass. I wouldn't advise going in; it's less than safe and there's little likelihood of enemy activity within."
"Perhaps, but I want to explore." She held his gaze for a moment and, since he didn't seem to be weakening, she dropped into her colder command demeanor. "I intend to explore."
He gave an oblique nod. "Very well. Follow me, I have an idea where the original doors would have been."
Quinn found her an entrance, then produced a brilliant hand lamp by which to navigate the slanted deck of the ruined ship. "The fine lines at waist level on the wall were lit navigation guides. It was a convention on a number of Republic ships: blue to guide to the medical bay, brown to the crew quarters, yellow to engineering."
"That would make my life so much easier on our capital ships."
"My lord, that would ruin the aesthetic. Besides, you have me to show you the way."
Well, if I got lost anyway, maybe we could have red and, um, darker red, and darker darker red nav lights. That way we wouldn't ruin the Imperial theme."
"Or you could have actual support staff, my lord."
"Creative contingency planning, captain. Roll with it. - What is this?" She darted into a low room filled with row upon row of equipment racks. About a quarter of them held a scattering of blaster rifles. The other three-quarters..."Vibroblades? Why so many?"
"Combat was very different in those days, my lord. Their blaster technology was next to useless in close-quarters fighting. Once an enemy had closed, vibroswords were far and away the best defense." Quinn held the lamp aloft and looked around. "Many are missing. That suggests the crew was prepared for or actively defending against a boarding action."
"We were sending our people on board while shooting it down?"
"We would have boarded first; our fire would have focused on disabling their turrets and engines. You only shoot to destroy once you're sure your forces can't wrest what they want from within...or once they've already gotten it." He stepped back into the hall and started walking in what appeared to be a random direction. "I didn't see the boarding breach from outside. We'll have to seek signs in here."
And he was off. He described any tech she asked about that he recognized, to her delight; but his primary concern was exploring the area and piecing together the events that happened just before the ship had broken up and crashed. Somehow some parts of the antique broken mess were distinguishable from other parts of the antique broken mess in significant ways, which he laid out in a manner that made the exercise sound more or less sane.
They stopped before a massive blast door just behind the bridge. It was partially submerged in churned-up dirt and durasteel: the door itself had won the fight with the ground, and had stayed intact. Quinn examined the edges, checked the nearest control console, briefly hooked up some contacts from his blaster's ion cell to attempt to power said console, scowled, gave up. Glared at the door again.
"Report, captain," she said gently. That was usually the best way to bring him out of these fits.
"Multiple holding actions were fought on the way here. It's possible that the Imperial forces were working their way forward to seize control of the ship entirely, but this door indicates they didn't make it. Or..."
"This path leads to the bridge, but it also leads to the escape pods. If the Republic forces weren't just defending the helm, then they shed a great deal of blood to make sure that someone got off this ship alive."
He nodded. "I suspect so." He looked up and around the old hallway. "I don't think there's anything more to be extracted without proper tools."
She stooped to grab a hydrospanner he had left beside the control console. "It takes a certain kind of person to look at a three-hundred-year-old hulk and think 'Hey, I'm going to reconstruct the events of its last hours by myself using only an ion cell and a hydrospanner.'"
He plucked the tool from her fingers with a somewhat hassled look. "Well, said hulk isn't doing anyone any good while it lies here unexamined, my lord."
"I know. Thank you for showing me through. I learned a great deal."
She realized she was grinning like an idiot. He was so ridiculously passionate, and she had just gotten over an hour's worth of listening to him and getting to look at him without combat getting in the way. And he was definitely getting suspicious. And he had definitely told her less than three days ago that she shouldn't get ideas.
It was that last recollection that wiped the smile off her face. She cleared her throat. "We should get back to scouting, then."
"Yes, my lord." Quinn, having traversed the winding path once, made the ship his; he remembered every trick step and every unstable corridor, and he guided her safely and surely back out into daylight. Quinn never led her wrong.
Blasters are terrible in melee? Shout out to the D&D rules KOTOR adapted. Also, let's face it, the damage stats on KOTOR blasters sucked. If I could've given HK-47 a vibrosword instead we would've carved the galaxy to pieces together.
Ah, to be nineteen and crushing so hard it hurts. My other femWar is years older and miles more cynical. So's my Smug. And my Inquisitor, come to think of it. And my Agent, Chiss (thus early-maturing) though he is, is older than any of them...gee. Poor Ruth is my baby. I gotta start writing my male Trooper, because I think his headspace requires the least adjustment to get into...
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