Ruth means Compassion: A warrior’s tale
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08.11.2012 , 07:27 PM |
Line 3. Protection, 2
July, 28 ATC – 17 years after the confirmation of the Wrath
Ruth tried to control her racing thoughts as she deflected her son’s attacks and tried to land an immobilizing blow. “Rylon, why are you doing this?”
“You have to die,” he said. “I’ll be a great Sith, mother, you’ll see.”
“I can’t see that if I’m dead.”
Rylon’s brow tightened briefly. “Be quiet! Fight!”
Control. Control. She summoned up her love, her focus, her need to protect and her need to prevail. She met her son’s attacks with precision, with a steady strength that countered his furious aggression. She could disarm him. Knock him out. Leave him someplace safe. Then get to her work against the Emperor.
Ten Sith in crimson armor charged in from one of the outer hallways. “Ignore the others. Preserve the young Wrath,” called one. “There are plans for him.” They drew sabers as one and rushed to engage Ruth. She gestured toward them with her off hand saber; a little movement, a little will, and the whole group blew back like leaves. She had to keep this fight between her and Rylon, contain his violence, perfect her guard.
Rylon sneered. “I suppose that means my master doesn’t think I can destroy you on my own.”
“He doesn’t think much of either of us. Help me eliminate these before they turn on you.”
“Oh, I don’t think so.” Rylon kept fighting, and Ruth felt the angry stares of the regrouping Sith at her back.
“Damn it, droid,” whispered Quinn as he watched the red Sith guard pour in, “we need those doors sealed now.”
Command protocol = almost cracked
Quinn was at the outer end of the throne room corridor, staring in at the battle between Rylon and Ruth. He didn’t see exactly what happened when something surged from the computer interface. He only heard a long crackle, a pop, a hiss, and then T7-01 stopped so much as whirring.
He looked over to where the droid was still and slightly smoking. He kicked T7-01 free of the wall plug, but it didn’t revive. Quinn shook his head, turned away, raised his blaster rifle, braced himself against the wall of the corridor, and watched.
Lord Scourge remained frozen, arms raised to hold his saber before him. His every muscle trembled. “Larr Gith,” he shouted, with some effort. “Ruth. Attack. Now.” Something shuddered through him, an impact no one but he and perhaps the still silent form of the Emperor could see. “Larr! Ruth!”
Larr Gith finished her last opponent and stooped to touch Doc’s hair. He stared up at her with slightly unfocused eyes.
“I didn’t know,” she said. “I didn’t, I didn’t fail you. I won’t.”
He rolled his head to one side to look at the Emperor. “There another crisis going on?”
“Yeah,” said Larr Gith.
“Then go show ‘em how it’s done.” He took a deep, rattling breath and tried to smile. “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere.”
The Emperor did not turn his head when Larr Gith charged. He simply raised his other arm and she, too, froze in place, shadows leaping up to wrap around her like a second set of armor.
Quinn couldn’t afford to get in closer. If the Emperor noticed his presence he would die or, worse, immediately be coerced into attacking his allies. He could only stay at a distance and fire.
When Ruth flung the ten red Sith back, Quinn took a shot on the nearest one. A second shot, then a third, before the Sith stopped moving. The others didn’t seem to notice; they were entirely focused on regrouping around Ruth and Rylon.
They formed up in a half circle around the fighters. Two Sith stepped in to join Rylon in active fighting. Five waited for an opening.
The remaining two actually walked to where Larr Gith stood suspended and attacked her. Their sabers glanced off the darkness that coated her. Wherever Larr Gith was, her physical presence here was protected by the same shadows the Emperor held himself in.
Which just meant that the red guards returned to watching Ruth face Rylon plus backup. Quinn’s heart sank. Ruth fought with the power and grace she always did, but some kind of Force push from one of her opponents threw her off balance too early. Though her face spoke only of focused determination, he knew she must be terrified. She could make something of that fear. She always did. But she might not be able to make overcoming a full Sith squad plus her beloved son out of it.
He needed to get Rylon away from the Emperor. He needed to get Rylon out of that room.
He took aim and downed one of the waiting Sith guards. The Sith’s fellows saw the fall, looked around, spotted Quinn. Two started running towards him. As they got closer, the one in front extended his hand for a Force push that took Quinn in the chest and knocked him flat on his back, several meters away; but the push that hit Quinn’s chest missed the thermal detonator he had tossed in the direction of his attackers. He recovered from getting knocked over faster than the two red Sith recovered from taking a thermal detonator explosion to the face.
Ruth was outnumbered and already wounded. But she had to fight. She had to protect Rylon, and that meant subduing him. The Force would show her the way, if she were careful, if she listened. She struck at the Sith around her, blocked their own attacks, leaped, descended, remembered at every moment that this fight, this necessity was born of love.
A saber thrust white-hot pain through one shoulder. Ruth cried out and struggled to spin free of her attackers, to regain some defensive footing. She sensed their hate and she sensed some of their strikes in advance. There, another guard down. But Rylon was pressing the attack again, striking fast and hard, and still she was surrounded.
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