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08.11.2012 , 09:12 PM |
What's in a name? featuring my light side leaning Sith Assassin. Spoilers for the opening cut scene of the Inquisitor story.
It was the first time in her life that she had been transported anywhere and not been in chains.
She still felt their heavy weight about her neck and wrists, though she was free. They jangled in the looks she got from the other Acolytes on board. They tugged in the sideways glances, they hung in the whispers shielded behind hands. The Sith Code was bantha ****. Her chains would never be broken.
She had nothing that belonged to her but her name. The clothes on her back were borrowed. They were too large for her, the pants drooping sadly at the crotch, the sleeves needing to be rolled up so she could access her hands. The training saber on her back? Rummaged out of a defected pile and handed to her without a word. Her boots were worn through on the soles, a product of their previous owner's inability to stay still. Even the jewelry she wore about her horns was not hers. Tarnished, broken and mended in a dozen different places, it served to remind her where she came from. Where she would certainly be thrown back to if she failed her trails and death over looked her. A half dozen tiny chains laced from one horn to the next, confining, drawing attention, reminding.
Her name was Vei. It was all she had. And most of the time, it wasn't allowed to belong to her either. The people that mattered in her life said it as Vay. The Sith and Imperials rarely bothered to stop and ask for any correct pronunciation. She answered to it all, Veye. Vee. Slave.
She used to have a secret. An accompaniment to her name. She'd kept a secret all her young life. But she was an adult now. An adult with an adult's face and adult's body. And other adults, mainly adult men, had begun to take notice. When she had been cornered, when escape was denied her and pain she'd never imagined she'd be capable of feeling was administered with candy sharp breath and hands that seared, she lost her ability to hold on to her secret.
The man that owned her had died, painfully twisted and broken, his weapon as pale and shriveled as his face once she got done with it. But her defense had sent a ripple out. The ripple became two then three and now, she was sitting on board a shuttle surrounded by others just like her, only better.
She was the only alien among them.
The shuttle landed and Vei didn't bother rising to her feet until every one of the other Acolytes had debarked. The sun was already blinding before she stepped onto the landing pad and the air was hot and dry like the back of her throat. The rest of the Acolytes were far ahead of her, gathering themselves around a man she assumed would be her new taskmaster.
She took a step toward the group only to be shoved to the side. Vei hadn't seen the man waiting for her at the bottom of the ramp. She was going to have to be more observant from now on. He could have just as easily shived her as shoved her.
She couldn't see his face. He wore black robes with a hood low over his forehead. But she saw his hands. Pureblood. Even worse than the humans. He was certain to take exception to her. If she died here on this rock, it would be that one who would have killed her.
Anger gripped her throat as he moved away from her. He never once acknowledged her presence. She was that far beneath him. The air about her crackled for a moment. But she was alone on the landing pad and her show of bravado went unnoticed. It was just as well. If she showed her hand too soon, it would be the end of her. Let them underestimate her.
They would learn.
The taskmaster was actually an Overseer and his name was Harkun. Not that he would introduce himself to her. She would hear it later while listening to the other Acolytes complain. The man was shorter than she would have expected. She could nearly look him in the eye. He kept his hair military short and minimal facial hair adorned his face. His expression was dour and he openly appraised her as she approached.
She noted the Pureblood leaving, some sign had passed between him and the Overseer. But Harkun stepped into her line of sight and glowered at her as though she were a mess of bodily fluid someone had left for him to clean up.
He was a Force-user. She knew it immediately, the same way she knew how to breathe. And just as she knew instinctively how to breathe, she knew that he wouldn't hesitate to kill her. Slowly, if he could get away with it. He radiated disgust and disdain. And it was all directed at her.
He looked her up and down, his expression already writing her off even as he made her feel mere centimeters in height. “I hope you don't think you're special,” he sneered. She was shocked that he actually deigned to address her directly. In front of witnesses.
Vei lifted her chin and met him in the eye. She fought to hide her discomfort. She'd never looked anyone but another slave in the eye before in her entire life.
Harkun's eyes lit with anger and his nostrils flared. He stared her down and even though she felt her chest constrict, she didn't pull her gaze away. “I'm to rummage through you refuse to find an Apprentice for Lord Zash. I can already pick out who has snow ball's chance on this planet, and who is going to die in misery.”
Vei cocked her head, her eyes narrowing. The hate that rolled off the Overseer was nearly comical. She'd yet to open her mouth. If she did that she could really give him a reason to hate her. Even though it went against everything she'd ever been taught, everything she knew to stay alive, she fixed him with a haughty sneer. “Who is this Zash?” she asked.
She got the result she expected, or nearly did. Harkun brought his hand up so quickly a couple of the other Acolytes jumped and flinched away. Vei neither moved, nor blinked. She'd been lashed hundreds of times. She had taken canings to the back and to her hands. The knuckles of this short man's hand would barely create a sensation on her cheek. She wasn't afraid of him.
Harkun made a show of stopping himself and lowering his hand. “That's Lord Zash to you, slave.” He eyed her, hiding disappointment. She should have cowered. She may prove tough to break.
Vei filed the knowledge away for later. There was more to learn, but asking too many questions would probably only serve to get her killed. Harkun gestured harshly and the other Acolytes began to file out. He kept his eyes pinned to hers.
“The rest of you know your trial. Get out and try not to die. I'll bring our late comer up to speed.” He said late comer with the same arrogant disdain he'd used to call her slave. Harkun didn't have to be demeaning to be degrading.
Vei was acutely aware she was alone with the Overseer. With no witnesses there was much that could be done to her. It was a struggle to keep from reaching for her training blade, just to have something in her hands. Harkun continued to stare at her then moved toward her.
She tensed but he stopped just out of arms reach. “In the tomb of Ajunta Pall there is a mad hermit by the name of Spindrall. Find him. Listen to him, if you can comprehend. Complete the trial he asks of you. No doubt you'll die in the process, but there it is. This is your trial, slave. Get out of my sight.”
Vei left immediately, working hard to not scurry. She was better than that. She was going to be Sith. If everyone else was going to regard her as more than a slave in Sith's robing, she was going to have to start seeing herself differently as well.
She could feel Harkun's eyes on her back like daggers.
This is actually the opening scene of a story I'm working on as I play through the Inquisitor storyline. I was considering making it its own thread, but I don't really have the confidence to interest people with my own stuff. I felt this snippet was rather fitting for the prompt since the Inquisitor is referred to as slave for most of the quest line on Korriban. Slaves pretty much only have their names. I'm still working on fleshing out Vei's personality. She leans light side on game, but she knows sometimes she has to do terrible things to survive. I'm looking forward to getting Revel as a companion, I have a feeling he'll opening up another side of her.
Be to her Virtues
Be to her Faults
a little Blind.