The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
View Single Post
08.18.2012 , 11:08 PM |
Another one featuring my agent
What If...a member of your crew was not who he pretends to be? (contains major spoilers from the IA storyline)
Sorry for the long post
“Are you alright?”
Vector was standing in the doorway leading to the ship's holo room. Lilith was fidgeting with the controls of the display and she did not answer, lost in her thoughts.
“Agent?” he asked once more
She suddenly looked up, torn from her own inner turmoil
“Vector...sorry, I was just...”
What was she doing? She was not sure as her hands moved over the controls. It was a way to keep hold of reality as she had to do something to keep her mind occupied. The last few weeks had been taxing: being undercover changes all rules and all loyalties. She had seen what most people would never even dream of, she had to make decisions that changed her, the type of decisions that leave marks difficult to remove. Yet, she knew that she would be the only one to bear such scars as she had not revealed much to the rest of the crew wanting to keep them away from the brutal reality.
Each had a different reaction to her choice: the ensign would just follow orders, like a good soldier. Lokin would accept her decisions but Lilith knew that the good doctor had way more experience in matters on imperial intelligence. Yet, he never asked questions. Many times she had wondered why, but then she came to realise that someone who has spent so many years as an agent knows better than to ask questions. If Lokin wanted to know something, he did not need to ask.
Scorpio was more intent on understanding human nature and evolution. Her own. Working with a fully developed AI was interesting, to say the least, and Lilith saw such cooperation as an experiment, just as Scorpio had intended.
Kaliyo was not the sort of person to ask too many questions. She was always the one to remind her that she had joined the crew for her own reasons and she enjoyed the freedom of shooting people in the face and getting paid for it.
And then there was him, Vector. A diplomat, a joiner. He was different from the others as he always seemed in control, always calm in every situation and during her last few weeks, he had become a peaceful haven and refuge from the storms outside. His presence was comforting and she found herself leaning on him more that she wanted to admit.
“If you want us to leave, just say so.” he said, interrupting her train of thought once more
“No, Vector. Stay”
Lilith looked at him, a frown crossing her face “Do you know why we have to go to the Star Chamber?” she questioned bluntly
“We are not entirely sure but we believe that it is important, otherwise you would not have made such decision” he replied.
Lilith was not surprised by his response as many times he had come up with such matter-of-fact answers. Yet, she was not reassured.
“Do you want to know?” she asked after a moment of silence
“We will listen if you want to tell us”
“Damn it Vector! Yes or no?” her frustration was surfacing and he was taken by surprise by such outburst
“We...would like to.” he paused “There are a lot of things we would like to ask but we always thought that most of your decisions are shrouded due to the nature of your assignment”
He was right and she knew it. Too much had been hidden, all the files, the encrypted documents, the recordings. All this secrecy was at times a lot to bear for one mind but this was what she had been trained for. Yet, all the training in the world could not have prepared her for what she had to endure while undercover and she had still trouble coping with the mental conditioning.
Watcher X warned her, saying that no one is worth of trust, that once you are an agent, you can only rely on yourself but she did not really believe that. She had come to rely on her crew and they had followed her into the line of fire many times, without questions or hesitation. No, Watcher X had to be wrong.
“We have to go to because we need to stop Hunter. He is part of something that could destroy the galaxy as we know it. And...” she paused as memories suddenly made her flinch “...and I have a score to settle with him.”
“What...sort of score?”
She looked at him for a long moment before replying “While undercover, he used my mental conditioning against me and against the SIS. He never had any trouble in...forcing me to obey his commands”. She did not expect to be so hard to admit it.
“We do not know what it was like but...it is not easy to be forced to obey”
“It's like having someone else in your head, someone who takes over and controls your actions. It is difficult to explain...” Why would he understand, she asked herself.
“We do understand” he replied, almost as if he had read her thoughts “When we first joined with the hive, it was difficult at first, We heard the song for the first time and we were unsettled. However, the hive never forced us to go against our will.”
A smile crept across her lips “If you want to put it that way, I guess mine was like a forced joining. Without the song or the freedom. Anyway...” she cut short “...I need to do a gear check”
“Of course” he replied “You know were to find us if you need us”
The fight had been quick. Lilith was now standing in the conference room were, a moment before, she had listened to the members of the Star Cabal laying their plan for the galaxy. He was there, her target. Or had been for he had managed to escape leaving the others behind. Typical, she thought, Hunter was not someone for direct action as he preferred to sit in the shadows and let others do his dirty work. However, he was still in the base and, surprisingly enough, had challenged her to come and find him.
“You are not escaping this time, Hunter...” she said to no one in particular.
“Give me a moment, Agent”. Lokin was busy trying to slice into a terminal
“What's going on Doc?”
“I'm downloading the plan of the station. Hopefully, this will give us the quickest way to Hunter”
“Good. Let's make it quick. I'm sure Hunter has activated all sorts of security”. She reloaded her rifle.
“One more moment....aha!”
“Doc? Don't leave me hanging...” she interjected while scanning the area. She could almost hear Watcher X telling her to scan for any potential opponents, potential exits or structural weaknesses, anything that might be turned into an asset, just like he had done some time ago, the first time they had met on Nar Shaddaa.
“I have activated the life scans. Three targets and, with two being us, the third must be Hunter. Central chamber and he seems stationary” the agent in Lokin had taken over since they had first landed and he was analysing the plan for any hazards on the way “It would seem that the station is on full alert. I pick up defense droids, and some sort of power surge coming from one of the corridors leading to the central hub”
“Traps” she said, answering a question that had no need to be asked
“Most likely”. Lokin used his datapad to download some of the information. “There, I have what we need”
Lilith somehow knew that he did not just download a map of the area “All we need?”. Disconnecting from the console, Lokin replied “Come on Agent, it is not every day that you come across such information”
She smirked. “Let's move Doc”
Entering the central chamber had not been easy between the waves of droids, laser traps and trapped floors but they had both managed to finally face Hunter. Lilith had expected a tough fight and she had not been disappointed but, eventually, her target had been defeated.
Hunter was on one knee, holding his right side where her last bullet had torn flesh and bone. She approached him, kicking his weapon to the far wall. Victory was sweet.
“I must admit...” he croaked “...you have been a tenacious adversary. I should have taken steps to eliminate you earlier.
“Bad mistake” she replied
“Yes, indeed.” he pause and then smiled “You have won. But do not believe that the fight is over”
“It is. Now, give me the Black Codex”
He chuckled “It's over there, take it.” he pointed at a console “The result won't change. The Empire and the Republic will destroy each other and our work will not have been for naught.
“Our work?” she interrupted him “Your so called colleagues are dead. I have killed them not long ago in the conference room or have you forgotten? The Star Cabal is over and done”
“They were pawns. We will die today but before we do, let us show you something” Hunter pressed a device on his armor and his image shimmered.
A holoimage, she thought. Clever. The ultimate disguise. But when it disappeared, her heart sank for nothing had prepared her for such a revelation. She was still pointing her side arm at his head but she was no longer staring into cold, human eyes. They had been replaced by blackness, an all too familiar one.
To her side, Lokin stood motionless as a creepy silence fell over the scene. A chill ran down her spine as she took a step backward and then froze. She wanted to believe that this was just a dream, a nightmare. Her mind tried to cope with the vision, trying to make some sense of it but it was too much. A tear streaked across her cheek. Why was she crying? This was all a bad dream after all. There was no reason to cry.
But she was not waking up. Reality was staring up at her, a bleeding wound on his right side.
“Why?” she asked, her voice a barely audible whisper “Why?”
Vector coughed, blood spattering on the floor. Taking a moment to catch his breath, he continued
“You do not know what it means to be one of us. To be seen as nothing, to be hunted to extinction...”
“Don't give me that!!” she shouted, tears now flowing freely “You used me! You...you were...” the lump in her throat had grown too big and she was unable to speak.
“There is nothing more to be said, Agent. Do what you came here to do”. He closed his eyes.
She knew that all she had endured had led to this, the final moment where she would have completed her mission. Hunter was dead and the Black Codex had been secured but it was not that simple. She just had to squeeze the trigger one more time and her objective would be complete but she no longer felt the gun in her hand. Her body was numb from pain, the kind of pain that cannot be countered with a shot of kolto. The same kind of pain that stays with you, forever engraved within you. A sense of light-headedness was taking over and she was giving in.
She would have continued to fall had it not been for the sharp sound that sent a jolt through her body. She managed to refocus her sight. Vector was now laying on the floor, dead. Lokin had fired his blaster thus putting an end to the Star Cabal once and for all.
That night she sat in her room realising the truth of what Watcher X had told her once. “Trust no one”. And he had been right all along.