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09.08.2012 , 10:55 PM |
Muse, you are not leaving me alone tonight, are you?
Title: Change in Command
Characters: SI (Mel'ake, and not as a prop this time) and companions.
Spoilers: SI endgame
"Our master is getting worse."
Ashara jumped as she heard Xalek from the door. Even though he gave her shivers down her spine, she couldn't debate his words. Ever since the failed expedition to Quesh, Mel'ake was unusually withdrawn. After Talos told her a few hours ago that the ghosts were back, Ashara spent the time holed up in her chambers, trying to maintain her composure.
"The artifact we found did something to his mind." She replied automatically. "We'll be back on Dromund Kaas soon, where we can go over our findings."
"I don't think our master will let us wait that long." Xalek said simply. Suddenly, Andronikos' voice bellowed through the halls.
"Get him out of the cockpit!" Ashara sat up abruptly. Andronikos sounded frantic, his voice shaking.
"What's Mel doing?" She demanded of her fellow apprentice. Her command was followed by the unmistakable crackle of force lightning.
"I should probably show you rather than tell you." Xalek responded before disappearing down the hallway. Ashara stood up and ran after him, though she didn't draw her lightsabers. She wasn't about to strike the man she loved.
"I thought you said the needle would knock him out." Khem Val cried in his strange tongue. As Ashara arrived on the scene, she saw the Dashade standing between Mel'ake and Andronikos. The former pirate had his hands full keeping the Fury on course with arcs of lightning singeing his captain's chair. Talos was huddled in the corner, capping the needle of an empty syringe.
"I said that after a few minutes, the tranquilizer would cause him to slow down to the point where I could inject him in a vein with a sedative and knock him out." The archaeologist raised his arms protectively over his face as some lightning shot a bit too close for comfort. "You can't expect me to direct the drug into a vein while he's thrashing around. We're lucky I could grab his arm to give him the tranquilizer in his muscle."
"That is not what you said!" Khem Val protested as he made a grab for Mel'ake, who was, in fact, thrashing wildly.
"I didn't have time for the full explanation, can you blame me?" Talos said as he filled a new syringe with a clear fluid from a small bottle. "Ashara, Xalek, if you could help Khem Val hold off our Darth until I can get a clear shot to sedate him, I would be in your debt."
Ashara nodded and leaped to Mel'ake's side. The possessed Twi'lek had his attention on Khem Val for the moment. She made a wild grab for his arm and secured it in a hold. Mel'ake turned his head and affixed her with his stare. No, that wasn't Mel'ake. The gaze and facial mannerisms were similar, but they didn't belong to her lover.
"My child." Ashara shuddered at the voice that came from Mel'ake's mouth. It was the voice, the gaze, the mannerisms of her ancestor buried in the tombs of Taris. She froze at the memory of her ancestor's paranormal grasp at her sanity when she tried to subdue him. Mel'ake had come to her rescue then. It was her turn to help him now. With gritted teeth, she tightened her hold on his arm.
"I'm sorry Master." Xalek said before swinging his un-ignited lightsaber like a baton at Mel'ake's head. The blow sent the Darth reeling back, stunned. Mel'ake blinked, and in a moment his mannerisms were his own.
"Talos, the sedative, now.." Mel'ake said weakly as he held out his free arm. Talos didn't waste time to respond as he rushed to Mel'ake's side and pulled the sleeve of his robe back. In a few swift movements, he slipped the needle under Mel'ake's skin and injected the solution. Ashara tried to hold Mel'ake steady as his weight shifted.
"Start thinking of the dream you want now, my Lord." Talos recommended. "And I'm sorry. I'm sorry for Quesh, and I'm sorry I didn't tell the others."
"Don't be sorry. Any of you. You're all the best crew. You did nothing wrong, Talos." Mel'ake struggled through his words.
"Mel.." Ashara managed. He turned and faced her, looking at her with his big blue eyes that were his and his alone for now.
"I love you Ashara." That sweet smile was still on his face as his eyes lost their focused and closed. Ashara barely had time to adjust the way she held Mel'ake before he was no longer supporting his own weight. As she frantically tried to keep him from falling to the floor, Khem Val stepped in and scooped up the unconscious scrawny Twi'lek.
"Master.." Khem Val said with a twinge of what Ashara thought was sadness. Xalek lowered his head.
"Um," Andronikos interrupted. "I hate to butt in on everyone's mushy feelings, but are we still going to Dromund Kaas?"
The five members of the crew looked at each other awkwardly for a moment. The chain of command had changed, and no one knew quite how.
"Well, some one needs to speak up, and it better not be that annoying droid." Andronikos said from his seat in the captain's chair. Unsurprisingly, some one did speak up. Somewhat surprisingly, it was Talos.
"If no one else is going to. I mean, we should continue our course. We should also consider the allies we have. Some one should contact Lucerna. As for myself, as the only one who has admitted to any sort of medical training, I suggest I check on Mel'ake's vital signs and determine what continued care he will need until we find a cure for his situation."
Ashara gave Talos a reassuring smile. "If I didn't know better, I'd say you've dealt with friends driven insane by ancient ghosts and artifacts before."
Talos fixed her with a similar smile. "Dear lady, you've forgotten I used to explore Sith tombs for a living. I've seen how the relics can change people, and with Mel'ake incapacitated there will definitely be some changes around here."
This story takes place after the ghosts reappeared in Mel'ake's head post-game, but before my previous story when Lucerna arrives.
"Those who dance are considered insane by those who can't hear the music."- George Carlin