The Short Fic Weekly Challenge Thread!
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09.09.2012 , 02:53 AM |
JK Spoilers and Voss spoilers
and if for whatever reason you were planning to read it, Remi the Grey spoilers.
Long 2,400 words or so
Koa walked beside his father through the mountains of Voss. His mother, Remi, was supposed to be working nearby but he had not seen her yet. He watched Lord Scourge out of the corner of his eye. For the sake of appearances, his father was stern and aloof when he visited Korriban Academy, but in private, he was generous with both affection and approval. Their closeness meant he could speak about any subject and ask any question. He had been quiet for the last few kilometers while he worked up the courage to broach a very tricky topic. Lord Scourge seemed to sense his difficulties and waited for his son to find the right words.
“Why are you still with mother?” Koa blurted unable to think of another way ask.
Lord Scourge only raised an eyebrow, “What’s wrong with your mother?”
Koa frowned, “She’s a Jedi for one thing.”
“She has not called herself a Jedi in years.”
“She calls herself a Sith but she still acts like a Jedi, she still has Jedi friends.” He thought of his Aunt Kira and scowled.
“Fine, she’s a Jedi,” his father acknowledged, “but she has always been that way, why would I leave her now?”
“She’s,” Koa made a face, “old.” His father barked a laughed. “I know technically you’re way older,” he said quickly, “but she’s starting to look old. You know all my female classmates ask about you when you come to visit. You could get a real Sith wife.”
Lord Scourge still regarded his son with humor. “Son, if you ever find a young woman as beautiful, smart, and powerful as your mother, I suggest that you keep her for yourself.”
Koa gave up trying to sell him on finding a new wife and gave him the real reason. “I just don’t want the two of you to be miserable when I’m away after I graduate.” He would not see his parents for years after leaving the Academy. It was important for him to establish himself as an individual, a power in his own right, and not just the son of Lord Scourge.
Now his father stopped, “What makes you think your mother would be miserable?”
“Because you two fight all the time?” Koa answered, “I’ve seen you, you’ll say something to her that gets under her skin, she’ll snap at you then disappear for a while. She pretends she’s happy but I can sense her anger when you do that, I know you can too. I figured you’d both be happier apart. Maybe she can go back to the Jedi and deny her emotions or something.” He loved his mother, even though he thought she was crazy old mynock. She worked as a diplomat, choosing to talk endlessly with the Dark Council on his father’s behalf rather than doing anything active or useful. He would miss her if she went back to the Jedi but at least she would be happy there, if Jedi could be happy. He was never sure about that.
“Oh.” Scourge said thoughtfully, then he hesitated.
“What? What is it?” Koa crossed his arms, unwilling to move.
“Your mother can control her anger, we would not be able to sense it if she did not want us to.”
“You see? She wants us to know she’s angry.”
“No, son, she wants
to know I make her angry.” Scourge smiled almost sheepishly, “She knows I like it.”
Koa blinked, he thought back to the times his parents argued. His mother would flush then walk away or hiss that they should discuss things in private. His father would follow, sometimes smiling sadistically. He looked at the arguments in a new light. “You mean every time you argue you guys…” He trailed off unable to think of his parents, his mother, that way.
“Yes.” His father replied without elaboration.
“But, you argue all the time.” His father’s smile turned wolfish. “Ew.” He said rolling his eyes. He continued walking up the trail. His father chuckled darkly and followed.
“I apologize for allowing you to think we were not happy together.” Scourge said from behind him, “I hope it did not cause you difficulties.”
“No,” Koa shuddered trying to erase the imagery, “I just don’t get it. You could have anyone, why her?”
“I thought you knew your mother’s story.”
“She told me the short version, and there’s a new class about it at the academy.” He shrugged, “They match up pretty well, she was the one in the final battle but it took an entire Republic fleet to get her there. The class at the academy even questions that she was in the final fight. They claim it was just T7 but I doubt that part.” He thought about the little droid that told him stories as a child fighting the ultimate power in the galaxy. It made him laugh.
“And that matches your mother’s version?”
“Hers is worse, she said she was captured the first time the Jedi attacked and wouldn’t have escaped if you didn’t help.” He shook his head. “She told me the vision was yours and that you’ve saved her life more times than she can count, she always says you were the real hero.
Scourge sighed, “I know we are Sith, but did it occur to you that your mother was being modest?”
Koa scoffed, “Are you trying to tell me that my mother, the diplomat and former Jedi, who barely comes up to my chin and hardly ever uses the force, who is universally disliked by the Imperial guard, who the Dark Council only tolerates because of you, is some kind of powerhouse?” He laughed at the thought.
Scourge rubbed his face. His son was young, ruled by his emotions, influenced by his immediate peers and instructors, at sixteen he was too callous, too bold, and too stupid to realize he was any of those things. He let his son continue to rant in that manner, the way the academy downplayed Remi’s accomplishments was comical.
“I’m sorry father,” the boy concluded, “I love her, but she’s not like us. I know you love her too, for now.” He glanced at his father, “But what about when she gets really old. You’ll still be the same man, I mean she’s going to die one d-”
He did not notice his father moving but in the next moment, the larger man grabbed him by the throat and held him in the air with strength alone. Scourge had never laid a hand on him except in training and never in anger, now he looked down and saw nothing but rage. Koa struggled in the durasteel grasp that held him, he tried to focus his emotions, summoning the power that would allow him to break free, but each time he looked into those mad red eyes his power died, replaced by fear. A haze formed as his vision began to fade, still that grip did not lessen, still those eyes burned with hate.
“Never say that again.” His father said quietly then let go.
Scourge drew his lightsaber and looked around. Koa automatically drew his weapon panicking. “Father, I’m sorry,” he began desperately but Scourge only held up his hand.
“Do you sense them?”
Koa obediently reached out with the force, he sensed dozens of life forms surrounding them, they were not exactly angry but they were menacing.
“Gormak.” His father said hurrying up the trail. The first shots of some kind of plasma cannon hit the trail behind them demolishing the path. “Quickly,” Scourge moved into a sprint, Koa took a moment to follow but caught up easily. They deflected blaster fire as they ran and moved too fast for the Gormak to target with heavy weapons. Their maps had indicated a tunnel ahead that led to a plateau surrounded by rocks and unreachable cliffs. They would be trapped but they could defend themselves there.
Koa outpaced his father, he was smaller and wore lighter armor to support his dual wielding style, as a result he was moving too quickly to change his course when a large Gormak dropped down from the mountain above them and opened fire with a blaster cannon. Koa deflected the first few shots but saw his own death as the rest of the barrage flew toward him. He felt a heavy impact at his back and his body wrenched in a new direction.
Scourge grabbed his son and threw him against the mountain wall away from the deadly shots. He always wore heavy armor and absorbed a few rounds before deflecting the rest back at the Gormak.
Scourge cleared the few Gormak that followed them through the tunnel, the rest stayed outside but circled with purposeful malice. He had not noticed that one of the bolts had pierced his armor and now there was a sizeable hole in it and him. Koa helped him sit and pulled out a small med kit to patch the injury. Scourge waved him away as he continued to fuss.
“Enough, it will hold for now.” he said grinning through the pain, “You fought well.”
“You shouldn’t have saved me.” Koa said stubbornly trying to get more kolto to stay on the injury, “If I made a mistake like that I should die. It is the Sith way.”
“I do what I like,” Scourge replied fondly, “It is the Sith way.”
His son frowned, “What should we do? I can sense their numbers, there’s a dozen left. We could probably take them if we can figure out an escape route.”
Scourge shook his head. “I activated an emergency beacon when we were first attacked. We will wait here, I will not risk you against these creatures, they do not fight with grace or force but their modified weapons are formidable.” Koa did not like the idea of being rescued. His father read his expression and smiled a little. “It is a tactical retreat.”
“How long do you think it will be?”
“Not long. Do not let your fear overwhelm you. Learn to focus it, feed from it, let it give you power.” Scourge instructed. Koa merely grunted and tried not to sense his father’s life growing dimmer.
They began to sense movement in the tunnel, the Gormak had regrouped. Over the past decade and more the Gormak and Voss had made strides to repair the hatred and mistrust brought on by centuries of separation. However, there were elements on both sides that did not want an end to their war.
“We know who you are. We know your importance.” The lead Gormak called, “We will take your bodies and deliver them to Voss-Ka. Your people will demand the Voss retaliate. The Gormak traitors who negotiate with them will be ordered to fight us but they will not, then the talks will end.”
The sound of engines approached and a shadow moved over the ground. A small transport arrived, the Gormak opened fire but it hovered out of range. The door opened and a small figured leaped out falling too fast for the Gormak to train their weapons, a jetpack fired at the last moment arresting the figures fall.
He wore bounty hunter armor and laid down a wall of fire from a wrist-mounted flame-thrower. Koa checked on his father while the hunter held off the Gormak. His skin was ashen but his eyes blazed with light as he watched the newcomer fight. Slowly the Gormak were forced to retreat into the tunnel, the mercenary threw a device after them. Flames burst from the entrance and the stench of burning flesh was all that remained of the attackers.
The hunter ran toward them. Koa found it odd that the armored mercenary checked him first, grabbing his arms and sides looking for injuries. He stared at the emblem on the helm, recognizing it from stories told to him long ago, Hunter Grey had been his childhood hero.
“I’m fine, he’s the injured one.” He shoved the small figure toward his father. He realized the figure was a woman. He never considered the idea that the Hunter Grey from T7’s stories could be female.
“Can you walk?” She asked, her voice distorted by her helmet. Scourge shook his head. The hunter ripped off her glove and touched his face.
Koa watched feeling confused, from the stories, his father once hired Hunter Grey, but he never thought he still employed her. He covered his confusion by looking for Gormak, he extended his senses and found a familiar presence instead. He turned around but saw only his father and the hunter. His eyes widened with disbelief. He felt the glow of light side energy being used to heal his father.
“Mother?” he asked when she was done. The hunter looked up and he was certain he felt her mischievous smile and infuriating wink from behind her helmet.
“You sure are slow to catch on kid. Come on let’s get your father to the ship.” Scourge stood slowly, they all heard the sounds of more Gormak charging them. Remi reached out toward the tunnel and clenched her fist, the ground shook and the entrance collapsed burying their attackers.
Together they walked up the narrow path and boarded the small transport that waited for them. Remi took off her helm and held Lord Scourge hand as the pilot took off. His father’s eyes never left her face.
Koa studied his mother in a new light, and for the first time, he saw what his father did.
Short Fic Challenge Thread
Remi the Grey