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09.13.2012 , 04:05 PM |
The Sword of Mercy: Life and Death 2
, this time skipping the Warrior spoilers to instead spoil the hell out of the Agent Act 3 including finale! (Hiya, Wynston!) 1100 words.
"It's your responsibility now. Everything we built, everything we hid from you…you're the only one like us left. You'll take good care of it. But between you and me…I want to show you one last thing."
Wynston kept his mouth shut and his pistol trained on the battered Hunter. Around them the forcefields of the Codex chamber whispered on the edge of hearing.
"I was trained by the best," said Hunter in a soft singsong voice. "Killers, slicers – I even went to Tatooine to see the Old Man." A sudden shimmer of energy, and Hunter's familiar face faded and dissolved into that of a slim short-haired woman. When she spoke her feminine voice was heavy with pain. "I haven't shown anyone my real face in a long time."
"I see." He kept his aim steady. "And you're finally past lying about it. I suppose you don't have to anymore."
She looked at nothing and smiled, weakly. "Do you still hate me like this? I was a little girl when they found me. They erased my name, my planet…eventually it's easier to make up someone new. By the time you came along, it was too late to change. But you understood, you knew I liked you…"
"People who like me don't brainwash me and have me tortured."
"I kept you alive. I kept it interesting. Hunter and Cipher Nine, they're tough ones. They play the game right."
"You talk like Cipher Nine and I are separate. I've shown you what I am, Hunter. I laid it all out."
She dragged her stare up to meet his. "I don't believe that, Wynston."
"I believed it of both of us. I guess it doesn't matter either way if no one ever sees what's under the mask."
She spread her arms. "You see it now." Then folded them back around herself. "I guess that'll have to be enough. Goodbye, Wynston. It's going to be hell without me."
She went for her wrist console and Wynston dove in to grab her hand. Some device on her started spitting electricity, worse than a slave collar.
Wynston lunged forward, grabbed her jacket, yanked the shock device out. His muscles seized, but they did so after he had a grip, and he pulled the device away and hit his own arm until the object fell free. "You idiot. Listen to me. Don't you understand? We can rebuild the Cabal, better than it was before. We can find a solution that doesn't just wipe out half the galaxy in the hopes that the rotten two percent of it will go away in the process. But I can't do it without you."
"It doesn't work like that."
"For one thing, you hate me."
"Maybe I did. Maybe I do. But I've seen enough to believe every word your people have said about the dangers of the Jedi and the Sith. And if I'm to do something about it, I need you. You think you can hand me a little gadget and leave off at that? Is that really the most you can do? Is that your idea of being responsible? Come with me, Hunter. We can get it right."
"This isn't how it was supposed to go," she said weakly. "We were enemies. We would have this grand showdown, and only one of us walks away."
"You think it must be you or me?"
"I've known it ever since the day we met."
"Let's change the question. Do you want to die?"
She was perfectly still for a long time. "No," she whispered.
"I thought not. You're lucky I have some expertise in patching people up." He pulled out his medkit and started prepping kolto for her wounds.
He talked while he worked. "This facility is compromised, obviously, if we're to avoid the Imperials. We'll need a vessel."
"A ship isn't a problem. Your friends?"
"There's one I can trust enough to keep in contact with. But his calling isn't out here, not really. The others...their vision isn't mine, and their loyalties aren't mine. That's why I need you. I can't do this alone, I need someone who understands."
"So you would just walk away from them?"
"Do you have any idea what it would mean to me to get things right on this scale?"
"You'll drop everything. Your whole life, to do what you think is right."
"To do the mission. It's nothing unusual."
She laughed softly. "Hell of a mission you picked, Wynston."
"Stop calling me that."
"I can't help it. Cipher Nine doesn't fit."
"I am Cipher Nine."
"I hate to break it to you, but a cipher agent can't be a good person. It's a dirty game he plays. Kindness, compassion, protectiveness toward things that aren't useful to you - all the things I watched you giving to everyone who wasn't me - those aren't in Hunter and Cipher Nine's world. That's Wynston."
"Stop it." Nobody looked at him that closely. Nobody. And Hunter's staring had netted her some wildly false conclusions.
"You said we didn't have to lie anymore," she said.
"I said you didn't have to."
"I always did like you flustered."
He shook his head. "Fine. Call me what you want. Anyway, as soon as we're out of here there's one thing I have to do, and then we'll get to work."
"One thing? Is that…let's think…your little preoccupation, the Castellan restraints program?"
His hands froze for just a moment before he recovered himself. "Yes. I know Intelligence's resources were confiscated, I learned that much before I had to leave to find you. Now I need to hit Darth Baras's records and destroy them once and for all."
"Do you really think you can put that genie back in the bottle?"
"You know Cipher Nine. Do you really think he could fail to try?" He frowned. "Or Wynston, if you insist."
"Hm. I guess not." She let him finish patching up her shoulder, then grinned up at him. "So. You decided to kiss me yet?"
"I wasn't thinking of kissing you."
"You are now."
"Dammit…I don't even like you. I should really just let you bleed out."
"That's a no, then? Too bad."
He looked over her flushed new face. And mentally cursed. "Is it Wynston or Cipher Nine you want?"
"Can't I have both?"
"Hunter, you are without a doubt the most demanding person I have ever met." He leaned a little closer. "I suppose at least I have the satisfaction of knowing you'll live to regret this."
Stream of consciousness notes:
I'm not sure yet what disillusioned Wynston about the Jedi/Republic as a proper solution to everything. Hrm. But anyway, Hunter's survival would lead to utterly hilarious power struggles in the upper echelons of galactic intrigue.
I hated her. I hated her.
I hated her.
Just for the hell of it,
here's the full 24 videos of how Wynstons' relationship with Hunter went down in-game.
There's a great deal of play I've shoved aside about the potential of main-universe Wynston clinging so closely to his identity as Cipher Nine. There's a lot of material there that I just shelved, and then realized later I had overwritten with random stuff. But Wynston stayed true to the Empire for so long because Cipher Nine is a valuable contributing member of something greater, and Wynston's a dirty poor immigrant alien.
Running themes on the Sword, if I am to continue here: Hiding, "it doesn't matter" and how awful it is to not matter, interdependence, maybe some other things.
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