, 10:36 PM
A few weeks later on Taris.
We run towards him.
I dodge the traps easily. Leaping and twisting. Mako and Gault have more trouble. I don't look back. My blood is surging through me fast. It's from the battle. Don't worry. 'Torian!' Mako calls as she limps up to stand with me. Her voice is thick with emotion. Think more on that later. I am aware of Gault running from one trap to the next. Disabling them with ease. He is skilled and efficient. It almost makes me smile a little. You would never guess.
'Cadera'. I'm all business. 'Where's Jicoln?' My voice is urgent. I feel tense. It's because the trail is getting cold. Only the trail.
Cadera is lying down on his side, his elbow supporting him as it rests in a pool of blood. There sweat beading on his forehead and he holds one hand to his side. His hair is ruffled, damp threads of gold, pushed back and out of place. His face is serious but does a good job at remaining stoic. His voice doesn't.
I order Mako to get some med supplies. I take out what I have on me and silently attend Cadera as he continues his briefing. He gives me directions. Jicoln escaped Torian's traps but is badly injured. Should be a blood trail to lead us to him. He'll head for an outpost for supplies. Mako joins me. She silently passes the supplies she managed to find. I still feel tense. Metal is tight and heavy on my skin. He continues to protest. 'Better the trail gets cold then you.' That's a first.
He tries to look in my eye. I avoid them. I retain my professional indifference. It's easier pretending. I see a twitch on his face. A small smile. My own lips tug. I force a frown and finish cleaning his wounds. I need to be harder to read then that. The wounds were not that bad. Fatal if not treated immediately and carefully. But I had seen worse on my home world during the Great Galactic War. And I have done worse.
'So close...' he mumbles. I become aware of how close our faces are. Our bodies. He means Jicoln. Jicoln. He passes out at some stage.
We leave when he wakes. 'All right, kid, the kolto's treated most of the damage. So stop sleeping.'
He's angry. 'You should have left me. You've given the traitor too much time.' Half an hour has passed by. I don't mind. I never fail a kill. I always get my target. And I'm relieved. Gault and Mako return to the ship. They need to collect on a few rewards, and buy a few things before the job is wrapped up.
Cadera and I fight along a trail of blood.
After a few minutes I decide to speak up. I like the silence but we can't never speak. 'You're welcome for back there, by the way.' I shoot a rakghoul that was stalking up behind him. He finishes off the two in front of him. There's none left in this area.
'Sorry. Thanks.' His serious face looks a little ashamed. I hide my smile under a sneer.
'Come on. Can't keep standing smelling the flowers all day.' I motion to a beautiful purple flower on the ground.
Similar to the lilies found on Drumond Kaas. I walk off and pick it up, putting it behind my ear. It smells nice. Make a nice memento. I hear him following me.
He fights well. Like a man with something to prove. We all have something to prove. We are in sync. So quickly we fit our fighting styles; defence and offence. We leap in time, fighting side by side. He ducks and twirls, keeping the enemies back towards me. It's exhilarating. Our fights are easy, swift and enjoyable.
He fights with honour. Unlike Gault, he relies on guile instead of skill to win battles. Or Mako. Unlike any man. A bond was formed between us. When two people fight as one, it does something. An unseen honour. An unspoken respect. And something more. No. Never more.
My chest is hurting. A virus is spreading in my torso and through my body.
I fight harder. Because that's easier.