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10.09.2012 , 03:25 AM | #100
I am going to be really astronomically contrarian here.

I am a professional writer. Also, I've spent a slice of my career working in international affairs, some of it in human rights, in the parts where people die on a regular basis. So really, working with military people and politics and various bits is pretty familiar to me. It really colors my view of the game. And I'm older, retired early for health reasons, so I spend more time playing games than writing, which isn't so bad.

That said, I saw this quest very differently than EVERYONE here.

Everyone here thinks, "How could Quinn do this? Is he stupid? How could he think that two battle droids could kill me?"

Well, postulate this. Baras gets to Quinn and puts Quinn in the position of betraying you or if not, Quinn knows that Baras will just off him. So he sets up a betrayal bound to fail. He knows it has to be plausible to Baras, but Baras in a way is a fool, and if you play to Baras' prejudices and preconceptions, Baras is very easy to deceive.

My warrior does this all through the storyline, punking Baras over and over again, and the Darth hardly notices, because Baras wants to think of himself as the smartest man in the room. If you've ever worked in a big business you probably know the type.

If Quinn wanted to kill you, all he'd have to do is get you in a boss fight and walk away. But he sets this thing up. And it's a TRANSPONDER STATION -- if you don't know what that means, it means that this is a place where communications signals are transferred.

If you don't believe that Baras is watching this from a dozen angles, with surround sound on holo, buttered popcorn and a beer, you are insane.

Quinn is going in giving himself a 98.847% chance that you will kill him before you figure out that...

this entire scenario is a ruse

He says: "After all this time observing you in battle, I have exhaustively noted your strengths and weaknesses. These war droids have been programmed specifically to combat *you*. I calculate a near zero percent chance of their failure." Yet, what's the most common thing Quinn says, after a fight...?

"I expected that to be a difficult fight."

He never knew, he never understood your limits. He *lied* to Baras. He set this up as a shadow play.

He set it up to get him out of Baras' sphere of influence forever.

So here is a draft of the more stand-alone version of the fanfic I'm writing for this part of the storyline.


Dorje Triskelion was born to be Sith, and there was no point in his life where he knew else. He was born to die a Sith, or die competing to be Sith, or die in the service of the Sith. It was what he was for. It was what everyone in his family was for, in some fashion, for as long as they survived or held their sanity -- and sometimes a bit beyond.

There was no explaining to some of his more distant cousins what it was like to grow up so close to the beating heart of the Dark Side. He saw, as through windows one might see kits or puppies frolicking, the children of peasant families in their innocent rough and tumble -- in play, in argument, cajoling a parent for a sweet -- wondering if he were from the same species as these creatures.

After Korriban, he crossed paths on Nar Shaddaa with a gray force user, Mirialan, from a line of native priestesses. The Force shown through her like a shard of green glacial ice, clear and cold but neither Light nor Dark, nor judging. He asked her -- after a night of brandy and long tales -- if people ever contemplate what children such as his sibs would be like, the vipers' brood of assassins and darths, born of dark passions and sorcery and raised in twisted smokes of Dark and politics.

And oddly she laughed and said, "Dorje, I know gutter children just as Dark as you in the Exchange. I've seen into their souls as surely as Jaesa -- don't be shocked! Desire clouds judgment and Jaesa's gift is rare outside of my kind.

"But peasant Darkness is common, as you of rank would term it in your tongue -- a play on words, yes? They are just not as expertly and intellectually made. You are the flower the Empire, the hope of your generation, your peers would oddly say, some dark orchid of a man. But the rank weeds of Darkness (and the helpless flowers of Light!) choke the slum of every undercity in the galaxy, unfocused and without power. You are just a cultivated monster. But in that, you are a rare beauty."

That same evening, drunk as the lord he was, he asked her what was the curse of a Sith and what was the curse of a Jedi, since she thought that the Light and Dark were the creations of philosophy, and not fundamental to Truth, and anaethma thereby, reflected in the wars and strife in the stars -- but only the culture of them, not the nature of them.

She looked him in the eyes in a way that even to him wrapped him in her universe and said, "Here is the curse of the Jedi and the Sith: That the Jedi shall know Love and never Passion; and the Sith shall know Passion, but never Love. And with that disconnect, all the wars and strife of a galaxy arise, because judgment is entirely lost."

This haunted him. He saw love and trust in others and it struck him as a lapse in judgment but this woman planted doubt -- he twisted it to rage, converted her to a trickster, a source of error, and moved on.

Yet, here on this sterile orbital station, at yet another pivot of his life, he knew that the last remnant of hope for love was being ripped from him, something he'd hardly known he'd harbored.

Never in his life had he trusted anyone in his family -- too many conflicting interests, too much Darkness. And then, years before he was scheduled, he was propelled to Korriban, insanely vigorous from training and tall for his rawboned fifteen years, but converting his fear to rage to survive his accelerated trials. So canny and strong in the Force most took him for his twenties.

Service to Baras had been a series of eye opening puzzles -- each test confirming his stance that his master had less notion of this fog of war Dorje operated in, that his "trust" in his gifted apprentice was increasingly dependence on more than Dorje's titanic ability as a child-warrior with the Force, an unholy paladin of the Dark Side, but also on Dorje's unerring instinct and wit as the Force guided him and his intelligence and training in Empire and Sith politics led him in circles, running ahead of the master who had considered himself, previously, to be master of this art above all others.

But now, Dorje found himself out played, in the quarter he had allowed himself the only room for relaxation. Quinn -- who a thousand, thousand, thousand times had his life in his kolto stained hands -- was playing by the book, and honorably witnessing his own snug closing of Baras' noose around Dorje's neck, a trap.

Sad fussy-*** Quinn. You didn't learn quite enough from me. Learn another lesson, then.

And with that slightly detached thought, the last shred of light drained from his soul. He could feel it. His father told him he would know the moment, like a black hole collapsing, like a death, to hold onto it -- but he couldn't -- the attack was beginning and he needed to channel the rage and horror and despair into exactly every stroke and shimmer of Soresu, to not yield to his own pain in this moment, to the betrayal of the one man he had counted as friend in this mortal world, to not sink or slip in his own blood as the droids ripped into him through the heavy armor -- but to dance with darkness and death as his partners, in rage and silence and find the center of the collapse of the gravity, falling, and swooping, sweeping and cutting, one with the Force -- THERE.


Had any lover ever been betrayed, and so insanely as this? Any battle, Quinn could have simply held back and let him die, let him fall to shreds under the claws or blades or articulations of a thousand enemies they'd faced. And yet, here, he brings me to face a foe he has designed to face his exact estimation weaknesses, over all those thousands of melees...

[battle description] see below, he cuts Quinn down but does not kill him to kill him later slowly

[consult video for after dialog for nearly kill him and inform crew]

PAIN. Distraction. A memory -- how many times, the fussy captain, always calculating, had said, "I expected that to be a difficult fight."

He never knew. He never understood my limits. He lied to Baras. Quinn, you are the most obscure creature I can imagine. You calculated...this.

In this brief second of consideration, the droids do nearly overcome him and the pain and damage knocked him from his feet -- but he gathered himself and sprang roaring with pain and energy to the fight anew. The first droid crumpled.


He wondered if he should avoid Jaesa. Deep in his heart, he wondered if what he was feeling wasn't something that his Mirialan friend wouldn't call a glimmer, the faintest Light glow, of brotherly Love.

No, Jaesa might not understand at all... And no one might ever speak of any of this aloud, ever.

This is the way of the Sith, of the politics and what passes as family -- truer than the family he was born to. His legacy would be in his works, not the brood of vipers he left for Korriban, but this ship, this man who now would tend the wounds he made, these sometimes-loyal crew who put their lives in his hands and his in theirs to make his legacy and the Empire's.

Love and Passion. Kolto, not the Force; the military not the Sith -- except as passing storms and shadows. These were the lives of ordinary men.

He needed to meditate. He needed a drink. He needed Jaesa, silent as the stars for once -- perhaps he'd compare her lip to Vette's. He needed time he didn't have. He needed time to center.

He was needed on Corellia. Now.

Peace is a lie; there is only passion.

All is Dark.
/* formerly Ashtara, the only female trandoshan (TKM/scout/sword) on Chilastra */