Three hours later...
I inject a triple dose of serum. I make for the door. It rushes through my body with rage. Torian is ready and waiting for me at the hanger door.
'Ib'tuur jatne tuur ash'ad kyr'amur.' Today is a good day for someone else to die.
I hold up my wrist and smile fiercely. Torian crosses his wrist with mine as he repeats the message.
We exit the ship. We kill the first enemies we see quickly. Hack in the codes. We board the star freighter. And arrive on the Chancellor's ship.
We quickly deactivate the alarm and clear the hanger. Plant the bombs. And the real work begins. The explosion is fun, though.
It's easy to kill what remains of the guards. We override the lockdown. Sabotage the escape pods. And only then do we head for the Supreme Chancellor. It's all a long standard procedure. Almost tedious.
We reach the Supreme Chancellor's chambers and stop when we see our only remaining obstacles bar a easily hacked door: The Supreme Guard.
The Supreme Guard isn't what I expected. They are Jedi. But we trained for this.
So let the fight begin.
There is always confusion when you wake from a deep sleep.
There is uncertainty. And as your eyes and mind adjust to the harsh reality of the world you have awakened to, the dream slips away. It was happy. And as it slowly disappears, you feel you are losing something important. All that's left is a hard, cold sadness; an overwhelming, weeping pain in its place that spreads through your body like a virus.
And an implacable, relentless fury. A merciless craving for revenge.
This is my reality.
I slice open the Jedi in front of me and turn around expecting to be in instant battle with another.
Only what I see is Torian's back. Torian falls to the ground and I only allow myself to have enough thoughts to know that he just saved me. I don't need to think more about it to know Torian's grunt a few seconds earlier had been from a force push: to know the Jedi had then run to attack me from behind: to know Torian ran as fast as he could to stop it.
The Jedi stands with their lightsaber by their side and the silver glow casts shadows on her black robes. My eyes don't flicker to Torian's body as I casually step over it. It would be a fatal error to drop my guard. I can hear him breathing. And that is enough. Because it has to be.
The Jedi motions to bring it on. And I do.
Move left, shoot right, dodge, jump, step forward, right.
I don't let my anger leave openings in my guard from clouded judgement.
Twirl, jab, duck, right, roll, shoot, jump left, weave right, slash, duck again.
And I don't feel like this is real.
Jump back, shoot, step right, duck, slash, twirl, jump over, shoot, stab, roll left, shoot, side step.
I at the end of a surreal state that I've only now realised I've been in since I first met Torian.
Ah, an opening. Shoot, run and duck, stab.
I pick up the Jedi's lightsaber and put in the case for them at my belt. I quickly tie the Jedi's hands and take the lightsaber from the other. Though it kills a part of me to waste this time, I know I need to do this. Would be stupid to leave a lightsaber lying around.
I think I run to Torian but I'm not sure. I only know that I am suddenly kneeling next to him. The armour is crushed and bent. Large cut going down the disfigured shape. So much for beskar.
I take it off and look at the wound. The wound is bad. The cut runs straight up his torso though it would be deeper if the armour was worse. But everything is damaged. He will die. And he knows it.
I don't do him the shame of lying to him. He doesn't have long at all. I take some painkillers from my belt and inject them into his arm while I continue to look at his closed eyes. They won't even make the pain lesson very much. He doesn't have enough time for them to do anything.
I suppose this is how long our forever lasts.
'Why did you do it, Torian?' I want to punch him, I want to kick him, but more than anything I want him to open his eyes one last time. His heart is feeble and bleeding in my ringing ears. 'You know I'm going to die in two years anyway. Should have let me die. I want to die over this,' I whisper at the end as the outrage leaves me and I begin to walk into the shallows of grief.
'Promised I'd watch your six no matter what.' His speech is broken and breathless. I know he only has minutes left and many of those will be spent in too much agony to talk.
'My stubborn manda. Maybe if you hadn't been so busy watching my rear you wouldn't be like this.'
Torian tries a chuckle that turns into a cough and groan. 'Worth it,' he lets out between groans.
'I'd kill you for such thoughts if someone hadn't already done the job for me.' I try and smile. It doesn't matter that it twists and fails because his eyes are still closed. I hold his clammy and cooling hand tighter and force my eyes to stay on his face. No point trying to heal his wound. Can't come back from this.
'Still love you, though. Stubbornness, stupidity and pride included. Know that, right?' I try not to let a note of desperation enter my voice. I watch his grimacing face for a reply past the small nod he gives; for him to open his eyes just a little so I can look at them one last time. I hate the memories of all the times I didn't look. I should have looked. While I still had the chance.
My vigilance is rewarded when he opens his eyes and forces out some clear, firm words: 'I'm glad you came to Taris.'
He dies shortly after and I sit with dry eyes, looking into his wound as if the bloody mess will explain something I can't yet understand. Should have been me. I wanted it to be me.
I stroke his cheek softly like I have so many times and my fingers trail to his neck. They touch something strange and I search for what it is.
I tug at it. It is rather long and I gather it is a leather cord. I reach around his neck and feel something sharp. It cuts my finger. I pull it round and stare at it. It's the tooth I gave him on Nar Shaddaa. The one from the Sire of the Brood on Dromund Kaas. Day we first spoke.
It is polished and a small hole is through the thick base so the cord could go through it. Corridan's voice is in my mind. 'Showed me the tooth you gave him.' Never knew he wore it. I don't know how I never noticed. Wonder what else I never noticed.
'I'll keep it close.'
Whatever calm I had breaks but I don't cry. Only my anger breaks through. I have woken after a long sleep and I choke my new reality with cold hands and a curse. Torian made me forget something I knew so well: reality is cruel and malicious. The only way to survive it is to be the same. And I have no desire to be anything else now.
Targeting systems go online. The same well-known dark strength courses through me.
I turn on the dying Jedi. I poorly patch up their wounds. And then I have hours of fun and revenge. But it doesn't make this pain go away. And it doesn't change anything. I'm a monster. Torian is dead. And I'm still going to die.
When has doing this ever changed anything?
But it's all I can do. And it will always be worth trying. I've been trying for my entire life so far. I might as well for the next two years now. Because even if their screams will never bring Torian back, it makes me feel a **** load better.
And though I go through the motions mechanically and though I enjoy every second and every drop of toxic blood they bleed, a part of me cries. And that part keeps whispering what I don't want to hear. No matter how loud I make them scream, the voice in my head is only clearer and louder and continues to sob.
'Torian is dead.'