The Alternate Universe Weekly Challenge Thread
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12.11.2012 , 11:31 PM |
Lodestone: Goals and Ambitions
, 1000 words.
The timeline to date (this accumulates fast when it's my only active project):
Short Fic Thread leadup (Ruth!verse canon):
Kaliyo's personal quest blows up
Wynston calls Ruth
Wynston talks with Keeper and the Minister
(in Lodestone, this occurs while Wynston has queries out for the action that kicks off his AU)
Faith, Hope and
, in which Wynston catches up with Ruth
The dream changes
Wynston talks to the crew
Wynston sees DS Ruth in action and calls her on it
Ruth leaves Wynston behind
Quinn proposes something to Wynston
Ruth and Wynston get cozy
Ruth takes exception to Wynston's recommendations
Ruth alone, day 1
Wynston alone, day 1
L+4 and change:
Ruth alone, days 2 and then some
L+4 and change:
Wynston alone, days 2 and then some
There was little Ruth could do. She avoided Vette's accusations and Jaesa's efforts to talk. Darth Vowrawn's people were actively investigating the next target; her own skills weren't in intelligence gathering. She spent days building alliances with middling level Sith Lords and with Vowrawn himself, doing favors by virtue of the firepower that few others could match. Monsters and Imperial loyalists alike, she made connections, laid preparations for the future. These alliances would be important as she took her place in the upper echelons of Sith society.
It felt cold. She held it together, for her friends' sake, for the sake of the self that her father had always encouraged her to preserve in clarity. It was all…necessary, she supposed. If nothing else, she had to arrange for her child to be born in safety. No one else was going to care about it as much as she did.
She shouldn't talk to Quinn. She had already interrogated him on the history of his use of her. The reasons for betraying her, despite her vocation, the one they were supposed to have shared. There was nothing more to say. As soon as his master Baras was dead and he had no further orders to harm her she would return him to military service. He was a great soldier. He always had been. The Empire could use him. He just had to be away from her.
She was curious on one point.
He shot to his feet and bowed when she came to his cell in the cargo hold. "My lord."
"Sit down, captain. My answer to your request is no." She would have none of his support in the planning and execution of the coming days. Or ever.
"Ah." He sat gingerly on the sole bunk. "I must confess I'm surprised the question reached you."
"Jaesa made sure of it. Did you know you had an audience?"
"I expected I might."
"Why did you insist on picking that fight? You already knew I have no further use for you." Bastard. But an oddly insistent one.
"I wish to assist. You've forbidden me to give the reason, my lord." That was as close to a claim of love as it was physically safe for him to make and they both knew it. Maybe part of her still wanted the assurance. "I have said it is your strength that will shape the battles to come. I do not wish for your cause to be lost now."
Well. As she had expected. Time to give him the treatment he had earned. "Your wishes mean nothing."
"Of that I am aware." He looked at her in that way she loved, intense, questioning, the way that threatened to overwhelm her senses every time. "I can still aid your cause."
"It's too late for that," she told her world, and turned away.
"Don't trust him." He almost choked on the words as she reached the door. "A man who serves that many masters is of no use to any of them."
"You would know. That threshold starts at two, captain."
"I'll tolerate that comparison if it forces you to see him for what he is."
"You'll tolerate anything I dictate," she snapped, "or had you forgotten your position?"
"No, my lord," he said, subdued. "I have not forgotten."
She left, and felt her head clearing even as she stepped out the door.
That hadn't been very helpful. Nor very smart.
Funny, that even after everything that had happened Quinn still both hid himself and evaluated others in terms of master and servant. While Wynston was unrelenting in his pursuit of the mission, it always seemed he answered to no authority beyond his idea of right. What was more certain, between him and Ruth there had never been a master, nor any pretense of one.
Odd, that. The Empire bowed to Sith. She received deference by default from Force-blinds. Coming as she did from a very informal household, she liked encouraging ordinary citizens to treat her as an equal, but only a few close friends really tried that. Vette. Jaesa. Sometimes Pierce.
Hell, the reason she had gotten to know him was that his reaction, upon finishing some day labor outside Kaas City, was to ask the strange Sith out to dinner. She had often wondered whether it was just that he wanted the notch on his bedpost. It hadn't felt like that. It never felt like that with him.
It must have been terribly easy to play on her feelings.
She liked him as he had been between lectures the last few days. Cool and expert in support, warm and…almost tentative…when they were alone. Tentative wasn't quite the word. He really seemed to be trying to express something he hadn't shown her before. He gave her answers, like Quinn hadn't, like every Sith she'd ever met hadn't. He gave her what she craved and truly seemed to like it.
He knew just how to get to her. And she wanted the illusion he offered, wanted it so much it hurt. If only he could keep it perfect, not let the real parts of his agenda show through.
As the days passed she had to admit that she would throw everything away if he would only keep that illusion whole.
But self-preservation had held, and he was gone. There was little more she could do. She avoided Vette's accusations and Jaesa's efforts to talk. Darth Vowrawn's people were actively investigating the next target; her own skills weren't in intelligence gathering. She spent days building alliances with middling level Sith Lords and with Vowrawn himself, doing favors by virtue of the firepower that few others could match. Monsters and Imperial loyalists alike, she made connections, laid preparations for the future. These alliances would be important as she took her place in the upper echelons of Sith society.
It felt cold. She held it together, for her friends' sake, for the sake of the self that her dead father had always encouraged her to preserve in clarity. It was all…necessary, she supposed.
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