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12.16.2012 , 06:01 PM |
First Day on the Job
Varenne, Torian, and the beginning of a beautiful friendship. This takes place three years after the first part of my
Teachers and Heroes
entry. Some minor BH Taris spoilers. 850 words.
A Dubious Endorsement
Varenne shivered in the damp cold. She’d never been to Dromund Kaas before, and so far she didn’t like it. The Mandalorian scout who found her on Alderaan had brought her and three others here to start their training. She was the youngest, at eleven, to be scouted. It was intimidating, being surrounded by people she didn’t know, who were all standing around in heavy armor and carrying large guns, talking amongst themselves in a language she did not understand.
She and the others were led up to a platform set up in front of the crowd that had assembled to welcome them. They were presented, one by one, to the gathered Mandalorians.
“And our youngest recruit is Varenne Girard of Alderaan,” said the scout, consulting his datapad as Varenne stepped forward. “Her candidacy has, uh, been endorsed by … Tarrant Killesa.” His voice trailed off ominously.
Instead of the polite applause that followed the other three introductions, Varenne was greeted with silence. She looked out at the assembled group apprehensively. Some of them had disapproving looks on their faces. Actually, a lot of them did.
“Send her back!” yelled someone from the back of the crowd, breaking the uncomfortable silence. “Killesa’s a dishonorable
. Nothing but trouble. Nothing good can come of keeping her here.”
Send her back!” A number of people joined in with their objections.
Tears filled Varenne’s eyes. She had thought that joining the Mandalorians would be a wonderful opportunity to
develop her talents, but now that she was here, she began to wonder if it was a good idea after all. What did they have against Tarrant? She had never felt so unwanted in her whole life.
“Where’s your honor?” a young voice called above the din. Everyone turned to look at a blond boy, standing near the front of the crowd. “This isn’t how we’re supposed to welcome new people to the clan.”
“Shut your little face,
,” yelled the first objector from all the way in back. “Nobody cares what you think. Not after what your father did.”
The boy’s face turned red with anger and embarrassment, as he tried to push his way back through the crowd. “Don’t … ever …”
“Settle down, everyone,” called the scout, waving his arms to quiet the crowd. “Who would like to serve as mentors to our newest members?”
The other three recruits were quickly claimed and they left with their new mentors. Varenne was left standing alone on the platform, looking forlornly out at the dispersing crowd. The boy who had defended her was still standing there, peering up at her with some curiosity.
“Thanks,” she said sadly.
“Sure thing,” said the boy, still looking up at her.
“What’s your name, kid?” Varenne asked, hopping down from the platform and landing in front of him.
“Torian Cadera. Not a kid.”
“Sorry,” said Varenne quietly. “It wasn’t meant as an insult. I’m only eleven.”
“It’s fine. So am I.” Torian pointed at a nearby tent with a fire pit in front of it, and they headed in that direction. The smells coming from the fire pit were delicious.
?” Varenne asked.
Torian was silent for a few long moments. “It means ‘traitor’s blood,’” he said, so quietly that Varenne almost couldn’t hear him. “My dad led a rebellion against Mandalore. I was two. Barely remember him. Probably a good thing. When I grow up I’m going to find him and kill him.”
Varenne was shocked. “Kill him? But he’s your dad!” She couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to do that. She loved her parents and missed them so much, and she’d only been gone for two days.
“I want to get my honor back,” Torian said shortly. “Got to kill him to do that.”
Varenne frowned. She didn’t understand the Mandalorian way of thinking. Killing your family to regain honor? It was weird. “I’ve got another question. Why does everyone hate Tarrant? He’s like my big brother. He taught me what I know about shooting a blaster.”
“Last year. Great Hunt. Didn’t end well for him,” Torian replied, looking away. “Lost pretty bad, took it hard. Felt everyone else was jealous of him and tried to ruin his chance. He’s gone now. Don’t know where.”
“Oh,” said Varenne in a small voice. “I was kind of hoping he’d be here.”
“Nah,” Torian said, shrugging. “Nobody talks about him much. Must’ve been really bad.”
“Do I have to kill him to get my honor back?” Varenne asked nervously.
“Can if you want,” Torian answered. “If you think you have to. It’s different with me – it’s about my family name, my family honor. They don’t let me forget it. But you, it’s not about your honor. They just don’t like you because they don't like your friend.”
Varenne still didn’t understand, but she nodded anyway. “Yeah. But I wish they gave me a chance first.”
“Well, we can be outcasts together,” Torian said with a humorless laugh, handing her some barbequed meat on a stick. “At least we won’t have to face it alone.”
The Girard Legacy
Thalia | Eryn | Ariena | Varenne | Alleyne | Sharaina | Roselle | Aurine | Lysella
Andrina | Calanthe | Sarinne | Astaria | Carinthia | Meraia | Avareyne | Laralise | Katrama